How To Cut Leaves Off A Monstera? (Step By Step Guide)

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Taking care of your Monstera plant can be challenging. You may need proper knowledge and expertise to maintain the good health of the Swiss cheese plant. Different Monstera plants have varied requirements for propagation and pruning Monstera leaves. One of the biggest challenges most Monstera owners face is dealing with dead leaves.

The dying leaves of a Monstera plant can affect the growth of new leaves. It may also hinder the survival of the plant in changing weather. To encourage the growth of fresh leaves, you may prune your Monstera plant when needed. Leaving it unchecked may result in a dead plant.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the necessary details to cut Monstera plant leaves without harming the aerial roots.

How To Cut Dead Leaves Off Monstera?

Before we dive into the details of cutting the dead Monstera leaves off a Monstera plant, let’s quickly review the best growing season and environment for the plant. Generally, Monsteras like Monstera Deliciosa grow in places where they get sufficient light from a window or a similar opening.

They also require a moist potting mix to encourage new growth. Most households prefer the Monstera plant over other plants due to its attractive foliage and incredible growth. When the plant grows optimally, it can withstand problems like dying leaves and root rot (when identified at the right time).

Pruning encourages new growth in most plants. An overgrown Monstera plant requires pruning to retain its health. You may prune your Monstera plant after every few months (or when needed) to ensure it remains as attractive as you like it. Now, let’s find out how to prune your Monstera plant.

Instructions for Pruning Dying Leaves

Pruning your Monstera plant requires careful assessment of your plant’s leaves. You can use the following ways to cut dying leaves off your Monstera plant.

Cutting Yellow Leaves

yellow Monstera leaf

Dying or yellow leaves need pruning to encourage new growth. If you notice a few leaves turning yellow, you may not worry about it. Typically, Monstera leaves turning yellow is normal. However, the problem arises when significant leaves turn yellow. When you notice yellow leaves, you may use a sharp knife or a blade (sterilized) to cut them off.

When cutting dried leaves, you may make clean cuts to remove them. You may discard them after carefully removing them from the plant.

Refining an Overgrown Monstera plant

overgrown Monstera vines with withering leaf

The rapid growth of Monstera plants is one of their highlighting features. While true, they can create problems for the plant owner. If left unpruned, the leaves can hinder the growth of new leaves. Moreover, the plant loses its charm due to disruptive growth. Whether you have Monstera Deliciosa or other type of Monstera plants, you may need to cut the overgrown leaves to maintain a healthy appearance.

To cut the overgrown vines, you may locate and trace them back to the main stem. Once done, you can make clean cuts to avoid damaging the stem. Remove the overgrown vine from the plant to achieve a refined shape.

Pruning the Monstera Root

Monstera with lots of aerial roots

Many Monstera plant owners opt for root pruning to control the plant’s growth. Root pruning comes in handy when facing issues like root rot and overgrowing leaves. Generally, plant owners avoid Monstera cutting due to the risk of damaging the root. In reality, the process is much simpler.

To prune your Monstera plant roots, take them out of the pot and examine the main root. You may find a few lateral roots growing out of the main root. Your goal should be to cut the lateral roots by one-third. You may gently pull the tightly wound roots apart when aiming to cut them. Moreover, you can remove yellow or dried roots from the plant to ensure better plant health.

Node Cuttings for Propagation

Monstera nodes

Sometimes, you may need to boost Monstera propagation with stem cuttings. You can achieve it by cutting selective nodes. Slight carelessness in the process may cost you your Monstera plant’s life. You may always use proper cutting tools to ensure risk-free stem cuttings.

To start with, you may choose a vine with a minimum of two healthy leaves. You can trace the leaf node by following the stem back. Once located, you can make a 1/2-inch clean cut using a sharp knife. The sharpness of the blade is crucial for node cuttings. You may not want to damage the growing parts.

Where Do I Cut Dead Monstera Leaves?

Cutting dead leaves off your Monstera plant depends on your goals. Do you want to get rid of the dying leaves? Do you want to encourage new growth? Do you want your plant to grow bigger than before? When you identify your goal(s), you can proceed to cut the dead leaves. We have mentioned each scenario below to give you a better idea of where to cut Monstera plant leaves.

When Removing Dead Leaves

If you want to remove dead leaves off your Monstera, you can make clean cuts at the stem base. Removing the yellow or dying leaves encourages growth for healthier leaves.

When Encouraging Growth

If your pruning goal is to encourage growth, you may cut the leaves where you want more growth on the plant. Making clean cuts of specific leaves saves you from damaging neighboring areas.

When Aiming for Taller Growth

huge mature Monstera plant

If you want your Monstera plant to grow taller, you may cut the leaves at the top of the plant. Removing yellow leaves from the top allows the plant to grow fresh ones that may outgrow the previous ones.

Regardless of your goals, you may remember that pruning your Monstera leaves will encourage the growth of new leaves. Think of it as removing a malignant growth from a human body to achieve better health. If left untreated, the malign growth may interfere with other organ systems and decline overall health.

When plants are left unpruned when they need it, they bear effects on the stem and other parts. Therefore, pruning your Monstera leaves using appropriate instruments is essential.

What To Do When A Monstera Plant Gets Too Big?

Monstera plants have aerial roots that attach to other trees in the wild and grow huge. Many Monstera lovers get easily fascinated with this quality of the plant. While Monstera species follow their natural growth course in the wild, they can frustrate you indoors. When getting one for your home from the plant shop, you may talk to a plantation expert to learn how to control its growth.

In the wild, Monstera plants can grow up to 60 feet tall. While true, indoor plants grow up to 8 feet with proper support. Looking after 6-8 feet high Monsteras indoors can be difficult.

Most households prefer controlling the plant’s growth to avoid tall growth. If you wonder how you can control the growth of your Monstera leaves, we have covered a few ways below to help you.

Reduce Light Access to Plant

Sunlight has much to do with a Monstera plant’s growth. If the plant receives proper light, it may grow tall and healthy. On the contrary, low light or darker spaces slow down the plant’s growth. You may try limiting light access to your plant when keeping them indoors.

Here, it is worth remembering that cutting off a light source may lead to a dead plant. You can place it in a distant space to ensure slower growth. If you notice your plant drying up or dulling, you may move it closer to the light source to avoid root rot.

Restrict the Pot Size

mature Monstera in a small terracotta pot

Generally, the Swiss cheese plant requires repotting every two-three years. You can start with a small pot for the first few years when growing indoors. When replacing the pot, using the same pot size can restrict the plant from growing taller.

When reusing the same pot, you may ensure having sufficient pot mix around the Monstera roots to grow a healthy plant. If the pot lacks a moist pot mix, the soil may dry in a few days, leading to problems with the main stem. Indirect light and limited space can collectively help you achieve optimal plant growth in the growing season.

Reduce Fertilizer Access

Fertilizers are vitamins for plants. They fulfill the nutritional requirements of plants to ensure proper growth and prevent leaves from turning brown. If you use a fertilizer for your indoor Monstera, you can reduce its amount to control the plant’s growth.

Fertilizers often save plants from stem damage. Damaged leaves can rot the whole plant when kept indoors. When you reduce the fertilizer, notice how the plant changes its behavior. If it struggles to grow a new leaf, you may increase the quantity moderately to avoid forcing it into the dormant period.

Trim the Plant

When adding Monstera to your houseplant collection, you may prepare yourself for frequent pruning. Trimming your plant in selective areas can help you control its growth. For instance, you may cut at least one node on the plant to grow fresh leaves.

Before you trim the plant, you may wear gloves and use a sharp blade to avoid damaging the main stem. The sap in your Monstera may cause skin irritation when touched directly. Trimming also comes in handy when getting rid of a dried Monstera leaf. Moreover, Monstera cuttings can help in plant propagation.

Get a Small Monstera

small Monstera plant

If you have no time to manage the above methods, you can opt for a small Monstera plant. Typically, Monstera Deliciosa borsigiana serves the needs of those looking for small Monstera plants. This variation grows nearly half in size of the typical tropical plant.

You should always buy a new plant from a trusted nursery in your area. Many buyers often confuse small Monstera with juvenile Monstera Deliciosa. A trusted nursery can save you from the back and forth of choosing the right species.

Should I Prune My Monstera Plant?

Pruning encourages growth. When you prune your Monstera plant, you encourage growth and foster good plant health. If left unchecked for months, the new plant may overgrow its leaves and cause problems. Typically, people prefer Monstera over other plant species due to its attractive leaves. Leaving them unpruned may kill their charm.

A small Monstera plant growing in fresh soil and proper light propagates quickly. The problem arises when you keep them inside your house. Monstera leaves attach to it when they find high support and grow bigger. Pruning your Monstera leaves can keep the main stem clean and free of yellowing leaves.

When Should I Prune A Monstera Plant?

If you wonder when you should prune your Monstera Deliciosa to encourage growth, the best time is during the spring season. Like most plant species, the growth of Monstera depends on external conditions. Pruning the plant can help you achieve quick growth of fresh leaves. Many plant experts prefer pruning in early spring. Early spring is an ideal trim time for various plant species.

Regardless of your Monstera type, you can prune it during early spring to encourage healthy growth. Trimming your plant in winter can slow down the recovery process. Plants dry up in winter due to the lack of sunlight. Stem cuttings can further slow down the growth process.

Should I Cut Off Damaged Monstera Leaves?

Cutting your Monstera’s damaged or yellowing leaves can help you achieve various goals. Firstly, removing a damaged leaf or leaf stem improves the plant’s overall appearance. Secondly, trimming the leaves using sharp garden shears can positively influence your plant’s health to encourage growth.

Dried plant leaves cannot undergo photosynthesis. When you prune a Monstera, the plant restores its natural photosynthesis cycle to ensure producing glucose and other nutrients. If you are unsure which leaves require trimming, you may locate brown or black leaves to cut off the plant. Old or diseased leaves of indoor Monsteras can cause bacteria growth that can damage the whole plant. Since Monstera has an aerial root structure, the exposed roots can also receive damage from the external environment.

Do Monstera Leaves Grow Back After Cutting?

Monstera with a new leaf

Monstera is one of the large plants when grown in the wild. The Monstera plant grows back after pruning when given proper care and nutrition. When Monsteras grow roots above the ground, they take sufficient light and air to grow properly. Monstera cuttings do not stop the leaves from growing back.

To ensure quick recovery, you may prune your Monstera during spring and summer. Talking to a plant expert in your area can help you determine the ideal conditions for new growth.

Why Prune Your Monstera Deliciosa?

Monstera Deliciosa is well known for its climbs and growth in Central and South American rainforests. The plant grows aggressively and quickly. The plant is incredibly huge, and you may be asking yourself when and where to prune Monsteras. Monster is pruned periodically. Pruning promotes healthy growth.

Cuttings from plants can also propagate and give you constant supplies of Monsteras. Pruning should be done in early summer after Monsteras begins its growth cycle. Considering the cost and time involved with the houseplant is something to consider when buying it.

lush Monstera plant

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Pruning A Monstera Encourage New Growth?

Pruning a Monstera encourages the healthy growth of the plant. The plant’s resources play a crucial role in promoting new growth. Typically, Monsteras require enough light, moist potting mix, sufficient air, and fertilizers (or compost pile) for propagation.

When you prune a Monstera, it gets rid of the dried leaves and unhealthy parts (including Monstera nodes). This process allows the plant to restore its photosynthesis cycle and nutrient uptake for better growth during the growing season.

What Is The Best Way To Use Pruned Monstera Leaves?

Pruned Monstera leaves are useless for the plant. While valid, their holed appearance often appeals to Monstera lovers. If you want to preserve the leaves for decoration and other purposes, you can paint them with a soft brush using various colors.

Some Monstera lovers mix glycerin with water to create a preservation solution. You can do it by mixing glycerin (one part) and water (two parts) and pouring them into a pan. Once done, you may place the Monstera leaves with a weight above them. Leaving the leaves in the flat pan for up to a week can help you preserve them for decorative purposes.

How Do I Fix My Leggy Monstera?

leggy Monstera plant

The Monstera plant will lose light if it does not receive enough light for proper photosynthesis or to develop the nutrients it requires for optimal growth. Additionally, you may check whether light hits your Monstera leaves such that it casts an opaque shadow. Monstera loves the bright sunshine entering from the windows.

Leggy Monsteras look at the clouds to seek the light. Often this is due in part to a light issue if the intensity is low. The brightness of the light is not the only issue for Monstera – Long periods of illumination are also crucial.

What Are Aerial Roots?

Aerial roots are crucial in Monsteras. These roots grow above the surface, which gives the plant a chance for growth and expansion around larger trees. They’re not particularly attractive, and they can last long. Moreover, they do not cause structural damage to the plant. However, it is necessary to carefully prune them. Pruning aerial roots is as quick and easy as trimming other parts of plants. Use sterile shears to identify any bare aerial roots to start trimming.