It’s no surprise that Monstera is one of the most popular houseplants. It’s huge, shiny, easy to take care of, and looks stunning when it reaches its full potential. However, most Monstera owners aren’t aware that these plants can grow in many ways.
If your Monstera isn’t as bushy as you expect, there are a few things you can do to help it grow bushier and larger. Providing enough sunlight, adequate fertilizer, eliminating pests, and pruning highly affect your plant’s growth rate, making it longer and bushier.
In this article, we will tell you how to make Monstera bushier. We’ll also give you tips on how to train your Monstera so it grows as you expect it to.
Monsteras are generally easy to take care of. Still, they usually don’t get as big and bushy as they could be. However, by following a few simple tips, you’ll turn your Monstera from a leggy sparse plant into a bushy one with lovely leaf fenestration.
Light is a crucial factor when it comes to Monstera’s growth. Even though Monsteras need indirect sunlight to grow, they still need a few hours of direct sunlight per day.
A Monstera that’s not getting enough sunlight won’t push out new leaves and its growth will be much slower than normal. Moreover, the leaves will be thinner with no fenestrations.
Placing your plants near big windows highly increases their growth rate. However, the weather and obstructing objects might prohibit your plant from getting enough sunlight.
One good trick is to move your plant to a shady outdoor area in hot summer or spring. While it might not be possible for all owners, this method is proven to reward you with more leaves and bigger plant sizes once the season ends.
In case you’re planting your Monstera indoors, it would be best to place it in a room that’s getting enough direct sunlight throughout the day.
Blue light stimulates the production of chlorophyll. Red light stimulates the plant’s growth. Green light helps in photosynthesis.
Monsteras are climbing plants by nature, they grow aerial roots and wrap them around whatever support they can find.
That way, the plant climbs upwards. In the wild, giant Monsteras can reach up to 70 feet high, while smaller species grow 15 feet tall indoors.
The leaves can also measure more than 18 inches. Even though indoor Monsteras don’t reach the same height as wild ones, they grow in the same manner.
That being said, proper support is essential for Monsteras to grow larger and bushier.
Moss poles are popular among Monstera owners as an option to support their plants. That’s because moss poles resemble the plant’s natural conditions.
Monstera will grow aerial roots that grip the moss similar to how wild plants grow on giant trees in rainforests.
We recommend using moss poles when your Monsteras are still young and growing. However, you can still use them when your plants are older. But you’ll need to use twist ties to stick your plant’s vines to the pole until the aerial roots start gripping naturally onto the pole.
The main downside of moss poles is that you need to keep them moist and expose them to air. These moist conditions are suitable for many types of mold and bacteria to thrive.
You can buy moss poles at any gardening store or online. If you’re feeling creative, you can make them at home by soaking moss in water for 20 minutes and then stringing it tightly to a PVC pipe or a dowel.
Trellises are widely used for most indoor and outdoor climbing plants. They’re available in many shapes, sizes, and materials.
Triangular-shaped trellises make a great addition to your plant. The triangle provides three anchoring points for your Monstera, offering more sturdiness and support.
The best time to use a trellis for your Monsteras is when the plant is still young. Once the plant’s vines start crawling outwards, start tying them up to the trellis.
Moving forward, newer leaves will naturally sort themselves out toward the light source.
Pruning is a routine technique for most plant types and Monsteras are no exception. Pruning not only results in an overall better appearance, but it also helps allocate your plant’s resources to be used by healthy leaves. This results in a bushier Monstera.
Pruning also encourages your plant’s growth and controls where the new leaves grow. As such, Monsteras will get significantly huge, which might not be optimal if you’re growing them indoors.
For instance, if they reach 10 feet tall, pruning them without harm will be a big deal. That’s why regular pruning is recommended.
Fortunately, pruning Monsteras is pretty easy. All you need is gloves and heavy scissors or a knife.
Start by pruning back the old or diseased vines, roots and stems. Make sure to cut right below a leaf node to avoid stumps, in case you’re propagating. If you want your plant to go taller, start cutting at the top.
When you want to stimulate your Monstera’s growth, prune where you want the plant to grow.
Fertilization is critical for a healthy, shiny, and bushy Monstera. However, using too many fertilizers might burn your plant.
You should add fertilizers to your Monstera during summer and spring. That’s when the plants tend to grow the most. Adding fertilizers to your Monstera’s soil once or twice a month during this period is more than enough to encourage its growth.
When the weather is colder, you should avoid fertilizing your plant as it enters a dormant state.
Monsteras require three essential elements in their fertilizers; calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.
Most commercial fertilizers have a label that represents the percentage of each element. Monsteras need a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer to stay healthy and grow stronger.
An alternative option to fertilizers is to use natural compost like worm castings. It mimics the natural environment of the plant as worms and insects help in soil aeration and enrichment.
In addition, compost is usually applied only once or twice a year, so you won’t need regular maintenance.
If your Monstera looks pale, leggy, or not growing, you might need to repot it. Inspect your plant’s roots to see if your Monstera needs repotting.
Your Monstera might need repotting when the roots start to grow out of the drainage holes at the bottom. Repotting is also recommended if the water passes through the pot without wetting the soil enough.
Using a bigger pot is always recommended, as smaller pots tend to inhibit the growth of your plant. We recommend you use a pot that’s one or two sizes larger than the last one.
Note that a pot that’s too large isn’t good either, as the new soil won’t be able to dry fast enough between waterings, which suffocates your plant.
If you’re looking for a bushier and fuller Monstera, propagation is a great way to do it. Similar to most plants, each stem is an individual plant.
So the more stems you have, the fuller and bushier your plants grow. The process is done by cutting a stem that has at least two leaves, then taking the stem cutting and rooting it in a jar, vase, or soil.
Once the stem cutting starts growing roots, you can plant it back in your original pot.
The big leaves and bushy appearance of Monstera deliciosa are highly dependent on the plant’s overall growth. That said, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the plant’s health and growth.
Environmental factors such as lighting, hydration, aeration, and nutrition are crucial for your Monstera’s growth. Other factors like pot size and fertilizers are also important.
If you’re already providing suitable conditions for your Monstera to grow, now you might be asking: how to make Monstera bushier. To help your Monstera grow bigger leaves, you should provide it support to climb on, such as moss poles or trellis.
You can try pruning damaged and dried leaves to stimulate the growth of new ones too. Finally, it would be best to try propagation as it’s a great way to get multiple Monsteras in one pot.
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.