Monstera Plants: 11 Things You Should Know

The Monstera plant is a popular and easy-to-care-for houseplant that is special for a lot of reasons.

With its beautiful leaves and exotic appearance, this plant turns any home into a paradise.

By understanding your Monstera plant, you can keep it happy and healthy!

Here’re 11 things you need to know about the Monstera plant.

Monstera leaf

1. How to make a Monstera fuller?

It can be really frustrating to see your Monstera plant grow long and leggy instead of full and compact.

By pruning the Monstera, it will grow fuller and more compact. New growth will emerge from the nearest node where you cut the stem. You can also make the plant appear fuller by staking it. Use an upright stake which you push into the soil and fasten the plant to it using plant ties or a thin rope.

Pruning can best be done in the spring because new growth will occur in this season which will make the Monstera recover faster.

A moss pole is a great stake for a Monstera plant.

2. Will Monstera grow back after cutting?

So, you just took a cutting from your Monstera plant, and what now? Will the plant ever grow back those beautiful and big leaves or will it be doomed forever?

Well, don’t you worry, because the Monstera has magic powers and will grow back all its lost leaves and stems (at least if you care for it in the right way)!

After cutting the Monstera it will create a new growing point from the nearest node where the cut was made. Within a few months, the part of the plant that you cut away will have completely grown back.

The rate that the plant will grow in depends on factors like light, water, soil, humidity, and fertilization.

3. How long do Monstera plants live?

It’s uncertain to say how long Monstera plants can live because there is no specific lifespan for these plants. How old these plants can get is determined by their genetics. However, there are many reports on the internet from gardeners that claim to have Monstera plants that are 40+ years old.

Keep in mind, when it comes to living things, nothing will live forever!

4. Where will a new leaf grow out from a Monstera cutting?

Now that we know the Monstera will grow back after taking a cutting or pruning it. Next, we are going to dig deeper and find out from what part of the cutting a new leaf will grow.

A new leaf will grow from a stem, which emerges from the node of the cutting. If the cutting doesn’t contain a node, there will not grow a new leaf from it.

To ensure that there will grow a new leaf from your cutting, here’s a little tutorial on how you can take the perfect cutting.

  1. Look for a healthy stem with at least one node, one leaf and (helpfull but not neccesary) one aerial root
  2. Cut one inch below the node
  3. Now place the cutting in a clear glass with water
  4. Submerge the node (and aerial root) in water
  5. Place cutting in bright indirect sunlight
  6. Replace the water every week
  7. See the roots grow

5. What can I do with leggy Monstera?

Some people don’t like the look of a leggy Monstera. If you’re one of those people, there are a couple of things you can do to make the plant less leggy.

Keep in mind that the Monstera is a vining plant that doesn’t naturally grow upright.

You can keep the Monstera in control by pruning it and cutting away the leggy stems. New growth will appear at the nearest node of the cutting. Another way to deal with a leggy Monstera is by staking it. By fastening the leggy parts of the plant to a pole, it will look more compact.

6. Can Monstera live in water forever?

I think the real question here is whether the Monstera is able to survive or thrive in water.

The Monstera can survive and even thrive in only water, but you need to change the water frequently, clean the soil from roots before putting the plant in water, and use a hydroponics fertilizer.

Monstera plants can adapt to growing in just water. Many people keep cuttings in vases for years without problems. However, in water, your Monstera will not grow as fast as it would in good soil.

Be sure to place the Monstera in bright indirect sunlight!

7. What do you do with damaged Monstera leaves?

I think we can all agree that a Monstera without damaged leaves looks healthier than one with damaged leaves. So should you cut these leaves off or let the plant handle them?

Plants are good at managing their own damaged leaves. Even if the leaves of the Monstera are damages, the plant will still collect resources from that leaf. It is not necessary to do anything about the leaves. However, it won’t hurt the plant if you cut away the damaged leaves.

When cutting away the damaged parts, cut one inch (2,5 cm) above the nearest node (the point on the stem where a new stem and leaf grows).

If you cut away the damaged leaves (including stems), new growth will occur from the nearest node.

Tip: If you don’t want to throw away the damaged leaf, you can put the stem in a vase with water. The leaf will keep in the same condition for a couple of months. You only have to change the water regularly to keep it fresh! Unfortunately, you are not able to propagate a cutting without a node.

In the picture above you can see two leaf nodes. If you want to trim away a dead leaf, it’s best to cut one inch (2.5 cm) above the node. For example, in the picture above, the white lines indicate possible cuts.

8. What do you do with a broken Monstera stem?

Your monstera stem snapped… What now?

Unfortunately, you can’t save that stem including the leaves that are attached to it. Remove the broken Monstera stem by cutting one inch (2,5 cm) above the nearest node. A new growing point will appear at that node and within a couple of months, a new stem with leaves has grown.

If you don’t want to throw away the damaged leaf, you can put the stem in a vase with water. This way you will still be able to enjoy the leaf for at least a couple of months. Don’t forget to change the water regularly to keep the leaf fresh.

9. Does Monstera release oxygen at night?

Any organism in the world needs oxygen in order to survive. Plants release a lot of this precious oxygen! But what about during the night?

Monstera plants release oxygen when photosynthesis takes place. During the night, there is no photosynthesis because there is no sun. During the night, only respiration continues, meaning the plant will take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

Plants are great at purifying the air at home and releasing a lot of oxygen for us! All they need is water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight!

10. Is the Monstera toxic to rabbits or birds?

All parts of the Monstera plant contain calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to rabbits and birds. Exposure and digestion can cause pain and swelling of the mouth and esophagus, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

If your rabbit or bird pet has one or more of these symptoms after eating parts of the Montera plant, it is best to call the vet.

The fruit of the monstera shouldn’t be eaten until ripe, which is approximately 1 year after picking.

11. How to recover a Monstera from sunburn?

In some cases, Monsteras look a little bit like humans. If we stay in the direct sun for too long without protection, we get sunburnt. If the Monstera is exposed to too much direct sunlight, it also gets sunburnt.

Direct sunlight and too much heat will break down the chlorophyll inside the leaves. The damage will appear as pale, bleached, or faded areas. After some time, these burnt areas become brown and brittle.

Any plant that gets sunburnt will not be able to recover the damaged parts. If your Monstera got sunburnt you can trim away the damaged parts. To remove the damaged parts, cut the stem one inch (2.5 cm) above the nearest node. Water the plant like you would normally and avoid direct sunlight.

If you don’t know where the node of the plant is, scroll up to the example image in the middle of this post.

Final thoughts

Growing Monstera plants is a learning curve where there are (almost) unlimited things to learn! From pests to sunburns, there is still a lot to discover in the world of Monsteras.

Knowing about these tips will help you care for your plants better and keep your plants happy!

I hope these tips & tricks were helpful! If they were, share this post so it reaches the mass!

If you liked this post, also check out Care and Grow Guide for Alocasia maharani (Grey Dragon)