How To Make Monstera Bushier (ANSWERED)

Monstera plants can be a great addition to your houseplant collection. They are easy to grow (especially the Monstera deliciosa variant), hardy, and blend in with their surroundings relatively easily.

Read here to learn the key to producing those thick, bushy leaves with pronounced fenestrations.

mature monstera leaves

An Introduction to Monstera

Monstera plants, including the Swiss cheese plant, are native to the tropical forests of Mexico and Panama. These environments are filled with thick forest canopies that shield Monstera from direct sunlight and foster the photosynthesis process.

Therefore, Monstera adapted to their natural environment and developed precise growth conditions. Therefore, if you want your Monstera deliciosa t to be bushier, you must replicate their natural habitat as much as possible.

The plants will survive if you deviate from their recommended temperature and humidity range, but there won’t be as many growth spurts, and the swiss cheese plant will not flourish.

Guide to Making Your Monstera Bushier

If you have a leggy Monstera, you might be worried about achieving the desired shape.

However, you can still do plenty of things to ensure proper structure and healthy leaves. Below are a few tips and tricks to encourage growth and maintain proper plant care.


Pruning is essential to prevent Monstera from growing too many vines. If left to their own devices, the plants will grow excessively long leaves that will fall over and struggle to achieve their natural shape.

Moreover, the older foliage on mature Monsteras will die over time, resulting in yellowing leaves prone to infestation and diseases such as root rot.

Finally, pruning may be necessary if you don’t want your plant to outgrow your living space and become too unruly. Regular pruning will keep your Monstera small enough to be manageable without damaging it and ensure vertical growth.

The best time to prune Monstera is before it enters the growing seasons and is still dormant.

Use sterilized pruning shears to clear any dead or dying foliage from plants.

You can also take cuttings from Monstera for propagation, giving you a regular supply of new Monstera deliciosa plants. Replant the cutting into its own pot for a new plant.


While the Monstera deliciosa does not require fertilizer to grow, it can help overcome leggy plant growth and result in its thick stems with fuller growth.

If you haven’t repotted your Monstera in the last year or so, chances are that the potting soil’s nutrients are depleted, resulting in weak, leggy stems.

You can use a commercially available all-purpose fertilizer diluted according to the manufacturer’s directions. However, you must be careful when feeding the swiss cheese plant.

Overfeeding could lead to a non-sustainable growth spurt or a blockage of Monstera roots. Therefore, you must apply fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

You can use a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to achieve optimal growth for a bushier Monstera. This balanced fertilizer provides a mix of the three main ingredients that encourage strong, healthy growth.

Another option is to provide Monsteras with an all-natural compost (vegetable refuse).

In their native habitat, Monstera gains nutrients from organic matter decaying on the ground’s surface. Insects and worms are also a major part of the fertilization process.

This is why feeding compost to your Monstera is the best way to allow Monstera to grow. But be careful; too much fertilizer will burn the foliage of your Monstera.

Temperature Range

The Monstera deliciosa and other plants in the Monstera genus are accustomed to warm climates.

Therefore, Monstera deliciosa plants grow best when the ambient temperature is between 68 – 85 Fahrenheit.

If the temperature deviates from the standard threshold, the houseplant may become stressed and produce leggy foliage. Exposure to extremely hot or cold temperatures will stunt its growth, and the Monstera starts to die.

Additionally, do not keep your Monstera outside in the cold. Frost can lead to irreparable cellular damage. Protect your Monstera from the colder months by bringing them indoors.

Provide Sufficient light

Monstera prefers bright indirect light. However, it can be difficult to achieve the right intensity indoors.

You can place the Monstera at west-facing windows or cover it with a sheer curtain to ensure enough light gets through to the Monstera.

However, a grow light can help you achieve the right light intensity indoors. You can buy grow lights online or from a plant center.

You can use a full spectrum grow light or get red, yellow, and blue grow lights for your Monstera.

Use the Right Soil Mix

The Monstera deliciosa prefers slightly acidic soil with a pH value ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. Try not to increase or decrease the soil acidity because it will prevent the leaves from absorbing nutrients from the soil.

The pH value plays a crucial role in nutrient absorption and should be kept within the ideal range at all times.

Many beginners confuse leggy Monstera leaves with mineral deficiency and compensate by adding too much fertilizer.

However, adding more fertilizer will not improve the soil’s pH value. Instead, a quicker method is to buy a pH meter and check the soil’s acidity levels. Another method is to take out a small sample for testing with a pH kit.

It is worth noting that pH kits give a wide range of pH values that could prevent you from making an accurate diagnosis. This is why we recommend buying a pH meter.

Humidity Levels

big monstera leaf misting

Monstera species grow in tropical forests where they experience high levels of humidity.

The ideal humidity range for Monstera is between 60 to 80%. Most households struggle to maintain such humidity levels, requiring a humidifier.

You can increase the humidity of the plant’s surroundings by misting the plant every day. A humidifier is better because it lets you control the exact moisture levels.

At 60% humidity levels, the Monstera leaves will absorb moisture from the air. This will cause them to produce those stunning foliage with fenestrations.

However, if you fail to provide the recommended humidity levels to your Monstera deliciosa, it may fall and even die. But before the plant ever gets to this stage, it will alert you by changing the color of its leaves.

You can also cover the whole plant with plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse. However, that could cut off air circulation.

You should never increase the humidity level beyond 80% because it may cause condensation on the leaves and encourage mold growth.

The risk gets higher if you decide to mist the plant. The best way to control the humidity levels of your plant is to place a humidifier nearby.

Prevent Pests and Diseases

The swiss cheese plant is highly susceptible to pests and diseases. These plants become vulnerable to pest infestations during the winter months when they become dormant.

Temperature fluctuations can also lead to an elevated stress level, predisposing the plants to pest infestation.

The best way to prevent pests and diseases is to provide your Monstera plant with the best care. If you notice the presence of pests like scale and spider mites, you should take remedial steps immediately.

Use insecticidal soap to clear away the pests. You may also use essential oils, such as neem oil, to kill the pests and their eggs (before they have a chance of hatching). You can use rubbing alcohol to clear away pest infestation (during its early stages).

Once you have cleared away the pest colony, you must inspect the plant for signs of foliage damage. You may have to prune away damaged foliage because it may attract pests and diseases.

Try to nurse your Monstera plant back to health by providing it with the ideal growing conditions, as discussed in the article.

READ ALSO: Monstera species

Monstera Normal Growth vs. Leggy

big monstera plant in a living room

Leggy Monstera plants tend to have a long stem that takes away from their natural beauty. This usually occurs because of a lack of sunlight, causing the plant to stretch and move towards an area with more bright light. This leads to a leggy appearance characterized by sparse foliage and longer stems.

The container’s size also plays a role in the plant’s roots. Containers that get overcrowded with too many roots lead to abnormal growth patterns.

This is because the plant will struggle to absorb nutrients and moisture. If the healthy Monstera plant is kept in a small root, its roots will take up too much space.

This would prevent drainage, absorption of nutrients, and aeration of the soil. If you see any signs of overcrowded roots, you should repot your Monstera plant in a larger container.

Characteristics of a leggy Monstera

If your Monstera is ‘leggy,’ it simply means that it has gotten scraggly and unkempt, much like a bad haircut with too many split ends and grows out unevenly. Leggy monstera plants are marked by sparsely grown, uneven foliage and a general look of untidiness.

Causes of leggy Monstera

Legginess is caused by a lack of sunlight or a light source that doesn’t meet the Monstera plant’s needs. The stems elongate disproportionally because the plant desperately tries to gravitate toward a light source.

Fixing Leggy Monstera

The best way to fix a leggy Monstera plant is to prune them down to size. This will encourage new growth and restore your plant to its natural shape. Use sterilized pruning shears to trim any lanky stems (just above the node). After trimming the plant, you should water them well.

The soil around a high-light source tends to dry faster than the soil in low-light areas. So, make sure to adjust the water frequency accordingly. After a few weeks, your Monstera plant should look fuller and healthier.

Preventing Leggy Monstera

watering a Monstera Adansonii

There are four ways of preventing leggy plants, and they mostly involve fixing the light sources.

The first is to provide a bright indirect light source to your Monstera plant. Just because a window appears bright doesn’t mean that it provides enough light to grow Monstera plants. Your Monstera plants need to be placed near a window that experiences six to eight hours of sunlight daily.

If your home doesn’t receive enough direct light, you may need to provide artificial light. You can use a variety of artificial lights, including inexpensive fluorescent lights.

Use these light sources to provide at least 10 to 12 hours of light for your Monstera plants every day. You can use the help of a timer to make it easy to keep track of the exposure time without any additional effort.

It is worth noting that your supplemental light source needs to be kept near your houseplant so they aren’t stretching toward a light source.

How To Encourage my Monstera to branch?

leggy Monstera plants

To encourage plant growth in yogurt Monstera plants, you should trim or prune the plant. This may seem counterintuitive at first until you realize that the main shoot has deprived other branches of essential nutrients.

Prune your Monstera plants in the spring, making sure to cut the stem below a growth node with clean shears. You can place the new cutting in water to sprout new roots.

Another trick is to provide them with a moss pole because it encourages Monstera deliciosa plants to grow dense foliage. Gently place the moss pole in the soil next to the plant to train the Monstera vines.

The plant will attach to the pole using its aerial roots. You can use plant ties or a soft cloth to attach the stem to the pole. This would allow the plant to grow using its aerial roots.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     How do I prune a Monstera?

Pruning Monstera deliciosa plants will make them bushier by triggering new growth. Make sure to only use the proper tool for pruning Monstera plants.

The ideal cutting tools include garden scissors, long-reach pruners, and sharp gardening shears. Make sure to wear gardening gloves to avoid directly touching the plant.

The next step is to punch off dead foliage and stems from the plant. If you observe any root rot, pull them out and let the soil dry out before watering it. Always cut just before the leaf node to encourage new growth. Or, when dealing with bigger stems, cut as close to the main stem as possible. Never remove more than 25 % of the plant because it would be too stressful.

2.     How do I grow bigger leaves on my Monstera?

Sunlight is a primary factor in bigger leaves on Monstera plants. As discussed earlier, a lack of sunlight will always result in leggy, low-quality leaves. So, give your Monstera plants the light they need.

Each Monstera plant is different, but most species should thrive with six to eight hours of bright, indirect light. You can also use grow lights to provide your Monstera with more light. These artificial lights mimic the sun’s natural spectrum, so your Monstera plant won’t know the difference and will enjoy the extra light.

misting a big Monstera plant

3.     How to Propagate Healthy Monstera Plants

Propagating Monstera plants is easy. Simply divide the stem cuttings or root ball. The best time to make stem cuttings is in the growing season. Use one part humus-rich soil, one-part coarse organic matter, and one part vermiculite to encourage new growth. Make sure that the soil in Monstera’s pot is moist.

If you want new leaves to grow upright, give them something to grow on. A good choice is to use a moss pole to help provide a good support structure for your Monstera plant. A moss pole provides an organic form of support that will take advantage of Monstera’s aerial roots to help it grow upright.

4.     Why is My Monstera Growing Sideways?

Monstera plants often grow sideways because of an inadequate light source. As a result, the plant stretches to lean toward the light. This leads to abnormal growth.

5.     What Happens if Your Overwater Monstera Plants?

Giving too much water to Monstera plants will turn the leaves into an unsightly shade of yellow. Overwatering can cause irreparable damage to the plant and cause the root system to rot from the inside out.

6.     What are the Signs of an Unhappy Monstera?

Monstera plants that are unhappy will give you several signs to draw your attention to them. The most obvious of these is unattractive foliage with an unsightly shape. The leaves curl at the edges, turn a shade of yellow, and become brown at the edges. These are just a few examples that your Monstera plant needs help.

watering a Monstera pot

7.     Should I Cut Off the Aerial Roots?

If you don’t want aerial roots growing out of your Monstera plants, you can cut them off. This will not damage the plant. Make sure to only use a sterile cutting tool to prevent an infection.

The aerial root is essential for the Monstera to grow vertically. Therefore, ne careful not too cut too many off.

8.     How Often Should I Water My Monstera?

It is recommended to water your Monstera plants every 1 to 2 weeks. The soil should be allowed to dry out in between waterings. You can perform a finger test to see if the soil needs more water.

9.     What is the Lifespan of a Monstera

Monstera plants grow at a fast pace, but they don’t produce their characteristic fenestrations until they are fully mature. The average time for Monstera plants to produce beautiful holes and splits is anywhere from 2 to 3 years.