A healthy Monstera plant grows upright. This is especially true for Monsteras growing outside in the wild with plenty of sunlight.
Unfortunately, indoor Monsteras experience a few challenges that may cause them to grow sideways.
For instance, Monsteras growing in a dark room may grow sideways in search of sunlight. Similarly, the climbing plant may fall over without a support structure.
This guide explains how to grow Monsteras indoors without bending or wayward growth. In addition, we discuss what to do if your Monstera grows sideways.
So, why is my monstera growing sideways? Let’s find out.
Why Is My Monstera Growing Sideways
Monsteras, including the popular monstera deliciosa, may grow sideways for two main reasons as follows;
Natural epiphytic tendencies
If you’ve watched Monsteras grow in the wild, you’ll understand why they may grow sideways indoors. They’re naturally epiphytic.
An epiphyte grows on other plants or objects and depends on the host plant to grow vertically as it seeks sunlight.
Many houseplants behave the same way, including orchids and bromeliads. However, they rarely fall over because they form compact foliage.
The plant’s natural weight
Monstera Deliciosas may fall under their own weight if the foliage is too heavy. This is not a problem in younger plants.
However, as the plant grows, the large leaves may exert too much weight on the vines, causing the plant to fall under its weight.
Can I Let My Monstera Plants Grow Sideways?
Yes, you can let your Monsteras grow sideways. However, you shouldn’t because it affects the plant’s health.
While the plant continues to grow without a support system, laterally growing Monsteras are less healthy than upright-growing ones.
The leaves and stems choked under the thick foliage yellow, weaken, and die naturally.
Moreover, crowded leaves increase the risk of pest and disease attacks for the following reasons:
- Plant pests and diseases thrive in warm, dark corners away from direct sunlight.
- Pesticides and fungicides may not reach the affected areas due to the packed foliage.
- The sagging leaves and vines easily pick up pests and diseases from the soil.
How Do You Grow Monstera Upright?
There are two main steps to ensuring your Monstera plants grow upright – provide support and prune them accordingly.
- Provide support: A support system provides a physical structure for the plant to lean, keeping the stem and leaves off the ground. The great news is that you have many options, from moss plants to DIY support structures.
- Prune your monstera plants: Pruning best works alongside physical support. It involves cutting back rogue or overgrown vines and leaves to keep the plant in shape. Also, you should remove old, yellow or dry branches to prevent potting mix contact.
Step #1: Supporting Monstera Plants to Prevent Sideways Growth
The most practical way to prevent sideways growth is by providing support structures and regularly pruning your monstera plants. Fortunately, both are straightforward processes.
Best Support for Monstera Plants: Moss Poles
A moss pole is the most common way to support Monstera and other houseplants for two main reasons;
- It provides epiphytic support
As earlier noted, Monsteras are epiphytes. In the wild, they grow on other plants, depending on the host plant for nutrients and physical support.
Therefore, in the ideal world, you want to provide a host-like structure that supports the plant’s epiphytic habits.
A moss pole is the best choice. It’s a solid wood or PVC structure covered in moss, typically sphagnum moss, providing physical support and a nutrient-packed rooting medium for Monstera’s aerial roots.
- Promotes stronger, more mature vines and leaves
Providing contact points for Monstera’s aerial roots promotes the development of stronger vines and healthier leaves.
The vines and leaves draw water and nutrients directly from the moss pole instead of the potting mix.
Moreover, you can provide critical nutrients to the upper parts of the plant via the moss pole.
How to Attach Monstera Vines to Moss Poles
Choosing and installing moss poles is a straightforward process. Follow the steps below for healthy and strong monstera plants;
- Select the right moss stick: One option is a DIY moss pole. However, buying one online is just as convenient. Choose a sufficiently long pole. It should be taller than the longest vine on your plant.
- Drive the pole into the potting soil: First, soak the pole in fresh water. Then drive the sharp tip into the potting soil. The ideal moss pole location is close to the centre of the monstera pot but several inches from the base of the plant to prevent damage to the main root system.
- Tie the monstera vine to the moss pole: Gently wind the Monstera stems around the rod, securing them with twines as you work your way up the pole. Pay special attention to the nodes where the leaves meet the stems. This is where adventurous roots form. So, you want them to make contact with the moss pole.
- That’s all. Wait for your plants to grow upright.
When to Add a Moss Pole
Unfortunately, there’s no “perfect” time to provide a supporting moss pole for a vining plant. Some people do it within a few weeks of potting the plant, while others wait until it crawls against the pot walls.
Both are fine, provided you don’t wait for the lower leaves to turn yellow and die or for the plant to pour out onto the floor.
Nonetheless, the most pragmatic approach is to wait until you observe signs of vigorous vertical growth or the production of aerial roots.
Also, it’s time to add a moss rod if you notice wayward or unbalanced growth.
4 Other Ways to Support Monstera Plants
Unfortunately, a moss pole is expensive. It costs $10 to $15 per stick, with others costing up to $20.
Moreover, they’re challenging to find. So, here are a few alternatives to prop your Monstera Deliciosa plant indoors.
- Coco coir pole: A coconut coir pole is the best alternative to a moss pole for Monstera Deliciosa support. Like a moss pole, it provides an organic rooting medium for the Monstera plant’s aerial roots, encouraging stronger, healthier vines and leaves. The main difference is that the organic material is made from coconut fibres rather than sphagnum moss.
- Use a trellis: Trellises are frameworks of lightweight wooden or metal rods or bars designed to provide support structures for climbing plants. They are excellent for large farms. However, you can find simpler structures for a single plant.
- Bamboo stakes: A bamboo stake is a perfect compromise if a coco coir pole is expensive and trellises impractical for your project. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer a rooting medium. However, it’s strong and offers a natural feel.
- Other tree rods: Any other tree rod will do if the above options are out of reach. But ensure it’s a strong, rot-resistant natural material. Also, ensure it’s non-toxic and free of foul odours.
Step #2: Pruning Monstera Plants
In addition to providing plant support, you must regularly clip back the foliage to control the plant’s shape. Otherwise, it leans towards the side with more vines or heavier foliage.
How to Prune Monstera Plants
The following is a quick guide to pruning monstera plants without harming the plants or introducing pests and diseases.
- Find the right tools: Pruning scissors are ideal because they’re specially designed to trim delicate tree leaves.
- Trim sick leaves first: Identity yellow and drying leaves and cut them an inch above the node.
- Do the same for other branches: If your Monstera grows sideways, you may need to clip back half of the foliage for a healthier plant.
- Keep a few healthy branches for propagation: You can grow baby Monstera plants from branches comprising one or more nodes.
How Often Should You Prune Monstera Plants?
Monstera plants require regular pruning, ideally every week or two, because they grow quickly. Pruning encourages new foliage growth and boosts plant health. However, wait at least two months before pruning to change the plant’s shape.
Can You Re-pot Monstera with a Moss Pole?
Yes, you can re-pot Monsteras with moss poles. Indeed, re-potting time is one of the best times to add a moss pole to your Monstera plant. You can install the staking system without disturbing the plant’s roots.
Re-pot it in early spring when the plant has been dormant for months so it fully recovers when the growing season begins.
Why is My Monstera Growing Aerial Shoots?
The aerial shoots are natural. As climbing plants, Monsteras need the means to attach to other trees and support structures. Moreover, they are parasitic plants that feed off others.
The aerial roots are important for both purposes. First, they help Monsteras attach to other trees or support systems like trellises, moss poles, and walls.
Otherwise, the plant may not grow upright. Additionally, aerial roots allow Monsteras to draw nutrients from host plants. Therefore, you must take great care of the aerial roots.
How to Train Monstera’s Aerial Roots
Monstera roots don’t need help under natural conditions. They scour their environment for support and food sources and attach to the identified surfaces without external help.
Therefore, you may not have any problem with the roots if you provide a good support system and regularly wrap the vines around the support structure.
Unfortunately, a few adventurous roots often hang out of the pot and may crawl onto the floor and into tiny cracks in your walls.
It would be best if you kept them in check. The easiest way is to wrap the roots around a moss pole and secure them with garden ties.
Do this every time you notice rogue aerial roots. You may also trim back extra-long aerial roots if they affect interior decor.
Do Monsteras Climb?
Yes, Monstera Deliciosa is a climber in its natural habitat. It uses its aerial roots to cling to other plants. For this reason, you should provide your Monsteras with a support system. Moss poles provide the perfect climbing support. However, trellises and coco coir poles are practical too.
How to Prop Up Monstera?
Moss poles are the most common support systems for Monstera plants. That’s because a pole moss provides physical support for the winding stems and a rooting medium for Monsteras’ aerial roots. However, you can also use bamboo sticks, trellises, and coco coir poles.
How Do You Get Monstera Plants to Grow Up?
Provide a support structure if you want your Monstera houseplants to grow upward. Moss poles are the most common. However, trellises and other trees work great too. Stick the support pole into the potting soil a few inches from the plant base. Then wind the Monstera vines around it, securing them with plant ties.
Why is My Monstera Falling Over?
Monsteras fall over for two main reasons. First, it’s a natural climber that struggles to grow straight up without a support structure. Also, as with other high-foliage plants, Monsteras may “crumble” under their own weight. Fortunately, providing a support system prevents or resolves the problem.
How to Train a Monstera to Climb?
The easiest way to make Monstera Deliciosa climb is by winding the adventurous vines around a support pole, securing them with twines every few inches. But this isn’t a one-time job. Instead, it’s a continuous maintenance practice. Otherwise, your Monstera plant will grow sideways or fall over.
Why is My Monstera Leaning to One Side?
A Monstera plant may lean to one side for two reasons. First, the plant may grow sideways if it lacks a support system. Sideway growth is a way of seeking physical support. Alternatively, a supported Monstera plant may lean to one side due to improper pruning. Typically, it leans to the side with more or heavier foliage.
Interesting Read: Putting Monstera Aerial Roots in Water
Monstera plants may grow sideways as the epiphytic climbing plant seeks a host or sunlight.
Alternatively, a bushy, overgrown Monstera Deliciosa may grow sideways or fall due to its weight.
The easiest way to fix the problem is by providing physical support to help the plant grow vertically.
Moss rods, coconut coir poles, and trellises are some of the best support systems for Monstera plants.