10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Monstera Plants

Monstera plants are one of the most popular plants in any indoor plant collection. With their easy-to-care-for nature and the multitude of monstera varieties, it’s easy to see why. But, while most guides will dive into their easy-going nature, in my experience, there are several aspects of growing monstera plants indoors that they don’t tell you. I’m going to cover the top 10 things people don’t tell you about monstera plants. Let’s dive in. 

10 Things They Don't Tell You About Monstera Plants

1. Growth Rate

Compared to other houseplants, monstera plants are classified as fast growers. However, some plant parents may not realize how quickly they grow. Monstera deliciosa, for example, consistently unfurls new leaves during summer and spring and often outgrows its pot. 

With the proper care, these large-leafed plants can grow at least 2 feet a year.  Personally, I found that I needed to repot my Monstera deliciosa a few months after bringing it home from the nursery. And, considering the sheer size that it’s beginning to reach, it may need another new pot soon.  

However, not all Monstera plants are going to grow as rapidly as Monstera deliciosa. Monstera adansonii, for example, have much smaller leaves with plenty more holes than their relative, and thus, photosynthesize at slower rates. This means that they take a little longer to grow.

All in all, though, depending on your chosen monstera variety, you can expect your plant to grow quite rapidly during its growing seasons. 

2. Size Management

A large monstera plant growing in a living space indoors

Thanks to the general speed at which monstera plants grow, these lush plants can get quite big quite quickly. If, like most, you plan on keeping your monstera plants indoors, you’ll need to remember that they need a lot of space to stretch out. 

This rule applies to slightly smaller monstera varieties, such as the Monstera adansonii, too. 

You can prune your monstera, but I’ll get into that in a little bit. In my experience, the best way to keep your monstera from reaching monstrous lengths is by placing it in a dark spot. This slows the plant’s growth and keeps it a manageable size. 

3. Pruning

One of the many joys of owning a monstera is that you seldom have to prune it. If you find that your monstera is becoming too big for its space, you can trim back the leaves and stems. 

Alternatively, you can cut back a few aerial roots (more on that later). But I find that burying them under the soil can help with size management as well.  However, if you spot a yellowing leaf or two, you must prune it back. This will help preserve your monstera’s energy. For more, see our essential guide on when and how to prune monstera

4. Pest Management

A young monstera plant sitting on a wooden table in a kitchen

As easygoing as monstera plants generally are, they do, unfortunately, attract pests. A few of the most common monstera pests include:

  • Spider mites 
  • Mealybugs 
  • Aphids 
  • Whiteflies 
  • Leaf miners 

You should regularly check your monsteras for any signs of pests by inspecting the leaves and stems. You may spot various issues on your monstera plants, including:

  • Yellowing leaves or stems 
  • Browning leaves
  • Odd veins or tracks on the leaves 
  • Unwanted holes in the leaves 

Your best bet when you notice any of these symptoms is to isolate your monstera from the rest of your plant collection. This prevents the pests from spreading. From there, identify the pest, and deal with it. 

The best way to deter pests is to care for your monstera properly. 

5. Toxicity

While these lush tropical plants have become the ultimate addition to any houseplant collection. That’s why it can be surprising to many to learn that all types of monstera plants are toxic to humans, cats, and dogs. 

The sap in these plants contains calcium oxalate crystals, which are commonly found in peace lilies. 

If your pets or child consume any part of your monstera plant, they may experience irritation and swelling in their mouth. Other symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. 

6. Support needs

Most guides highlight that monsteras are epiphytes and climb trees in their natural, tropical habitats. But not many mention that these plants may require a stake or moss pole. While they can thrive without a support, they can become leggy and will tend to stretch along the floor. 

Adding a support to your monstera will help it grow more “naturally” and can offer several benefits, such as growing larger leaves with more fenestrations. 

7. Variegated Varieties

As stunning as a large, lush green monstera is, several different varieties could add some flare to your indoor plant collection. Unlike other houseplants, variegated monstera plants have a splash of color thanks to a genetic mutation that prevents the production of chlorophyll! 

8. Watering Needs

Watering houseplants, including monsteras, can be a tricky business. When grown indoors and under the right conditions, your monstera plant may only need water once every 10 days or so. In my experience though, it’s best to not stick to a strict watering schedule when it comes to your monstera plants. 

Instead, only water your monstera when the topsoil has dried out. This way, you know you won’t overwater or underwater your plant. 

9. Light Requirements

A young monstera plant in a grey planter on a table in a room with partial light breaking through the windows

Monstera plants need plenty of bright, indirect sunlight and often thrive in very well-lit rooms. But you probably didn’t know that these lush plants can do just as well in medium or low-light environments, as long as all their other needs are met! 

The only downside is that your monstera may grow slightly slower than it would if placed in a brighter spot. 

10. Air Roots

Thanks to their climbing nature, healthy monstera plants develop aerial roots. These roots help the plant to cling to trees in their natural habitat or its moss pole in your home. While it can look slightly unappealing, aerial roots are the ultimate sign that your monstera is happy and healthy.  

Some guides suggest not touching these roots, but I have found that trimming them away doesn’t affect the overall health of my monstera plants. Alternatively, by placing a support in your monstera’s pot, you can train it to climb. This helps keep your monsteras looking tidy.  

Wrapping up

Monstera plants, no matter which variety you add to your houseplant collection, are incredibly easy to grow. Just remember that you may need to keep an eye out for pests, and how you care for them based on your home’s environment.

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