Everything You Need to Know About the Life Expectancy of Your Beloved Monstera Plant

In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about how long your Monstera plant might potentially live if you treat it nicely. These plants get their genus name from the Latin word for monstrous thanks to some of the species’ enormous size when growing in the wild. They also lead extensive lives with relatively long life expectancies. As a result, monstera plants that are correctly cared for are often kept in families as heirlooms, getting passed down through generations.


How Long Can a Monstera Live? 

Monstera plants are perennial plants with an annual blooming cycle. They are often considered heirloom plants because they can live more than 40 years. However, this lengthy lifespan depends significantly on the plants growing under suitable conditions and receiving the proper care.


About Monstera Plants

About Monstera Plants

Easy to care for and grown by plant beginners and expert botanists alike, monstera plants have become some of the most popular houseplants.

Taxonomy & Native Range

The Monstera genus contains just under 50 species of monstera plants that belong to the Araceae (Arum) plant family.  

All types of monstera plants are native to the tropical regions of the Americas.

Botanical Characteristics

Monstera plants are vining plants and hemiepiphytic which means that they have aerial root systems that can grow in the ground like a terrestrial plant or on the sides of trees and rocks like epiphytes. 

Depending on the species and whether they’re grown in their native habitat or indoors, monstera plants can grow to be anywhere from a few feet long to nearly 70 feet tall.

Monstera plants are most recognizable for their unique foliage, which at maturity develops fenestrations or holes. These holes are thought to help the plants survive extreme wind and heavy rain in the wild because they allow the elements to pass gently through.

Monsteras also produce flowers that have an extraordinary inflorescence called a spadix. Their blossoms resemble those of their cousins, peace lilies and calla lilies. S

Like the Monstera deliciosa, some monstera plants also bear edible fruit called breadfruit that is said to have a tutti-fruity flavor profile.

History and Origins

Monstera plants have a deep history in their native habitats of being prized for their edible fruit and their strong vines, which can be used to weave baskets and make rope.

Like other plants of the New World, monsteras were not introduced to and cultivated in Europe until the late 18th century.

Several rare species of monstera plants, like Monstera obliqua, are prized by collectors and botanists.

However, most monstera plants found in garden centers and available to purchase online are cultivars of just two species, the Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) and the Monstera adansonii (Adanson’s Monstera). Even the rare variegated varieties are simply cultivars of Monstera deliciosa.


Can Monstera Plants Live Forever?

Can Monstera Plants Live Forever?

It is unclear whether or not it is actually possible for a monstera plant to live forever. However, with the proper care – providing adequate sunlight, high-quality soil, adequate moisture, and favorable environmental conditions – they can survive for at least a human’s lifetime or longer. What’s more, it’s possible to propagate your Monstera plant to expand your collection.

The Longevity of Monstera Plants Grown Indoors vs. Outdoors

Given the proper growing conditions and pest deterrence, monstera plants living indoors and monstera plants living outdoors can both achieve similarly impressive lifespans.

Indoor monstera plants cannot achieve the same impressive sizes as outdoor ones, growing in their native habitat.

Factors Contributing to the Longevity of a Monstera Plant

Factors Contributing to the Longevity of a Monstera Plant

Care and Maintenance of Monstera Plants

Although they are relatively hardy plants, monsteras still require proper care and maintenance to survive.

Types and Variety Considerations

All species of monstera plants are long-living perennial plants. While generally considered easy-to-grow, some are more challenging than others, which can lead to a reduced lifespan due to the improper care or environment.

Environmental Considerations

Though known for their hardy, monstera plants will not live as long in unsuitable environmental conditions where the temperature is too cold, the air is too dry, or where they receive too little or too much sunlight.


6 Common Reasons Monstera Plants Die (and Signs to Look Out for)

6 Common Reasons Monstera Plants Die (and Signs to Look Out for)

1. Overwatering

Monstera plants have delicate aerial root systems that are particularly susceptible to root rot. The easiest way to kill a monstera plant is by giving it too much water or potting it in a container that does not allow water to drain. 

For more, see our essential guide to watering Monstera plants at home.

2. Lack of Light

Monstera plants require moderate to bright indirect sunlight to grow and thrive. Your monstera plant will become increasingly sickly in extremely low light conditions and eventually wither away and die.

3. Pests and Diseases

Monstera plants are particularly susceptible to attracting mealybugs and spider mites. These pests are destructive. Left unaddressed, they will eat away at your plant, weaken it, and eventually kill it. Both pests can be carefully washed away with neem oil.

4. Poor Soil Base

Potting a monstera in a suitable potting medium is essential to the health of the plant’s roots and the ability of the plant to take up moisture and nutrients.

Your monstera plant might need to be repotted due to depleting its potting mix or becoming root bound, or it might be in the wrong type of soil (soil that is too acidic, too alkaline, or retains too much moisture).

5. Over-Fertilizing

Monstera plants benefit from light fertilizing during the spring and summer, but it’s essential to be careful not to over-fertilize your plant. Applying too much fertilizer results in salty soil that can burn and destroy your plant’s delicate root system.

6. Incorrect Temperatures

Monstera plants can survive brief temperature dips down to about 50°F. Overly cool temperatures, however, will stunt the plant’s growth and may cause the monstera plant to droop. Frigid air or too many temperature dips can shock the plant and kill it.


How to Ensure Your Monstera Lives as Long as Possible

How to Ensure Your Monstera Lives as Long as Possible

The Best Soil Types

Monstera plants require rich, well-draining soil that is slightly acidic with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. The potting mixes for monstera include peat, coco coir, perlite, and pine bark.

The Best Light Conditions

Monstera plants thrive in medium to bright indirect light.

Low light conditions can stunt a monstera’s growth, lead to legginess, and cause the plant to produce small leaves. You can supplement light with a grow light or regular fluorescent lights.

The Most Suitable Potting Vessels and Containers

The best potting containers for monsteras have ample drainage holes and are only 1 to 2 inches larger than the plant’s root ball.

Ideal Temperature and Humidity

Monsteras thrive in average indoor temperatures of 60°F to 80°F and household humidity greater than 40%.

When and How to Fertilize

Monstera plants benefit from light feeding during the growing season. Give yours a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength once every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.

Pruning and Cutting Back

Monstera plants can be pruned in the spring to remove dead and dying leaves and to encourage/control growth.

Wear gloves and use sterile pruning shears to remove leaves by snipping at the base of the leaves’ stems. Pruning encourages growth, so remove sections where you want your monstera to take off.

When and How to Repot

Young monstera plants (those that have not developed leaf fenestrations) can be repotted annually. Mature monstera plants (those with leaf fenestrations) typically require repotting every 2 to 3 years or when they become rootbound. (You’ll notice their roots poking out above the soil or escaping their container’s drainage holes.)

To repot a monstera, select a well-draining container that’s about 2 inches larger than your plant’s current pot and create a potting mix that’s similar to its existing soil. Gently remove your monstera from its container and tease any stuck potting medium out of its roots.

Sprinkle a layer of potting medium in your new pot and place your plant’s roots on top of the soil. Then fill in around the roots with more potting mix. Ensure your plant’s stems are not buried in potting mix to prevent rotting. Gently tap down the soil and water thoroughly, allowing excess moisture to drain.

Your monstera should be repotted in early spring at the beginning of the growing season.


Monstera Plant Life Expectancy FAQs:

Do monstera plants die easily?

Monstera plants are hardy and do not die easily. That being said, they do require proper care and environmental conditions to really thrive.

Are monstera plants easy to care for?

Monstera plants are low-maintenance, easy to care for, and suitable for beginners.

How do you know if your monstera is happy?

Healthy monstera plants grow at a steady rate during the growing season. When mature, healthy monstera plants produce large, waxy, deep-green leaves. Young monstera plants also produce waxy, green leaves, but they will typically be slightly lighter in color.

Do old monstera leaves die?

On a monstera, it’s normal for lower, older leaves to yellow and die. Simply wear gloves and use sterile prune sheers to remove them from the plant.

Is monstera a lucky plant?

In feng shui, monstera plants draw positive, upward energy and can be used to draw good fortune or abundance into your life when positioned properly in your home or office.

Are monstera plants poisonous to humans and pets?

Monstera plants are considered toxic to humans and pets. They contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which cause severe irritation, inflammation, and gastrointestinal upset when ingested or handled without protective gloves.


A Lifetime of Fun and Clean Indoor Air

When properly cared for, easy-to-grow monstera plants can bring you – and possibly your children and grandchildren – a lifetime of beauty and enjoyment.


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:


Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe. I hold a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and have trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris.

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