Monstera Dubia Growing and Plant Care Complete Guide

  • By: admin
  • Date: November 22, 2022
  • Time to read: 14 min.
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What Is a Monstera Dubai?

The Monstera dubia, sometimes also called the Swiss cheese plant, is not actually a true cactus. Instead, it’s a tropical variety of monstera-producing fruit that looks like small versions of the shapes we see in “Swiss cheese”. The leaves can be round or oval and are usually between ten and twenty inches long.

This fast-growing vine produces large leaves that are glossy and waxy, resembling the smooth surface of cabbage or artichoke. The coloring on the leaves is usually dark green with veins of yellow or orange running through it. The plants themselves can grow between six and twenty feet long depending on growing conditions.

The plant has an overall appearance similar to that of a philodendron, but without its leaves curling under at the edges. Monstera dubia vines also have tendrils that help them climb up nearby trees and walls as they grow. Their native habitat is in Cuba where they are not considered invasive. However, these plants do very well when planted in any place in both hot and warm climates such as Hawaii, Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona.

The leaves are often used as food wrappers due to their durability. They can also be eaten but some people have allergies to the plant.

Interesting Facts About Monstera:

Monstera has been cultivated for more than 1,000 years in India, China, Japan, and Mexico. It was introduced to Europe by 1885 where it quickly became popular as a houseplant in Victorian homes.

Today these plants still remain very popular and they’re often seen gracing the inside of offices throughout urban areas of the United States and other parts of the world. The plant is now considered superbly easy to grow. In fact, today many homeowners are growing these plants indoors or outdoors in pots on balconies or porches all over the world.

Many people mistakenly believe that Monstera plants are cacti! They’re not. In fact, they’re in the very same plant family as philodendrons and they share many of the same characteristics.

Caring for Your Monstera:

Monsteras grow fast and live long once planted in soil. If you want to grow these plants indoors, be sure to choose a pot that’s at least 10 inches deep and has drain holes so your plant can properly breathe when its root system becomes established. These plants need a lot of sunlight so you may have to move them outside during the summer months or place them near large windows with lots of natural light shining in from the sun. Be sure to mist the leaves often if you are growing your monstera indoors so the leaves don’t dry out and crack.

The plant is not poisonous but some people develop allergic reactions to handling its sap, especially when working with an immature or young plant. If you find yourself having a reaction, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly immediately after handling the plant’s stems or leaves. Because of this issue there are many people who prefer to grow plants from purchased cuttings rather than try to grow them from seeds .

Monsteras have a special feature that cacti do not possess; they can produce fruit! You’ll know it’s time for this transformation when you see small buds forming on your vines at the end of each leaf stem. The fruits will then slowly start turning pinkish-yellow before they open and the small oval-shaped fruit begins to appear. At this point, you can harvest your fruits for eating or just let them continue to grow large which will cause them to crack forming that characteristic Swiss cheese appearance.

Monsteras are fast growers and once planted in soil will live a long time when properly cared for. They do well inside of homes but also work well outdoors in pots during summers.

Their durability makes them an excellent choice if you’re new to gardening or just want a very low maintenance plant that requires little special care. These plants require simple watering from spring through the summer months but must be left alone (without being over-watered) during the winter months so they can rest and go into dormancy until the spring season and the start of warmer weather returns.

Growing Monstera Vertically:

These plants are actually considered trees but grow fairly slowly so they’re often used as indoor houseplants . .  The leaves will get very large and wide, making them a great addition to many rooms inside your home. However, you may want to know that there are several excellent reasons to grow these plants vertically.

By doing so you’ll be able to use the leaves for decorative purposes and disguise your houseplant from view if it is located in a corner (where they might otherwise end up looking like a shrub rather than a living plant). Growing monstera vines on sturdy support structures will also help to support them and keep them from breaking or falling apart when they get heavy. It’ll also help prevent your plant from growing too large for its pot.

When the vines become weighted down with leaves, long vines can split or break if they continue to grow freely on their own. By using a sturdy trellis-like structure you will be able to support your vine’s weight and allow it to grow up vertically instead of out horizontally where those branches may end up looking like lifeless leaves dangling from a branch in an awkward manner that doesn’t look pleasing at all.

Unique Features and Structure of the Monstera Dubia Plant:

These plants are unique and have various features that make them stand out compared to other indoor plants.

As mentioned earlier, the leaves of this plant will begin growing large very quickly when properly cared for and once they do you’ll see how unusual and attractive they really look.

Their durability makes them an excellent choice if you’re new to gardening or just want a very low maintenance plant that requires little special care.

These plants require simple watering from spring through the summer months but must be left alone (without being over-watered) during the winter months so they can rest and go into dormancy until the spring season and the start of warmer weather returns.

 Light Requirements:

As a houseplant, the Monstera plant will do well indoors in medium to low light conditions. They’ll even tolerate some amount of sun during the summer months when your home may be especially bright due to windows being opened for ventilation or sunlight streaming through your windows.

When placed outdoors in a sunny location monsteras can grow faster and flower more quickly than if grown indoors .

Watering Needs:

Water thoroughly, then let dry out before watering again.  Note that this is the opposite from most other houseplants as these need to dry out between waterings rather than remain constantly damp like most others do!

Soil Requirements:

Monstera vines are a vine-like plant that grows from the center of its leaves (rather than growing outward, like most houseplants). This means you’ll want to grow this plant up and along something sturdy so it can support itself.  For best results you should use something like a trellis or lattice structure for them to climb on so they can grow upward instead of outwards .

These plants will do better if grown in a loose, well-draining soil. Avoid using potting mixes that are heavy or contain large amounts of peat moss since monsteras have trouble when their roots aren’t able to breathe properly.  

Feeding Needs:

Monsteras need minimal fertilizer but still benefit from being fed on a schedule. Feed them with a balanced formula several times throughout the growing season (spring through early fall) using 1/4 strength and more often when your plant is young .

Any fertilizer you use should be diluted so that it won’t cause any burning on the leaves or stem of your monstera as this can sometimes happen if they are fed at full strength. If possible, water first to allow the fertilizer to trickle down into the soil before applying directly to the roots.  


Although they are not toxic, the sap from the stems and leaf veins of Monstera plants can irritate sensitive skin and cause a rash.

You can avoid this by wearing rubber gloves when handling your plant but it’s important to know that even without contact with human skin in some cases people have experienced reactions from simply being near their plant or being close enough to breathe in the tiny particles that may spread nearby.

Like most any other houseplant, over time you may notice that your monstera has dropped its leaves as part of normal growth patterns.

 If new leaves develop at the top of your vine rather than beneath then you’ll want to make sure there is adequate room for them in between older growth or else what will happen is they’ll simply be pushed out of the way and sit above the leaves as if growing on a different plant altogether.

If this is happening to you then remove any leaf that was not produced by your monstera’s main vine so that it doesn’t cause confusion. Otherwise, just enjoy their unique beauty!

Temperature and Humidity Requirements:

Monsteras are great low maintenance houseplants when you consider how long they live for (20+ years!) and the fact they require little to no attention from their owners. Even so, these plants still need some basic care to keep them looking healthy and beautiful.

Because Monstera plants can grow large over time it’s important that they are given the space they need to be able to do this properly. They like a humid environment but will not survive in an overly wet location .  In addition, since they’re a tropical plant it’s best if they receive warm temperatures of at least 55 degrees though 70 degrees or more is ideal.

So make sure you give your monstera plenty of space AND warmth as needed!

Outside versus Inside:

Monstera plants are low maintenance so they don’t require special treatment when it comes to being taken inside or outside.

 If you live in an area that’s prone to colder temperatures (below 35 degrees) then it is possible to overwinter your monstera over the winter months by simply bringing it into a warm location indoors and keeping it there for the duration of the cold season. Otherwise, just enjoy them all year long!  

Fertilizing Requirements:

Like most houseplants, monsteras need to be fertilized regularly to keep them looking at their best. You should feed your plant every two weeks or so with any balanced, water soluble fertilizer .  

It’s also important that you water the soil before applying the fertilizer directly to the roots since this will help avoid any leaf burning. If possible, do it after a good watering when the soil has absorbed enough of what was already applied so as not to get too much in one spot.

And while you may see results if you overfeed your monsterthey ( do produce faster growth!) it is always better to go with less than more if something like over-fertilization could potentially happen by accident. Over time is when the most noticeable damage from this can occur and will likely result in a sickly, yellow appearance.


Monstera plants vary in color depending on their variety but you’ll see the most common colors include dark green or variegated varieties of white to light green that have darker striping. Some will even sport a reddish/orange hue on certain parts of their leaves, though still primarily green with such coloring being found near the bottom half of their stem.    

The flowers produced by monsteras are quite lovely too and come in many colors including pink, red, yellow, orange, and white typically coming in clusters around 12 inches long.  


Depending on your location (indoors vs outdoors) as well as the variety you choose, monsteras can live for decades!  That’s right-decades. It’s a wonder they don’t charge rent to stay in your home that long. 😉

But just because they’ll stick around so long doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying to impress them with attention and pampering since it helps to foster strong bonds between the two of you.

Potting and repotting Requirements:

You can probably tell by now that monsteras are big plants.  Too big for a regular pot at some point anyway and you need to be willing to accommodate their needs through repotting into larger pots as needed over the years.

Don’t worry-this won’t be an issue since they’re so easy to care for anyway!

When it comes time to repot your monstera, just make sure you use a container with proper drainage holes in the bottom. Because of its size and weight (if multiple large trunks/bark pieces are included) it is too risky to put this guy in a pot without sufficient drainage capabilities or risk damaging roots which could lead to unseen damage down the road.

 Monstera Dubia Propagation info:

The most common propagation method for monsteras is by use of stem cuttings.

 While this may seem like a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, it’s not hard to accomplish and shouldn’t be too much of an issue since they’re already pretty easy to grow!  That said the following steps should clarify:

1. Make sure your plant is healthy, in good condition, and showing some growth as well as plenty of leaves since this will result in more roots (which are needed for new plants) being produced during the process. If your plant isn’t in such a state then this step should be skipped until it fits the criteria above; otherwise, have patience until it does.    

  2 . Cut off any small, 1 inch or fewer branches from your plant (while avoiding damaging the main trunk).  These can easily be rooted in water and it doesn’t take long to do so.  Just make sure you have enough soil-free rooting medium (such as coconut husk fibers) and keep the stems out of direct sunlight for a while since too much light will stress them if given at this point.

3. Make sure you leave about 2 inches on any stem pieces left over which can also be cut up into smaller sections of their own that can then be placed in water (or just stick them into the potting mix with the rest of the new plants once they start taking root) .   

  4 . Keep an eye out for new roots to appear on the stem pieces as well as when they start growing and looking healthy.  Once this happens you can transplant them into their own pots so they don’t overgrow their temporary containers.

Because of sunlight exposure, your monstera plants may have some sort of insect problems from time-to-time which will require carefully removing any affected leaves with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol (be sure to avoid making contact with the plant’s accidental veins).  

At other times, it could just be a matter of simply having too many dead leaves that need to be removed.  This is especially true if they hang near your lights or are otherwise blocking light from reaching down into the soil.

Fertilizing schedule:

Week 1-every other week (alternating with 2 weeks off) :  slow release, 3-in-1 fertilizer at the rate of 1/4 strength.  You may choose whatever brand you like but I recommend this one since it contains no phosphorus or ammonia and won’t burn your plants if accidentally over applied. Week 3 on:  once every month granular fertilizer + slow release, 3-in-1 mix ratio of 1/2 for foliage/stem growth only; don’t give increased dosage for blooming period unless you want more flowers .

It is important to note that my fertilizer schedule is not a one-size-fits-all solution.  It was derived from what I’ve seen work for monsters though, it doesn’t hurt to closely follow the application instructions on any brand you choose since using something different than what they recommend can seriously harm your plan t .

Your climate and growing methods are also likely to have an impact on foliar coloration, so keep this in mind as well when looking at pictures of them online or talking with others who grow monstera plants.  

Consider yourself warned:  

      As far as soil requirements go, I like using a quality potting mix that contains coconut husk fibers because this is what I’ve found most often recommended.  This becomes more important if you want to keep your plant healthy as they get older without having to replace them with a new one every year or two.

You can also mix in other organic, loose substrates but make sure it has good drainage properties since plants don’t like sitting in water for long (the roots will rot and the leaves will turn yellow).  

Make sure you follow any watering requirements on the back of your potting mix too, especially during the growing season when rainfall is less of an option.  This includes keeping the soil slightly moist at all times (except during dormant winter months) to allow for proper root function along with enough moisture being supplied throughout its entire length.

One of the most important things to understand about keeping monsteras happy in your home is that they will grow towards light; so if you have one that isn’t growing as fast or as much as you think it should be, it may just need more light.  It could also be because the leaves are getting thicker and blocking its access to light (so trim them back a bit) .  

If you’re growing other plants nearby, try moving them away for at least a week or so and see if it helps spur new growth on yours that wasn’t being blocked by competing plant needs.

This can be especially true with taller plants like pothos ivy which tend to out-grow your monstera eventually.  

Monstera Dubia Problems:

Of course, there are always going to be instances where things won’t work out and you’ll need to know how to fix a monstera that’s not growing like it should.

For example, what if your plant is wilting even with all of these tips in place?

Since they naturally grow from the top down, this can mean that they’re either rootbound (a common problem for houseplants that have been kept too long in their containers) or dying for another reason.  If they’re not already covered in yellowing leaves though, it could also just be infected with spider mites or something else .  

If it’s just a matter of being rootbound and you’ve thoroughly read my article on repotting houseplants , you should be able to check for this fairly easily.  

Gently wiggle the plant out of its pot or carefully cut it down the center and separate one half from the other, making sure there’s a decent amount of soil remaining around the roots (but don’t get carried away with using too much).

If the rootball comes out in one piece and is healthy looking, your problem might just be that there’s no room left for them to grow so they’re getting squashed by their own weight.  A few minutes spent repotting into a container that’s half as big will probably fix this quickly but remember not to give them too much space or place them on top of each other if you do this.

Pests & Diseases:

Although there are few pests or diseases that can affect these plants, they are affected by mealybugs which can occasionally infest them but usually only do so when something around them has been over watered.

Mealybugs come in several colors including light tan (almost yellow), dark brown with pinkish/orange legs, orange / red with black legs and some even a little more colorful than those such as bright green .  

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