Rhaphidophora Cryptantha vs Monstera Dubia: Key Differences and Similarities

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This article, “Rhaphidophora Cryptantha vs M. Dubia,” will cover some similarities and key differences between these two popular tropical shingling plants. Read on to discover:

  • An overview of Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia
  • The similarities both these tropical shingling plants share
  • The most common differences between the two.

Rhaphidophora Cryptantha

Native to Papua New Guinea and tropical regions of Africa and Southeast Asia, Rhaphidophora Cryptantha is commonly known as shingle plant, shingle vine, or shingling.

Rhaphidophora Cryptantha is a genus that belongs to the family Araceae and may be found from tropical Africa East through Malesia and Australasia and finally to the Western Pacific.

In its juvenile form, the plant doesn’t have such prominent leaves, but when matured, it grows velvety dark green leaves lined with silver venation overlapping the thick meandering stems.

Rhaphidophora Cryptantha

Monstera Dubia

Native to Central and South America, Monstera Dubia, just like Rhaphidophora Cryptantha, is a shingling variety; therefore, it is also commonly known as a shingle plant or shingling.

Dubia is a genus, or specifically, a species of herb that belongs to the Araceae family and may be found in tropical rainforests, meaning they thrive in warm, humid environments.

In the juvenile stage, the juvenile leaves are heart-shaped with both light and dark green variegation, but when the plant grows and matures, the leaves expand and form fenestrations.

Rhaphidophora Cryptantha vs M. Dubia — Key Similarities

Believe it or not, Monsteras are full of surprises; even better, there are approximately 50 Monstera species worldwide, and the majority look similar, especially in the juvenile state.

Among the shingling plants, Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Dubia are relatively rare plants (you’ll find only a few in the local nursery, highlighting how unique they are).

However, aside from the obvious shingling and climbing nature, these tropical plants have many similarities, which is why gardeners may confuse the two plant species.

Wondering what makes these two plants so similar? Read on to discover some features that Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia share.

Monstera Dubia

The Root System

Regarding the root system of Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia, both share a few similarities regarding aerial roots that allow excess water and nutrients to reach the root.

Due to the shingling nature of Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia, both varieties can be propagated through stem cutting, preferably in a potting mix or rich soil/wet soil.

When it comes to root rot, both Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia develop brown or black leaves as a sign, generally caused by overwatering the two plants.

Moreover, both plants demand new pots or hanging baskets with well-draining drainage holes. If root-bound, it will result in poor health and excessively low growing speed.

The Leaf Structure     

If you look closely at the leaves, you can tell a lot about the plant’s general health, nutritional shortage, how much water it needs, the state of its roots, and the growth environment.

Surprisingly, when it comes to the similarities between Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia, both share similar leaf structures in terms of dark green veins.

The juvenile plants, Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Cryptantha, “shingle” vertically against a horizontal flat surface, with the leaves alternating on either side of the shingle.

Similarly, another important feature of these shingling plants is that adult leaves don’t change morphologically from juvenile leaves when kept indoors, except for the diameter.

The Growing Habits

Since both Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia are shingle plants (creeping vine), their growth habit is to climb the surface of tree trunks, lying flat against the trees.

Similarly, Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and M. Dubia thrive best during the growing season in bright indirect light or medium indirect light. Direct sunlight should be avoided at all costs.

On the other hand, frequent watering, a well-draining moist soil mix (orchid bark, sphagnum moss, and peat moss), well-diluted fertilizer, and high humidity promote healthy root growth.

Since both plants love to climb trees, they will grow best when provided a moss pole indoors. In addition, in a terrarium or hanging basket, the foliage and flowering of these plants will blaze.

Temperature Limitations

Temperature is one of the many vital factors for the growth of Monstera’s shingle plant, including Rhaphidophora Cryptantha, mature Monstera Dubia, and Monstera Deliciosa.

The ideal temperature range for Rhaphidophora Cryptantha is 55 to 80 °F., while the Monstera Dubia temperature requirements are between 65-85°F—making them quite similar.

Considering that both shingle plants have a human-like nature when it comes to survival, if stored in extreme conditions, you will most likely restrict their survival to a limited time.

Rhaphidophora Cryptantha vs M. Dubia — Key Differences

Finally, we discussed the core similarities between Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia to give you an idea of the shared characteristics, now is the time for key differences.

Unlike other shingle plant varieties, the differences between Rhaphidophora Cryptantha and Dubia matter for plant enthusiasts who are adamant about keeping one over the other.

The Root System

When differentiating between various shingle plant varieties, horticulturists and botanists use the root systems for clear identification.

Despite no major visible differences, the roots of the Monstera Dubia cause the plant to grow slowly. On the flip side, Rhaphidophora Cryptantha has relatively slower growth.

Compared to other vigorous growers like Monstera Deliciosa, you may have to wait longer for R. Cryptantha and Monstera Dubia leaves and flowers to grow to their full potential.

The Leaf Structure   

R. Cryptantha has velvety green foliage with silvery-gray or whitish veins, while Monstera Dubia leaves have silvery green shimmer on the surface along with prominent veins.

During the maturity stage, the leaves of R. Cryptantha maintain their juvenile appearance; meanwhile, Monstera Dubia leaves become dark green in color and form fenestrations.

If you look closely, the Monstera Dubia leaves are primarily light-colored with dark green veins. On the other hand, R. Cryptantha’s leaves are dark-colored with light green veins.

Monstera Dubia

The Growing Habits

As discussed above, R. Cryptantha and M. Dubia are tropical plants requiring similar environmental conditions to thrive; however, there are still some differences to consider.

Monstera Dubia’s potting mix must be rich in oxygen with moderate proportions of orchid bark, peat moss, and sphagnum moss; otherwise, the plant will rot from the roots.

On the other hand, the requirements for preparing the soil for R. Cryptantha are not quite complicated. Simply put, the soil must be able to drain well and have an acidic ph level of 6-6.5.

Temperature Limitations

Monstera Dubia is indigenous to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America; therefore, it does well in a humid atmosphere. If required, raise humidity levels artificially.

Since R. Cryptantha is humidity tolerant, it can handle 60% to 80% of high humidity levels; however, raising the humidity in the growing seasons artificially at night is recommended.

Regarding temperature limitations, just like Monstera Deliciosa leaves, don’t put Monstera Dubia and R. Cryptantha under freezing temperatures, especially during winter.

Finally, knowing these small differences and similarities can help you prepare for your R. Cryptantha Monstera Dubia care, so it’s wise to take note of the ideal growth from seeds.

Rhaphidophora Cryptantha vs M. Dubia — Things to Know

Finally, we have covered the similar and contrasting features of Monstera Dubia and R. Cryptantha; it is now time to unveil some of the interesting facts about the two stems.

  • Compared to other shingle plants, Monstera Dubia propagation is the easiest.
  • To make R. Cryptantha climb upward, just place a moss pole for support.
  • High humidity, moist soil, and warm weather are all needed for both plants to thrive.
  • A well-diluted fertilizer does wonders for both plants by supplying nutrients in the soil.
  • The flowers of the shingle plant are often non-showy and pinkish salmon-colored.
  • Generally, early spring is considered the best time for shingle plant propagation.
  • The ideal pot size for the shingle plant is 2″ bigger in diameter than the old pot.

Monstera Dubia

Frequently Asked Questions

To end the article, here are some FAQs about Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Cryptantha.

  • What is a Shingling Plant?

The shingling plant is a herbaceous vine that belongs to the Araceae family. It got its name from the “shingling” tendency that young leaves display, resting flat on the surface of a tree.

  • What is Rhaphidophora Cryptantha?

Native to Papua New Guinea, Rhaphidophora Cryptantha is a tropical shingling plant that may also be found from Africa East through Malesia and Australasia to the Western Pacific.

  • Is Rhaphidophora Hayi a Monstera?

The answer is no. Rhaphidophora Hayi or R. Cryptantha looks very similar to the shingling plant Monstera Dubia, but it is definitely not a Monstera; instead a smaller cousin to it.

  • Are Monstera Dubia Fast Growers?

Monstera Dubia falls under the slow-growing plant category and takes up to 2-3 years to grow sufficiently. However, Dubia should not need repotting very often due to a slower growth rate.

  • Is a Shingle Plant a Monstera?

Shingle plant R. Cryptantha is not a Monstera. Another shingling variety Monstera Dubia is a Monstera genus, specifically, a species of herb belonging to the Araceae family.

  • Are Monstera Dubia and R. Cryptantha Rare?

Yes, both Monstera Dubia and R. Cryptantha are rare among the slow-growing shingling plants. You can find them on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, or other local plant sites.