How to grow and care for Monstera dubia Indoors

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Houseplant, <i>Monstera dubia</i>, Monstera dubia

Botanical name: Monstera dubia
Family: Araceae

Monstera dubia is an evergreen vine which exhibits three different forms in its life stages. The plant leaves grow flat on the support structure which gives the plant the name "Shingle Plant". In the juvenile stage, the broad oval-shaped leaves have a green base and silvery-grey variegation between dark-green veins. As the plant ages, these leaves develop small holes until maturity. Eventually the plant produces large, green, fenestrated mature leaves similar to those of Monstera deliciosa. Monstera dubia is native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. In its natural habitat, after germination, the plant grows by creeping on the ground until it finds a supporting tree. When it starts climbling, the plant grows too flat on the tree bark. Eventually, the mature leaves begin to hang from the hard stems of the plant. Maintaining the plant short by regular pruning will keep it in the shingled growth stage. The plant is often mistaken for Rhaphidophora cryptantha but in the later, the leaves are dark-green with silver-greyish veins through out its life stages.

How to Grow Monstera dubia


Monstera dubia prefers bright indirect light away from direct sunlight as it can cause sunscorch on the leaves. Place it next to a sunless window or near a bright window. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.


Water Monstera dubia liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to Root-rot Disease which can result in the eventual death of the plant. Learn more on how to water houseplants.


Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Monstera dubia. Protect the plant from cold draughts. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.


Average room humidity is ideal for Monstera dubia. When the air is too dry, employ these techniques to raise humidity for the vine. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also discourage pest infestation.


Feed Monstera dubia with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.


Repot Monstera dubia during the growing season when it becomes root-bound; when the roots grow through the drainage hole. Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole. The soil should be free-draining and rich in organic matter. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.


Pruning Monstera dubia is easy. Remove yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. To keep the plant in its singled growth, cutback the vines regularly. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Monstera dubia

Monstera dubia can be propagated at the beginning of the growing period by use of stem cuttings or by air layering.

Propagating Monstera dubia from stem cuttings in soil
Take a stem cutting from a healthy Monstera dubia by cutting at a point just below an aerial root. Just one leaf node with the leaf is enough to propagate a new plant. Insert the cutting in moist free-draining soil. Place in a shaded well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the new Monstera dubia to be well established before transplanting.

Propagating Monstera dubia from stem cuttings in water
Take a stem cutting from a healthy Monstera dubia by cutting at a point just below an aerial root. Just one leaf node with the leaf is enough to propagate a new plant. Place the cutting in a jar containing plain water. Place the set up in a well-lit spot and change the water every 7-10 days. Once adequate roots have developed, plant the cutting in soil and place in a shaded well-lit place. Allow the new Monstera dubia to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Monstera dubia

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Overwatering Monstera dubia is the reason if many leaves are affected and there are signs of wilting and rotting but if there is no wilting and rotting, underfeeding is the cause. If only lower leaves are affected and have dark spots and new leaves are dark and small; underwatering is the reason. If leaves are pale colored and have straw-colored patches the problem is too much sunlight.

  • Loss of leaves
  • As the lower leaves of Monstera dubia age they fall but if there is an abnormal loss of leaves the reason is sudden change of growing conditions. If the leaves turn brown and dry before they fall then high temperature is the cause.

  • Rotting stems
  • The reason for rotting stems in Monstera dubia is the fungal Stem-rot Disease which is promoted by high moisture and too little warmth. You can save the plant by repotting and keeping the soil dry and warm.

  • Leaves with brown papery tips and edges
  • The reason for leaves with brown papery tips and edges in Monstera dubia is dry air; employ these techniques to raise humidity or the plant may be pot-bound; repot in a larger-sized pot.

  • Leggy growth, small pale leaves
  • Too little light is the cause as Monstera dubia will not thrive in deep shade; move the plant to a more brighter spot.

  • Leaves weeping at the edges
  • If the soil is too wet, Monstera dubia will respond with leaves weeping at the edges. Allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings and reduce frequency of watering.

  • Diseases
  • The most common disease in Monstera dubia is Leaf Spot.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Monstera dubia are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects, Aphids, and Spider Mites. Isolate the plant to prevent further spread to other plants.


Monstera dubia is mildly toxic to humans and toxic to pets. If ingested it can cause pain and swelling in the mouth, tongue and lips, vomiting, excessive drooling and difficulty in swallowing.

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