How to Care for Monstera Dubia

Monstera Dubia a.k.a Shingle plant


The Monstera Dubia is a rarer Monstera variety and a beautiful plant to add to your houseplant collection. This plant is part of the Araceae family and native to Central and South America. It’s fairly easy to care for and is a vining plant that climbs up trees and other plants it can attach itself to. As a juvenile plant, the foliage is small and heart shaped with light and dark green variegation and the leaves like to lie flat against the surface. The foliage of a mature Monstera Dubia resembles the Monstera Deliciosa, with large fenestrations that hang from the vines instead of flat against the surface like the juvenile plant. The leaves also lose the variegation when they mature.


Monstera Dubia Quick Overview

Full Size25 feet
LightBright indirect light
Temperature65ºF-85ºF
(18ºC-29ºC)
HumidityAbove 50%
Cost$$
Care LevelEasy
ToxicityToxic

Size

The mature size of a Monstera Dubia can be up to 25 feet in length. This is only really commonly seen in their natural habitat. When grown indoors, you can expect your Monstera Dubia to reach up to 3-6 feet in length. The average leaf size is about 5 inches in length. Although this plant isn’t slow growing, it’s not particularly fast growing either.

Since this plant is a vining plant, you should add a pole or piece of wood to the pot for the plant to climb and attach its foliage to. Providing your Monstera Dubia with a living environment as close to its natural environment as you can will help encourage the plant to grow to its full potential.

Light Requirements

Monstera Dubia will grow best when in bright indirect lighting. This plant requires about 6-8 hours of light per day. In the natural environment, these plants are grown underneath the forest canopy where they receive dappled lighting throughout the day. Like other Monstera varieties, this plant can tolerate the morning sunlight however, you should try and avoid any direct afternoon sunlight as this will burn the foliage. This is because the morning sunlight isn’t as harsh as the afternoons rays. Stunted growth and/or leggy growth can be a sign of not enough light.

Adding a blind or curtain to your window will help to defuse the harsh sunlight to avoid burning the plants foliage. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find that perfect spot in your home, you can always use grow lights. Just like direct sunlight, if your plant is sitting too close to the grow lights, they will burn the foliage. Keeping a safe distance of at least 60cm between your plant and the light will avoid any trouble

Temperature

The ideal temperature for growing Monstera Dubia is between 65ºF-85ºF (18ºC-29ºC). Since this plant is native to tropical rainforests, they love warm climates and can go dormant when kept in cold temperatures. If the temperatures are expected to drop below 50ºF (10ºC), you should move your Monstera Dubia to a warmer spot in your home. You should also keep this plant away from drafty windows, vents, doors and heating or cooling vents.

Humidity

Being native to tropical rainforests, this plant loves humidity as well. Monstera Dubia will thrive when kept in a humidity environment above 50%. This plant can tolerate an average household humidity however, providing a higher humidity encourages healthier growth. A sign that the air is too dry around your Monstera Dubia are curling leaves with crispy edges.

Providing a high humidity for your plants will encourage bigger and healthier growth. There are a few thing you can do that can help bump up the humidity in your home. The things you can try are:

  • Misting your plants 
  • Pebble trays
  • Grouping plants together 
  • Humidifier

You can read more about increasing humidity in your home here.

Watering Requirements

You can expect your Monstera Dubia to need water at least once a week. This will change in the cooler months when the temperature and amount of sunlight changes. Before watering, you should check the top 2 inches of soil with your finger to feel if it’s still moist. If the soil is dry, you should give your plant a drink. Checking the soil before watering is important as this will help to avoid over-watering.

When it comes to watering your houseplants, you need to be cautious of over-watering. Excess water causes the soil to become waterlogged and can start rotting the roots. Rotted roots can no longer take in any water or nutrients to the plant. This can then cause fungus issues, pest problems and root-rot. A sign that you may have over-watered your Monstera Dubia are yellowing and wilting leaves and/or brown spots on the leaves. Wilting and wrinkly leaves with brown edges can be a sign of under-watering.

Fertilizing requirements

You should fertilise your Monstera Dubia monthly during the Spring and Summer. You can cut back on fertilising during the cooler months (Winter and Autumn) when growth slows. Applying fertilizer while your plants aren’t using all the nutrients in the soil can cause salt build up and root burn. Fertilizing your plants will give them the essential nutrients they need for promoting and maintaining new and healthy growth.

The best fertiliser to use for Monstera Dubia would be a balanced all purpose fertiliser diluted to half strength. An alternative to a liquid fertiliser would be a slow release fertiliser. Slow release fertilisers don’t need to be applied as often and the plant can take the nutrients as it needs them. You should apply the slow release fertiliser approximately every three months or as per the instructions on the packet. A sign that your Monstera Dubia may need fertilising is yellowing leaves and/or brown spots on the foliage.

Another thing you need to look out for when it comes to fertilising your houseplants is over-fertilising. Over-fertilising your Monstera Dubia can burn the roots and foliage. Brown spots on the leaves can also be a sign of over-fertilising. If you think you’ve over-fertilized your plant you can either change the soil or rinse the fertilizer out of the soil. You will notice a change in the water colour once the fertilizer has been rinsed out. 

For more information on fertilizing houseplants click here.

Soil Requirements

Monstera Dubia like to be in a rich, well draining soil. You should avoid using a regular potting mix as they are generally quite dense and can suffocate the roots. To create a rich and loose well draining soil, mix together equal parts orchid bark, perlite and peat moss. These ingredients help with drainage and aeration. Air flow is important in potting soil as it allows the plants roots to breath. Not having enough oxygen to the roots can eventually cause them to start rotting.

Coco coir is also a great alternative for peat moss. It’s important to use ingredients in your soil mix that will help keep moisture in the soil but not keep it soggy. Adding garden compost or worm castings to the soil will add more richness that Monstera Dubia will love. Using the correct soil mix can help to avoid common mistakes like over-watering.

Diseases & Pests

The common pests that you may encounter on your Monstera Dubia are spider mites, fungus gnats, scale and thrips. The most common disease you may encounter is root-rot. For more information on identifying and treating common houseplant pests click here.

The best thing you can do when it comes to pests on houseplants is to try and avoid any pest infestations from starting. There are a few things you can do that will assist in preventing any pest infestations and these things are:

  1. Checking new plants for pests or isolating new plants for up to a week.
  2. Check your plants every few days for pests.
  3. Trim off any dead or dying leaves.
  4. Wipe down leaves if you notice them getting dusty.
  5. Keeping your plants healthy. A healthy plant will be able to handle an infestation better than those that aren’t as happy. 
  6. Isolate any plants that have pests.

Following this will assist in keeping pests away as well as catch them early on before any severe infestations are able to start. Keeping plants healthy and in the correct living environments can help to deter any pests from invading your plants.

Toxicity

Monstera Dubia contain Calcium Oxalate Crystals which are toxic to both humans and pets if ingested. If any part of the plant is ingested, symptoms may include swelling of the oesophagus, GI tract and mouth. If ingested by pets, the symptoms may include vomiting, lack of appetite, drooling and pawing at the mouth.