Rhaphidophora Hayi vs Monstera Dubia (Differences and Similarities)

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There is much confusion between the Rhaphidophora Hayi and Monstera Dubia, as they are both tropical plants that look almost identical when young. However, a true plant enthusiast can tell the difference between the two.

Here, we cover some similarities and differences between the Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Hayi and some care guidelines for growing these plants indoors.

Rhaphidophora Hayi Origin

Rhaphidophora Hayi is a species of singling plant that belongs to the plant family Araceae. The shingle plant is native to Queensland and New Guinea, where it grows epiphytically on tree trunks in rainforests.

In its juvenile form, the Hayi plant grows light green leaves, which grow darker as they age. The plant shows vining characteristics and is often referred to as a shingle plant or shingle vine.

Monstera Dubia Origin

Monstera dubia leaves

Monstera Dubia is a species in the genus Monstera that belong to the same plant family Araceae. Monstera Dubia is native to the tropical areas of Central and South America.

In its juvenile form, the Monstera Dubia produces heart-shaped leaves that appear similar to the Monstera deliciosa leaves. Still, the plant matures and forms fenestrations that help tell the two apart.

Monstera Dubia is also sometimes referred to as the shingle plant as part of the shingling species, like the Rhaphidophora Hayi.

Rhaphidophora Hayi vs Monstera Dubia: Similarities

The common name among them is just one similarity between them and one of the major reasons for the confusion between the two shingle plants. However, several other similarities between the two rare plants can confuse the most expert plant owners.

Below are some main similarities between Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora.

Leaf Appearance

The Rhaphidophora Hayi and Monstera Dubia share similar leaf structures and appearances. Both share similar dark green leaves with veins. In juvenile plants, the leaves are smaller, heart-shaped, and with silvery markings.

Moreover, the shingle plants grow upwards on support, producing leaves on both sides of the vine. The leaves lie flat against the horizontal surface of the tree.

Growth Habits

Monstera dubia climbing a wood plank

Both plants share their growing habits as creeping vines, which involve climbing the tree trunk or support while the leaves lay flat on the surface.

The shingle plant actively grows in spring and summer when they get bright light. The tropical climate provides high humidity and frequent watering that allows healthy growth.

The Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Hayi are evergreen, perennial plants that are hemi-epiphytic; they grow on soil in early stages and start climbing on trees and rocks.

The plants produce aerial roots that anchor them to the flat surface and absorb moisture from the air.

Growing Medium

Rhaphidophora Hayi climbing a wall

You can grow the plants in soil or potting mix. The shingle plant prefers well-aerated soil that has good water retention abilities. Moreover, the plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH range between 5.0 to 6.0.

Shingle plants grow shallow roots in the soil as it depends more on their vining growth. However, it still requires a well-nutritional soil that can sustain its growth.

To improve water absorption and draining, you can use a commercially available soil mix and add orchid bark, peat moss, and perlite. While these plants prefer moist soil, too much water retention can lead to root rot.

Humidity

As tropical plants, the shingle plant prefers high humidity to grow. Ideally, the humidity level should be around 70% or higher, but the plants can still experience healthy growth at 50% or higher humidity.

Humidity is crucial for the growth of the plant. The aerial roots absorb moisture directly from the air, so you should care appropriately for the moisture level. However, too much humidity could lead to fungal infections that could kill the plant.

You can use a humidifier to monitor humidity or a water-filled pebble tray beneath the pot. If the shingle plant leaves curl away from its totem, it could indicate poor health due to low humid environments.

You can also cover the plant with a plastic bag to maintain high humidity. However, it could also increase the chances of root rot on the aerial root.

Sunlight

In their natural environment, these plants are accustomed to medium light that passes from the forest canopy. Therefore, the plants adapted to grow well in bright indirect light. Similarly, bright direct sunlight is harmful to plants.

Too much direct sun can cause leaf burning and dehydration, leading to the death of the plant. However, too little light can result in stunted growth and yellowing leaves.

You can use indoor growth lights for your Monstera Dubia or Rhaphidophora Hayi plant. Alternatively, you can place them in a room with a west or east-facing window with plenty of bright indirect light.

Temperature

Tropical climates are known for their warm weather. Therefore, the shingle plant prefers a temperature range of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can increase the temperature to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which could lead to a loss of humidity.

You can create a greenhouse cabinet to ensure the best climate for rare plant species. However, keeping them in a warm area of the house should suffice.

Toxicity

The long-growing vines of the Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Hayi are toxic to pets and humans. These plants contain calcium oxalate that can cause mild toxic effects in the body.

The toxins could cause stomach aches, throat infections, digestive issues, nausea, and diarrhea if ingested. The sap of the vining plant can cause skin and eye irritation if it comes into contact. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution when caring for these plants.

Common Pests

Mealybugs, spider mites, fungal gnats, and thrips are common pests that infest houseplants, including the shingle plant.

The pests feed on the plants, laying eggs deep within the plant tissue, which hatch only to repeat the cycle until the plant dies.

Fortunately, you can watch for signs of pest infestations, such as black spots and damaged parts. You can treat the plant with pesticides or neem oil to prevent further infestation.

Pruning

As vining plants, the shingle plant continues to spread out. However, their growth is not to the extent that it cannot be controlled. Therefore, it is essential to properly prune the plants when necessary.

Generally, you can prune any dead or older leaves on the plant twice a year. Use sterile pruning shears or a sharp blade to ensure the plant does not get infected.

Propagation

Instead of throwing away the pruned parts, you can use them to further propagate the Monstera. This is also true if your shingle plant is infested or infected beyond saving.

Find a healthy part of the plant and cut the stem. You should cut below the node, ensuring that the stem cutting has a few leaves and aerial roots growing out.

Then, you can propagate the plant in either water or soil. Rooting will take around three weeks, and shoot development can take two to three months.

Repotting

While the two species are not fast growers, they can still require frequent repotting, especially in the juvenile form. You might have to report a young plant once every couple of months. However, a mature monstera dubia and Hayi plant only need repotting once every couple of years.

You can choose a clay pot for your plants, as it has good water-retaining abilities. However, you must ensure that the pot has adequate drainage holes, as these plants prefer moist soil but not damp soil.

Gently remove the root ball from the previous pot so as not to damage the delicate roots. Then, choose a bigger pot (almost two inches bigger in diameter) and fill it halfway with a potting mix.

Gently place the root-bound soil clump in the new pot and cover it with more potting mix. Give the plant adequate water and humidity to ensure it grows well.

Rhaphidophora Hayi vs Monstera Dubia: Differences

Despite their numerous similarities, there are significant differences between the Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Hayi plants. These differences help plant owners differentiate between the two and not get scammed by online sellers.

Below are some of the key differences between Rhaphidophora Hayi and Monstera Dubia.

Taxonomy

Rhaphidophora Hayi, also called the vining shingle or shingle plant, belongs to the genus Rhaphidophora of the plant family Araceae. Native to the region of Australia, the Hayi plant is a monocotyledonous plant that belongs to the Alismatales order.

On the other hand, Monstera Dubia also belongs to the order Alismatales and the plant family Araceae. However, Monstera Dubia belongs to the plant genus Monstera, known for its distinct characteristics and found in Central and South America regions.

Leaf Shape

One of the major differences between the two plants is their leaf shape. While the leaves are almost identical to juvenile plants, Mature plants have differently shaped leaves.

Rhaphidophora leaves are broader than they are long, almost twice. The leaves spread out in the middle and meet at the apex to form a pointed end.

On the other hand, the Monstera Dubia leaves are heart-shaped and broader than the Rhaphidophora Hayi leaves. The width of the leaf is almost similar from the start and middle, only decreasing at the end to form a pointed end.

Leaf Size

The Monstera Dubia leaves are around one to three inches in size at the juvenile stage. However, once the plant matures, the leaves can grow between eight to 40 inches long and five to 20 inches wide. Moreover, the adult leaves have a longer petiole that grows between eight to 22 inches long.

On the other hand, Rhaphidophora Hayi leaves are much smaller in comparison, growing around four to nine inches long and overlapping each other.

Leaf Appearance

Rhaphidophora Hayi climbing a wall

While they appear similar when young, as juvenile leaves of both plants are primarily light-colored, the shingling plants produce different-colored leaves when they mature.

The mature leaf of the Rhaphidophora Hayi is dark green without any visible veins. Moreover, you might notice the leaves alternating in growth as the mature leaves tend to grow away from the tree while the young leaves still show their shingling nature.

On the other hand, the Monstera Dubia leaves are dark green and have distinct dark green veins. These dark green veins move from the mid-rib towards the apex and are one of the reasons for the beauty of the tropical plant. The shingling plant produces velvety leaves on maturity that show a silvery green shimmer.

Stems

Monstera Dubia produces green vine-like stems as a young plant. The stems have short internodes, which are difficult to notice. Adult Monstera Dubia stems are rough and warty in texture and dark green to tan in color. The stem cuticles are thick, and the internodes are longer.

Rhaphidophora Hayi produces thick meandering stems that grow vertically. A young plant’s stem is light green, but a mature plant produces dark green stems.

Growth Rate

Rhaphidophora Hayi has a moderate growth rate and can take serval years to reach full growth. An adult plant can reach five feet indoors and 32 feet outdoors.

Monstera Dubia is a slow-growing plant and can take a few years to reach its full height of three to six feet long indoors and around 80 feet outdoors.

Price

Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Hayi are extremely rare plants and are highly sought after by houseplant owners. Therefore, the two plants can be costly.

However, the Monstera Dubia can cost you more due to its rarity and slow growth, which makes it scarcer than the Rhaphidophora Hayi.

Native Habitat

The Rhaphidophora Hayi is native to the tropical regions of the northeast coast of Queensland, Papua New Guinea, and the Bismarck Archipelago. These plants are mainly found in the tropical lowland rainforest close to the Pacific Ocean.

The Monstera Dubia is native to tropical areas of South and Central America, mainly Mexico and Trinidad. These plants are found in USDA hardiness zones 10-12 and grow primarily in wet tropical regions.

Things to Know About The Two Topical Plants

Now that you have a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the Monstera Dubia and Rhaphidophora Hayi, here are some interesting facts and things to know about the two plants:

  • Monstera Dubia propagation than the Monstera Hayi
  • Monstera Hayi matures, and the leaves move away from the stem, losing their shingling growth.
  • You can use a moss pole to make the two plant species climb. You can get a moss pole online or use moist sphagnum moss and a stake.
  • A liquid fertilizer can help increase the growth rate. However, only use the fertilizer in the growing season.
  • The shingle plants produce flowers that are light pink and beautiful.
  • The ideal pot for the shingle plant is clay or terracotta. The ideal size of the pot is around two inches bigger than the previous pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a shingle plant?

A shingle plant is a creeping vine in the Arum Family that gets its name due to its shingling behavior, where the leaves lie flat against the tree’s surface instead of growing away from it.

Are shingle plants a type of Monstera Dubia?

Monstera Dubia is a kind of shingle plant as it exhibits shingling behavior and attaches to the surface of any support. Unlike the Monstera deliciosa, the Monstera dubia leaves tend to stay flat on the climbing surface.

Is Rhaphidophora Hayi rare?

Yes, Rhaphidophora Hayi is a rare climbing plant that is only found in some regions of tropical areas. Moreover, its medium growth rate and strict growth conditions make it challenging to grow elsewhere.