Monstera plants are one of the most famous heirloom plants among plant enthusiasts. Their unique characteristics and large sizes add aesthetic to your home and garden. However, these tropical plants are native to the tropical rainforests of South and Central America, making them rare. Moreover, their rarity makes them expensive.
Therefore, when you buy a Monstera plant, you might wonder how long it will last. Below, we answer the most asked question on how long Monstera will live. Continue reading to find out.
How Long Do Monstera Plants Live?
The Monstera genus consists of around 50 evergreen plants known for their adaptability and persistence. One of the most common species, the Monstera deliciosa, can live in its native habitat for more than 40 years. Hence, they are considered heirloom plants.
The Swiss cheese plant can live just as long as a houseplant, provided it gets the required conditions. One of the reasons why the Monstera plants have such a long lifespan is because of their adaptability.
Under unfavorable conditions, the Monstera enters a dormancy period where it stops growing until favorable conditions are achieved. The plant’s growth halts and helps the Monstera conserve energy to survive.
The Monstera has adapted to its natural environment to develop unique characteristics. With their characteristic fenestrated leaves, the tropical plant can reach 70 feet in length in the rainforest.
Can They Live for Centuries?
While they have a considerably longer lifespan, they cannot live forever. After around 40 years, the plants start to show signs of aging and develop yellow leaves, which start to drop off.
However, that does not mean you will lose the Monstera plant forever. You can always propagate new Monstera plants from the older generation. Propagation is quickly done using stem cutting and placing them in freshwater or soil.
How Long Can Indoor Monstera Plants Live?
Generally, a Monstera plant should have the same indoor lifespan as it would in its natural habitat, give or take a couple of years.
It is difficult to say how long the Monstera lifespan will be as an indoor plant. Since Monstera’s health and lifespan depend mainly on its growth conditions, it can be just as long as 40 years or less.
However, it is easier to control the growth conditions of the Monstera indoors than outdoors. You must consider several factors to ensure healthy Monstera growth.
How Do I Tell How Old A Monstera Plant Is?
For a plant enthusiast, it is easy to tell a plant’s age. To tell how old a Monstera plant is, you will have to look at its leaves. The shape of the Monstera leaf differs as it ages. A baby Monstera has small heart-shaped leaves, while a mature plant (>3 years old) has large leaves that are broader than long.
Moreover, young Monstera has dark green leaves that do not support any fenestration, while juvenile Monstera has a few. On the other hand, a mature Monstera has a second or third set of fenestrations.
You can also tell a Monstera’s age by the plant’s height. A Monstera deliciosa plant grows around two feet yearly, given the right conditions. Therefore, you can measure its length to get an approximate age.
How Long Does A Monstera Plant Take To Mature?
Monstera has nearly 50 species of aroid plants, each with its own physical and growth characteristics. Therefore, it is difficult to allot a single time of maturity for every species.
Generally, different type of Monstera plants mature within two years before the growth stagnates.
Moreover, Monstera’s growth generally depends on its living conditions. While the Swiss cheese plant can grow to enormous sizes in its natural habitat, it might reach around 15 feet when grown as a houseplant.
On average, a Monstera plant grows to around six feet tall indoors and takes around three years to mature when it keeps a constant height. However, these plants will continue producing new leaves throughout their life. As new leaves sprout, older leaves will fall off.
When Do The Leaves Of A Monstera Start To Split?
Split leaves and holes are characteristic of Monstera plants that make them desirable. However, during the early ages of its life, you will not see any fenestration on the leaves.
After the Monstera reaches an age of 12-18 months, you will notice that newer leaves start to support fenestrations. However, the older leaves will not. Moreover, the degree, time, number, type, and size of fenestrations depend on the Monstera species.
Do Monstera Plants Die Of Old Age?
After they have reached the end of their lifespan, the Monstera will show clear signs of dying. With yellowing leaves and browning stems, you will notice the Monstera lose its flourish.
The leaves will start to wilt and fall off. Moreover, there will be fewer newer leaves. Moreover, you will also notice browning leaves due to a lack of chlorophyll.
While these are also signs of disease and stress, they can also indicate old age. Therefore, if your family has been growing the Monstera for a long time and you notice the plant start to die slowly, it can be because of old age.
How Difficult Is It To Keep Indoor Monsteras Alive?
Keeping a Monstera plant alive indoors is much easier than it seems. While the plants are sensitive to their environments, the conditions are easier to control if you know how to. You must keep several conditions in mind to ensure that your Monstera experiences healthy growth.
What’s The Best Growing Condition For Monsteras?
When growing a split-leaf philodendron, you must keep an eye out for its growing conditions to ensure an ideal environment for the vining plant. Below are some ideal growing conditions for the Monstera.
Monstera prefers bright indirect light to grow. They are accustomed to bright light passing through the forest canopy in the tropical rainforest.
Generally, six to ten hours of bright filtered light is ideal for Monstera growth.
However, keep the plant away from direct sunlight. Bright direct light can cause leaf burning and harm the Monstera growth. Keep your Monstera so that the plant will grow better than other plants.
2. Temperature and Humidity
As tropical plants, Monstera is accustomed to warm climates with high humidity. Generally, a Monstera requires a temperature of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of more than 50% for ideal growth.
You can use a humidifier or a pebble tray to ensure humidity levels. You can also cluster several plants so they share their humidity to create a mini rainforest.
Watering is perhaps the most challenging condition. Underwatering the Monstera could lead to dehydration and wilting. Overwatering the Monstera could lead to fungal diseases such as root rot.
You will have to ensure the right amount of water by using a water method or manually checking the soil with your fingertip to see if the soil is dry. You will also have to check the drainage hole to see if the water is being blocked.
Generally, you would need to water a mature Monstera once every week.
4. Soil and Feeding
Monstera loves moist soil that allows the plant’s roots to grow. Moreover, ideal growth requires a slightly acidic pH of around 5-7.
You can use a commercially available potting mix for your Monstera. The soil mix generally contains fertilizers that help the aroid plants grow.
You can add liquid fertilizer to enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. However, overfeeding the Monstera could lead to root blockage. Therefore, only feed the plant once every couple of months in the growing seasons, i.e., summer and early spring, when the plant is actively growing.
How Often Should You Repot Your Monstera?
As a juvenile plant, the Monstera tends to grow more quickly. Among the Monstera species, the Monstera deliciosa grows the fastest. Therefore, you will have to repot the Monstera every few weeks.
However, once the plant reaches maturity, it will only grow a couple of inches a year, so you will not have to worry about repotting often. Choose a clay pot with good drainage holes for your plant when repotting.
An indicator of when repotting is required when roots block the drainage hole of the clay pot or the plant shows stunted growth.
What Can Kill A Monstera Plant?
As with many plants, the Monstera is susceptible to many diseases and pest infestation that could kill the plant.
Monstera is susceptible to many bacterial and fungal pathogens. However, root rot is the most common fungal disease that kills the Monstera. The diseases cause root deterioration and spread to the stem, eventually killing the entire plant.
However, if caught on time, you can use antifungal soap to treat the plant.
Spider mites, fungal gnats, and mealy bugs are some of the most common pests that kill the Monstera. They feed on the plant’s nutrients, slowly sucking away at their health.
These pests are often easily located if checked thoroughly and can be treated with pesticide soap. You can also add neem oil to prevent future infestation.
How To Make Monsteras Live Longer
You can do several things to ensure that your Monstera has a longer life and grows healthy. Some of the most critical factors are:
- Keeping the Monstera in bright indirect sun.
- Giving the Monstera enough water, so it doesn’t develop an infection
- Prune any dead leaves, or yellowing leaves, or if you notice brown spots on the leaf surface with a sharp knife or pruning scissors.
- Feed the plant in growth seasons
- Add a sphagnum moss stake to allow the Monstera to climb using its aerial roots.
- Mist the plant or use a humidifier for humidity.
- Repot the plant regularly
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I Cut Off Old Monstera Deliciosa Leaves?
Cutting off old Monstera leaves is a good method of promoting new leaf growth/ The older leaves are a burden on the plant and could block sunlight for the younger leaves. You should also cut the Monstera’s leaves if they start to turn yellow.
2. Do Indoor Monstera Plants Live As Long As Outdoor Ones?
Whether a plant grown indoors can live as long as Monstera plants can live outdoors depends on the growth conditions you provide. Under ideal conditions, indoor gardeners can make their Monstera plants live longer than outdoor ones.
3. Can Monsteras Live Forever as indoor plants?
As much as it pains to say, Monstera does not live forever. Monstera lives as much as they are destined to and eventually die like all living things. However, they live fulfilling lives and leave behind propagated plants in their place.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.