Everything You Need to Know About Monstera Plant Growth Expectations
If you’ve recently adopted a baby monstera, you might be curious about how fast it will grow, how often it’ll produce new leaves, and how long you’ll need to wait before your Monstera plant reaches maturity and develops its iconic Swiss cheese look. In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about Monstera plant growth expectations and what you need to do to ensure your plant thrives indoors.
- How Fast Does a Monstera Grow? – The Essentials
- About Monstera Plants
- Monstera Plant Growth Indoors vs. Outdoors
- A Monstera Plant’s Natural Growth Cycle
- How Long Does It Take a Monstera to Reach Full Size?
- Factors That Affect the Growth Speed and Development of a Monstera Plant
- Common Reasons Your Monstera Plant Growth Is Slow or Stunted
- How to Make Your Monstera Grow Faster
- Monstera Plant Growth FAQs
- Get Ready to Grow a Monstrous Monstera
How Fast Does a Monstera Grow? – The Essentials
The Monstera genus contains 45 species of plants, and each grows at its own rate. The two most popular species of monstera houseplants, the Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) and the Monstera adansonii (Adanson’s Monstera), typically grow an average of 1 to 2 feet per year with proper care.
|Monstera Type:||Growth Rate Per Year:|
|1. Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)||1 to 2 feet|
|2. Monstera adansonii||1 to 2 feet|
|3. Monstera dubia (Shingle Plant)||4 to 10 inches|
|4. Monstera epipremnoides (Monstera Esqueleto)||4 to 10 inches|
|5. Monstera obliqua||1 to 3 leaves|
|6. Monstera punctulata||1 to 2 feet|
|7. Monstera karstenianum (Monstera Peru)||8 to 36 inches|
|8. Monstera standleyana||1 to 2 feet|
|9. Monstera pinnatipartita||4 to 10 inches|
|10. Monstera siltepecana||2 to 3 feet|
|11. Monstera variegata||1 to 2 feet|
|12. Rhaphidophora tetrasperma (Mini Monstera)||6 to 12 feet|
About Monstera Plants
Monstera is a genus containing 45 species of herb-like or vining plants beloved for their attractive foliage and low-maintenance needs.
Taxonomy & Native Range
Cousins of calla lilies and peace lilies, the Monstera genus belongs to the Araceae (Arum) plant family. All species of the Monstera genus are native to the tropical regions of the Americas.
Botanical Characteristics & Growth Expectations in the Wild
Monstera plants are considered hemiepiphytic because they can survive with their aerial root systems either rooted in the ground (like terrestrial plants) or on the sides of trees (like epiphytes). They tend to grow with a vining habit, climbing the sides of trees in nature or up a stake or plant support indoors.
Monstera plants are generally large, ranging in mature size from 3 to 66 feet tall when supported by a tall enough tree.
Despite their size, they are most recognized for their attractive foliage. Most species have large leaves that, at maturity, develop fenestrations (or holes) that can have a Swiss cheese-like appearance or grow so large that they give the leaves a fingered look instead.
Monstera plants produce white blossoms that have a unique inflorescence called a spadix that resembles the flowers of calla lilies and peace lilies. Some species, such as the Monstera deliciosa, also produce fruit called breadfruit.
Monstera History and Origins
Monstera plants have a long history in the American tropics, where they’ve been used for centuries. Their vines have been used for basket weaving and as ropes.
The Monstera deliciosa has also been prized for its edible fruit that is said to have a tutti-fruity flavor profile that tastes like a combination of pineapple and banana. Thanks to its high vitamin content, the fruit has also been used for various medicinal purposes in this region.
Like other New World plants, monstera plants were not popularly cultivated in Europe until the late 18th century.
Popular Types of Monstera Plants
Most monstera houseplants, including the trendy and rare variegated varieties that you’ll find available for purchasing, are cultivars of either the Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) or the Monstera adansonii (Adanson’s Monstera).
That being said, there are also several rare species of monstera plants, like the Monstera obliqua, that botanical hobbyists and collectors actively seek out.
Monstera Plant Growth Indoors vs. Outdoors
While some of the largest monstera plants can reach almost 70 feet tall in nature, monstera plants grown indoors do not typically reach their full potential in terms of size. This is a result of the environmental limitations of the indoors.
Although we do our best to provide monstera plants with the proper amount of sunlight and moisture and the right kind of soil, we simply can’t precisely mimic their native environment (humidity, temperature cycles, daylight, airflow, or nutrients).
Unless you live in the right growing zone (and have a tall enough ceiling), your indoor monsteras won’t achieve the same monstrous sizes that they can in the wild. Additionally, monstera plants that are grown indoors rarely bloom or produce fruit for the very same reasons.
A Monstera Plant’s Natural Growth Cycle
Monstera plants enter a natural period of dormancy during the fall and winter when the length of the day grows shorter, and the plants receive less natural light. The exact time when your monstera plants will enter dormancy depends on where you live, but dormancy usually begins around October.
How Long Does It Take a Monstera to Reach Full Size?
On average, most monstera plants can reach full size and maturity within 2 to 3 years. Recently propagated Monstera plants are known to take several months to root and begin their full development.
Factors That Affect the Growth Speed and Development of a Monstera Plant
Several factors affect the growth rate and development of monstera plants.
The Care and Maintenance of Monstera Plants
Monstera plants are considered low-maintenance, but they still need proper care to grow at an optimal rate. This means keeping their soil evenly moist, fertilizing them during the growing season, and addressing pests and diseases as they arise.
The time it takes a monstera plant to reach full size and maturity varies quite a bit between species. Fast-growers like Monstera deliciosa and Monstera sp. Peru can reach maturity much more quickly than comparatively slow-growing species like Monstera dubia and Monstera obliqua.
Your region and plant’s environment, especially the amount of sunlight received, can also affect its growth rate. Too little sunlight can stunt a plant’s growth. Most species of monstera plants require at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day.
Common Reasons Your Monstera Plant Growth Is Slow or Stunted
Under or Overwatering
Too little water and too much water can both stunt your monstera’s growth.
If your monstera doesn’t have enough water, it will think it’s not a good time to grow because it doesn’t have enough resources. An under-watered monstera’s leaves will droop slightly.
Overwatering is also problematic, as it can damage the plant’s aerial root system and cause root rot. An overwatered monstera’s leaves become wilted, limp, and might even turn brown or yellow.
As a general, only water Monstera plants when the topsoil is 80% dry.
Lack of Light
Monsteras need sunlight to convert their resources into food and energy through photosynthesis. With too little light, your monstera won’t produce enough food and won’t be able to grow. Without enough light, you might notice your monstera growing smaller-than-normal leaves.
Pests and Diseases
Both mealybugs and spider mites are destructive pests that can affect a monstera and stunt its growth. Clean your plant’s leaves and stems with neem oil to eradicate them.
Poor Soil base
After about 9 months in fresh potting soil, your monstera will have depleted the available nutrients and will stop growing if you don’t replenish the nutrients with fertilizer. Use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength and apply once every month or two during the growing season.
While your plant needs nutrients, giving it too much fertilizer can create a hostile environment that damages the monstera’s root system.
Most monsteras can tolerate temperatures down to 50°F. These cold temperatures, however, can shock a monstera, resulting in arrested growth.
If your monstera has been in the same pot for 2 or 3 years and has stopped growing, it might be rootbound, which means its roots have outgrown the pot, pushing the soil away. Rootbound plants aren’t able to absorb water and nutrients compared to plants that have a roomy home.
Find a pot that’s about 2 inches larger than the current container and repot your monstera.
How to Make Your Monstera Grow Faster
The Best Soil Types
The best soil for monstera plants is slightly acidic (pH 5.5 to 6.5) and well-draining while having the ability to retain moisture. Look for a mix containing peat moss, coco coir, perlite, and pine bark.
The Best Light Conditions
The Most Suitable Potting Vessels and Containers
Choose a well-draining container for your monstera that’s about 1 or 2 inches larger than the plant’s root ball.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity
Temperatures of 60°F to 80°F and household humidity above 40% create ideal conditions for monstera plants.
When and How to Fertilize
Fertilize once every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season using a well-balanced, liquid plant fertilizer diluted to half strength.
Staking and Supporting the Monstera Plants
Monstera plants grow like vines, which means they need a stake or support to help them reach their impressive heights. With nothing to “grab” onto, your monstera won’t grow at its ideal rate. Pruning and cutting back old growth will also help your monstera plant to thrive.
When and How to Repot a Monstera
When they become rootbound, Monstera plants typically need to be repotted about once every 2 to 3 years. Choose a container about 2 inches larger than the current pot and do your best to keep the soil type similar when repotting.
Monstera Plant Growth FAQs:
How long does it take a monstera plant to grow a new leaf?
It depends on the species of monstera plant. Like the Swiss cheese plant, some fast-growing monsteras can produce 60 or 70 leaves in a year. Slow-growing varieties like the Monstera obliqua might not even grow three new leaves in a year.
Are monstera plants slow-growing?
Different species of monstera plants grow at different rates. Some monsteras like the Monstera obliqua, Monstera dubia, and the Monstera epipremnoides have prolonged growth rates compared to other monstera species.
Are monstera plants easy to care for?
Although some rare species are more challenging to care for than others, most monstera plants are generally considered low-maintenance, easy to grow, and suitable for beginners.
How do you know if your monstera is happy?
A healthy monstera plant should grow and produce new leaves during the spring and summer. When mature monstera plants are healthy, they have deep-green, waxy leaves. A healthy younger plant will also have green, waxy leaves, but they might be slightly lighter in color.
Do monsteras like big pots?
Monstera plants do not like to be in pots that are much larger than their root balls. Pot yours in a container with a diameter that is just 1 or 2 inches larger than your plant’s roots.
Do monsteras like grow lights?
Monsteras can benefit from grow lights, especially in regions where the days might be particularly short or in indoor locations that don’t receive much sunlight. Just be careful not to place the light too close to the plant to avoid drying it out and scorching its leaves.
Is monstera a lucky plant?
In feng shui, monstera can be used to draw upward, positive energy into any section of the Bagua map. When placed correctly, they are thought to bring good fortune.
Are monstera plants poisonous to humans and pets?
Monstera plants are considered toxic to humans and pets because they contain calcium oxalate crystals. These are not technically poisonous, but they do cause severe irritation, inflammation, and gastrointestinal problems when handled without gloves or ingested.
Get Ready to Grow a Monstrous Monstera
Okay, if you’re growing indoors, your monstera might not reach a genuinely monstrous size, but they can become quite impressive with enough sunlight and the proper care. Once mature, you’ll notice your plant’s leaves beginning to develop their attractive fenestrations, and you can enjoy your plant for years to come!
Everything You Need to Know About Growing Monstera Plants:
For more on the famed Monstera plant and to learn more about how to grow and care for these plants at home, please see our guides to:
- The 12 Best Monstera Varieties to Grow at Home
- Monstera Plant Light Requirements
- The Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants
- When and How to Water Monstera Plants
- When and How to Fertilize Monstera Plants
- 12 Common Reasons Your Monstera Plant Leaves are Turning Yellow
- How to Grow and Care for Variegated Monstera Plants
- Monstera Peru Ultimate Care Guide
- Monstera Plant Meaning and Symbolism
- How Long Do Monstera Plants Live For?
- The Uses and Benefits of Monstera Plants.
- When and How to Prune Monstera Plants.