What’s The Right Time To Prune Your Monstera?

Your Monstera has likely become a prominent feature in your home with its large, glossy leaves and unique fenestrations. But at some point, your beloved Monstera will start to overgrow its designated space.

You may start thinking about pruning it to manage the overgrowth or perhaps simply aiming to encourage healthier growth and keep your plant in top shape.

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What's The Right Time To Prune Your Monstera?

But don’t start snipping on the extended stems just yet! You need to wait for the right time. So, when should you prune your Monstera?

Understanding the Best Time for Pruning

The best time to prune your Monstera is during its active growing season, which typically falls between spring and early fall.

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

During this time, your Monstera is in growth mode and can recover more quickly from pruning.

It’s also preparing to put out new leaves, which makes it the ideal time to shape your plant and encourage the growth of new branches.

Identifying the Physical Signs

Recognizing the physical signs that your Monstera needs pruning is crucial. These signs not only show that your plant could benefit from a trim but also provide insight into its overall health.

Here are the key indicators you should look out for:

Overgrowth

Monsteras are known for their rapid growth, and they can quickly become too large for their space if not properly managed.

Monstera leaves overgrowth pinnatipartita

If your Monstera is encroaching on other plants, growing too large for its pot, or its leaves are reaching out too far into the room, it’s a clear sign that pruning may be needed.

Remember, a well-shaped Monstera not only looks more aesthetically pleasing but also grows more efficiently.

Yellowing or Browning Leaves

It’s natural for older leaves to yellow and die off over time. This process allows the plant to redirect its energy to newer, healthier growth.

Monstera leaf turning yellow and brown

If you notice any yellow or brown leaves, especially towards the bottom of the plant, it’s a sign that these should be pruned off.

You don’t need to wait for spring time to trim the yellow or brown leaves. If you see one or two leaves having this problem, simply snip them off.

However, if yellowing or browning appears on a large number of leaves or on new growth, it may indicate a problem such as overwatering or nutrient deficiency.

Here are some great tips to remedy this: 4 Reasons For Brown Spots On Your Monstera (& How To Treat It)

Leggy Growth

Monsteras love light and will grow towards their light source.

monstera pot on stool beside couch extended stem

If your plant is in a spot with insufficient light, it may become “leggy,” with long sections of stem with few leaves. This is a sign that your plant is prioritizing height over leaf production to reach more light.

Pruning can help redirect its energy to fuller, bushier growth. After pruning, consider moving your plant to a brighter spot to prevent leggy growth in the future.

Here’s a remedy for this: Dealing With A Leggy Monstera? Here’s How To Fix It

Damaged or Diseased Leaves

If you notice any leaves with signs of disease or pest infestation, such as spots, discoloration, or visible pests, it’s crucial to prune these immediately to prevent the issue from spreading.

Remember, healthy plants are more resistant to pests and diseases, so regular care and maintenance of your Monstera will help keep it in top shape.

Pruning Tips for Your Monstera

Armed with the knowledge of when and why to prune, you’re ready to tackle the task. Here are some practical tips for a successful pruning session:

1. Use Clean Tools

It’s essential to use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. This helps prevent the spread of disease and ensures a clean cut that will heal quickly.

Before and after each pruning session, clean your tools with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water to kill any potential pathogens.

View this Fiskars Bypass pruning shears on Amazon. 

2. Cut Above a Leaf Node

When pruning, make your cut just above a leaf node – the small bumps on the stem where leaves sprout. This encourages the plant to produce new growth from this point, leading to a bushier and more robust plant.

3. Don’t Overdo It

While it may be tempting to prune a lot at once, especially if your plant is significantly overgrown, remember that less is more when it comes to pruning.

Removing more than 30% of the plant at once can stress it and slow its growth. Instead, prune a little at a time, allowing the plant to adjust and recover between sessions.

4. Consider Propagation

One of the great joys of pruning is the opportunity for propagation. Monstera cuttings can be propagated easily.

Monstera cuttings water propagation

If you’re pruning healthy growth, consider sticking the cuttings in water. In a few weeks, you’ll see roots starting to form.

Once the roots are a few inches long, you can plant these in soil for a new Monstera plant! This way, your pruning session can lead to more greenery for your home or gifts for fellow plant lovers.

Does Pruning Monstera Encourage Growth?

One of the most frequently asked questions about pruning Monsteras is whether it actually encourages growth. The answer is yes, pruning does promote growth in Monsteras, and here’s why.

When you prune a plant, you’re effectively redirecting its energy. By removing old, yellowing, or damaged leaves, you’re allowing the plant to focus its resources on new, healthy growth.

This can lead to a fuller, bushier plant with more vibrant leaves.

Hand holding a garden scissors pruning a monstera stem

Pruning also encourages branching. When you make a cut above a leaf node, the plant is stimulated to produce new growth from this point.

This can lead to your Monstera producing new stems and leaves, contributing to a more lush and robust appearance.

Moreover, pruning can help prevent legginess, a common issue where the plant becomes tall and spindly with few leaves due to inadequate light.

By pruning back leggy growth, you’re encouraging the plant to grow more compactly and produce leaves closer to its base.

However, it’s important to note that while pruning does promote growth, it should be done judiciously.

Over-pruning can stress the plant and may lead to slowed growth or other issues. As with most aspects of plant care, balance is key.

In short, if done correctly, pruning is a powerful tool that can help your Monstera thrive.

Not only does it keep the plant healthy and well-shaped, but it also encourages vibrant, lush growth.

Post-Pruning Care

After pruning your Monstera, make sure to give it some extra care to help it recover. This includes keeping its environment stable – avoid moving it around or changing its light conditions drastically.

Continue watering and feeding it as usual, and within a few weeks, you should see new growth appearing near the pruning sites.

Remember, each Monstera is unique and may react to pruning differently. It’s always a good idea to monitor your plant closely after pruning to ensure it’s healthy and thriving.

With these tips, you’re now fully prepared to keep your Monstera looking its best and growing strong.

For more pruning tips, read here: Monstera Pruning Guide: Easy Steps For Lush Growth