An important part of any plant care routine is pruning. Pruning removes leaves that are no longer benefiting the plant but are still using the plant’s resources. This frees up energy to support the healthy leaves and new growth! Pruning can also help you control a plant’s size and shape. So make sure to prune your monstera!
Pruning can also encourage your plant to grow and help you control where it puts out new leaves (and in the case of some plants, branches).
Pruning is extra important for your monstera because sometimes it needs a little extra help getting rid of dead or dying leaves.
Mostly, though, pruning is an important tool for controlling a monstera’s size. This plant gets huge! Monsteras can grow up to 30 feet outdoors and 10 feet indoors, which is significant if you live in an apartment with 8-foot ceilings.
“Monster” is in the name for a reason!
How to Prune Your Monstera
Luckily, pruning a monstera is pretty simple. They’re a hardy plant, so they don’t require a meticulous pruning process. In other words, your plant will most likely be fine if you don’t do a perfect job.
You’ll want to remember a few things, though:
1. Wear gloves. Monstera sap is toxic and can really irritate your skin, so make sure to wear protective gloves whenever you’re pruning or propagating your monstera.
2. Use a sharp, clean tool. Using sharp pruning shears or a knife ensures that you’ll get a nice, clean cut instead of crushing or bruising the stem. Clean tools also protect your plant from harmful bacteria. Bacterial infections are hard to treat and can even spread to your other plants! (Use our Houseplant Leaf Armor to protect your monstera from bacteria, fungus, and insects!)
When you cut, just give the stem a good snip or chop instead of sawing it off. This will ensure the cleanest cut.
3. Prune in the spring if possible, especially if you want to encourage growth. Most plants, monstera included, experience growth spurts in the spring and summer. You’ll get the best results by pruning in the spring, and your plant will recover faster. If you’re planning to propagate your cuttings, you’ll also want to prune in the spring when those cuttings will naturally grow faster.
4. Plan your cuts. Start by cutting any old or diseased leaves at the base of the stem.
If you’re pruning to encourage growth, cut where you want the plant to grow. If you want it to grow taller, cut at the top.
When you’re ready to actually prune your monstera, remember that pruning encourages growth, so make your cuts wisely. If you’re pruning to control your monstera’s size, you can safely cut the plant down to size. Just know it will grow back and you’ll need to do it again at some point!
5. If you’re propagating, make sure you cut below a node. If you’re pruning just to control your plant’s size or get rid of dead leaves, don’t worry about this. But if you want to propagate your cuttings, make sure that your cutting includes a node, which is a little nub that grows along the stem opposite a leaf. These will later turn into aerial roots when your cutting starts to grow!
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6. Avoid accidental propagation. When you’re finished pruning, make sure to throw your cuttings in the trash can if you aren’t propagating them, because they’ll take root if you throw them into a compost pile or anywhere else they can root in the ground.
That’s it! Pruning your monstera is a necessary but simple part of caring for this plant, so don’t be nervous! This plant grows quickly and recovers well from pruning. Good luck!
To learn more:
- Sign up for our free Ultimate Monstera Webinar.
- Subscribe to our newsletter.
- Click to join our community on Facebook: Monstera Plant Resource Group.
- Read our Ultimate Monstera Watering Guide here.
- Be sure to grab your essentials here: Monstera Plant Food, 3-in-1 Moisture Meter, Premium Potting Soil, Houseplant Leaf Armor (which protects your houseplant from bacteria, fungus, and insects—and also cleans and adds shine to its leaves!)
- Looking to shop for plants online? Our trusted partners at Houseplantshop.com grow high-quality plants here in California and ship directly to you. Shop online now!