fbpx

How To Grow The Tallest Monstera Ever

Monstera plants have taken the indoor gardening world by storm, captivating plant enthusiasts with their iconic split leaves and lush, tropical foliage. These stunning plants not only make a bold statement in any room but also have the potential to reach impressive heights. The current record holder for the tallest Monstera stands at a staggering 20 feet tall, showcasing the incredible growth potential of these beloved plants. With the right care and techniques, you too can grow a record-breaking Monstera that will be the envy of all your plant-loving friends.

Choosing the Right Monstera Variety

To grow the tallest Monstera ever, it’s essential to start with the right variety. There are several Monstera species and cultivars to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics and growth habits.

Monstera Deliciosa

The most popular and well-known variety is Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant. This species is renowned for its large, fenestrated leaves and its ability to reach impressive heights. Monstera deliciosa is a vigorous grower and can easily climb up to 10 feet or more with proper support.

Other High-Climbing Varieties

Other Monstera varieties known for their height potential include Monstera borsigiana, which has slightly smaller leaves than deliciosa but can grow just as tall, and Monstera siltepecana, a rare species with elongated, narrow leaves that can vine up to 20 feet or more.

When selecting your Monstera, choose a healthy, vigorous plant with no signs of damage or disease. A strong, well-established root system and lush foliage are good indicators of a plant with the potential to reach great heights.

Providing Optimal Growing Conditions

To encourage your Monstera to grow to its full potential, you must provide it with the optimal growing conditions. These tropical plants thrive in environments that mimic their natural habitat, so it’s essential to get the following factors right:

Light

Monsteras prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sun, especially in the morning, but harsh midday sun can scorch their leaves. Place your Monstera near an east- or south-facing window, or use sheer curtains to filter the light if necessary.

Temperature

Monsteras thrive in warm temperatures between 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C). They can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures but should be kept away from cold drafts and air conditioning vents, which can damage their leaves.

Humidity

As tropical plants, Monsteras prefer high humidity levels between 60% to 80%. To increase humidity around your plant, you can:

  • Place a humidifier nearby
  • Set your Monstera on a pebble tray filled with water
  • Group your Monstera with other plants to create a microclimate
  • Mist the leaves regularly with a spray bottle

Airflow

Good air circulation is essential to prevent disease and keep your Monstera healthy. Ensure your plant has enough space around it for air to flow freely, and consider using a small fan to gently circulate the air if needed.

Soil

Monsteras require a well-draining potting mix that allows excess water to escape while still retaining some moisture. A good mix for Monsteras includes:

  • 2 parts peat moss or coco coir
  • 1 part perlite or pumice
  • 1 part orchid bark

You can also use a pre-made aroid mix or add some horticultural charcoal to improve drainage and prevent root rot.

Watering and Fertilizing for Maximum Growth

Proper watering and fertilizing are crucial for encouraging strong, healthy growth in your Monstera.

Watering

Monsteras prefer to be watered deeply but allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. Stick your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle, and if it feels dry, it’s time to water. Water your Monstera until the excess runs out of the drainage holes, then empty the saucer to prevent the plant from sitting in water.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, so be sure to check the soil before watering and adjust your watering schedule based on factors like light, temperature, and humidity. Signs of overwatering include yellowing leaves, mushy stems, and a foul odor from the soil.

Underwatering, on the other hand, can cause the leaves to droop and become crispy. If you notice these signs, give your Monstera a thorough watering and it should perk back up within a few hours.

Fertilizing

To fuel your Monstera’s growth, fertilize it monthly during the growing season (spring through summer) with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer once every three months for a more hands-off approach.

Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to salt buildup in the soil and damage the roots. Every few months, flush the soil by running water through it for several minutes to remove any accumulated salts.

Supporting Upward Growth

To encourage your Monstera to grow tall rather than wide, you’ll need to provide it with the proper support and training.

Moss Poles and Trellises

The most common way to support a Monstera is with a moss pole, a tall stake covered in sphagnum moss that the plant can climb up. You can also use a trellis, a metal or wooden grid that the plant can vine up.

Choose a support that is sturdy enough to hold the weight of your Monstera as it grows and tall enough to accommodate its potential height. You can always add extensions to your support as your plant gets taller.

Training Your Monstera

To train your Monstera to climb, gently tie the stems to the support using soft plant ties or strips of cloth. As the plant grows, continue to guide the new growth up the support, tying it in place as needed.

Pruning for Height

To encourage your Monstera to grow taller, you can prune off the side shoots that emerge from the main stem. This will redirect the plant’s energy into vertical growth rather than lateral growth.

Use clean, sharp pruning shears to cut off the side shoots at their base, just above a node (the point where a leaf meets the stem). You can propagate these cuttings to create new plants or add them back to the mother plant for a fuller look.

Propagating and Adding Cuttings

As your Monstera grows taller, it may start to look a bit sparse at the bottom. To create a fuller, more lush look, you can propagate cuttings from your plant and add them back to the mother plant.

To propagate a Monstera cutting:

  1. Choose a healthy stem with at least two leaves and a node.
  2. Cut the stem just below the node using clean, sharp pruning shears.
  3. Remove the bottom leaf to expose the node.
  4. Place the cutting in water or moist sphagnum moss until it develops roots (2-4 weeks).
  5. Once the roots are 2-3 inches long, plant the cutting back into the mother plant’s pot, tucking it close to the support.

The new cutting will grow up alongside the mother plant, creating a fuller, more compact look.

Repotting for Continued Growth

As your Monstera grows taller, it will eventually outgrow its current pot and need to be repotted to maintain its growth.

When to Repot

Repot your Monstera every 1-2 years, or when you notice any of the following signs:

  • Roots growing out of the drainage holes
  • Water running straight through the pot without being absorbed
  • Slowed growth or smaller new leaves

The best time to repot is in the spring, just before the start of the growing season.

Choosing the Right Pot

When repotting, choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. This will give the roots room to grow without overwhelming the plant with too much new soil.

Choose a pot with good drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, and consider using a pot made of breathable material like terra cotta or ceramic to help regulate moisture levels.

Repotting Technique

To repot your Monstera:

  1. Water the plant thoroughly the day before repotting to reduce transplant shock.
  2. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, being careful not to damage the roots.
  3. Loosen any compacted roots and remove any dead or damaged roots with clean, sharp scissors.
  4. Place a small amount of fresh potting mix in the bottom of the new pot.
  5. Set the plant in the new pot, ensuring it’s at the same depth as it was in the old pot.
  6. Fill in around the roots with fresh potting mix, tamping it down gently to remove any air pockets.
  7. Water the plant thoroughly and place it in a spot with bright, indirect light.

For larger Monsteras, you may need a second person to help hold the plant steady while you repot it. Be sure to handle the plant gently and support its stems and leaves to avoid damage.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with the best care, your Monstera may experience some issues as it grows. Here are some common problems and how to address them:

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of several issues, including:

  • Overwatering: Reduce watering frequency and ensure the pot has good drainage.
  • Underwatering: Increase watering frequency and check the soil moisture more often.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Feed your plant with a balanced fertilizer and consider flushing the soil to remove any salt buildup.
  • Low humidity: Increase humidity around the plant using a humidifier, pebble tray, or misting.

Brown Spots or Edges

Brown spots or edges on the leaves can be caused by:

  • Sunburn: Move your plant away from direct sunlight or filter the light with sheer curtains.
  • Fertilizer burn: Reduce the frequency or strength of fertilizing and flush the soil to remove excess salts.
  • Low humidity: Increase humidity around the plant using a humidifier, pebble tray, or misting.
  • Pest damage: Inspect your plant for signs of pests like spider mites, thrips, or scale and treat accordingly.

Pests

Common pests that can affect Monsteras include:

  • Spider mites: These tiny arachnids create fine webbing on the undersides of leaves and cause stippling damage. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • Thrips: These small, slender insects cause silvery or bronzed patches on the leaves. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • Scale: These small, oval insects attach themselves to the stems and leaves and secrete a sticky substance called honeydew. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

To prevent pest infestations, regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests, keep the leaves clean and dust-free, and isolate any new plants before adding them to your collection.

Diseases

The most common disease that affects Monsteras is root rot, caused by overwatering or poor drainage. Symptoms include yellowing leaves, mushy stems, and a foul odor from the soil.

To treat root rot:

  1. Remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots.
  2. Trim away any brown, mushy roots with clean, sharp scissors.
  3. Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining potting mix.
  4. Reduce watering frequency and ensure the pot has good drainage.

Other diseases that can affect Monsteras include leaf spot and bacterial blight. These can be treated by removing affected leaves, improving air circulation, and avoiding getting water on the leaves.

Conclusion

Growing the tallest Monstera ever is a rewarding and exciting challenge for any plant enthusiast. By providing your Monstera with the right growing conditions, support, and care, you can help it reach its full potential and create a stunning focal point in your home.

Remember to:

  • Choose a tall-growing Monstera variety like deliciosa or borsigiana
  • Provide bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and high humidity
  • Water deeply but allow the soil to dry between waterings
  • Fertilize monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer
  • Support your Monstera with a moss pole or trellis and train it to climb
  • Prune side shoots to encourage vertical growth
  • Repot every 1-2 years to maintain growth
  • Watch for and address any issues like yellowing leaves, brown spots, pests, or diseases

With dedication and proper care, your Monstera will reward you with lush, beautiful foliage and impressive height. Enjoy the journey of nurturing your plant and watching it reach new heights, and don’t forget to share your success with fellow plant lovers!

Leave a Comment