The new popular kid on the block, the monstera dubia, is relatively easy to look after for as long as you meet a few care requirements and treat it like an epiphyte, read on for more info…
Monstera Dubia Summary
|Light needs:||Bright indirect sunlight.|
|Watering needs:||Water when the top inch (2cms) or so of soil is dry.|
|Fertilizer:||Balanced feed once a month in summer.|
|Soil:||A well draining, rich soil with some added perlite.|
|Temperature:||18°C to 25°C (64-77°F).|
|Where to buy:||Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.|
|Other names:||Shingle plant.|
|Common issues:||Drooping and root rot from over watering / lack of drainage.|
The monstera dubia hails from the tropics of Central and South America. It is know for it’s variagated little leaves that climb up in a pattern, and it is often sold climbing up wood or a moss pole. What a lot of people do not realize is that when it reaches maturity it gets fenestrations (splits) in it’s leaves like a monstera deliciosa and then looks like an almost totally different plant.
The main thing you need to know about caring for this plant is that it needs good humidity and very, very well draining soil, they can grow on trees in the wild in just pieces of bark, so if they sit in normal wet soil it can lead to root quickly.
Read on for more on caring for this beauty…
Monstera Dubia Light Needs
A monstera dubia needs a lot of bright indirect sunlight.
How Often to Water
Monstera dubias should be checked every week to see if they need watering but only water if the top inch (2cms) or so of soil is dry. If it is still wet then leave it another week, especially in winter. These plants like to be kept a little bit wet, but can suffer from root rot if allowed to sit in waterlogged soil.
Use a balanced feed once a month in summer. It is not essential but it can encourage growth.
Monstera Dubia Soil
Use a well draining, rich soil with some added perlite. They want a rich soil that drains well to encourage growth while preventing water logging.
Just a real quick interlude, but you need to see this! The dubias that are sold in shops are mainly all young plants, the ones that climb up wood and moss poles, but the mature plants are an altogether different beast! Once the plant becomes mature in the wild the leaves split like monstera deliciosa leaves but a bit more gnarly looking and the plant looks totally different Here are 2 pictures of mature plants I found on Instagram, the one on the left that shows how they mature. They are immense! Sometimes you will see them sold as just cuttings of the mature plant, and they look like an evil twin of the deliciosa, see the image on the right.
When To Repot
Repot your monstera dubia when it becomes too big for it’s current pot and it’s roots grow out of the bottom. They are fairly fast growing roots so keep an eye on them.
50% or more is ideal humidity for a monstera dubia. This means going just over normal household humidity, so mist them a few times week.
Dubias will do well in the 18°C to 25°C (64-77°F) range, which is a normal household temperature.
Where To Buy
Monstera Dubia FAQs and Common Problems
Drooping and root rot are common problems from over watering and lack of drainage. They are easily remedied with a well draining potting medium containing perlite and only watering the soil when the top later is dry.
Also look out for pests on these plants as sometimes they can be susceptible to red spider mites and scales insects as well as other plants pests. We have a whole section on these pests here: Houseplant Pests and Problems.
Monstera Dubia Mounting
To mount a monstera dubia to wood, or even a moss pole, follow these steps:
The plant needs aerial roots to attach to a pole, so firstly take the plant off the plank or pole, and put the plant on a bed of wet soil or sphagnum moss for a couple of weeks and mist it a little each day. This will encourage it to grow aerial roots on each node. Then attach it to a pole or wood gently with twine to fix it in place. Mist it slightly each day and after a month you can take the twine off and the plant should be gripping to the wood / moss without the need for help.
Wood Plank or Moss Trellis?
One question I get asked a lot is which is the best trellis. Personally I prefer the wood as it is much less likely to get moldy. The issue with moss is that it can get moldy sometimes but wood though is harder for the plant to grip to. If the wood is not rough enough for your plant to attach to, you can always sparsely wrap it in thin twine.