Should I prune my Monstera? (How and when to do it)

pruning monstera

Monstera is a beautiful houseplant known for its dramatic fenestrated foliage.

This fast-growing plant is easy to grow indoors, making it a popular houseplant. Like many plants, its growth increases during the spring and summer seasons.

This makes pruning Monstera essential to maintaining its size and shape.

In this article, we will discuss several topics related to pruning Monstera, including –

  • When should you prune Monstera?
  • How do I prune my Monstera?
  • How do you prune a leggy Monstera?
  • Will Monstera leaves grow back after cutting?
  • Is Pruning monstera aerial roots essential?
  • What can you do with the pruned Monstera leaves?

Should I prune my Monstera?

Pruning is highly beneficial for all plants, including Monstera. Here’s how it helps Monstera –

  • Monstera can grow up to 10 feet indoors, which may not suit most rooms. So, pruning Monstera helps maintaining its size.
  • You should also prune the Monstera plant to get rid of dead, diseased, or infested foliage. These parts of plants drain vital resources, which the plant can use to maintain its healthier parts.
  • Pruning Monstera also encourages new growth in the plant, which makes the plant bushy and healthy.
  • If you are keen to give your plant the desired shape, you must prune it regularly. All new growth in the plant sprouts in the direction of the pruned portion of the plant.

    If you want your Monstera plant to grow taller, prune the top part of the plant. If you wish to grow the plant wider, prune it from the sides.
  • You can also prune your Monstera to propagate the cuttings. For this, you must trim the leaves below the nodes.
Should I prune my Monstera

When should you prune your Monstera?

Pruning Monstera is good for the plant’s overall health, but it may cause some damage to the plant if not done at the right time. So, you must prune Monstera when it is in a growth cycle and can quickly heal from the pruning.

The best time for pruning Monstera is late winter when the plant is coming out of its winter dormancy. Pruning Monstera just before the growing season will prepare it for new and healthy growth.

The growth season for Monsteras is spring and summer. Since plants get maximum sunlight and produce maximum glucose during this time, they heal and recover quickly. Spring is a great time to prune Monsteras and give them the shape you desire.

You should never prune Monsteras during extreme summers or winters. Your plant will not be able to heal the cuts during this time.

When should I prune my Monstera?

The frequency of pruning Monstera depends on the size of the plant. A younger plant needs to be pruned just once a year. However, if your plant has grown too big, you may need to trim it every two months to maintain its shape.

Some species of Monstera like Monstera karstenianum (Peru), Monstera Adansonii and Siltepecana grow much faster than Monstera Deliciosa. You may need to prune them more often.

How do I prune my Monstera?

How to prune Monstera depends on your goal. Pruning Monstera to remove dead leaves involves a different process than pruning Monstera to control its size.

You will need a few items before you begin the process-

Pruning shears or a sharp knife

Pruning with blunt tools can lead to rough cuts which take longer to heal. A sharp knife or shears offer perfect clean cuts.

Isopropyl alcohol

Monstera is susceptible to pathogens, so you must sterilize your pruning tools with 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Gardening gloves

Monstera sap contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can irritate or burn the skin. Wear gloves while pruning monstera plants.

To remove dying leaves

It is essential to remove the yellow and drying leaves of Monstera to keep it looking healthy. Follow the stem back to the main branch and make a clean cut. Discard these leaves in the trash or a compost bin.

To control or shape an overgrown Monstera

Monsteras can grow unruly if left on their own. It would help to prune the wayward vines regularly to keep them in shape.

Identify the vines you want to prune and follow them back to the main stem. Make a clean cut close to the main stem.

If you want more growth in a specific direction, cut the vines on that side of the plant just above the node. The new growth will be in the same direction.

Cut at a 45-degree angle instead of straight across allows for greater surface area and increases water uptake.

Avoid over-pruning the plant to prevent permanent damage. Find the nodes with many stems and leaves and prune only those areas. This way, you minimize the risk of any infection in the plant.

To stunt the growth

Root pruning is done to stunt the growth of Monstera plants. You will need to remove the Monstera plant from the pot and examine its roots.

You will notice that the plant has one main root and several smaller roots growing off it. Leave the main root intact and trim the lateral roots by one-third. If you see any discolored or damaged roots, cut them off as well.

To propagate

Monsteras can easily be propagated through stem cuttings. The cutting should have at least one node to root in water or soil.

You need to prune the Monstera plant carefully to make node cuttings. Select the tips of a vine with healthy leaves and follow the stem back to the leaf node.

It is easy to locate the node on the stem. The node is the part of the stem that is thicker and lighter. It forms a ring around the stem. The nodes may have one or more leaves emerging from them.

Make a clean cut ½ inch below the node to take a cutting to propagate Monstera.

How do you prune a leggy monstera?

If a Monstera does not have enough access to light, it tends to stretch towards the light source. It develops sparse foliage and long stems.

The only way to fix a leggy monster is to prune it and then provide it with enough sunlight. Wait till spring or early summer to prune a leggy monstera.

Identify the leggy parts of the plant that can be trimmed safely. Trace these stems back to the main stem and cut at a 45-degree angle slightly above the node.

To prevent your Monstera from becoming leggy again, ensure that it gets enough light.

You can read this article to know more about Monstera light requirements.    

Will monstera leaves grow back after cutting?

Cutting and pruning is a great way to scale down a Monstera that has grown too big. While pruning encourages new growth, it can cut back the size of the plant for a while.

After pruning, Monstera creates new growing points from the node nearest to where the cut has been made. You will find the Monstera leaves growing back. The part of the plant that you cut will grow back within a few months. The rate of regrowth will depend on –

Light requirements for Monstera

Water requirements for Monstera

Soil mix required for Monstera

Is pruning Monstera aerial roots essential?

Monstera plants grow aerial roots that affix themselves to surfaces so that they can climb. Monsteras would not get enough sunlight in the dense tropical forests without these aerial roots. These roots also absorb water from the surfaces to provide additional moisture to the plant.

These aerial roots can grow quite long and make the plant look messy. It is best to prune these roots to keep your plant looking good.

Use a pair of sharp shears or garden scissors and cut them close to the base of the plant from where they grow.

Pruning aerial roots can stimulate more aerial roots to grow, so prune them after the growing season (late summer or early fall) to minimize regrowth.

Pruning aerial roots also slows down the growth of the plant. If you plan to grow a large Monstera, it may be best not to prune these roots.

What can you do with the pruned Monstera leaves?

You don’t have to throw away Monstera leaves after pruning. You can easily propagate these leaves or add them to your compost pile.

  • Propagating Monstera leaves is relatively easy. You can root them in water as well as soil. If you are propagating Monstera leaves in soil, make sure that the soil is not overwatered, or it may lead to bacterial growth.
  • If you have pruned dried or yellowed leaves from your Monstera, you can use them as compost. Collect the leaves in a bag, add some grass clippings, and a compost maker to speed up the process. Make some holes in this bag to let the air in. Add some water to the compost mix if it seems too dry.

Final thoughts on pruning Monstera

Now you know Pruning Monstera has several advantages. It helps to keep the plant looking healthy and bushy. It is also helpful to give your Monstera a particular shape.

The pruning techniques also depend on the result you want to achieve. Suppose you want to prune your plant to encourage growth in a particular direction; cut above the node. If you’re going to propagate Monstera, you need to cut below the nodes. 

Always use sharp and clean tools when pruning Monstera. This way, you will avoid damaging your plant. Monstera is a hardy plant that recovers quickly from pruning.

So, prune your Monstera regularly to make it look its best year after year.

Should I prune my Monstera?