How to prune your Monstera

monstera plant in pot beside window

Monsteras are a common plant that can be grown as an indoor plant in many areas of the country and an outdoor plant in warmer southern climates. It is a fast-growing plant, prized for its folio age and unique growth habits. Because of this, it is necessary to keep up with a regular pruning schedule to keep them looking their best and healthy. When tending to your Monstera, also commonly known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, it is important to remember that pruning encourages growth and that new growth will often appear shortly after cutting.

The best time to prune your Monstera is in early spring, during the active growing season, before anything slows down for the dormant season of the plant. A newly trimmed plant needs time to recover before it goes dormant. This plant grows the fastest ahead of the fall and winter months, so timing is important to a successful prune on this plant. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about pruning the Monstera plant in your home, how to gauge the growing season, and what to do with your cuttings afterward. Let’s get started and see how to prune your Monstera and what the process is like compared to most plants!


Should You Prune Monstera aka Swiss Cheese plant?

Hand showing monstera leaf

If you have been taking care of your Swiss Cheese plant for any time, you have likely noticed how fast it can grow. This will likely lead you to ask how to prune a Monstera plant, so it stays healthy and beautiful season after season? While it is a fairly simple question, there is no cut-and-dry answer.

 Monstera species are unique plants in that they thrive in the wild in areas that many other plants cannot grow well. This means they are hardy and strong and can grow for long periods of time without needing much pruning or cutting back. However, this doesn’t mean that careful and choice cutting will hurt your plant. Cutting back yellow or dead leaves, unruly branches, and excessive growth in the spring growing season can be beneficial to many Monstera plants grown indoors.

When you are deciding whether or not to prune a Monstera, it comes down to two things: person preference for how the plant looks in your home and whether the plant itself needs some help. The plant grows quickly, so it can recover easily from trimming and pruning, much faster than most plants. It is a lot more forgiving in terms of cutting back and removing branches and roots and leaves whenever necessary. Read on to learn more about the process of pruning a Monstera Swiss Cheese plant and how you can keep the plant looking its best.


Why does my Monstera need pruning?

Red and grey pruning shears besides scattered stalks and stems

While these plants can go a bit of time without pruning, sometimes for several years in fact, here are three main reasons you may want to prune a monstera regularly:

  • Pruning removes brown stems yellow leaves and keeps the plant healthy. Trimming these leaves makes it easier for the plant to put out new growth as less competition for nutrients.
  • The rapid and spreading growth habit of the Monstera plant makes it susceptible to getting a bit unruly indoors. Trimming can help the plant keep a shape and size, avoiding stem rot issues.
  • When the plant is suffering from pests or disease issues, heavy pruning may be the best way to deal with the issue. Removing the damaged leaves helps the plant recover more quickly from the attack.

Overall, this is a very hardy houseplant that can thrive indoors in the right conditions. Maintaining a healthy plant means taking care of the entire plant, from roots to leaves. Using a Lomi composter to produce nutrient-rich dirt can encourage new and healthy root growth, which keeps the Monstera plants healthy and strong. With good soil, growth is improved, and when pruned regularly, this indoor plant can be a beautiful addition to your home. If you are looking for a great way to brighten up your living space, this is a great plant to consider as it is very unique and different from other plants. This does mean it needs specialized care at times, but the payoff is well worth that small investment.

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How Often Should Monstera be Pruned?

Swiss cheese plants on glass jars with water

The frequency of pruning will largely correlate to the size and growth of your Monstera. Typically, smaller plants will need a small pruning and cut back once a year or so. This can help remove yellow and dead leave to prevent pest and pest issues. A more mature and denser plant requires more frequent trimming to keep the size and shape needed for the home and its location.

It is also worth noting that some species like Adansonii, Siltepecana, and a few others grow at a much faster rate than the more common Monstera Deliciosa. These varieties have a much faster spring growing season, and many require mor frequent pruning than other Monstera plants. Essentially, it comes down to the size of your plant and how much space you have for it, the age of the plant, whether you are using composted and fresh soil from a Lomi composter, and how much work you are willing to invest into the upkeep of your Swiss Cheese Plant.


How to Prune Monstera Plants?

Green monstera plants beside white wall

You can go about actually pruning your Monstera plant with a little care and planning ahead of time. This will ensure the process is easier and more successful overall. Here are some things to keep in mind when you want to prune a Monstera plant in your home:


Prune Swiss Cheese Plant in Early Spring

Monstera plant on orange plastic pot

You should prune your Monstera is in early spring before its growing season. Faster growth means you will get fresh new growth to fill your plant and keep it healthy. Fall and early Winter are the worst time to prune, as there is not enough light to keep the plant actively growing, and colder temperatures can damage tender new shoots that may start to emerge.


Prepare Tools for Pruning Ahead of Time

White gloves beside gray shovel and a pot with gardening tools

When it comes to pruning your Monstera, you only need the basics for supplies. Sharp pruning shears or scissors that can handle the thickness of your plant’s stems and leaves and a pair of protective gloves for your hands. That is really what you need as far as supplies go. Before you start pruning your Swiss cheese plant, be sure to use sanitized scissors or pruning shears to prevent diseases from transferring throughout the plant. Washing pruning shears afterward is also a good idea. If you have sensitive skin, the sap in the plant may cause skin irritation, so washing with mild soapy water afterward is recommended.


Identify Monstera Nodes For Easier Trimming and Pruning

Monstera green leaves in close up

Before making the first cut, it is important to identify the node or the active growing point on the stem to know where the new leaves will start growing from. It is fairly easy to find the Monstera nodes by looking for spots on the parent stem that are different colors and raised from the stem itself. This is where the leaves will emerge, and cutting above the node will stimulate growth from that point. A single leaf may grow from a node, but larger and more mature Monstera can have several leaves coming out from a single node.


Making the Cut on a Swiss Cheese Plant for Trimming

Monstera plant in glass jar on top of brown circular container

If propagating your Monstera deliciosa is something you are interested in doing with the stem cuttings, that can affect how you prune your plant. To get a good cutting to plant, be sure you cut at least two-inch below a node on the stem. This ensures there is adequate space for new roots to form. If the purpose of the pruning is simply to shape a plant or remove dying or yellow leaves or brown stems, the cut will be slightly different. In this case, you should cut above the node instead. The side of the stem the node is on is the direction the new growth will take when it sprouts, so you can choose what node to cut at to help control the shape and spread of your Monstera plant and promote healthy growth as well.


Trim the Aerial Roots if Needed During Pruning Season

Monstera aerial roots on a transparent jar facing the window

Pruning for any reason can help your plant maintain a full and healthy appearance in the home. This is true of stems and leaves and the aerial roots as well. It will make it easier to remove unhealthy leaves while promoting strong growth. You can get amazing results from just a few choice cuts as multiple leaves can grow from a single cut. And trimming aerial roots can also help make your Monstera full and attractive. It can also help deal with root-bound issues as potted roots, and air roots alike can benefit from snipping and pruning over time.


Special Considerations When Pruning a Monstera Swiss Cheese Plant

Swiss Cheese Plant Beside Chair

With this in hand, you now know how to prune Monstera plants to keep them healthy and looking their best season after season. Whether you are growing Monstera deliciosa or some other specialized variety of this common household plant, it is important to give it the right conditions to stay healthy and produce new growth. 

Good fresh soil boosted with Lomi homemade nutrients allows for fast and healthy leaf and stem growth. Pruning promotes growth and allows a newly trimmed plant to send out a flush of green healthy leaves. The tips outlined here will make it easier for you to prune a young Monstera or an older specimen when necessary and help keep your plants looking their absolute best in the active growing season and the dormant season.


Composting With Lomi and Swiss Cheese Plants Trimmings

Hand holding swiss cheese plant trimmings

When you have cut off dead or yellow leaves that are pest and disease-free, you have a wonderful opportunity to use them to help your Monstera deliciosa plant be even healthier. These are, by nature, very hardy plant that produces new leaves regularly. Using Lomi countertop composters to break down these dead leaves makes it is easier than ever to add nutrients back to your plant. A healthy plant is one that is able to grow ad support itself with nutrient-laden soil. Taking care of the entire plant means providing for every part of the plant, and keeping nutrient-rich soil in your Monstera’s pot is a wonderful way to accomplish this.

If your Monstera plant is pruned regularly, you can have a good supply of organic matter to compost down and add back to the pots to keep the nutrient cycle going strong. Most plants benefit from rich organic soil, and these plants are no different. A good plant care routine is critical for healthy house plants year in and year out, and this guide will help you accomplish that with your Monstera plants. 


Final Thoughts on Monstera Pruning in the Home

Keep your plant collection looking its best, whether you have only Monstera plants or a full and varied collection of other plants. Plants make the home much more beautiful and go a long way in making the living space safer and healthier for the entire family. With these final thoughts pruning and trimming have been covered in detail, and you are now ready to make your Monstera deliciosa plants look their absolute best year in and year out!