How to Care for Monstera Dubia: Ideal Conditions to Help Foster Growth

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Monstera Dubia is a smaller variety of the Monstera family. This type of tropical, perennial climbing plant gets the name from the unusual appearance of the leaves, which,  upon maturity, can grow large and break open into slits. It is often called a shingling plant because of the way the juvenile leaves lay flat against a tree as it grows. This plant can be grown inside or outside, although it might not reach full maturity indoors without special care. It is an ideal choice for people who like the heart-shaped leaves and are less likely to overwater it.

Special thanks to Chee Sim (https://www.cheesim.com/plants-conversation) for the great pic of his Monstera Dubia!

Quick Monstera Dubia Tips

Monstera Dubia can be a difficult plant to find, often requiring people to order online or locating a special nursery. Keeping the plant in good condition requires the right soil and lighting, but otherwise little care:

  • Light and Placement: Monstera Dubia needs indirect sunlight and grows best in a temperature of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Watering and Humidity: Light, occasional watering and humidity 50 percent or higher will allow Monstera Dubia to grow well and thrive.
  • Soil Mixture: Monstera Dubia needs a soil that drains well without running dry too quickly.
  • Common Issues: Root rot from overwatering and dehydration are the most common problems people encounter with Monstera Dubia.
  • Propagation: Stem/node cuttings will replant well if given enough time to establish new roots.
  • Extras: This plant demonstrates its shingling nature best when provided somethign to climb, such as a stake or cedar plank.

By investing into a proper setup for the Monstera Dubia, people are less likely to encounter problems with its growth or health over time.

Light and Placement for Monstera Dubia

Lighting is probably one of the trickiest things for people to solve in caring for Monstera Dubia. This plant loves bright indirect sunlight, as much as possible. If sunlight hits the plant directly, the leaves may scorch, turn brown, or fall off. People who are hoping to achieve the large, slit leaves of the mature Monstera Dubia plant must find a way to get this balance of bright, indirect lighting for several hours per day. Indoor grow light bulbs may help, but they must be indirect.

Monstera Dubia grows tallest and widest when given enough space. It requires a relatively tropical climate, including high humidity and temperatures of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant can handle cool evening temperatures outdoors, but not frost. It may go dormant during a mild winter, but freezing temperatures will kill it. Most people grow Monstera Dubia indoors, using a stake so it can climb. The plant can thrive in regular indoor lighting with limited sunlight from a north or east-facing window. However, it will probably not mature under these conditions.

Monstera Dubia Watering and Humidity Preferences

Monstera Dubia loves humidity, but can start to rot without the right balance of moisture. As a general rule, people should plan to water it once a week. Lifting the pot to see how heavy it is can be a good indicator, as a lightweight pot probably needs water. If the top two inches of soil are fairly dry, it is time to water. If you have a moisture meter, you can water once the meter reaches a score of 3 or 4. It is important not to add too much water. If the soil is kept too wet on a daily basis, it may lead to root rot.

In order to achieve the right kind of humidity, owners should think about how they can keep the plant’s environment stable. The average home has an indoor humidity of 30 to 50 percent. Unfortunately, this is a little short of what Monstera Dubia needs to thrive. To solve the problem, you may want to lightly spray the leaves periodically, group your plants together, or install a humidifier. If you have an indoor greenhouse, this would be the perfect environment for the Monstera Dubia.

Monstera Dubia Ideal Soil Mixture

Monstera Dubia requires a relatively careful balance of soil to encourage growth and avoid problems with rot or dehydration. To start, people can take a mix of equal parts potting soil and drainage (such as pumice or orchid bark). Adding the extra drainage will help ensure that the roots get enough oxygen. The target pH for this plant is 5 to 7. People may want to buy a pH meter to assess it and then balance it as needed. Adding a little mulch or compost will lower the pH, while crushed limestone or wood ash will raise it.

Monstera Dubia does require periodic fertilization, but only two or three times a year. People should purchase liquid fertilizer intended for indoor plants. Avoiding fertilizers with a high salt content will help to minimize the risk of damage. The plant will probably not grow very quickly without fertilizer. However, you should give your plant a drink of water before adding fertilizer.

Troubleshooting Monstera Dubia Issues

The biggest problems for Monstera Dubia relate to watering schedules. People who are generally attentive to their plants are probably more likely to add too much water than too little. This plant does not need water very frequently. If the soil does not have enough drainage, it will hold onto moisture too effectively. This can cause the roots to rot. People can tell they are using excessive water if they observe:

  • Yellowing leaves, particularly those closer to the soil
  • Brown spots on larger leaves
  • Fungus, like mold or mushrooms developing on the soil
  • Soil that never dries out, even without watering for more than 10 days

In some cases, people may need to change the balance of the soil to solve the problem.

Underwatering can also be an issue, particularly for people who live in arid regions. The plant may remain healthy as long as the bottom of the pot has moisture. If the soil completely dries out, you may want to soak it and then monitor it for drainage. Spraying the leaves and wiping them gently will also help with excessive dryness.

Monstera Dubia Propagation

Propagating a Monstera Dubia may not be particularly difficult for most people to do. The stem cutting should start below a node and should have at least one leaf. Some experts recommend leaving the cutting in a warm room for a week, until it grows a callous on the end. Others suggest placing the stem bottom in water until it grows a new root before planting. In this case, people may want to add a special solution to the water that will promote root growth.

Monstera Dubia plants need a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom. Eventually, the roots will fill the holes. This would be a good time to replant into a new pot. Generally, the plant should be repotted in a slightly larger pot. Going from a small pot to a large one may drastically change the moisture content or other conditions immediately. This can shock the plant and lead to root rot. To replant, carefully remove it from the existing pot, protecting the root ball. The plant can then be placed into the pot with the new soil mixture.

Monstera Dubia is a fun-sized variety of the Monstera family, with a smaller size and minimal upkeep. The leaves grow large but not quite as big as other varieties. People may need to shop around before they can find a place that will sell them a cutting or a potted plant. Once they have it, creating the right environment is the best way to allow it to grow. With good care, this plant will keep growing until it reaches the top of the trellis or tree. That gives people a lovely green climber with beautiful leaves, almost anywhere they want to put it.

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