Do you want to know about a plant with three wholly different stages of foliage? We are going to talk about the Monstera dubia. This native of Central and South America is beautiful enough to be a part of any houseplant collection. The plant surprisingly develops into indistinguishably different forms during its life.
In the juvenile stage, the 2 to 3 inches long, oval leaves are seen with green base and silvery grey variegations. These leaves grow to get small holes until maturity. Eventually, you see plane green, typically fenestrated, about a foot long Monstera dubia mature leaves. For your surprise, it closely resembles the famous shingler Rhaphidophora cryptantha plant in the juvenile state and ends up looking like the sibling, Monstera deliciosa.
Interesting? Let us know more about the low-maintenance and ever-changing, the Dubia Monstera plant.
Monstera Dubia Classification
Species: M. dubia
Monstera Dubia Common Name
The flat growth of leaves on the support refers to the usage of the nick-name ‘shingle plant’.
Features of the Monstera Dubia Plant
In nature, after germination from seed, the plant grows along with the land until it finds a supporting tree. Once it starts climbing, the shingler grows too flat on the surface. Finally, the Monstera dubia mature leaves start hanging from the hard stems of the plant.
Height and Structure
The length and spread of the vine depend upon the growing conditions and space available. In nature and in open space, it may get as tall as 25 meters in length and spread. However, an indoor dubia frequently gets trimmed. Moreover, it usually remains under 5 to 6 feet in height.
- Flowers are non-showy and salmon-coloured. Moreover, they usually bloom right after the earliest juvenile leaves get mature.
- You will rarely see them blooming, specially in indoor peeps. For flowering, it is necessary that the plant should be properly supported on a totem.
The shingle plant is toxic in nature, just like a large number of monsteras. This, make sure you don’t let kids and pets mingle with the vine.
Monstera dubia Juvenile vs. Rhaphidophora Cryptantha
The juvenile form of the Dubia simply twins with a small shingling plant, the R. cryptantha. However, they don’t even belong to the same genus. Well, we don’t want you to be confused between these two peeps. The prominent differences between the two plants are as under;
- The leaves of the cryptantha plant keep their form, unlike the Dubia.
- Moreover, they are dark green in color with greyish veins. In comparison, the Dubias have silvery-grey variegations between the dark green veins.
Monstera Dubia Care
You will be glad to know that there is nothing tricky in bringing up this peep. Beginners, busy and lazy peeps can enjoy this low-maintenance creeper pretty easily.
This tropical plant likes moist soil. The basic strategy is to water right after the upper 2 inches of the soil get dry. The watering frequency depends upon the weather and temperature. In summer, once or twice a week is enough. While in winter, once in two weeks is generally enough for zones with a normal temperature.
These plants hate to stand in soggy soil. So, make sure you are not over-watering.
These creepers go best with plenty of filtered sunlight. So wisely select a spot with bright and indirect sun.
Direct exposure to the sun is unsuitable for this plant, just like the majority of monsteras.
Keep the plant in the ideal temperature range i.e 15 to 25 °C. It is important to mention here that these plants have poor resistance for winter and frost. Make sure you transfer them inside as soon as the autumn arises and weather falls below 10 °C.
Quick-draining and rich peaty soils go well with the plant. Moreover, the ideal PH range is between 5 to 7.5.
Dry or soggy growing mixtures and acidic PH are big no-nos for the Dubia Shingle Vine.
If you are considering a self-mixed growth medium, we have a nice recipe. Use equal parts of finely shredded orchid bark, peat moss and perlite.
It is easy to understand that the dwellers of tropical areas love humidity. Ideally, the moisture level in the air should be above 50%.
If the leaves of your Dubia are curling off from the totem in the dry weather, inadequate humidity is the culprit. Consider mild misting to refresh the foliage. The frequency of misting depends upon the level of heat and dryness. In the hottest parts of QLD summer, people even mist twice a day. Well, excess of everything is bad. So, make sure the foliage doesn’t stay wet for long. As over-wet plants attract issues like fungus and rotting.
You need to provide the ‘food’ to these peeps to ensure healthy growth. Fertilize tri-annually by using a common slow-release house plant fertilizer. The general technique is to sprinkle the product around the base keeping a distance of 6 inches.
You can also use a mild fertilizer once a month in summer and spring.
Pot and Repotting Requirement
Majority of monstera plants like big and deep pots with drainage holes. Being root bound negatively affects their health and growth. For an estimate, a pot with 10 to 20 inches of diameter and 10 inches of depth is good for a start.
Monsteras don’t like frequent repotting unless they get root-bound. You can see the roots coming out from the drainage holes or the plant looks prominently bigger for pot. However, if it’s only the size, you can maintain the size by a simple trim.
Cutting and Trimming Requirements
You can trim the vine to maintain the size and health of the plant. Moreover, removing old and unhealthy leaves ensures healthy growth of your Dubia Monstera Vine.
USDA growth zones 9b to 11 are ideal for outdoor growth. On the other hand, zones 4a to 11 are suitable for growth in the patio.
Monstera Dubia Propagation
Just like other monsteras, the plants are easy to propagate. You can use stem-cuttings or propagate them by separation method.
Spring is the ideal time to propagate. Moreover, you can make new dubias until the middle of the summer.
Propagation by stem-cutting
Use sharp sterilized shears to cut 5 to 7 inches of the stem cutting. Make sure you cut an inch or two below the node with 2 to 3 leaves.
Now let this cutting stay on some shelf for a week. This will form a callous at the tip. Callous is basically a collection of cells joined at the cut to ‘heal’ it. This callus will help in root development.
Finally, plant the cutting 2 inches deeper in the pot with the suitable growing mixture. The callous should be kept under the soil.
This cutting is weak and can’t stand in the soil on its own. Take a wooden straw and plant it along with the cutting. Tie both of them together with the help of a thread.
Keep the pot in a warm spot with low indirect light. Mist the soil mildly after the upper layer gets about 60 % dry.
Rooting will start after about three weeks. This will be followed by shoot development after about 6 to 8 weeks. At this stage, you can simply follow the care mentioned in the previous section to bring up the plant baby.
Propagation by Division
This method gives you a developed plant instantly. You don’t have to wait for months to get a grown up and decorative plant.
Select a healthy plant and sterlized shears. Now, gently unwrap the foliage away from the support. Make sure you give this work ample time. Additionally, don’t be harsh with the leaves and the nodes.
The next step is to take the plant out of the soil. Loose the soil around the soil and take the plant out. Be careful, as you don’t want to damage the roots.
When the plant is out of the soil, it’s time to divide it. Cut the basal stems to divide the plant into two parts.
Finally, plant these parts into your desired place or pot with suitable soil. After this stepissue, water in low quantity and mildly. This will give time to the newly potted plant to firm it’s roots in the soil. After about two weeks, you can simply follow the Monstera dubia Care and Boom! New Dubia monstera is ready.
Monstera dubia is a unique and rare plant. The leaves get three totally different forms during development. The small oval leaves with green and silvery grey variegations grow to develop small holes in them. These holes eventually turn into typical monstera fenestrations. In nature, they start growing from the seeds and develop horizontally on the land. Once they reach a tree, they climb and grow closely until the final fenestrated leaves develop. This unique plant is perfect to grow both indoors and outdoors in a suitable climate.
Use it in making beautiful hanging baskets, containers and pots. However, don’t forget to add the totem or sphagnum moss pole to support the creeper. The basic requirements include medium indirect light, humidity and watering after upper 2 inches of soil get dry. The plant carries the typical monstera toxicity. Thus, don’t forget to keep kids and pets away from this peep.