The Reason Your Monstera Isn’t Climbing (& How To Support It)

Monstera in a pot

Monstera plants, with their large, distinctive leaves and robust nature, are popular among indoor gardeners for good reason. However, you might have noticed that your Monstera isn’t climbing as it should, leaving you with long, leggy stems and a less-than-ideal appearance.

Worry not, as we’ll be exploring the possible reasons for this issue and what you can do to help your Monstera thrive again.

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First, it’s important to understand the natural growth pattern of Monstera plants. In the wild, these plants are excellent climbers that use their aerial roots for support as they make their way up trees and other structures.

The Reason Your Monstera Isn't Climbing (& How To Support It)

As a result, they require a little assistance when growing indoors, such as the introduction of a supportive structure like a moss pole or trellis to help guide their growth. In addition, be mindful of providing your Monstera with proper lighting, water, and humidity to ensure it stays happy and healthy.

That being said, it’s possible that your Monstera’s lack of climbing could be due to a few factors that aren’t so easily fixed, such as incorrect pot size, insufficient nutrients, or an overcrowded environment.

In these cases, we will delve deeper into the factors behind your plant’s struggle and how you can remedy the situation to get your Monstera climbing again.

The Importance of a Support Structure for Monstera

Climbing monstera

Natural Climbing Habit

Monstera, including the popular species Monstera deliciosa, are tropical plants with a natural growth habit of climbing. In their natural habitat, these plants use their roots to cling to trees and other structures for support.

The aerial roots absorb moisture and nutrients from the surrounding environment, while the base roots anchor the plant in the soil. Providing a support structure for your monstera can encourage its climbing habit and allow it to grow more naturally.

Preventing Imbalance and Unhealthy Growth

Without proper support, monstera vines can become imbalanced or experience unhealthy growth. For instance, if the plant doesn’t have a structure to climb, it may grow outward instead of upward, resulting in an uneven distribution of energy. This might cause a lack of fenestrations or less vigorous foliage.

You can mitigate these issues and promote healthy and balanced growth by providing a support structure for your monstera.

Aesthetic Benefits

Lastly, there are aesthetic benefits to providing support for your monstera. A climbing monstera is more striking and visually appealing, showcasing its impressive foliage and unique fenestrations.

Monstera on a pole

Additionally, a well-supported monstera takes up less floor space, which can be especially helpful for those with limited room to dedicate to their plants. With good care, including proper light, soil, and a support structure, your monstera will thrive and become an eye-catching centerpiece in your space.

Types of Support Structures for Monstera

When your Monstera isn’t climbing, it’s vital to introduce support structures that will help it thrive.

In this section, we’ll cover several support structures, including moss poles, bamboo stakes, wooden trellises, and DIY options.

Moss Poles

Moss poles are one of the most popular support structures for Monsteras. To make a moss pole, you will need a pole, sphagnum moss, and twine. Begin by wrapping the pole with moss and securing it with twine as you go. The moss provides natural climbers, simulating the environment Monsteras grow in.

When installing a moss pole, ensure it is inserted firmly into the soil. You can also secure it to a wall or window to provide additional support. Be sure to maintain humidity levels around the moss pole, as Monsteras thrive in high-humidity environments.

Bamboo Stakes

Bamboo stakes are an affordable and eco-friendly option for supporting your Monstera.

Insert several stakes into the soil around your plant, ensuring they are tall enough to accommodate your plant’s growth.

bamboo trellis for monstera

Use soft ties or twine to attach your Monstera to the stakes, allowing the plant to climb up the structure.

Wooden Trellises

Wooden trellises offer a sturdy support structure for your Monstera to climb. You can find wooden trellises at most garden stores or create your custom design using wood slats in a crosshatch pattern.

Place the trellis near a window to allow your Monstera access to plenty of natural light. Secure the trellis to a wall or place it on the floor, then gently guide your Monstera’s aerial roots towards the structure for it to climb.

DIY Options

If you’re feeling creative, you can explore DIY options to support your Monstera’s climbing needs. A simple DIY option is a PVC pipe with holes drilled into it, allowing your Monstera’s aerial roots to weave in and out of the structure. You can also create a climbing wall with anchored hooks and twine, similar to a trellis.

Another unique DIY option is a coco coir pole, which involves wrapping a PVC pipe or wooden pole with a coco coir and securing it with twine. This provides a similar environment to a moss pole but with a different material.

Providing the right support structure can dramatically improve your Monstera’s growth and overall health. Choose the option that suits your space and preferences, and enjoy watching your Monstera thrive.

How to Encourage Monstera to Climb

Proper Installation of Support Structure

You’ll need to install the right structure to support your Monstera plant’s growth. A moss pole or wooden trellis will work well.

When choosing the support, consider the size of your plant and ensure it’s sturdy enough to bear its weight. To install the pole or trellis, press it into the soil near your Monstera, being careful not to damage the root system. It’s best to place the support at the time of repotting to minimize root disturbance.

Training and Pruning

Begin by gently tying your Monstera’s main stem to the support using plant ties, ensuring that it does not constrict the plant. As your plant grows, continue to tie the new growth to the pole or trellis, guiding the plant vertically.

It’s essential to prune your Monstera occasionally. Use clean pruning shears to remove unhealthy or unruly growth.

pruning monstera

Pruning helps redirect energy to stronger branches, resulting in a more robust climbing plant. Focus on trimming any crowded branches, weak stems, or growth that seems to be straying from the support.

Intentional Placement of Aerial Roots

Aerial roots play a crucial role in helping your Monstera climb. Encourage aerial roots to develop, maintain adequate moisture in the soil, and provide a humid environment.

If you notice aerial roots growing towards your plant’s support, gently place them onto the pole or trellis, allowing them to wrap around the structure. When repotting, add a well-draining potting mix that retains moisture but prevents overly soggy roots.

Environment and Care for Climbing

To ensure your Monstera thrives, place it near a window with bright, indirect light. Exposure to direct sunlight may result in scorched leaves.

Monitor the temperature in the room, aiming for a range between 65°F-85°F. Regularly checking the water, temperature, and light source will contribute to healthier growth and stronger aerial roots, leading to a successful climbing plant.

Maintaining a Climbing Monstera

Watering and Feeding Tips

You should find the right balance of water and nutrients to keep your Monstera plant healthy and promote climbing growth. Water your Monstera when the top inch of soil feels dry, which is typically once a week. Be sure to drain any excess water to prevent root rot.

watering monstera

Feed your Monstera with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength every month during the growing season. Make sure to include micronutrients essential for healthy growth and climbing behavior.

Air Circulation and Humidity Requirements

Monstera plants, being native to tropical rainforests, thrive in environments with high humidity and good air circulation.

Maintain a relative humidity of around 60% for your plant. You can achieve this by placing a tray of water with pebbles near your plant, misting the leaves regularly, or using a humidifier. Ensure proper air circulation by placing your Monstera in a location with light air movement.

Light and Temperature Considerations

Light and temperature play significant roles in Monstera plants’ growth and climbing behavior. They prefer to grow in bright, indirect sunlight.

An east-facing window is an ideal spot, as it provides gentle morning light. Too much direct sunlight can cause scorching on the leaves, while insufficient light may inhibit growth.

Read more: Grow Lights for Monstera: How To Get Your Indoor Plant To Thrive

Maintain the room temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage climbing. Avoid placing your plant near cold drafts or vents, as fluctuating temperatures can stress your Monstera, deterring its growth and climbing habits.

Dealing with Monstera That Refuse to Climb

Addressing Underlying Issues

First, assess your monstera’s care routine. Ensure it receives the appropriate amount of light – it should be placed near a bright window but not in direct sunlight.

Monitor the humidity around your monstera plant, as it thrives in humid environments. Consider placing a humidifier nearby or misting the leaves regularly.

Examine the plant’s roots and consider repotting if they show signs of being rootbound.

Monstera plants are known for their rapid growth and may require larger pots to accommodate their expanding root systems. When repotting, it’s a good opportunity to add a support structure, such as a coco coir pole, to encourage climbing.

Alternative Support Methods

If your monstera still doesn’t climb, don’t worry – there are other support methods you can try. Wall mountings or bookshelves can provide additional surfaces for trailing plants. Secure the monstera’s aerial roots to the supports with gentle ties, taking care not to damage the plant.

Consider pruning any long or trailing growth to encourage upward growth. To do this, use clean, sharp tools and trim unwanted vines near the base. This can stimulate the plant to direct its energy towards climbing.

Remember, patience is key when it comes to houseplant care – your monstera may need some time to adjust to its new support system and care routine.

With a little attention and the right conditions, your monstera should eventually begin to climb and thrive as a beautiful, popular houseplant.