Monstera Dubia Care – The Complete Shingle Plant Care Guide

This is the ultimate growing guide for the rare monstera dubia or shingle plant.

Monstera Dubia - The Ultimate Shingle Plant Care Guide

Have you ever thought of growing a rare plant that will instantly attract your home visitors?

Well, then you have to try growing Monstera Dubia.

Monstera Dubia is a climbing vine belonging to the Araceae (aroids) family with striking green foliage that will be the centre of attraction.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything related to monstera dubia so that you can make it thrive in your home garden. The topic includes,

It’s a lot of content to cover. So, let’s get started.

Monstera Dubia Plant Profile

Scientific Name(s)Monstera Dubia
NativeSouth America
Plant TypeTropical, Evergreen, Vine
Juvenile Leaf Size1 to 3 inches
Mature Plant Size~80 ft (25m)
FlowerYes, only in matured plant
USDA Hardiness Zone10b – 12
Temperature60 – 850F (15 to 300C)
Humidity50 – 60%
Growth RateVery slow
Light ExposurePartial sun or indirect bright light
Soil Peat Moss + Pine Bark + Leaf Mold
Soil pHSlightly acidic to neutral
ToxicityToxic to both humans and animals

Monstera Dubia Identification

Monstera is a species that has 45+ varieties of different plants and it can be quite intimidating to differentiate between each other.

If you are looking to buy monstera dubia, then you probably should know how it looks so that you don’t get confused while ordering. It’s very important because there are a lot of online sellers who mislabel some other variety as monstera dubia intentionally to make more money.

Analyzing the leaf color and size is the easiest way to identify monnstera dubia from all other varieties.

Leaf Size: 1 – 3 inches (small compared to M. deliciosa)

Leaf Color: Dark Green with minor silver variegations

For a quick reference, check out the below image comparison.

Monstera Dubia Care

Even though monstera dubia looks different from other varieties, their care guidelines are similar. 

If you are already growing any other monstera variety successfully, then it’s pretty easy to add M. dubia to your collection.

Best Soil For Monstera Dubia

For a monstera dubia plant to thrive, it needs a well-draining soil mix with all the nutrients in moderation.

A homemade aroid soil mixture of half potting soil and half coco peat or peat moss works well for Monstera dubia. Additionally, you can add organic matter like worm castings and pine bark to improve the nutrient density and water holding capability.

Apart from the soil type, the pot type and drainage capability of the pot also needs to be taken into consideration before planting your monstera dubia.

Best Pot Type For Monstera Dubia

Based on a study published in Assuit University, pots made up of ceramic or clay is better than plastic. It is due to the fact that earthen pots can absorb excess water from the soil which prevents many plant problems.

Also, make sure that your monstera dubia’s pot has enough drainage holes so that the excess water can drain outside without creating a cloggy waterlogged environment for the roots.

Monstera Dubia Water Requirements

Whether you are growing monstera dubia or any other plant, setting a watering schedule needs to be your first priority.

Setting up a watering schedule for your monstera dubia is region-specific.

The general rule of thumb is to water whenever the top two inches of the soil is dry. And, for an average spot with normal room conditions, it is recommended to water once every week during the growing season.

Since monstera plants are coming from tropical forests, they are really drought tolerant. Your plant may forgive you for occasional underwatering but never overwatering. Compared to underwatering, overwatering has far more serious consequences.

Monstera Dubia Light Needs

In nature, monstera dubia gets filtered bright sunlight.

And, you should try to provide exactly the same if you want the plant to grow fuller and bushier.

The best spot for monstera dubia in a room is either southern, eastern or western facing window. Also, make sure that the plant is couple of feets away from the window inorder to avoid direct sunlight.

If the light is very intense, you may want to have a curtain or light shield to protect your monstera from sunburn which happens very common in hot regions.

Grow lights are also a great alternative for a monstera dubia, if you cannot find a good spot with natural light in your room. Purchase a full spectrum LED grow light, place it directly above the plant and turn it ON for 8 to 12 hours a day.

Monstera Dubia Temperature And Humidity

As I already said, monstera dubia comes from the tropical forests where the conditions are really hot and humid through out the year.

Based on a couple of studies, monstera dubia is said to thrive in the temperature range of 60 and 85 degrees (15 to 30 Celcius). As a result, the plant is an excellent choice for most residences in the warmer regions of the world.

If you want to grow this plant outdoors, then you must reside in any of the regions that comes under USDA zones 9b to 11.

Another thing to note is it’s humidity requirement. They need high humidity in the range of 50 to 60 through out the year. Even though they survive in regions were humidity is 40%, but for the optimal growth 50+ is necessary.

If your room does not have enough humidity for your monstera dubia, try to improve the situation by either clubbing too many plants together or purchasing a humidifier.

Fertilizer For Monstera Dubia

Nutrients are very important for any plant to thrive and monstera dubia is no exception.

Adding a balanced NPK chemical fertilzier will do the job quickly. But, if you are someone who prefers organic way, then try to get hands on some worm castings or organic matter.

Monstera dubia is considered to be light feeder which means you don’t have to feed very often. The standard recommendation is to feed once in a quarter.

Monstera Dubia Pruning

M. dubia has a slower growth compared to many other monstera varieties. And, because of this reason, you don’t have to prune the plant more often.

When your monstera dubia is in the juvenile phase (less than 2 years), it does not require any pruning.

Once your plant becomes mature, inspect your plant monthly once or twice to see if there are any damaged or dead leaves. Prune those off using a sterilised pair of scissors or knife and you’re good to go.

Alternatively, if your monstera dubia is not looking aesthetically good due to legginess, then you can prune some of the vines to make the plant look bushy and fuller.

While pruning the vines, try to include a couple of nodes so that you can propagate them and grow a new monstera dubia plant.

Monstera Dubia Propagation

Since monstera dubia is a rare plant, you can sell and make some real cash if you have a large enough plant that can be propagated.

But you need to be very careful during propagating a monstera dubia. If you accidentally kill your plant, you lose a rare expensive plant and you may have to spend a lot to get a large plant that can replace your dead one.

Even though monstera dubia can be propagated in multiple ways, stem cutting seems to be the most successful and safest method according to rare plant sellers.

The stem can be propagated in both water and soil. It is recommended to propagate them in water than soil because in the soil you never know what happens under the soil, but in water, you can monitor your stem periodically. 

For both water and soil propagation, the steps are similar and the only difference is the propagation media.

Step 1: 

Using sterilized scissors or knives, cut a part of the monstera dubia’s stem with at least two or three nodes and a couple of leaves.

Step 2: 

If you are going to propagate in water, all you have to do is just put the stem cutting in a jar full of water. Make sure all the nodes are in contact with water and leaves are outside the jar.

Also, make sure that you are changing the water every week to remove all the waterborne fungus buildup and bacteria.

On the other hand, if you prefer soil propagation then you have to follow some additional steps before putting your stem cutting in a pot.

First, after cutting the soil place them in a dark room wrapped in kitchen tissue paper so that the wounds can heal for some time. Give it at least 12 hours to heal.

Then, to stimulate the root growth it is recommended to dip your stem’s nodes into a rooting hormone. You can skip this step if you do not have access to a rooting hormone.

Now your monstera dubia’s stem cutting is ready for planting. Fill a small pot with half potting soil mixed with fertilizer and place your monstera. 

Then fill up the port with soil leaving an inch of space at the top so that watering can be effortless.

Step 3: 

Place your monstera dubia stem cutting in a well-lit spot where indirect bright light is available for at least 6 hours a day. If you live in a place where the humidity is very low, try to cover your cutting with a plastic bag for a couple of hours every day.

When these steps are followed religiously, you can expect new roots after 4 to 5 weeks.

You may see new leaves after a couple of months, but it will take a lot of time to uncurl the leaves. As I already said, monstera dubia is a very slow grower.

Monstera Dubia Toxicity

According to a research paper published in ScienceDirect, Monstera dubia plants are moderately toxic to both humans and animals.

The toxicity in monstera dubia is due to the presence of insoluble calcium oxalates also known as raphides. If you or your pet ingest any part of the monstera dubia plant, it will result in drooling, mouth and stomach irritation, swallowing difficulty, etc.

Even though the after-effects of eating monstera is not fatal, it is better to place it in a spot that is inaccessible for your kids and pets.

Monstera Dubia Common Problems

Monstera dubia plants are considered to be hardy plants that are not that easy to kill. 

That doesn’t mean it is 100% immune to plant problems. Just like every other monstera variety, monstera dubia is also prone to pest attack and other diseases and conditions that occur due to improper care.

1. Pest Attack

Even though small pests does not kill your monstera dubia, they can be really deadly for the plant if not treated timely.

They won’t completely kill the plant but will slow down the plant growth by sucking the plant’s nutrients.

One thing to note is the most commonly seen plant pests and insects breed very quickly. As a result, if timely action is not taken, then it may even dry out multiple leaves or even an entire branch or vine in a short time.

Some of the commonly seen pests to look for in your indoor monstera dubia are aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, etc.

If the infection is in the early stages, then you can try removing them by splashing water, rubbing alcohol, horticultural oil, washing with insecticidal soap, etc. If your monstera dubia is outdoors, inviting beneficial insects also helps.

On the other hand, if the infection is very severe, then pruning off the entire vine or leaves is often considered a better choice than treating it.

2. Root Rot

Root rot is a situation when the roots of your monstera dubia plant start to rot inside the soil for some reason.

The main cause of root rot in monstera plants is overwatering. When you overwater your monstera dubia, the soil gets waterlogged and roots suffocate. As a result, the roots start to rot.

Apart from overwatering, heavy soil mix, very low light, improper drainage in pots can also trigger root rot in monstera dubia.

If you are not sure whether your monstera dubia is suffering from root rot, look for symptoms like rotten egg smell from the base, stunted growth, color changes in leaves, etc.

When some of these symptoms are found, you can uproot your plant gently and confirm by checking the roots. Monstera dubia plants with root rot will have black mushy roots.

The only possible way to solve a monstera dubia with root rot is to repot the plant after cutting all the rotten roots with a sterilized solution.

3. Discoloration In Leaves

Whenever a plant is in distress, the leaves are the first ones to show symptoms. And, monstera dubia is no exception.

The leaves may change the colors from normal green to yellow, brown and sometimes black. This can be due to many plant problems including overwatering, underwatering, too much sunlight, very little sunlight, etc.

In short, discoloration in leaves is very common in monstera dubia. With the help of other symptoms, you have to identify the root cause and try to form a solution.

4. Drooping Leaves

Drooping is also similar to discoloration in leaves and it can happen due to n number of reasons.

The most commonly found cause for droopy leaves in monstera dubia is when the plant does not get enough water. Other than that very low light, too much fertilizer, transplant stress, etc can also turn your monstera leaves droopy.

Other Monstera Varieties To Consider

If you have a very limited budget for your gardening hobby, then you may not be able to afford even a stem cutting of monstera dubia.

In such cases, you can try out some of the other monstera varieties to add an elegant feel to your home.

Some of the easily available monstera varieties to consider are,

Monstera Dubia Care – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Since monstera dubia is a rare plant, it is very common to have a lot of questions regarding its care. 

In this section, I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions on the internet related to monstera dubia care.

Is monstera dubia a fast grower?

No, monstera dubia is a slow grower compared to other commonly seen varieties like monstera deliciosa, monstera adansonii, etc. Even under a perfect growing atmosphere, monstera dubia grows less than a foot in a year.

Are Rhaphidophora cryptantha and monstera dubia the same?

No, Rhapthidora craptantha and monstera dubia are two different plants. Even though they belong to the same family, both of them belong to different species. Also, they look similar only during their juvenile phase.

Why is monstera dubia rare and expensive?

Monstera dubia grows very slow and as a result growing a plant to reach the level where even a single stem cutting can be made will take years. Nowadays a lot of houseplant owners are seeking interest in growing rare plants. As a result, demand is very high, but supply is very less and it became very expensive.

Wrapping Up

Monstera dubia is not an easy to find plant. But if you are determined to find one, then knowing how to take care of them is super important.

And, I really hope this article gave you all the information needed right from identifying the plant and growing it to a point where it thrives in your home.


To back up the information we provide in our articles, the Plantials team only uses high-quality sources published in peer-reviewed university and research journals.

  1. A Revision Of Monstera (Araceae), Harvard University Herbaria
  2. Monstera Species From Central Veracruz Mexico, Vegetación de México. Limusa, México
  3. Developmental plasticity and the origin of species differences, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

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