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Mastering Monstera Dubia Care: A Comprehensive Guide

By HeyHome August 2, 2023

Mastering Monstera Dubia Care: A Comprehensive Guide

Enigmatic and captivating, Monstera Dubia is a standout in the vast world of tropical plants. This unique member of the monstera plants family grabs attention with its dark green leaves that lay flat against any surface it climbs. Referred to as a 'shingle plant' due to this climbing behavior, its foliage gives off an almost mosaic-like appearance that can leave plant enthusiasts in awe.

Monstera Dubia, like other plants in its genus, hails from the tropical rainforests of South and Central America. The dubia plant has adapted to these humid environments over time, becoming a creeping vine that scales trees to reach the sunlight. In its native habitat, it's common to see Monstera Dubia's leaves plastered against tree trunks, creating an incredible display of dark green variegation.

This introduction is the first step in your journey to mastering Monstera Dubia care. We'll guide you through the nuances of understanding this unique member of the monstera plants family, including its propagation, addressing common issues, and, most importantly, providing the optimal care to ensure healthy growth for your Monstera Dubia plant. Whether you're looking to add to your houseplant collection or simply love the allure of tropical plants, this comprehensive guide will give you all the knowledge and skills necessary to help your Monstera Dubia thrive. Let's dive into the intriguing world of this shingle plant, its care, propagation, and much more.

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Monstera Dubia Plant Characteristics

Monstera Dubia plants possess an unusual aesthetic that sets them apart from their tropical plant siblings. The dark green leaves of this shingle plant are heart-shaped in their juvenile stage, featuring a mosaic pattern of lighter and darker green. As the plant grows, these juvenile plants begin to exhibit the distinctive "shingling" behavior that gives Monstera Dubia its nickname - the leaves lay flat against a climbing surface, often overlapping like shingles on a roof. This unique display is sure to make a captivating addition to any houseplant collection.

In addition to the distinctive dark green leaves, the Monstera Dubia plant features aerial roots that help it cling to and climb surfaces. These roots are more than just functional - they're also an aesthetic element that adds an interesting twist to the plant's overall look.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Monstera Dubia plants is their transition from juvenile to mature plants. As juvenile plants, their leaves are small, heart-shaped, and lay flat against the climbing surface. As the plant matures and climbs higher, reaching more sunlight, the leaf shape begins to change. The mature leaves of Monstera Dubia are much larger and develop fenestrations, or holes, similar to other monstera species like Monstera Deliciosa or Monstera Adansonii. This dramatic transformation is a testament to the adaptability and beauty of this unique species.

Monstera Dubia Plant Characteristics

Another fascinating aspect is the plant's ability to bloom. While not common in home environments, Monstera Dubia is one of the flowering plants that can produce inflorescences in optimal conditions. The flowers are white and appear on mature plants. This is a rare and beautiful event that underscores the plant's tropical origins and distinct personality.

Whether it's the climbing growth habit, the unique shingling effect of the leaves, or the striking transition from juvenile to mature plant, Monstera Dubia is undoubtedly a conversation starter. It's not just a plant, but a showcase of nature's endless creativity and diversity. As you continue to explore the ins and outs of Monstera Dubia care, keep these unique characteristics in mind. They will not only help you understand the plant better but also inspire you to give your Monstera Dubia the best care possible.

Understanding Monstera Plants Family

Monstera plants, often known for their stunning foliage and exceptional adaptability, are a diverse group within the Araceae family. Originating from the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, there are about 50 known species of Monstera, each with its unique traits and quirks.

One of the most popular species is the Monstera Deliciosa, often recognized for its unique, large, and split leaves. These plants are also known as the 'Swiss cheese plant' due to their iconic fenestrations. They are hardy, easy to care for, and can grow quite large, making them a popular choice among houseplant enthusiasts.

The Monstera Adansonii, also known as the 'Adanson's monstera' or 'five holes plant', is another popular species. Like the Deliciosa, it has perforated leaves, but these tend to be smaller and more numerous, creating a lacy, delicate look. It's a vining plant that loves to climb, much like the Dubia.

Monstera Obliqua is another unique species, although it's quite rare in the houseplant world. Its leaves are highly perforated to the point that they often look more hole than leaf. This plant is often mistaken for Monstera Adansonii due to the similarity in their leaf structure. However, the Obliqua's leaves are usually thinner and more delicate.

Despite the wide variety of beautiful and interesting species in the Monstera family, Monstera Dubia manages to stand out. The Dubia plant is distinctive due to its growth habit. Unlike its siblings, which are more free-standing or sprawling vines, the Dubia is a shingle plant. As it grows, it lays its leaves flat against a climbing surface, creating an appealing layered effect.

Another aspect that sets Monstera Dubia apart is the drastic change in leaf structure as the plant matures. While juvenile Dubia leaves are small, heart-shaped, and flat, mature leaves are larger and perforated, much like the leaves of Monstera Deliciosa or Monstera Adansonii. This ability to transform so dramatically as it matures is a characteristic that's unique to Monstera Dubia in the Monstera family.

Last but not least, the patterned dark green variegation of Monstera Dubia leaves adds to their aesthetic appeal. The lighter and darker green patches create a mosaic-like pattern on the leaves, which is not common in most other Monstera species.

In conclusion, while all Monstera species have their unique appeal and characteristics, the Monstera Dubia manages to stand out with its shingle growth habit, transforming leaves, and beautiful variegation. It's truly a unique and charming addition to the Monstera family.

Monstera Dubia Care Requirements

Caring for your Monstera Dubia plant is a rewarding task as these stunning plants have unique needs that can be fascinating to meet. Here are some essential Monstera Dubia care requirements to ensure the health and vitality of your plant.

Light, Temperature, and Humidity

Monstera Dubia, like many other tropical plants, thrives in bright but indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the plant's leaves, leading to yellow leaves or other types of damage. Aim for a location with plenty of diffused light or use a sheer curtain to filter intense sunlight.

Temperature-wise, Monstera Dubia prefers warm environments, typical of its native habitat in South and Central America. Ensure the temperature doesn't fall below 60°F (15°C). This tropical plant is not frost-tolerant and should be protected from cold drafts.

Humidity plays a significant role in the growth of Monstera Dubia. In its natural environment, it's used to the high humidity levels of tropical rainforests. So, to replicate those conditions, maintain a humidity level of 60% or more in your home. You can do this by using a humidifier, or simpler methods such as placing your plant on a pebble tray filled with water. Read more about the role of a humidistat to understand how to maintain optimum humidity levels for your plant.

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Watering Needs

When it comes to watering your Monstera Dubia plant, it's essential to strike a balance. These plants do not tolerate water-logged soil, as it can lead to root rot. Wait until the top inch of soil dry before watering again. Use pots with drainage holes to ensure excess water can escape.

Soil Preferences

Monstera Dubia plants prefer a chunky, well-draining soil mix. A combination of peat moss, orchid bark, and coco coir can create an excellent medium for your plant's roots to thrive. The peat moss retains some moisture without making the soil too water-logged, while the bark and coir add texture and drainage. Here's a helpful article on fill dirt vs topsoil to deepen your understanding of the type of soil best suited for your Monstera.

Fertilizer Needs

Monstera Dubia plants aren't heavy feeders, but they do appreciate a boost of nutrients during their active growth period. During spring and summer, feed your plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer every month. Make sure to follow the recommended dosage on the fertilizer's package to prevent nutrient burn.

Monstera Dubia Care Requirements


Finally, as a shingle plant, Monstera Dubia loves to climb. Providing a moss pole or wooden stake for support will not only encourage its natural creeping vine habit but also result in more mature leaves, as climbing stimulates the plant's growth.


Overall, while Monstera Dubia care can seem a bit complex, it's largely about recreating conditions similar to the plant's native habitat. The effort pays off handsomely as you watch your Monstera Dubia flourish and transform from juvenile plants to mature ones with large, heart-shaped leaves and dark green variegation. With appropriate care, your Monstera Dubia can become a magnificent addition to your houseplant collection.

Addressing Monstera Dubia Common Issues

While Monstera Dubia plants are generally hardy, they can occasionally experience problems. In this section, we'll address some common Monstera Dubia issues and offer solutions to ensure your plant stays healthy.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common problem in many flowering plants, and the Monstera Dubia is no exception. Overwatering, poor drainage, and lack of airflow can lead to this issue. If you notice yellowing leaves or a stunted growth, check your plant's roots. Rotten roots usually appear brown and mushy.

To combat root rot, you need to remove the affected parts. Use clean pruning shears to cut away any rotten roots, then repot your Monstera Dubia in fresh soil. Remember to water your plant only when the top layer of soil is dry, and ensure the pot has sufficient drainage holes.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny pests that can cause considerable damage to your Monstera Dubia's leaves. They feed on the plant's sap, leading to yellow, speckled leaves. In severe infestations, you may notice a fine, spider-like webbing on your plant.

To get rid of spider mites, you can wipe down your Monstera Dubia leaves with a solution of water and mild dish soap. More persistent infestations may require the use of neem oil, a natural pesticide. Regularly misting your plant can also prevent spider mites, as they prefer dry conditions.

Scale Insects

Scale insects are another pest that can affect Monstera Dubia plants. They appear as small, round bumps on the stems and leaves of your plant and can lead to yellow leaves or slow growth.

Like with spider mites, you can tackle scale insects using neem oil. Apply it following the instructions on the label and repeat the process as necessary until the infestation is under control.

For more detailed information on handling common houseplant pests, consider reading this Anthurium Crystallinum care guide.

Addressing Monstera Dubia Common Issues

Despite these potential issues, Monstera Dubia plants are incredibly resilient. By keeping an eye out for these common problems and addressing them promptly, you can ensure that your Monstera Dubia remains a vibrant and thriving part of your plant collection.

Monstera Dubia Propagation Techniques

Expanding your Monstera collection doesn't necessarily require a visit to the local garden center. Propagation is a cost-effective and rewarding method to multiply your favorite plants, including the unique Monstera Dubia. Let's explore the common methods of propagation, and then dive into a step-by-step guide for stem cuttings propagation.

Overview of Propagation Methods

There are various ways to propagate a Monstera Dubia, but the most common methods are through stem cuttings and layering. These techniques involve taking a portion of the parent plant to grow a new one. For a deeper understanding of different propagation techniques, visit our gardening guide.

Propagating Monstera Dubia Through Stem Cuttings

  1. Prepare Your Tools: You'll need a sharp pair of pruning shears, a pot with drainage holes, and a suitable soil mix. Sterilize your shears to avoid introducing any harmful bacteria to the cuttings.
  2. Take the Cutting: Identify a healthy stem on your Monstera Dubia plant. Ideally, choose one with a few leaves and an aerial root. Using your pruning shears, make a cut below a node (the small bump on the stem where leaves and aerial roots emerge).
  3. Plant the Cutting: Place the cutting into a pot filled with a well-draining soil mix. You can use a combination of peat moss and orchid bark to mimic the plant's native environment.
  4. Care for Your Cutting: Initially, place your potted cutting in a warm spot with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as this could burn the leaves. Water the cutting when the top layer of soil is dry, and maintain a high humidity level to encourage root growth.

Caring for Your New Plant

Caring for a propagated Monstera Dubia isn't too different from caring for a mature plant. Continue to provide bright, indirect light and water when the top layer of soil is dry. As the plant grows, you may need to provide a moss pole or wooden stake for support.

Your new Monstera Dubia might take a bit longer to acclimate and begin growing, but with patience and consistent care, you'll soon have a thriving new addition to your houseplant collection. It's one of the rewarding aspects of Monstera Dubia propagation.

Tips for Achieving Large and Mature Monstera Dubia

Having a mature Monstera Dubia with large, dark green leaves in your plant collection is an incredible sight. To achieve this, you need to provide your Monstera Dubia with the conditions it requires for optimum growth and development.

Moving Your Monstera Dubia to a Moss Pole

Monstera Dubia is a shingle plant, meaning it naturally prefers to grow upwards, clinging onto tree trunks in its native rainforests of Central and South America. A moss pole mimics this natural habitat and allows your Monstera Dubia plant to grow vertically, promoting larger leaves and a more robust root system.

To transfer your Monstera Dubia to a moss pole, secure the plant's stem to the pole, ensuring that the nodes (where roots and leaves emerge) touch the moss. Keep the moss moist to encourage the plant's roots to grip the pole. For a more detailed guide on how to set up and care for plants using a moss pole, check out our philodendron micans care guide.

Tips for Achieving Large and Mature Monstera Dubia

Ideal Conditions for Monstera Dubia Growth

The Monstera Dubia prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can burn the plant's leaves, resulting in yellow leaves or dark green variegation. Temperature-wise, it thrives in a warm environment (around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and appreciates high humidity, replicating its tropical native habitat.

Water your Monstera Dubia when the top layer of soil is dry to the touch, and be sure to provide it with a well-draining soil mix to prevent water logging and the dreaded root rot. Providing these conditions for your Monstera Dubia will help you achieve a large and mature specimen, making it a standout in your houseplant collection.

Conclusion: Why Monstera Dubia is Worth the Effort

Despite the careful attention and specific conditions that the Monstera Dubia plant demands, the effort is undoubtedly worth the reward. When you provide this magnificent tropical plant with the care it requires, it rewards you with a stunning display of heart-shaped leaves and a fascinating growth habit.

Watching your Monstera Dubia thrive, whether it's clinging to a moss pole or sprouting new, dark green leaves, brings a unique sense of accomplishment. This feeling is further intensified when you successfully propagate your Monstera Dubia, starting a new journey with a fresh cutting. Indeed, there's a great joy in observing this exotic shingle plant as it transforms your space into a mini tropical paradise. So yes, every drop of effort is truly worth it for the captivating Monstera Dubia.

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