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Monstera Deliciosa grow pretty quickly in general, if you provide them with the right conditions. This is great for those of you on a budget, because it means that rather than spending £70 on a big one, you can buy a little one and wait.
If (and it’s a big if) you’re prepared to nurture it.
But, if you everything properly, your monstera should have no problem producing new leaves on a monthly basis – more, if your plant is big enough to have multiple points of growth.
But the frequency of which your monstera grows new leaves isn’t something the plant controls. You control that. The plant just sits there, doing their best. It’s up to you to provide food, water, and light to enable it to grow. The bigger it gets, the more leaves it’ll be able to produce at once.
If your plant can grow one leaf per growth point per month, then the more growth points the plant has, the more leaves it can produce.
This is a pretty in-depth article about coaxing monstera deliciosa to grow quickly. If you want more of a quick guide about general care, I have an article on that here.
Are Monstera easy to grow?
This is a loaded question and it doesn’t exactly have a straightforward answer.
Monstera are easy to keep alive. In fact, unless you’re overwatering it or keeping it somewhere that’s too cold for a long time, they’re pretty hard to kill.
Like, really hard to kill.
Remember when Monstera where the it plant? Happy days. They come in a variety of sizes, a few different colours, and they’re hard to kill.
What more can we possibly want from a plant? Apparently we hate that they don’t die if the wind changes direction, so we made Fiddle-leaf Figs then new it plant and Monstera Deliciosa were so passe. Seriously, what’s wrong with us?
If you struggle to keep plants alive get a Monstera. Whilst they’re unlikely to grow as big as a FLF (unless you give it something to climb up), you’re more likely to be able to keep it alive long enough to grow it. Also, Fiddle leaf figs are actual trees, so it’s hardly a fair competition.
Are Monstera easy to propagate?
Yes, they’re SUPER easy to propagate. You can make another plant by taking a cutting here:
Then either stick the plant in soil or water.
Propagating a plant and then putting the cutting in with the mother plant is a great way of making plants look fuller.
You absolutely can do this with monstera but those things have HELLISH roots, so prepare to buy some big-ass pots. I prefer to keep my monstera separately, and only propagate if I want a separate plant.
Staking your Monstera can help it grow bigger leaves
Because Monstera have such big leaves, they don’t have a problem looking full. In fact, it’s thought that one of the reasons they develop splits and holes is to allow light to reach the lower leaves.
So if you’re after a big plant quickly, stake it up rather than propagating it. A lot of vining plants create bigger leaves when they climb upwards because…
…ok pretend you’re a plant. Why are you climbing up a tree? To reach the sun (the sun is always up, for there are no ceilings in the rainforest). With more light (from the dun you’r climbing towards) you can grow bigger leaves and use those to capture even more light to make more leaves.
So if you allow your monstera to climb, it’ll grow bigger leaves. However, you’ll need to give it more light keep it strong. It doesn’t know the sun can’t penetrate through the roof of your house.
How do you make Monstera grow faster?
Ok, so we’ve covered how to make your monstera grow bigger, but how do we convince it to grow faster?
You can make Monstera grow faster by giving them more light
Your monstera needs light to create energy to grow. In that respect, the more light the better.
However, as you probably know, the sun is pretty hot, and it burns you. I’ve never had a problem with Monstera leaves burning, but then I live in the UK and mine was in an east-facing window.
For optimal growth, then a south or west-facing window with either textured glass or a sheer curtain is best.
I stick to east-facing, and the occasional afternoon sunbathing sesh outside, but that can encourage bugs, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.
If you have a variegated Monstera, the white portions are more prone to burn, so mine is in a west-facing room, but a few feet back from the window. It is a constant source of anxiety for me, but I love it anyway.
You can make Monstera grow faster by watering them properly
Monstera like to drink a LOT of water. They also do NOT like to be watered too often.
Haha, to be honest, this is true for an awful lot of tropical plants. It sounds like it’s contradictory, but it’s not. And it’s one of the few ways we can provide better care for our monstera than if it were in the wild – we can water it on a schedule.
I know a lot of people would love a plant watering schedule, but let me be clear: we’re on the monstera’s watering schedule; it won’t adhere to ours.
Luckily, since Monstera don’t like to be watered too often, we can sort of put them on our schedule. And here it is:
- Every week, probe your Monstera’s soil with a moisture probe.
- If the probe reads 2 or below, water it. If not, wait another week.
This is the moisture probe I recommend. It’s super cheap from Amazon and doesn’t need batteries.
- If you’re more comfortable probing it every couple of days, go for it, but I doubt a plant that has soil above a 2 on the moisture metre will dry out to the point of root damage within a week UNLESS it’s in a tiny terracotta pot.
- Bottom water your monstera. Leave it to soak for a couple of hours. If the soil still isn’t throughly wet, then top water as well. This is especially important if your monstera is in a terracotta pot
- Allow all the excess water to drain away before putting monstera back in it’s home
You can make Monstera grow faster by increasing the humidity around them
Monstera are perfectly happy to survive in normal room humidity, which is usually around 40%. If you have designs on growing an enormous Monstera (a monster Monstera if you will, lol, lol, lol) then 40% won’t get you there in a hurry.
Ideally, we’re looking at about 65% humidity for optimal growth. I mean, it may grow quicker at 80% humidity but you’ll increase the likelihood of root rot, and we definitely don’t want that.
Firstly, you’re going to need a hygrometer. You may have the required humidity – I do. I’m not bragging (a damp house isn’t all it’s cracked up to be), I just don’t want you to rush out and get a humidifier if you don’t need one.
I have this hygrometer from Amazon. It comes with a battery and displays the humidity and temperature.
If you’re committing to getting your monstera to chuck out more leaves, and your humidity is under 60%, I’d advise you to get a humidifier. Misting spreads disease and fungus, and pebble trays don’t work well enough.
The humidifier I recommend is the Levoit one. It’s recommended by a lot of plant care gurus for a couple of reasons:
- It produces warm mist as well as cool, so it won’t cool your plant in winter. Warm mist is also more rainforesty.
- It can be programmed to come on automatically when your humidity dips, so you don’t need to worry about remembering to run it
- It has a big reservoir so you’re not constantly filling it
- It’s not too noisy. There are some reviews on Amazon that say it’s noisy, but I defy you to find a humidifier on the market that doesn’t have at least one person complaining that it’s noisy.
And just think, you can make the money you spent on the humidifier back by selling Monstera cuttings.
You can make Monstera grow faster by keeping them clean
Keeping your monstera dust-free is one of the least sexy but most effective ways of convincing your monstera to put out more leaves.
This is the time you can crack out that pretty mister you bought – although I’ve never found a pretty one. I use amber glass spray bottles because I love functional decor.
Add a teaspoon of neem oil to the spray bottle and fill it almost to the top with water. Tap is fine, but filtered water is a nice touch. Add a drop of dish soap, screw the lid on and shake it up.
You can add everything in together, but adding the dish soap after the water means you can get more water in without getting bubbles everywhere.
Spray your plant liberally, and then wipe each leaf with a cloth or kitchen towel.
If you’re really diligent (read: I would never be bothered to do this) you can remove the dust beforehand with a microfibre cloth, then spray and wipe.
Using the neem oil spray deters pests and kills any that might be hanging around. Other pest control methods I employ are keeping spiders on my plants to eat bugs. It works like a charm if you can get them to stay.
In my experience spiders love to live on Calathea. I have no idea why.
You can make Monstera grow faster by fertilising them properly
I have a whole post on fertilising plants here, but overfertilising can do more harm that good, so stick to using a gentle general purpose monthly, diluted to half the strength the manufacturer recommends.
Always fertilise moist soil, so water, fertilise, then flush through with clean water.
Alternatively, you can add worm castings to your potting mix, for a gentle, natural fertiliser.
You can make Monstera grow faster by repotting them
Monstera don’t like to have too big a pot (though they can tolerate a lot of room better than most other plants), but they do grow large root systems quickly.
To check if your Monstera needs repotting, check its roots.
Roots protruding from the drainage holes is sometimes a sign, although if you bottom water you can find that some plants grow roots straight down to get to the water.
Hence why you shouldn’t let plants sit in water, since it encourages roots to grow down.
If the roots are growing in a circle around the outside of the soil, it’s best to repot. I like to keep Monstera Deliciosa in terracotta pots because they naturally semi-epiphytic (they don’t necessarily root in the ground) and like a lot of soil aeration.
It’s perfectly fine to keep your monstera in regular house plant potting mix, with a bit of added perlite or orchid bark for aeration. However, if you make your own (I have a recipe on this post) it can encourage the roots to grow stronger because they have to work harder to keep the plant upright.
Standard house plant potting mix can be take a while to drain, especially if you don’t add additional drainage, and you run the risk of the dreaded root rot.
Variegated Monstera grow more slowly than green ones
I thought I’d just mention this, since variegated monstera are somewhat, ahem, pricey, that they don’t tend to grow as quickly as green Monstera.
The reason for this is, I assume, that they don’t have an much chlorophyll with which to photosynthesise, so they have can create less energy. That being said, these tips will help increase the speed of growth, even if it still doesn’t grow that quickly.
My Thai Constellation is yet to put out a new leaf. She’s currently recovering from her ordeal last weekend (I repotted her).
There was a small amount of root rot which I removed. I didn’t have all the ingredients to make proper soil mix, so she had to make do with orchid, coco coir, and perlite. I can always top dress with worm castings later though.
Final thoughts on how often Monstera put out new leaves
As I said in the beginning, Monstera tend to put out new leaves monthly. I will add that mine seems to observe season from a calendar perspective rather than actual conditions.
I get no new leaves from October until March, even though most of my other plants keep growing winter, albeit with smaller leaves due to the lack of light.
It’s interesting that they’re so sensitive to time of year, considering they’re hard to kill.
The better you care for your plant, the quicker it’ll grow, and the new growth will be bigger and more likely to have splits and holes.