Most people want their Monsteras to grow quickly and gain size and height to become impressive statement plants, but sometimes, these plants get a little too big for the home. An indoor Monstera will never get as large as a healthy outdoor one, but it can still grow to a considerable size.
If your Monstera is growing more quickly than you want it to, you can restrict its growth by limiting its access to the things that it needs to grow. If you reduce the plant’s ability to access things like fertilizer, light, and space in its container, it will grow much more slowly.
How Big Do Monsteras Usually Get?
As the name Monstera – Monster – indicates, these plants are not small.
Outdoors, Monsteras can grow to be enormous; they are climbing plants and they aim to get themselves into the canopies of rainforests so they can gather lots of light. They use other plants to haul themselves upwards and can climb to about 60 feet tall in some cases, with leaves that are around 2 feet wide.
Indoor Monsteras are never going to reach this sort of height, as the conditions are more limiting, but they can still reach impressive heights between 6 and 8 feet tall. They can gain as much as 2 feet in a single year if their conditions are perfect.
If you don’t have the room for this size of plant, you might be wondering what to do about it. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot have a Monstera at home.
How Can I Stop My Monstera From Getting Too Big?
It’s often better to try to restrict your plant before it gets too big, rather than addressing the problem once it has become huge. There are a few things you can do to slow down the rate at which your Monstera grows and keep it to a reasonable size.
Tip One: Restrict Its Light
One of the best ways to prevent your Monstera from growing quickly is to limit the amount of light that the plant gets. Monsteras need plenty of bright, indirect light to grow quickly, so if you don’t give your plant much light, its growth will be massively decreased.
This does need to be balanced with care because if you restrict the plant’s light too much, it will start to develop leggy tendrils, lose the fenestrations in its leaves, and even die back. Monsteras cope well with minimal light, but if you want to keep your plant healthy, you should think carefully about the positioning.
It’s fine to try a few different positions until you get it right. If possible, put your Monstera somewhere with sufficient light, and then gradually move it further and further from this light, or put up a thin curtain to reduce the sun. This should help to restrict the plant’s growth and slow it down.
If you notice that the leaves are starting to turn yellow, however, you will need to increase the light levels, or the plant may lose its foliage and die. Although Monsteras are usually fine in dark corners, too much light deprivation will cause issues.
Tip Two: Restrict Its Nutrients
Your plant cannot build lots of new growth if it doesn’t have the nutrients. Again, you need to employ this strategy with some care. If you limit your plant’s nutrient intake too much, it will be unable to survive.
On the whole, restricting your plant’s fertilizer will help to restrict its growth very effectively. Many people fertilize their plants every month during the growing season, so cut back on this and just feed yours occasionally. If the leaves are starting to turn yellow, it may need more nutrients.
Bear in mind that repotting your plant usually provides a lot of fertilizer, so you will want to do this less frequently if you don’t want the plant to shoot up. Keep it in its current container for longer, and avoid composts that have additional fertilizer in them when you do repot the plant.
Tip Three: Restrict Its Space
Your Monstera’s container makes a big difference to how large it can grow because it determines how large its roots can get. If your Monstera is limited in terms of its container space, it will not be able to gain a lot of size above the ground.
The roots of the plant need to be able to take in enough water and nutrients from the soil to support the leaf growth, so your plant will automatically stop growing leaves if it cannot support them. It will put out new roots before new leaves to ensure that it has the capacity to support the leaves.
In other words, by limiting its roots, you will limit the growth of the rest of the plant.
You should still repot the plant every few years to refresh the soil, loosen the potting medium, and minimize the risk of insects and other pests living in the soil. However, you can reuse the same (washed) container or one of the same size, and this will help to restrict your Monstera’s growth.
If your Monstera’s roots are really outgrowing its pot and you can’t put it in the same size container without risk of it getting dried out and unhappy, your best option is to use some sharp, sterile scissors to prune the roots. Do so with care to avoid stressing the plant or damaging it too much; it is best to avoid this technique if you can.
Should I Prune The Plant?
Pruning is often a good way to keep your plant to a reasonable size, and it can be done even when you aren’t trying to restrict your Monstera’s growth. Before you start, sterilize your scissors so that you don’t accidentally introduce infections to the wounds you are making.
You can cut off pretty much any part of the Monstera and it is unlikely to do it harm. Ideally, you should aim to cut the plant just below the joints where the stems split and branch.
You can then propagate the parts that you have trimmed off if you want to, and they can be gifted to friends or family, or sold if you prefer.
Pruning will likely encourage further growth in the area that you have pruned, but this shouldn’t be an issue in most cases. You can simply prune the new growth off in the future. Pruning is something you will need to keep doing if you want to keep your Monstera reasonably small.
In the short term, pruning often prompts more growth, because the plant will put its focus on replacing the leaves it has lost. However, in the long term, it will prevent the plant from gaining size, because it will only be replacing what it has lost.
What Can I Do With A Monstera That Is Already Too Big?
If your Monstera is already too large for your home, you have a couple of options. You can try to prune the plant, but be aware that cutting off large amounts of its growth could cause stress and might kill the plant if you cut it back too hard.
Alternatively, consider taking a cutting of the plant and keeping this instead. You can take a large cutting to increase the speed with which you will have a mature adult plant again, and this may be a good solution if your Monstera is too big.
You can then either sell or gift your adult plant; big Monsteras are in high demand and if you don’t want yours anymore, this is a great way to resolve the issue. You’ll find plenty of people who are glad to have a huge, established Monstera and have the space for it.
Are Any Monsteras Miniature?
If you’d rather have a naturally smaller plant, you might want to try buying a Monstera deliciosa borsigiana, which usually only grows to about half the size of a standard Monstera deliciosa.
However, these plants look very similar to young Monstera deliciosas, and it’s easy to get them confused, so if you are going to buy one, make sure you are getting it from a trusted source that will supply the right kind of plant.
A Monstera can get out of hand quite easily, and if you are trying to grow one in a small home, you may want to keep your plant in a small container and minimize how much light and fertilizer it gets. You will need to balance this carefully to avoid any risk of damaging the plant, but these methods should keep your plant reasonably small and controlled.