When you own and love a plant, it’s natural to want to learn everything that you can about it, and if you’ve got a beautiful Monstera growing in your home, you might be wondering, how long do Monstera plants live? These plants grow very large, but do they live for a long time, or are they short-lived?
When kept in the right conditions, Monsteras can live for 40 years, or possibly even longer. So long as you give your plant everything it needs in terms of water, light, nutrients,, and a large enough container, it should thrive, and many people have these plants for long enough to pass them to their children.
What Do Monsteras Need To Live For A Long Time?
If a Monstera is to thrive, you must meet all the relevant conditions for growth, and ensure that you protect your plant from bugs that want to eat its leaves. Let’s look at the conditions that a Monstera needs if it is to grow strong.
Monsteras require bright, indirect light in order to grow well. Their leaves will burn if the direct sun is allowed to fall on them, especially during the summer, but they don’t enjoy being kept in the shade.
Making sure that your plant has enough light will help it to grow strong and healthy, whereas insufficient light will leave it sickly. You may see that it puts out leggy, pale growth, stretching toward the nearest light source.
Burnt leaves are also dangerous to the plant’s health. They will cause stress and will invite pests and diseases. It’s best to remove any foliage that has got burnt using sterile shears (since it will not recover) and shield the plant from future burning.
Many Monsteras die as a result of being over-watered. They do not like having “wet feet,” and you should always check whether your Monstera needs a drink before you give it one.
To do this, push your finger into the surface of the soil and check whether it has dried out up to around an inch down. If the soil is dry, it’s safe to give the plant a drink. If not, wait until it has dried more, and then water it.
Don’t leave your Monstera’s pot standing in water. Always empty the tray beneath the plant a few hours after watering it. This will ensure that the soil can dry out well. It’s also a good idea to check that the soil drains properly and that the container has large enough holes to let the water flow out.
Under-watering is a less common problem, but if your Monstera’s leaves are looking droopy or sick, it’s a good idea to check whether it needs a drink. Being kept in very dry conditions will not help it either.
Monsteras will grow well if they have enough nutrients to do so – and that means providing them with regular doses of fertilizer. Many people recommend fertilizing a Monstera with diluted all-purpose organic fertilizer every month during the growing season (spring and summer).
Consistently providing food will ensure that your plant has everything it needs to build healthy leaves and stems, and this can reduce stress. It is important not to over-fertilize, as this will cause root burn and could make the plant sick, but feeding your Monstera regularly is a good way to keep it happy and healthy.
Note that you don’t need to fertilize your plant for a few months after it has been repotted into fresh soil.
Being potted in good soil will also help your Monstera. Change the soil every time you repot the plant to minimize the risk of fungal or insect infections, and to give your plant fresh nutrients. Repotting also helps to aerate the plant’s roots.
Monsteras dislike soil that is strongly acidic or strongly alkaline, and do not tolerate heavy soils that drain badly, either. You may wish to mix fine gravel or vermiculite into the potting medium to help with drainage and aeration.
Monsteras grow best when they are given a central support that they can grow up. Many people use a moss or coconut pole for this, although other structures will also work. This encourages the plant to grow tall and allows it to spread its foliage to maximize the amount of light it can absorb.
It also increases airflow, which reduces the risk of fungal infections.
Freedom From Stress
A stressed Monstera will not live as long. The less stress you expose your plant to, the better it will survive. Stress is caused by poor conditions, but also by things like being moved a lot, getting its foliage broken, or being infested with pests.
The more stable and suitable your plant’s environment is, the longer your Monstera should live.
Monsteras enjoy humidity, and regularly misting your plant may give it a boost. Although humidity probably won’t noticeably alter how long your plant can survive, a humid environment will raise the overall quality of your plant’s life and may contribute to longevity. Monsteras thrive in humidity levels between 60 and 80 percent.
They like to be kept warm, and in general, you should not let the room you keep your Monstera in drop below about 68 degrees F. Monsteras will survive below this, but they will not be as happy, and they are at risk of dying if temperatures drop further.
A Suitable Container
The pot must be big enough for its roots and have good drainage holes so that the soil doesn’t stay wet. Repot your Monstera whenever it outgrows its container, as this will encourage good growth. Usually, you’ll be repotting your plant every two to three years.
Monsteras do not thrive when they are root bound, so change the pot before the roots get tight in it. Make sure your Monstera has room to grow by ensuring that the new container is about an inch or two larger than the plant’s root ball.
It’s best to repot Monsteras in the early spring, just as they are entering their growth phase.
What Else Can Kill A Monstera?
Meeting all of the above conditions will help to ensure that your Monstera is happy and healthy, but there are a couple of things that you need to protect it from, too. Your Monstera’s life will be longer if you keep it free from pests, diseases, and drafts.
Many pests can infest a Monstera, so be aware of this potential issue, and look out for insect invaders on the leaves and stems. Most will leave small, sticky patches of honeydew on the foliage and around the plant. If you see these silvery patches, your plant is being attacked by pests.
Promptly removing these pests will help to minimize stress and keep your plant healthy. Pests will steal the plant’s resources, making it harder for it to grow and stay healthy, and a serious infestation can cause yellowing and droopiness.
Many pests can be treated with soapy water or neem oil, but find out exactly what has infested your plant and address it as soon as you can.
Monsteras are sadly vulnerable to some diseases too, so familiarize yourself with the common ones and learn how to prevent and treat them. Your Monstera may get leaf-spot disease, powdery mildew, rust, botrytis, and other common illnesses. It is also vulnerable to root rot.
In general, providing good ventilation is a way to reduce the risk of diseases, but you should also sterilize all tools before using them, and keep any sick plants isolated from healthy ones.
Monsteras dislike wind and temperature fluctuations. If you put your Monstera in a drafty spot where there is perpetual airflow from doors, windows, fans, or heaters, it will be unhappy.
These plants evolved in rainforests with minimal airflow, and struggle when there is too much air movement.
When Do Monstera Leaves Start To Split?
Your Monstera’s leaves will usually split when it is approximately two or three years old. Before this point, its leaves will be whole and smooth. It is unusual for young plants to have splits in their leaves, so if you see any, make sure nothing is damaging your plant’s foliage.
Should You Cut Off Old Growth?
Your Monstera’s leaves will age and die, and the plant will grow new foliage to replace the old leaves. You should be aware of this because it’s worth removing old foliage when it is no longer serving the plant well.
This can help to stimulate new growth because the plant will not waste resources on maintaining the older leaves. You should use sterile shears to cut off old or damaged leaves, preferably at the start of the growing season.
Cut the leaves off at the base of the stem, near the main stem of the plant, rather than close to the leaf itself. This will stimulate new growth and keep your Monstera tidy.
Do Monsteras Die Of Old Age?
It is hard to say whether plants die of old age, and this is certainly true of Monsteras. Sometimes, it isn’t obvious what has killed a plant, and if your Monstera has died, you may never know why.
It seems likely that most plants do eventually die of old age, but few have a fixed upper age limit, and there is often little to determine when a plant is “mature” or “elderly.” Some plants can keep growing almost indefinitely, and if you keep your Monstera in the perfect conditions, it may grow year after year after year.
However, it is likely that the Monstera will eventually die because its cells stop dividing properly, or because it becomes more vulnerable to pests and diseases. That said, if you take a cutting from your plant, you will essentially have a “new” Monstera that is genetically identical to the old one.
In this way, you can keep a Monstera growing almost indefinitely, even if your mature plant does die.
Do Indoor Monsteras Live As Long As Outdoor Ones?
It isn’t clear whether these plants have longer lifespans when they grow in their natural environments, or when they are grown inside the shelter of a home. It may depend completely on the plant.
However, it is known that indoor Monsteras will not get as big as outdoor ones, and this could indicate that the conditions inside are less suitable. It’s possible that this means an outdoor Monstera will live for longer than an indoor one, but there is currently no way of knowing this for sure.
Where Do Monsteras Come From?
There are many kinds of Monsteras, and they are all native to the Americas. They grow in tropical regions, which is partly why they prefer warmth and humidity. You need to mirror their natural environment if you want one to thrive inside your home.
Can You Tell How Old A Monstera Is?
You aren’t likely to be able to guess a Monstera’s age by looking at it, except that it will probably be older than two if it has the leaf fenestrations. You can also make a guess based on size and height, but this will be an educated guess at best.
Monsteras can grow at very different rates depending on their conditions and the strength of the plant, so it’s really not possible to guess a plant’s age just by looking at it. Many people claim to have Monsteras that are 40 or older, but this can’t be verified by how the plant looks.
Monstera plants can live for a very long time, and certainly upward of 40 years if they are kept in good conditions. Many people claim to have had their plants for this long or longer, although it’s difficult to know for sure how old individual plants are.
If you look after your Monstera well, it should easily last for a few decades, so make sure that the environment is as suitable as it can be, and regularly inspect your Monstera for signs of pests or diseases.