Dealing With A Leggy Monstera? Here’s How To Fix It

Have you noticed that your Monstera plants are starting to look a bit leggy?

Perhaps the leaves are growing in more sparsely, or the stems are getting longer and more spindly between each leaf, giving the plant a stretched or elongated appearance.

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Monstera leaves and stems

If you’re recognizing these symptoms in your beloved houseplants, then we have some potentially concerning news — your Monstera may be facing a growth problem.

This guide will provide you with valuable information about why your Monstera might be getting leggy and what you can do about it.

Read on to find out how to bring your plants back to their lush, vibrant best.

Dealing With A Leggy Monstera? Here's How To Fix It - 1600X900

Signs of a Leggy Plant

Legginess in a plant is a term used to describe a plant’s disproportionate growth, where it becomes tall and spindly with excessive stem length and few leaves.

This is often a sign that the plant is not receiving optimal growing conditions and is trying to reach more favorable conditions.

In the case of Monstera, a leggy appearance can detract from its naturally bushy and vibrant aesthetic.

How to Deal With a Leggy Plant

Here are some common reasons why your Monstera might become leggy and what you can do to remedy the situation.

1. Lack of Light

Monstera Deliciosa originates from the understories of tropical forests where they receive high levels of indirect light.

beautiful monstera

They’re adapted to thrive in these conditions, and when they don’t receive enough light, they will stretch, or etiolate, towards the nearest light source, resulting in long stems and fewer leaves.

Read here for light requirements: Monstera Lighting Guide: The Secret To Unleashing Lush Greenery

Solution 1: Improve the Natural Light Conditions

Move your Monstera to a place in your home where it will receive bright, filtered light.

Eastern and northern facing windows are usually ideal.

Remember, though the plant needs plenty of light, it should be indirect, as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.

Solution 2: Use Artificial Lights

Invest in an artificial light source if you can’t provide enough natural light.

Check out this adjustable LED grow lights on Amazon.

A fluorescent or LED grow light can supplement or even replace natural light, helping your Monstera to thrive.

These lights can be particularly helpful during the darker winter months.

2. Over-Fertilizing

Monsteras need nutrients to grow, but overdoing it can lead to rapid, leggy growth.

Chopstick fertilizer in soil

This is because the excess nutrients speed up the plant’s growth, but without adequate light, the growth is directed towards the stems instead of the leaves.

Here’s a fertilizer guide: 4 Best Fertilizers For Monstera: Unleash Monstera’s Luxurious Growth

Solution 1: Follow a Balanced Fertilizing Schedule

Monsteras typically need to be fertilized once a month during the growing season (spring and summer).

Use a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer, and always dilute it to half the recommended strength to avoid fertilizer burn.

Solution 2: Flush the Soil

If you suspect you’ve over-fertilized your Monstera, flushing the soil can help.

This involves watering the plant thoroughly until water runs out the bottom of the pot, then repeating this a few times to wash away excess nutrients.

3. Inadequate Pruning

Without pruning, a Monstera will grow in whatever direction it pleases, which can lead to legginess.

Woman propagating Adanson's monstera plant from leaf cutting in water. Water propagation for indoor plants.

Pruning helps maintain the plant’s shape, and promotes bushier growth by encouraging the plant to grow more leaves.

Solution 1: Prune Your Monstera Regularly to Maintain Its Shape

When pruning, cut just above a leaf node (the bumps on the stem where leaves grow from).

The plant will then be encouraged to grow a new branch from this point, resulting in a fuller plant.

Solution 2: Drastic Pruning

If your Monstera is extremely leggy, consider a more drastic pruning.

This will involve cutting back the plant significantly, but don’t worry, Monsteras are resilient and will regrow.

4. Incorrect Pot Size

Monsteras need room to grow, but too much room can encourage leggy growth.

Monstera plant being repotted

This is because the plant will focus energy on growing roots to fill the large pot, at the expense of foliage growth.

Solution 1: Ensure your Monstera is in the Right Size Pot

When repotting, choose a pot that is only 2-3 inches larger in diameter than the current one.

This gives the plant room to grow without encouraging leggy growth.

Solution 2: Downsize the Pot

If you’ve recently repotted your Monstera into a much larger pot and it’s become leggy, consider downsizing the pot.

This can help refocus the plant’s energy on growing foliage instead of roots.

5. Low Humidity

Monsteras prefer warm temperatures and high humidity, similar to their natural habitat in the tropical rainforests.

They prefer a humidity level between 40% to 60% for optimal growth. The plant requires humidity to undergo photosynthesis effectively.

Humidifier and a monstera plant

If the humidity level falls below 40%, the plant will dry out faster, and the leaves may start turning yellow or brown.

Conversely, if the humidity level rises above 60%, water can start to condense on the leaves, leading to rot, mold, and fungus​.

If the air is too dry or the temperature too cold, the plant might respond by growing leggy in an attempt to reach their desired humidity levels.

Read here for more information on humidity requirements: 5 Key Ways Humidity Boosts Your Monstera’s Health

Solution 1: Misting

You can mist your Monstera plant a few times a day or every one to two days, depending on your local climate.

However, misting alone will not be sufficient for their humidity needs if the relative humidity is below 40%.

Misting also has some drawbacks, such as the potential for pest infestation and fungal diseases.

Solution 2: Use a Humidifier

A humidifier can be a more effective solution to maintain a consistent humidity level in the room where the Monstera is kept.

However, you need to be mindful that high levels of humidity (60% and above) can damage your home and lead to mold growth.

6. Incorrect Temperature Levels

Monsteras prefer warm temperatures between 68–86° F.

They can continue to grow in slightly lower temperatures, but below 55° F, a Monstera’s growth will slow down, and temperatures below 50° F can shock and kill the plant​.

Solution 1: Maintain Room Temperature

Try to maintain a room temperature between 68–86° F for optimal growth of the Monstera plant.

Solution 2: Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Avoid placing your Monstera plant near sources of extreme temperature like heating vents, air conditioners, or open windows during cold weather.

Patience and Consistency

It might feel overwhelming at first, but remember, the key to successful plant care is patience and consistency.

With the right knowledge and practices, you can help your Monstera reclaim its lush, tropical glory.

Don’t be discouraged if progress seems slow; plants operate on their own timeline.

Keep applying these tips and solutions, and you’ll soon see positive changes.