How to Prune Monstera Deliciosa


Monsteras are the ultimate addition to any plant collection. With its beautiful foliage and fast growth, it’s one of the most striking plants you can ever have. But with its capacity to grow at an incredible rate also comes the need to cut them. If you are wondering how to prune Monstera, you’re on the right page.

Why Does My Monstera Need Pruning?

If you’re a first time Monstera deliciosa owner, the thought of slicing your beloved plant may freak you out. However, these plants need to be regularly pruned to encourage more growth.

Because your Monstera can grow more quickly than you anticipated, pruning it is key to maintaining its overall health. The older foliage on your Monstera will eventually die, and it will turn yellow. Because of this, the entire plant may become more prone to diseases and infection. While Monsteras are tough plants, it is still common for them to die from infections such as stem rot.

Aside from that, knowing how to prune a Monstera is crucial if you live in a small space. Regular pruning will ensure your plant won’t outgrow your home and it will remain small enough and easy to manage.  The cutting you took from your Monstera can also be propagated to give you a fresh supply of new plants.

When is the Best Time To Prune?

Generally, you can prune your Monstera whenever. However, the recommended time is before your plant enters its growing season. While your plant is dormant in the winter due to lack of sunlight, it will not grow as fast and there may be no need to cut it.

But as your plant comes out from its dormant stage and starts its growing season during early spring, you need to prune it. This is because pruning your plant before it starts its high growth stage will help it heal faster.

Where to Cut and Prune a Monstera?

You need to start cutting the diseased or old leaves located in the base of the stem. But if you are pruning your Monstera to encourage more growth, it is recommended to cut at the top part of your plant.

Keep in mind that if you want to propagate, make sure to cut below a node, which is the nub that grows along the stem opposite your Monstera leaf.

Should I Cut Off Damaged Monstera Leaves?

Yes. Make sure to cut the damaged Monstera leaves because aside from improving the overall appearance of your plant, it will also do wonders for its health. But why is this the case?

Dead leaves are unable to photosynthesize so all portions of your Monstera leaves that are already brown or black will not produce energy for the plant. As mentioned above, these dead sections also do not have a defense against infection.

But for leaves that have very minor damage such as tears, it is highly likely that the edge will simply brown to seal the split. It’s fine to keep leaves if its damage does not impact the other areas of the plant or its aesthetic value. 

How to Prune an Overgrown Monstera deliciosa

Here’s how to properly prune your overgrown Monstera deliciosa.

Plan it

First, plan a pruning session before the spring season starts. If your main goal is to control the size of your plant, doing it in the early spring will help your plant recover faster. But if your plant has damaged or has dry leaves, pruning it anytime is fine.

Always sanitize shears or scissors

The blades you are using to prune your Monstera may be dirty. If this is the case, it could transmit disease to your plant.

To prevent this, always wipe your shears or scissors with a cloth doused in diluted bleach or rubbing alcohol. If you are using very dirty scissors, do not wipe them immediately with a cloth. Soak it in water first to loosen the dirt.

Protect yourself

Monsteras look beautiful, but its sap contains calcium oxalates that can cause skin irritation. Make sure to protect yourself by wearing protective gloves before you prune your plant. This will prevent skin problems such as rashes. If you have kids or pets, keep them away when pruning your Monstera.

If you accidentally get some of the sap on your skin, keep your hands away from your face, especially your eyes and mouth, and immediately wash it with soapy warm water.

Start pruning

Start by pruning leaves that look unhealthy by cutting them close to their base. This way, you won’t be leaving long stems on your plant.

After this, examine your plant and look for branches that stick out awkwardly, and make a clean and straight cut using your shears or scissors.

Keep in mind that for huge Monsteras, removing too much growth carelessly may be detrimental to the plant’s health and it could cause it to go into shock. This can damage your Monstera and stunt its growth. If you have an enormous Monstera, it is recommended to cut beneath the nodes with significant growth.

Final thoughts on how to Prune Monstera

Learning how to prune Monstera deliciosa is important if you want to keep your plant thriving. When done regularly and properly, it will encourage more growth in your plant.

As always, make sure to pay attention to the special needs of your plant after you prune it. This will guarantee that your plant won’t be exposed to pathogens or suffer from shock.

Issues such as drooping and yellowing leaves are not positive signs so ensure that your plant gets the right amount of water, sunlight, and humidity it needs after pruning. See our guide to find out more about Monstera care.

About the author 

Paul - Better Houseplants

Loves orchids and foliage houseplants. Always trying to be a better plant parent. Let's get growing!

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