(Image credit: Katja Schulz, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/)
We love to watch the Monstera dubia climb up a post.
It seems like it can grow on forever.
The Monstera dubia is small for a Monstera species.
The plant is a vine climber that stands out with its’ unique appearance.
Monstera Dubia Care
To care for Monstera Dubia provide it with a plank or moss pole to climb on as it is a shingler. Provide a well-draining soil mix using orchid bark, peat moss, perlite, and bright indirect light. Water once the top 2” of soil are dry and provide a temperature between 65 -80°F (18-27°C) as well as humidity above 50%. Fertilize 3x a year in the growing season using a liquid fertilizer.
The plant originates from both Central and South America, where the heat is high.
Since it’s a climber, you’ll need a moss pole to help it grow. When grown outside, it can keep on going.
Even indoors, the Monstera dubia can grow to impressive heights.
The Monstera dubia pops out beautiful heart-shaped and variegated leaves. They’re usually green and yellow leaves.
The plant doesn’t flower until it hits maturity. Before you know it, full-grown leaves will start hanging off the vine.
As the plant grows in height, these leaves lay flat against the post or moss pole you use.
This is where the plant gets its’ nickname “Shingle Plant”. They resemble shingles as they lay flat against a surface.
We guarantee that the Monstera dubia isn’t like any other plants in your home. But it sure will look gorgeous next to them.
Caring for a Monstera dubia plant is easy. But you need to know the basics of Monstera plants before you buy one of these climbers.
This is our detailed guide on the Monstera dubia plant.
Monstera Dubia Care Guide
The Monstera dubia plant needs well-draining soil that’s high in organic matter. This soil needs to be able to retain enough moisture to hydrate your plant.
But you don’t want the soil you use to retain too much water.
When the soil holds onto all the water, it’s like when you over-water your plant.
All that moisture blocks oxygen from penetrating the soil. Which means your plant’s roots aren’t getting oxygen.
Roots without oxygen start to rot. Hence, root rot or wet feet. If it’s left untreated, root rot will kill your entire Monstera dubia.
Creating a well-draining soil for a healthy Monstera is easier than you think.
We have our soil recipe to share with you. Your Monstera dubia will love this mix.
There should be about equal parts of each ingredient for this soil mix.
- orchid bark (fine-grain or shredded)
The soil’s pH level needs to be neutral, ranging from 5 pH to 7 pH.
You want to avoid the soil being too acidic for this Monstera species.
A Monstera dubia plant needs bright indirect light to thrive.
It’s important to have the perfect lighting so your plant can go through photosynthesis.
In the complete shade, a Monstera dubia can’t make it through photosynthesis.
Direct sunlight can harm your plant. Otherwise, the leaves will become scorched and discolored.
Make sure you don’t place the plant in a south or west-facing window. The sun rays will shine down on the Monstera dubia.
Try either a north-facing or east-facing window. It helps to use curtains if the sun is still too bright.
Now and then make sure you rotate the plant. That way each part of your plant gets the sun it needs.
When you’re dealing with artificial lights, move your plant a little from the light.
You don’t want it blaring down onto the Monstera dubia plant.
Water Monstera dubia once the top 2” of soil are dry.
Watering a Monstera dubia plant is much like watering most other plants.
You don’t want to wait until the soil is all the way dry to water.
And you don’t want to over-water the Monstera either.
Without enough water, your plant will become dehydrated.
Dehydration can lead to the death of the plant.
Over-watering the plant can cause many problems as well.
The worst of these problems being root rot.
Root rot is as it sounds.
The roots of the Monstera dubia start rotting. If it’s not treated, all the roots will rot away. Your plant won’t be able to grab the moisture from the soil.
In the end, your Monstera dubia will die from either rot or dehydration.
There are two great ways to help you decide when your plant needs watering.
The first way is to pick up the Monstera dubia’s plant pot.
When it’s heavy, it’s still retaining water. When it’s light, it’s time to water your plant.
The second way is to stick your finger in the soil, down to your knuckle. This is about two inches deep.
If the soil is dry, you need to water your plant. If the soil is still moist, wait a few more days.
Most of the time you’ll be watering your Monstera dubia about once a week.
Cut down on how often you water the plant during the cold, winter months. Cold soil retains water longer than a plant in a warmer environment.
The best temperature for a Monstera dubia is between 65 -80°F (18-27°C).
You need to make sure the temperature is over 60F (15C). The temperature must mimic heat like where the plant originates from.
It won’t die in cooler temperatures but it won’t thrive either.
But it can’t take freezing temperatures so make sure the heat in your home is up during these cold months.
Monstera dubia plants like high humidity. The humidity in their environment should be over 50%.
It’s simple to create humidity if you live in a dry area or you just need more moisture in the air.
First, you can spritz your Monster dubia’s leaves with water now and then.
The only problem with this method is that you have to be diligent. It’s hard to determine whether your plant need spraying again.
Or even how much moisture it’s creating.
You can always make a pebble tray. You fill a tray to the top with pebbles. Then you fill it with water.
Place your Monstera dubia plant pot on top of the pebbles. So when the water evaporates if goes right to the plant.
Fertilize Monstera dubia 3x a year in the growing season using a liquid fertilizer.
The Monstera dubia doesn’t need any special fertilizer. It thrives with the usual indoor liquid fertilizer.
You need to make sure you fertilize your plant.
You don’t want to starve it.
But you only have to fertilize the Monstera dubia three times a year.
Monstera dubia plants can propagate using every method out there. They’re not difficult plants to grow.
In this article, we’re going over the steps to propagating with cuttings and with separation.
With the right stability, a Monstera dubia can grow between three feet and 10 feet in height.
On average, the leaves grow to about five inches in length.
Re-potting your Monstera should always be done when the roots poke out of the drainage holes.
The roots need room to stretch, so re-pot your plant as soon as possible.
Once the Monstera dubia is mature, you’ll only need to re-pot it every two years.
The pot you transfer it to should only be slightly bigger than the original. When there’s too much space, the plant gets confused.
The Monstera will stress out. A stressed plant is vulnerable to pests and diseases.
If you are unsure about how to repot your plant, please have a look at our repotting guide.
Monstera Dubia Propagation Steps
The optimal time to propagate your Monstera dubia is during spring, especially March.
We’re going to go over the two easiest ways to propagate one of these plants.
You’ll learn how to propagate using stem cuttings and you’ll learn the separation method.
Using Stem Cuttings
- You need your Monstera dubia stem cutting before you do anything else. You’ll need sterilized pruning shears to do this. You can use the isopropyl alcohol you have sitting in your home. When you go to cut, cut below a leaf node. The stem cutting should have two leaves and be between four inches and seven inches.
- It’s time to cure the stem cutting. When you cure a cutting, you’re creating a calloused end that will help with growth. Curing a stem cutting is simple. You leave it out in a warm area in your home. It takes around a week for a calloused end to develop.
- While you’re waiting for stem cutting to callous, get your plant pot ready. It helps to prepare. The pot plant should have drainage holes and the soil should be well-draining.
- Once the stem cutting has calloused, it’s time to plant it. It should sit about two inches below the soil for the best stability. Make sure the calloused end of the Monstera cutting is in the soil. It will help with rooting.
- In most cases, the stem cutting won’t be able to sit up by itself. An easy hack is to cut a draw so it’s the same size. Bury the straw in the soil about two inches. Tie the cutting to the straw.
- All you have to do now is to care for the Monstera dubia cutting like you do the original plant. The care for this plant is easy. Before you know it, your Monstera dubia cutting will start rooting.
Propagation Using Separation
- You’re going to separate the Monstera dubia into two plants. You need a pair of sterilized pruning shears for this method. Sterilize the shears with isopropyl alcohol. But before you do anything, water your plant. Make sure the soil is moist.
- For preparation, you want to get the plant pot ready. Again, the plant pot needs drainage holes. Pack the plant pot with your soil mix but don’t pack it too hard. It needs to be loose enough for water to travel through to the drainage holes.
- You have to remove your plant from the soil. First, you have to unwind the Monstera dubia from the moss pole. Then you have to remove the plant from the soil. Be careful because you don’t want to damage the fragile roots. If there’s soil sticking to the roots, gently shake it off or run them underwater.
- Now you’re going to cut the Monstera plant in half with the sterilized pruning shears. Watch where you’re cutting. You don’t want to ruin any leaves or the stem of the plant.
- You have two separate plants so you have to plant them in two separate plant pots. Pack the soil around the Monstera plants. It should be tight enough to create stability.
- Care for your two Monstera dubia plants like you usually do. Place the plants in a north-facing window. Water them before the soil dries all the way. You’re going to treat them as mature plants.
Common Problems with the Monstera Dubia
The Monstera dubia doesn’t have a lot of issues that you have to deal with. It’s nice to tend to an easy plant.
Two main pests like to attack these plants. Those pests are red spider mites and scale insects.
Spider mites are creepy creatures. They’re not even bugs, they’re teeny tiny arachnids.
These spider mites are the last pest you want to attack your Monstera dubia. They can be deadly before you even know there’s a problem.
They attack your plant by sucking out the sap. The sap is full of hydration and nutrition that your plant takes from the soil.
The spider mites are stealing everything your plant needs to go through photosynthesis. Which means it can’t grow or thrive.
This will lead to the death of your plant.
According to Colorado State University, the damaged places will look like small flecks.
This will be the first sign you’ll see that there’s an infestation.
Soft brown scale insects are the most common type of scale insect. If your plant has an infestation, it’s probably brown scales.
They’re difficult to see but you don’t want to get up close anyway. They’re flat slug-like pests.
These bugs are difficult to get rid of. They breed quickly and take over a plant in the blink of an eye.
Like red spider mites, scale insects feed on the sap from your Monstera dubia plant.
Your plant is in trouble if the scale infestation grows. And it will grow if you don’t treat the plant for these pests.
One method to get rid of both these pests involves neem oil. Neem oil is an all-natural oil.
Mix the neem oil with water in a clean spray bottle. Shake it up well.
You want to test a small area of your plant before you use the oil. You don’t want your plant to have a bad reaction.
Then you can spray your plant down with the neem oil. It will suffocate the critters which lead to their death.
Now all you have to do is wipe all the dead pests off your plants. Treat your plant one more time two days from the first treatment.
Tips for an Unhappy Monstera Dubia
It doesn’t take much to keep your Monstera dubia happy. With some tender care, your plant will thrive.
But there might be times when your Monstera isn’t so happy. These are a few problems that can pop up.
Your Monstera Dubia’s Leaves are Yellow
When a Monstera dubia’s leaves are yellow it’s often because it’s not getting all the nutrients it needs. It needs nutrients to survive and thrive.
You need to fertilize the plant right away. You have to start fertilizing your Monstera more.
Check that the fertilizer you’re using is for inside plants. It’s a common mistake that many people make.
Another cause of yellowing leaves is over-watering. Over-watering can create many problems. It can also kill your plant.
Your Monstera Dubia’s Leaves are Wilting
Your Monstera dubia’s leaves are wilting because you aren’t watering it enough. It’s becoming dehydrated.
As soon as you realize the leaves are wilting and drooping, you should water your plant.
Always check your Monstera dubia plant to see if it needs watering. You should water at least every ten days, if not sooner.
Also, make sure that the Monstera is getting enough humidity. That moisture in the air helps keep your plant hydrated.
Your Monstera Dubia’s Leaves Have Brown Spots
Brown spots aren’t a good sign for any Monstera dubia. Your plant has root rot from being over-watered.
As we discussed earlier, too much moisture in the soil cuts off the oxygen to the roots. So, the roots begin to rot away.
You have to remove your Monstera dubia from the plant pot to be sure. Be careful while you do this.
Check out the roots. Root rot turns them dark brown or black. Plus, it leaves an awful stench.
If there are still healthy roots alongside the bad roots, your plant is salvageable. You only have to remove all the rotten roots so it doesn’t spread to the healthy ones.
But if all the roots of your Monstera are rotten, you’re out of luck.
Other Varieties of Monstera
Monstera plants are beautiful tropical climber vines. It’s hard to choose which one you want in your home. If we had it our way, we would have every species.
Below are a handful of fun Monstera plants.
Monstera deliciosa albo variegata
This is a hybrid Monstera plant. The leaves on this tree are variegated. Some are even all white. They grow to be about the size of your head.
The Monstera obliqua is a unique plant. The holes in the leaves are large and create funky patterns.
We love this Monstera plant. It vines out and creates small heart-shaped leaves. It’s perfect for a hanging basket in your home.
The Monstera borsigiana plant is the perfect houseplant. It’s not too big nor too small. The heart-shaped leaves are a dark gorgeous green.
It’s fun to watch this plant vine out. You have to use a moss pole for this Monstera climber. The juvenile plants have interesting speckles of white.
Frequently Asked Questions About Monstera Dubia
Why haven’t the leaves on my Monstera dubia split yet?
When Monstera dubia leaves don’t split it means the plant isn’t getting enough sunlight. It’s hard to get the leaves to split when it’s an inside plant. Sit your plant closer to the window or grow light.
Why are there brown spots with yellow halos on my Monstera dubia?
These strange brown spots on your Monstera dubia mean your plant has a fungus. This happens when the plant is too wet or you’ve over-watered it. Treat your plant right away because these fungi spread quickly.
Why do the leaves on my Monstera dubia lay flat?
All Monstera dubia plants are this way. No one knows why the leaves do this, not even botanists.
The Monstera dubia is a fun plant to grow and care for. You don’t have to stress over it.
You get to watch how the vine climbs and how the silver leaves sprout from the vine. It’s plant beauty at its’ best.
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