The Monstera Dubia is one of the lesser-known Monsteras but is arguably one of the most interesting because of its unique growth pattern.
I received my Monstera Dubia as a birthday gift. At the time, it only had 4 small leaves, but in one year, it has grown almost as tall as me.
You may not recognize Dubia as a Monstera because the leaves only fenestrate when it’s mature (and you rarely see mature ones for sale). In this article, I will discuss how to care for your Monstera Dubia and easily get your plant to a mature size.
All About Monstera Dubia
The Monstera Dubia is native to Central and South America and is characterized by its heart-shaped, dark green leaves with beautiful silvery speckles.
This is a shingling plant which means that it is hemi-epiphytic and grows flat against trees in nature instead of trailing or crawling, putting out new leaves from a main stem from left to right. It reminds me of the plant taking footsteps.
When the Monstera Dubia reaches the top of the canopy and starts to mature, it looks like a completely different plant and closely resembles the Monstera Deliciosa.
The leaves start to become fenestrated and lose their silvery speckles.
Juvenile Monstera Dubia have similar markings to a Satin Pothos, so if you enjoy their look but don’t enjoy the hefty price tag, a Satin Pothos could be a great alternative.
How To Care For Monstera Dubia
Despite being a rare plant, it is easy to take care of!
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Watering||When the top 3cm of soil is dry|
|Soil mix||Chunky Aroid mix|
|Pot||Plastic with drainage holes|
|Temperature||18 – 27 °C|
|Repotting||Every 2 Years|
|Pests||Can be susceptible to scale and spider mites if the plant is unhealthy.|
|Propagation||Cuttings and separation|
|Fertilization||Once every two weeks (spring/summer) or 3x yearly with a slow-release fertilizer|
Lighting & Placement
Because Monstera Dubias grow up trees below the forest canopy in nature, they prefer bright indirect light when grown as an indoor plant.
When finding a spot for your Dubia, remember that direct sunlight can burn the leaves and cause discoloring.
I have my Dubia in a room with a sun-facing window so that it receives enough warmth and light, but it is kept from getting hit with direct sun rays with a chiffon curtain.
I highly recommend having a hands-on approach when watering your indoor plants. Use your finger to check if the top 3cm of soil is dry.
Water it thoroughly & drain off any excess water to avoid root rot. As with most Monsteras, Dubia can tolerate a bit of watering neglect (during the winter months) but avoid letting it dry out completely.
Soil & Potting
Monstera Dubias grow extremely well in chunky Aroid potting mix. The regular potting mix should be avoided at all costs as it will result in root rot.
For the potting mix, I recommend using this recipe as it will retain the right amount of water without becoming waterlogged:
- 30% Perlite
- 30% Pumice/Leca/Volcanic rock (or a combination of these)
- 30% Coco chips and small bark chips
- 10% fine coco coir or peat moss
For potting, I recommend a clear plastic pot with drainage holes, as this will allow you to keep an eye on the root system. I also highly recommend using a moss pole instead of a plank to give your Dubia support.
A moss pole is much easier to keep moist, and it’s easier to direct the plant. Using a plank can result in the plant growing skewed and wrapping around the back, thus losing the striking shingling effect for which this plant is known.
If you choose not to provide any support, your Dubia will try to grow downwards, which results in long internodal spacing and very small leaves.
Temperature & Humidity
Monstera Dubias grow in tropical areas, which means they love humid, warm environments. Typical indoor growing conditions will be fine for your plant; just ensure the temperatures do not drop below 15℃ or above 30℃. Consider getting a heater for the room during winter and avoid placing the plant in drafty areas of your home.
The Monstera Dubia usually prefers higher humidity levels of around 60-75% – this will stop the leave from curling or becoming crispy. I have a few humidifiers across my home. Still, a good alternative if you don’t have one is a tray filled with pebbles and water underneath the plant to boost humidity.
The Monstera Dubia is known as a medium feeder. They do appreciate regular feeding during the growing months with a low-strength fertilizer such as Purived Liquid Fertilizer which has an NPK ratio of 4-5-5.
An alternative is to water your plant with rainwater or freshwater from a fish tank (if you have access to one). I also recommend using slow-release fertilizer 3x per year on top of liquid fertilizer to produce a strong, healthy plant.
Growth Rate & Repotting
The Monster Dubia is a fast-growing plant under the right conditions, but it doesn’t need to be repotted often.
When the new leaves emerge, they are very light green, and the silver speckles are much less prominent.
My Dubia puts out a new leaf every two weeks. In nature, they can easily grow up to 25 meters tall! Indoors, it may need to be pruned if you don’t have a lot of space.
Repotting should only be done when the roots start to grow out of the drainage holes (usually once every two years). I recommend using a pot that is only 2cm bigger than its current pot. This helps to prevent shock and root rot.
There are two ways to propagate Monstera Dubias – cuttings and plant separation.
My Dubia accidentally snapped during repotting. I was worried that the new growth would have smaller leaves, but they luckily kept their size!
What did happen, though, is the plant created a side shoot, similar to what my Syngonium Albo did when I removed its top cutting.
I aim to grow my Dubia to its mature form, but if I didn’t want to, I could easily propagate it into over 15 new plants.
- First, sterilize a blade with rubbing alcohol or use a new sterile blade. Make a cutting just below the node, making sure the cutting has at least 2 leaves.
- Cure the cutting by leaving it to callus overnight on a windowsill.
- I recommend placing the cutting on top of a cup of damp perlite in a water tray instead of a cup of water, as the leaves may get in the way of trying to do water propagation. Make sure that the cutting receives bright, indirect light.
- When the roots are about 5-7cm long, you can transfer your plant into a pot with Aroid mix. Keep the mix quite damp for the first few weeks to avoid the plant going into shock.
Your Dubia might begin to produce side shoots naturally or when you take a top cutting from it. If it does, you can propagate via plant separation.
- Locate a new shoot on your Monstera Dubia and ensure it has at least 2 leaves and an established root system.
- Using a sterile blade, cut where the shoot meets the main plant.
- Transfer your new plant into a pot with fresh Aroid potting mix, and ensure it receives bright indirect light and water as usual.
Monstera Dubia’s Common Problems
If your Dubia has yellowing leaves, this could be a sign that it needs to be fertilized more or that you’re using the wrong fertilizer. Refer to our guide on fertilization if you think this may be the issue.
Another sign of yellowing leaves is over- or under-watering. If you suspect this could be the cause, adjust your watering schedule accordingly, and the problem should not persist.
Scale and spider mites are the common pests to look out for. Checking your plants for pests during watering prevents them from getting out of control – the sooner you spot them, the less damage they can cause!
Scale can be identified as tiny brown, sap-sucking bugs that hide at the back of the leaves and produce a sticky residue on your plant. Because they have a hard outer shell, they can be tricky to treat.
The best way to remove scale is by hand. Use a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and firmly brush them from your plant. You can then spray your plant with neem oil to kill any remaining larvae.
Spider mites are tiny red or black bugs that produce webs all over your plant. They also like to hide at first and catching them early is very important as they can quickly spread to your other houseplants.
They can easily be managed with an insecticide high in Bifenthrin by spraying the entire plant every second day for a week. If you prefer a more natural approach, you can also use neem oil to treat spider mites: A Complete Guide to Neem Oil for Indoor Plants.
If the problem persists, you can take a more hands-on approach and carefully wipe each leaf with a damp cloth.
Common & Related Questions
Why are Monstera Dubia plants so expensive?
It is a rare Monstera and not readily available, so it is still quite expensive.
Is Monstera Dubia a slow grower?
No, it is considered a fast grower in the right growing conditions. However, it still takes a long time to reach its mature size.
How long does Monstera Dubia take to mature?
A Monstera Dubia similar to the one pictured will take around 1 – 1.5 years to mature.