The feeling we get when we add a new plant to our collection is sheer happiness! When it’s one of the varieties that are stunning and require little care, we want it to live forever.
Monsteras are, without a doubt, one of these plants. The exotic touch they add to a space with their split leathery leaves lives in our hearts rent-free.
If you own this lovely plant or are considering purchasing one, the question “How long do monsteras live?” probably crossed your mind.
Continue reading to learn about this plant’s lifespan and how to care for it so it can live as long as possible!
How Long Do Monsteras Live?
If you get a monstera, you might make a lifelong friend!
Under optimal care and growing conditions, this delightful species can live for up to 40 years. Because of this, monsteras are considered heirloom plants.
For context, heirloom plants are those that endure long enough to be passed down through families. This holds true regardless of whether it’s a rare or common variety.
In all honesty, it’s not surprising that the Swiss cheese, a.k.a. monstera plant has a lengthy lifespan. Knowing how it was created to survive in its natural habitat made sense.
This hardy species originated in tropical America’s rainforests. There are mainly two fascinating facts about the plant’s adaptations to the wild.
The first is related to the climbing nature of monsteras. They use their aerial roots to climb up trees to catch more sunlight so they can produce more energy.
The second intriguing aspect is that they go dormant in the winter to conserve energy.
Thus, even though monsteras’ growth ceases during the cold months, they can survive with proper care as long as the temperature doesn’t fall below 55°F.
With all of this in mind and the fact that this houseplant doesn’t require much attention to thrive, it’s easy to see why it can live with us for so long!
How to Properly Care For Monsteras
Monsteras are loved among plant enthusiasts because they’re easy to care for and forgiving.
However, in order for it to continue beautifying your space for a long time, you’ll need to follow its care instructions. So, here are the six main considerations for taking care of this species:
1 – Light
These beauties adore bright indirect sunlight. That said, they can tolerate low light conditions, but their growth may be hampered.
You see, if you leave monsteras in dim light all the time, the foliage may not develop its signature fenestration, and the plant may not grow bushy.
In case you didn’t know, fenestration is the splits in monstera leaves that require energy to form.
Try to keep your Swiss cheese out of bright daylight or else, it won’t react favorably. This species’ leaves burn and turn brown when exposed to prolonged direct sunlight.
2 – Temperature
This tropical plant prefers warm climates and will do well in temperatures ranging from 60 – 80°F.
Monsteras can struggle when the temperature drops to 55°F or lower. They may experience cold shock, which causes their leaves to yellow, curl, and wilt.
Consequently, during the winter, keep your houseplant away from open windows and any source of cold drafts.
3 – Water
The Swiss cheese plant will flourish with 1-2 weekly waterings and occasional watering during the colder months.
Hydrate the plant until water comes out of the drainage holes. Don’t forget to empty the water in the saucer to avoid oversaturating the soil.
This species, like most houseplants, will dislike sitting in soggy, waterlogged soil because it means too much water and not enough air for its root system.
Naturally, when the root system is affected, the plant’s capacity to absorb nutrients decreases, and it may even perish.
For the same reason, you should be careful not to overwater your monstera. As a rule of thumb, stick your finger in the soil before watering your plant; if the top inch is dry, it’s time to hydrate it.
4 – Humidity
The more closely you mimic a plant’s natural habitat, the more it thrives.
That’s why boosting the humidity in your monstera growing environment would be fantastic. This will encourage more vigorous and lush growth.
There are several methods for increasing the moisture levels in a room. The first is to purchase a humidifier.
If you’re not ready to make such an investment, simply mist the plant once a week with a spray bottle and it should have the same effect.
5 – Soil
Monsteras will grow healthy in well-drained, slightly acidic soil, with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.0.
This resilient species can tolerate changes in soil pH and may even try to make it in alkaline soil, but it won’t grow as well.
The majority of commercially available potting soil blends for indoor plants are suitable for monsteras.
Just make sure you get a mix packed with organic matter, such as sphagnum moss and coco fiber.
6 – Fertilizer
During the fast-growing seasons of spring and summer, feed your monstera once a month.
When winter approaches, don’t fertilize it because it isn’t actively growing and will need to save energy for dormancy.
Use a balanced fertilizer 20-20-20 and that’ll help nourish your plant through all stages of development.
How Long Do Monstera Cuttings Last?
This species is among the best and easiest varieties to propagate.
If you’re wondering if its cuttings will last as long as the parent plant, the answer is yes. However, this is only true if the plant was propagated properly and grown in healthy conditions.
So, if you want to create a monstera kingdom in your home, this is your sign!
Keep in mind that the Swiss cheese cutting must have a node and an axillary bud to develop into new growth. Cutting parts, like leaves, that lack both won’t develop into a plant.
On a side note, you can use the air layering propagation method if you don’t want to cut the mother plant. It’s based on growing roots from monstera nodes without having to cut them.
Can You Tell How Old a Monstera Is?
You can tell how old your Swiss cheese plant is by looking at two things:
1 – Foliage
If your monstera is between 1 month and 2 years old, the leaves will be heart-shaped with no perforations.
When the foliage begins to split, this means that your plant has reached the maturing age of 2-3 years.
The older the plant, the more perforations and splitting you’ll find on its leaves; that is, if it’s subjected to ideal lighting conditions.
2 – Aerial Roots
You can also look for the monstera’s aerial roots to determine its current growth stage. These roots won’t emerge from your houseplant if it’s still young.
As the Swiss cheese grows, aerial roots will form to find support for its weight. That’s usually when the plant reaches the age of 2 years.
So, how long do monsters live? They’ll stay with you indefinitely, figuratively not literally, if you take good care of them!
Make sure they receive enough indirect sunlight and that they’re hydrated when needed.
To extend your plant’s lifespan, you can even repot it in fresh soil every two years. That’ll protect your Swiss cheese from salt build-ups brought on by watering.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.