What to Do When Monstera Gets Too Big: Effective Pruning and Care Tips

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If you’re a proud owner of a Monstera Deliciosa, you may find yourself in a situation where the plant has grown too large for its pot or your living space. As a popular houseplant, Monsteras can grow quite quickly and require proper care and attention to ensure they maintain a healthy and manageable size.

When your Monstera becomes too big, there are several options available to address its increased size. Pruning, redirecting growth, and providing adequate support are essential steps in promoting the plant’s overall health and maintaining a desired appearance. In this article, we’ll explore various approaches to handle an overgrown Monstera and help you choose the best course of action for your situation.

Assessing Your Monstera’s Size

Identifying Signs of Overgrowth

One of the first things to notice when your Monstera is getting too big is if its leaves start to overshadow its surroundings or if its roots have begun to push through the pot’s drainage holes. Another sign of overgrowth may be if the plant becomes top-heavy, making it difficult to support its own weight.

Measuring Monstera’s Dimensions

To properly assess the size of your Monstera, you should measure its height, width, and the length of its aerial roots. Height can be determined by measuring the distance from the soil surface to the tallest point of the plant. Width can be established by measuring the widest point of the plant, usually determined by the spread of its leaves. Lastly, measure the length of the longest aerial root, which will give you an indication of your Monstera’s growth needs.

Pruning Techniques

Proper Tools and Preparation

When preparing to prune a Monstera, it is crucial to gather the appropriate tools, such as sterilized scissors, to prevent infections. Using dish soap or alcohol helps to ensure the tools are clean and ready for the task. Additionally, wearing gardening gloves can protect your hands during the process.

Cutting Methods and Strategies

To prune your overgrown Monstera, start by removing any damaged, old, or diseased leaves. Trim congested areas to promote better airflow and reduce the risk of pests or diseases. Stretched leaves can be clipped back, and long aerial roots should be trimmed or reattached to a support, such as a moss pole or trellis.

Caring for Pruned Areas

After pruning, it is essential to monitor the plant for any signs of stress or infection. Keep an eye on the areas where cuts were made, and ensure your Monstera receives proper care, such as adequate water and light, to encourage healthy regrowth and recovery from the pruning process.

Propagation Options

If your Monstera plant is getting too big, propagation is an excellent solution. Through propagation, you can create new, smaller plants that are easier to manage. In this section, we’ll explore the two main propagation methods: preparing cuttings and growing new Monstera plants.

Preparing Cuttings

First, you will need to take a 4- to 6-inch cutting from a healthy stem of your Monstera. Make sure to cut it ¼ to ½ inch below a node, and remove all but two or three healthy leaves. This will ensure that your cutting has the best chance for successful propagation.

Growing New Monstera Plants

Once you have a cutting prepared, you can choose between water or soil propagation. For water propagation, simply place the cutting in clear water and change the water every few days. Monitor the growth of the roots and transfer the cutting to a pot with well-draining soil once the roots are about 1-2 inches long.

For soil propagation, choose a plant pot large enough to support the size of your cutting and fill it with fresh, well-draining potting soil. Plant the cutting, ensuring the node is covered with soil, and maintain adequate moisture until the plant establishes itself.

Regardless of the propagation method used, ensure that your new plants receive sufficient light, water, and nutrients to encourage growth and prevent potential issues.

Support Structures

As your Monstera plant grows larger, supporting its structure becomes essential for its health and aesthetics. This section covers different types of support structures, how to choose between stakes or trellises, and the installation and maintenance process to ensure a sturdy and flourishing Monstera plant. To help the Monstera grow well and maintain its shape, it is important to provide suitable support structures.

Choosing Stakes or Trellises

When deciding between stakes and trellises, consider the size of your plant and the space available. Stakes, such as moss poles or garden stakes, are suitable for smaller plants, whereas trellises work better for larger, mature Monsteras. In either case, the support should be sturdy enough to bear the weight of the plant and tall enough to accommodate its growth.

Installation and Maintenance

For stakes, gently insert them into the plant’s pot, making sure not to damage the root system. Tie the plant loosely to the stake using soft ties, allowing some room for growth. For trellises, position them near the plant and train the plant to grow around the structure, using ties if needed. Regularly check your Monstera plant to ensure it is growing in the desired direction, adjusting ties and supports as necessary. Remember to be gentle when handling the plant to avoid damaging the leaves or stem.

Repotting Considerations

When and How to Repot

Repotting your Monstera should be done when you notice the plant has outgrown its current pot or when the soil no longer provides adequate drainage. Carefully remove the plant from its pot, gently tease the roots, and proceed with the repotting process.

Selecting the Right Pot Size

Choosing an appropriate pot size is crucial for the health of your Monstera. Opt for a pot that is one or two sizes larger than its current container, as too large of a pot can lead to overwatering and root rot.

Potting Soil Recommendations

A well-draining potting soil is essential for Monstera plants to prevent overwatering and promote healthy root growth. Consider using a mix of regular potting soil and perlite or orchid bark to achieve the required drainage and aeration.