How To Prune Monstera + [More Tips To Ensure Optimum Growth]

How To Prune Monstera

Having a Monstera plant is amazing. You can’t get over the wild, nature-like aesthetic pleasure it brings into a house or office with its beautifully shaped leaves. However, a Monstera plant with branches extending over a meter long can be massive. 

It takes a lot of room space, which can be a problem for some.  

But how to prune Monstera? 

Use sharp and sterilized shears, or a knife to prune monstera. Monstera should be pruned to help it grow and control its growth. You cut the damaged Monstera leaf close to its stem’s base. Cut it at an angle so that it regrows.
You’re in the right place. You’ll gain all you need to be an expert in trimming your Monstera plant.

Let’s jump into it.

Also Check: How To Propagate A Split Leaf Philodendron

How To Prune Monstera

Firstly, there are tools that you need to have to prune Monstera. They include;

  • Pruning shears or a sharp knife 
  • A pair of groves, though not a must

Ensure the knife or the pruning shears are sharp. A blunt cutting tool can damage the plant’s tissue. Plus, It’s arduous using a blunt tool. The cut should be nice and clean. Additionally, it’s best to sterilize your cutting tool to protect the plant from any bacterial infection.

Before pruning your Monstera, first, think of the shape you want your Monstera to take after pruning. Here are some questions to help you; ask yourself:

  • Which side do you want to prune; the horizontal stems or the lateral ones?
  • Where’ll you place the plant; next to a wall or window or at the center of the room? 

The above questions give you a clear image of how you want your Monstera to be before pruning. Thereby, avoiding making unnecessary cuts or ruining the plant.

Now, after considering how your Monstera should be, follow these steps:

Step 1: Start with the dying leaves. It’s the best starting point as it helps you get a good grip, especially if it’s your first time pruning. Remember, don’t rush. We’re not butchering the plant. We only want to bring it into a manageable size while retaining its aesthetic shape.

Step 2: Mark the stem you want to cut. Trace the stem down to the main stem. Then cut it at the bottom near the internode stem. 

The same steps apply to outdoor Monstera pruning. Moreover, if you’re pruning a Monstera plant for propagation, cut the left stem with at least one node. Or with the thick swollen area at the base near the stem.

Avoid Unwanted Propagation

Dispose of the pruned stems and leaves in a place where they won’t take root and grow. Avoid throwing the stems on soil or using them as compost, or else they’ll sprout. Conversely, a trash can will work, or wrap them with polythene paper.

Where Do I Cut Damaged Monstera Leaves?

First, check the extent of the damage. For a completely damaged leaf, cut the whole leaf with its stem near the main stem. However, if the leaf only has small black spots, there’s no need to cut the entire leaf down.

You can use scissors to trim the brown spots on the leaf carefully. For best results, don’t cut the living tissue. So, leave a narrow strip of the brown spot.

For broken or old stems, it’s best you prune them. Why? The plant won’t be able to repair them. Plus, the wounded stems only drain your plant’s energy, which could otherwise, be used in growing new shoots. 

However, if the broken stem has a new shoot, make them cut above the shoot; that’s if the damage is above the new shoot. Use your shears to make a 45° angle cut near the main stem. 

Note, before making any cutting, ensure the shears or the scissors are sharp. Sufficiently sharp to make a clean cut without damaging the plant tissue. Also, use alcohol to sterilize the cutting blades.

Should I Cut Off Small Monstera Leaves?

Yes, you can prune the small Monstera leaves. It helps your plant reserve more resources. Also, it encourages growth. The small, undivided leaves help the plant trap more sunlight and produce energy in its early stage. But after the plant has grown, the small leaves have no use.

However, if your Monstera is only producing small leaves, then there’s a problem. For a mature Monstera, small leaves can indicate that your plant needs attention. 

Before you prune, consider positioning the plant in a well-lit place, although not directly under sunlight. Then, water it from time to time to keep the soil moisturized, which will solve the problem. The big leaves have appeared; afterward, prune the small ones.

How Do You Prune A Leggy Monstera?

A leggy Monstera is a stretched-out plant with extensively long stems and sparse foliage. It’s a common problem caused by not exposing your Monstera to enough sunlight. Too much fertilizer or using an undersized container.

So, how do you prune a leggy Monstera?

Step 1:  Begin by cutting the dead leaves at the base near the main stem.

Step 2: Mark the stem you want to can. You should retain the stems that are not leggy.

Step 3: Trace the stem down to the main stem and make the cut. The cut should be angled at 45° to minimize water loss. If there’s a bud, make the cut slightly about it, about one-fourth inch.

Remember, the best time for pruning your Monstera is during the spring and summer months.

How Do You Prune Monstera To Encourage Growth?

To encourage your Monstera to grow, you need to trim all the unnecessary leaves, stems, and aerial roots.

Broken stems and wounded leaves consume your plant’s energy as it tries to fight infections in those areas. Pruning does help your plant to focus its energy on growing rather than recouping.

Any leaf that isn’t green doesn’t support photosynthesis, so it’s not helping your plant. Therefore, remove all the dying and yellow leaves, leaving only the green ones. Cut the leaf with its stem at the base near the main stem.

The Aerial roots help anchor the plant on objects as it reaches for the light. But if your plant has the support it needs, there is no need for more anchoring roots. Pruning some of these roots reserves more energy for your Monstera to grow. 

Cut the aerial root near the node but not so close to avoid wounding the internode stem. The cut should be clean and angled. Though, the aerial roots do make the plant look more attractive. You should probably leave a few.

How Often Should I Prune My Monstera?

Pruning your Monstera depends on its size and age. Normally, as the plant ages, it needs to be pruned more frequently. Young indoor Monstera plants can be trimmed once a year. In contrast, the older ones require monthly pruning to keep them in shape.   

However, various Monstera species have different growth rates and need varying pruning. For instance, the Monstera Deliciosa grows relatively slower than Monstera  Adansonii or Siltepecana species. It’s good, therefore, to consider which species your plant is, then sequence your pruning once every month or after two months.

It’s also best to prune your Monstera during its active period, that’s in early spring. During this period, your Monstera has more than enough sunlight for photosynthesis. Therefore, the wounds can heal quickly after pruning.


What Happens When You Prune A Monstera Leaf?

Well, one leaf won’t cause any difference, but leaving your Monstera with fewer leaves does affect the plant’s growth. Leaves are necessary for photosynthesis, and the fewer they’re, the more stunted the plant will be. 

Nonetheless, if you’ve accidentally pruned all your Monstera leaves, they’ll grow back after 2-4 weeks.

Should Monstera Be Pruned?

Yes. You should prune your Monstera to keep it in good shape and size. Aside from that, pruning helps your plant to grow. Broken stems and dying leave do take in unnecessary energy from your plant. 

Therefore, getting rid of such helps your Monstera conserve energy and focus on growing.

Will Monstera Grow Back After Pruning?

Yes, Monstera grows back after pruning. Hence, you’ll need to cut back your Monstera from time to time. As long as you have a Monstera in your house, pruning is a lifetime job. However, it’s not an arduous one, nor is it that frequent. 

Worth noting is that your plant will need pruning once a year when it’s young. Then, maybe monthly or after two months, depending on your plant species. 


There’s a reason for the word “monster” in Monstera plants. They can be massive! But pruning keeps your Monstera in its manageable size and beautiful in your office or home. 

Moreover, pruning a Monstera is an easy DIY project. You only require a sterilized cutting blade, and you’re good to go. Just cut the unwanted stems and leaves near the main stem at the base. It’s that simple!

What’s more about pruning your Monstera yourself? You get to choose your own plant shape design and which stems or leaves remain. Lastly, Monstera needs constant pruning like any houseplant.