The Monstera species are popular houseplants. Growing a Monstera indoors has its fair share of problems. Many users complain, “My Monstera is growing sideways,” and often look for solutions to the problem.
Read here to learn why your Monstera grows sideways and what you can do about it.
Why Is My Monstera Growing Sideways?
Several factors can cause your Monstera plant to grow sideways. Therefore, you must determine each possibility individually to locate the problem for an effective solution.
Growth Habits of Monstera Deliciosa
One of the essential components of a Monstera’s growth is its habits and characteristics. To understands the reason for the horizontal growth of the Monstera deliciosa, you must first understand its habits.
The Monstera deliciosa is a tropical plant found in the rainforest of Central and South America.
The deliciosa plant crawls on the forest floor in the wild with its adventitious roots in its natural habitat. The mature Monstera deliciosa finds a tree trunk to grow on using its aerial roots. Therefore, the plant is hemiepiphytic by nature.
In simple terms, the Monstera deliciosa can grow sideways and upwards.
Growth Characteristics of the Monstera
Monstera is known for its unique growth habit and characteristics. In the Monstera species, the deliciosa plant is one of the biggest and can grow up to 15 feet tall indoors. However, that is if it has the right conditions.
The Monstera plants grow a single thick stem that acts as a vine. The vine consists of several internodes from which other smaller vines emerge, and new aerial roots grow. The aerial roots would anchor the plant to the support in their natural environment.
However, in the absence of support to anchor to, the Monstera would continue to grow sideways, and adventitious roots would crawl on the floor.
Another reason this occurs is that the pot holding the Monstera is too small. A mature Monstera deliciosa is known for its fast growth, growing a couple of feet yearly, while a baby Monstera tends to grow quicker.
Therefore, if the pot is too small, the Monstera will grow out of the plant and crawl on the ground, looking for space.
How Do I Fix A Monstera Plant Growing Sideways?
Fortunately, your Monstera growing sideways is a manageable problem. You can do several things to ensure that your Monstera grows straight instead of sideways.
Should I Straighten My Monstera?
There are several reasons why a Monstera growing sideways can create a problem for you and your Monstera and why you should straighten it. Some of the most important reasons to straighten the Monstera deliciosa include:
· It’s cleaner. A Monstera growing sideways looks messy and clumped together. Moreover, it causes soil to fall on the floor.
· It has more aesthetic appeal. Straightening the Monstera deliciosa allows the plant to show its characteristics in all its glory. From their fenestrations to their large leaves, everything is in full display to be admired.
· It replicated the natural habitat of the Monstera deliciosa. Since Monstera is accustomed to growing on tree trunks, they grow better when they are straight.
· They receive more light. A Monstera plant growing sideways tends to block the bright sunlight for the lower leaves. However, a straightened Monstera allows all the leaves to get enough light.
· It’s easier to mist the Monstera. Misting the Monstera is crucial to keep it healthy. However, misting a Monstera growing sideways can be insufficient and messy.
· It protects the Monstera. On the ground, the Monstera is prone to attacks from insects and pets. Moreover, you are also in danger as a sideways-growing Monstera is a tripping hazard.
How Do I Straighten My Monstera Plant?
The best way to straighten Monstera is by using a stake. A stake acts as a base for the aerial roots to attach to so the Monstera deliciosa can climb.
The stake can be made from materials such as PVC or bamboo wood. However, what is important is what the stake is covered. You could also use a trellis. However, it is not perfect indoors.
Sphagnum Moss Pole
Most commonly, a moss pole is used to straighten a Monstera plan. The moss pole consists of a stake covered with sphagnum moss made from a natural material.
Sphagnum moss is an excellent material to use for the stake. Not only does it have good water retention and moisture abilities, but it can also nourish the Monstera to help it grow.
Coco Coir Pole
Besides a moss pole, a coconut coir pole is another popular choice for staking a Monstera. This stake is covered with a thread-like structure called coco coir, made from the coconut’s husk.
Coco coir has excellent water retaining abilities and helps moisture the plant. Moreover, the environmentally friendly, plant-based material is less costly and more readily available than the sphagnum moss pole.
How Do I Attach A Monstera To A Moss Pole?
Now that you know the choices, you must know how to attach your Monstera to a moss pole. While the process is not complicated, it requires careful maneuvering to avoid damaged roots.
Follow the steps below to attach a Monstera deliciosa to a moss pole.
Step 1: Get a New Pot and Fill it with soil.
You will first need to get a new pot for your Monstera. Choose a pot that is big enough to handle the weight of a mature Monstera and has appropriate drainage holes. Generally, a big clay pot works best for the Monstera deliciosa.
Fill the pot halfway with a soil mix. You can use a commercially available potting mix for aroid plants. Generally, Monstera deliciosa prefers slightly acidic and well-draining soil, such as loam.
Step 2: Place the Moss pole and Monstera Root Ball in the Pot
Once the pot is half full, place the moss pole in the middle and add more soil. Make sure the stake is held firmly within the soil.
Then, carefully place the Monstera root ball in the soil. This is the most delicate part of the process. As Monstera roots are sensitive, you must ensure they are not damaged. Cover the roots with soil.
Step 3: Attach the Main Vine
The next step is more straightforward. You must locate the main vine of the Monstera deliciosa. Monstera is a vining plant that grows and spreads out. This is the step with the most internodes from which new roots and Monstera leave emerge.
The main vine is thicker and browner than other vines. Once you have located the main vine, carefully put it over the moss poles.
Attach the Monstera stem carefully using plant ties or rope to avoid damaging the aerial roots.
Step 4: Attach the Other Monstera Vines and Aerial Roots
Once the main wine is attached, you must accordingly attach the other vines to the moss pole. You can use the same method to tie them using garden ties, rope, or plastic zip ties.
The Monstera’s aerial roots will anchor the Monstera, so the plant grows straight. As aerial root growth increases, the Monstera will climb.
Step 5: Water The Monstera
This is the most nerve-wracking part of the process. Since Monstera is extremely sensitive to changes in the atmosphere, they tend to go into stress.
Therefore, it is crucial to provide the Monstera with more water, temperature, and humidity than you would for other plants. Monstera prefers moist soil. The softer it is, the easier the roots grow.
You can mist the plant regularly to ensure humidity. When misting, ensure that you have covered the entire pole.
How Do I Make A Moss Pole?
You can get a moss pole from any gardening center. However, you can also do it yourself. DIV moss poles are easy to do and do not require much material. The things you will need include:
· A stake that is at least 2 feet taller than your Monstera deliciosa. The pole can be made from wood, PVC, bamboo stake, or metal.
· Sphagnum moss
· Bowl of water
· String, wire, rope, or twine.
To make a DIY moss pole, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Put the Moss in Water
To make a moss pole, you must first soak the sphagnum moss in the water bowl for at least 20 minutes. This allows the moss to absorb water. The procedure would be similar if you used coconut coir, but sphagnum moss has better water-retaining abilities.
Step 2: Attach the String or Wire to the Top of the Stake
While your moss soaks, attach a string or wire to the top of your stake. You can tie a knot and wrap it to ensure it is held in place and does not come loose.
Step 3: Cover the Stake with Sphagnum Moss
Once your moss is done soaking, use it to cover the stake. Gently cover the pole with moss and wrap with using the string.
You must ensure that the moss is placed evenly around the stake and is not thicker than two inches. Cover the entire stake except for the last foot at the bottom. That is the part where the moss pole will stick in the pot. Hence, you do not have to cover it.
Tie the string or wire at the bottom to ensure it does not come loose. Soon, new stems will emerge and climb on the sturdy support.
Step 4: Repotting
You can repeat the steps above when you repot. However, repotting requires proper care to encourage growth and keep the Monstera happy. Therefore, use a bigger stake when you repot the plant with a bigger pot.
When to Stake Monstera Deliciosa
At the juvenile stage, you do not have to stake your Monstera. This is because the Monstera is not big enough for upright growth. Even if you were to stake it, it would not climb.
Therefore, you must wait until the plant matures and shows signs that it wants to climb. Some of the signs include:
· The Monstera is around two years old
· The Monstera deliciosa is developing aerial roots
· The Monstera is growing out of its pot
· The Monstera is growing sideways
Tips to Keep Your Monstera Plants Growing Straight
Just because you added a stake to your Monstera does not mean you are done. You must keep several things in mind to ensure that the Monstera plant continues to climb straight and does not grow sideways.
Some of the factors to consider are:
· Light: Keep the Monstera away from the bright direct sun. This is because it could cause leaf burning, creating brown leaves. Moreover, it sucks away the moisture of the plant.
· Temperature: Monstera generally prefers warmer climates, so you can not keep it outside in the winter. Provide the Monstera with around 60 degrees Fahrenheit to promote growth.
· Pruning: It is essential to prune your Monstera deliciosa to ensure that it keeps the shape you desire. You can trim any branches growing sideways. Use gardening shears or scissors to cut off any unwanted plant parts, such as yellowing leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do Monsteras Need Support To Grow Upright?
Monstera grows on trees in tropical rainforests. This is because these tropical plants possess aerial roots that anchor the plant. Since growing upright goes against the pull of gravity, and the Monstera vine does not have the required strength to keep it as such, it requires support to grow. Therefore, it is essential to provide support to the Monstera plants.
You can also use hanging baskets for added support. These specifically designed baskets allow Monstera to grow and encourage growth.
2. When Do I Stake My Monstera Plant?
You can use moss poles or coco coir poles to stake your Monstera. The stake can be made from PVC pipe, wood, or bamboo. Moreover, you can also use a garden trellis to help your Monstera climb. However, you might be unable to use a trellis to grow the plant indoors.
While a moss stick is popular, a coco coir pole is more readily available. Moreover, the support can help keep the Monstera upright.
3. Why Does My Monstera Keep Falling Over?
The Monstera deliciosa is known for its large size. The heavy weight of the Monstera causes the pot to topple over. This is especially the case if your Monstera is growing on one side.
Therefore, while it is essential to train your Monstera to climb, you must also ensure the Monstera plants start climbing appropriately so they do not succumb under their own weight.
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.