How To Prune Your Monstera for Optimal Growth

  • By: SFUAA
  • Date: August 24, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Monstera plants are an excellent addition to any house plant collector or novice; they have large beautiful leaves with fenestrations which give them the nickname the “Swiss cheese plant.” These holes or fenestrations allow sunlight to pierce the forest floor and provide added growth to the roots. Monstera plants need pruning regularly and during the growing season. 

These large leaf plants are also fantastic for small or large homes. Because they can have their growth stunted, you can allow them to grow however big or small you want. The remaining article will explore how to prune your monstera in five easy-to-follow steps, so keep reading to find out more! 

1. Decide What Needs to be Removed 

The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to remove. Pruning is the key to having a nice monstera plant that grows in the direction you want it to and isn’t taking over your house, so you should try to have an idea of what you want your plant to look like in the long term.

The first thing you’ll want to do is look for any sections of your plant that look like they’re sick, diseased, or are infested with pests such as aphids or spider mites. These can be the first things to remove to make your plant healthier.

Look for new growth in a direction you don’t want your monstera to grow. Cutting these sections of growth can help you shape your plant so it looks nicer in the long run.

In this picture, for instance, you may want to remove the leaves that are overgrowing the desk:

Photo 214581429 / Monstera © Tabitazn |

Shaded leaves that aren’t getting enough light may also be a candidate for removal to help your plant use its energy more wisely.

If you’re intending to propagate your monstera, keep an eye out for any new buds. That can occur where the leaf joins the plant. Be gentle with the delicate new buds, and do not damage them while pruning. If you damage them even a little bit, you’ll likely kill them.

Tip: If you want to replant any of your monstera cuttings, remember to cut them at an angle and leave a long enough section to successfully root. That will minimize air bubbles and allow water to flow to the cutting more easily. 

Photo 199778078 / Monstera Propagation: Cutting Sprouting in Water © Olga Peshkova |

You may also choose to remove the thick air roots growing off of your monstera. Removing these won’t cause any harm to the plant, so if you find them to be an eyesore, feel free to remove them.

2. Pick The Right Tools

Picking the right tool for any project is essential and pruning your house plant is no different. You need a sharp instrument; if your scissors or shears are dull, then you may end up causing more harm than good. 

If your house plant is large with thick branches, you may need a good pair of cutting shears. These are the ones that I use. I find that the more complicated ones with gears and other gimicks tend to break over time.

Whereas, if your house plant is small, shears wouldn’t be necessary, and using a good pair of kitchen scissors will do the trick. That having been said, you shouldn’t use your scissors for both kitchen tasks and pruning. Get a dedicated set of pruning scissors, or use something like these micro-tip shears.

I think for monstera, you can get away with using full pruning shears even if you have a small plant, though, so I’d probably just go with that from the beginning.

Make sure that regardless of what you use, you clean your pruning tools with a paper towel and disinfect them with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide before moving on to the next plant. This will help prevent spreading any disease that might be in one of your plants to the rest of them.

Dropping them in a cup of rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds should do the trick.

Some house plants do not need pruning at all. Others need more care. Monsteras are one of those plants that need to be trimmed from time to time. They grow lavish roots and leaves that can litter the floor. It is up to you to be sure to maintain your plant using the correct tools for the job. 

3. Remove Dead Pieces Such as Leaves or Vines

Monstera plants are enjoyable and easy to maintain. They make excellent houseplants and are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They are great for beginning gardeners who are just learning how to take care of a house plant. They are usually disease-free and are great for small apartments. 

You will want to remove any wilting matter because these parts are clinging to life. If you leave the dead leaves or vines on your house plant, it might damage the whole plant and drain nutrients from the remaining healthy plant. 

If you decide to prune and transplant your monstera, you may want to transplant during the late winter or early spring. You may also choose to stake your plant. That means placing a wooden stick in the soil and allowing the monstera to grow around the wood. That can create a tree-like growth. 

Monstera on Stake/Trellis
Photo 186767523 / Staked Monstera © Maritxu22 |

4. Be Sure to Cut At an Angle in the Correct Spot

Picking the right tools for the job and knowing what time of year to prune is only half of what you should know about trimming your house plants. 

You may also need to understand where to cut and at what angle you should cut. You should prune your house plant at a 40° angle. Also, do not remove too much of your plant, only enough to keep it clean and debris-free. 

Cutting your plant encourages growth, so it is critical to prune regularly. You should cut just before a leaf node, or if you are cutting a larger piece, trim as close to the stem as possible. Do not remove too much of the plant. 

5. Prune At the Beginning of Growth Season

Monstera plants are tropical, so they need a decently humid environment and a lot of sunlight to thrive. Monsteras need watering once every couple of weeks or until the soil dries out. The best time to prune your houseplant is during the growing season. That is late winter or early spring.

Pruning encourages growth, and if you prune during the correct season, then your houseplant can thrive. 

You may also consider a few other thoughts to help your houseplant grow. If your monstera is in a lower-lighted room, you may have more time in between watering. You may also place your plant at room temperature; however, they flourish more when placed in humid areas. 

Monsteras will let you know what they need. If they need water, you will notice their leaves begin to wilt. Once you give them nourishment, they will bounce back to life. 


Monsteras are stunning and easy to maintain. They are fantastic for beginners to start to learn how to grow houseplants. They are exotic and tropical and are an excellent addition to any plant collection. 

You can even grow these beautiful house plants from seeds yourself. They only need water a few times a month and thrive when placed in the sun. 

Any homeowner should consider adding these beautiful plants to their homes as lively and green decorations. 

Prune your Monstera plant using these five simple steps: 

  1. Decide what needs to be removed.
  2. Pick the right tools.
  3. Remove dead pieces such as leaves or vines.
  4. Be sure to cut at an angle and in the correct spot.
  5. Prune at the beginning of the growth season.


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