Monstera dubia

Monstera dubia

Propagation

Stem cuttings – Cut off a 4-6 inch stem piece just after a leaf node. Remove the leaves at the bottom. Let the cut ends heal over for 12 hours. Plant in soil, burying the node 4". Water well and place in a warm, bright location.

Light

Bright, indirect

Water

When the top 2 inches of soil are dry

Growth

Slow

Temperature

Between 65-80F

Humidity

Above 60%

About

Monstera dubia, commonly known as the shingle plant, is a dramatic grower, to say the least. This plant starts out relatively small, with attractive, irresistible heart-shaped leaves. At full maturity, the foliage is massive with the trademark monstera slits and fenestrations.

 

While Monstera dubia is called "the" shingle plant, it isn't the only shingle plant, which can be a bit confusing. Rhaphidorphia hayi, a completely different species of plant that grows in the shingling fashion, is also commonly called "the" Shingle plant. Common names can be very complicated!

 

Shingle plants are a type of plant that grows with their leaves pressed up against a tree. When laying flat on the tree surface, they look like overlapping roof shingles. For the plant, this style of growth is purely functional. Growing so close to the tree means protection from extreme elements, like high winds and tropical rain storms.

 

While other plants use trees to support their vining growth, not all cling as closely as shingle plants. In the wild, these shingle plants form so tightly to the bark that they look like they are part of the tree.

 

You can recreate the shingling effect by providing the appropriate surface for the vine to climb. Use a wide moss pole or a flat board with ample space for the leaves to spread out and tall enough for them to climb up. Otherwise, the vining plant will grow like other monsteras or vining houseplants, which is equally as good aesthetic-wise.

 

Monstera dubia foliage looks spectacular no matter which method it expands. The leaves are relatively small (for a monstera), deep green, and heart-shaped. The leaf veins are rich dark green, while the spaces between are silvery gray. With this contrast, the foliage really stands out.

 

Vines on Monstera dubia grow 5-6 feet indoors but up to 10-30 feet outdoors. The leaves, when small, are 4-6" long. At full maturity, they can be over a foot long.

 

Indoor plants don't usually reach the stage where they develop the monstera fenestrations, but it can happen if the plant is provided with adequate space and the grower has the patience. The process might take 4-10 years. In order to reach this stage, the plant must be able to climb – it literally climbs to maturity.

 

When this Monstera reaches full maturity, its leaf variegation disappears in favor of the fenestrations. You may want to keep it small long-term if you prefer the attractive variegation.

 

History of Monstera Dubia

Monstera dubia is native to Central and South America. It was first described to science in 1908 but wasn't well-known until somewhat recently. With the recent houseplant craze and desire for new and exciting plants, plants that were almost forgotten are being rediscovered.

 

This houseplant used to be very rare in stores and online, but it is gaining more popularity and accessibility. It's still a little on the pricey side, but not as much as it used to be. Still, be prepared to pay $30-80 for a rooted specimen.

 

Other Notes

Because Monstera dubia is a slow grower, you don't have to worry about repotting or providing a ton of space initially. As it outgrows pots and climbing boards/surfaces, graduate it to bigger containers and taller boards.

Photos from Our Community!