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I purchased a Monstera from a coworker. She said it’s grown new leaves nonstop but I don’t know what conditions it lived in before. I now have it next to a large east facing window (unfortunately, my apartment doesn’t get enough light in the winter for my plants to be overly happy) and water it when the soil feels dry. The largest of the leaves split in a few places, but it’s certainly not spectacular.

I’d really like to make the plant more attractive looking. Right now, it sort of looks like a plant explosion. All the leaf stems cross cross and tangle, and masses of tiny leaves keep growing making it look bushy and scraggly.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love him, but how can I make things tidier? Is it best to trim Monsteras, or should I be tying it to stakes to make it look more upright? I took a couple trimmings to experiment with propagation, but I’d be afraid of over doing it. I just feel like something should be done to help maintain the quality and health of the plant as well as making it look less... chaotic.

here he is!

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The leaves will get bigger and more perforated as it gets older. It looks like it is still a baby!

They don't need lots of light, but they do need reasonably high temperatures to grow well, so your window may be too cold at night. They also like high humidity.

I would try and untangle two or three of the strongest looking stems without damaging them, and tie them to a stake. I wouldn't bother too much about sacrificing the smaller stems and leaves while doing that. It looks like there are two good stems on the left hand side of your picture and maybe one on the right as well.

The ideal way to stake them is with a substantial wood pole wrapped with something like coir (coconut) fibre. The aerial roots will then grow into the fibre and anchor the plant naturally.

Once they really get going (and the top of the plant is trying to make a hole in the ceiling) "pruning" is mostly about "cutting it back so you can get into the room it is growing in" rather than a delicate surgical operation!

  • The ideal place to grow them is in a stair well, so they can get up to 15 or 20 feet. They don't mind the lack of light in that sort of location. – alephzero Jan 5 at 21:36
  • Perfect! Glad to know it’s a younger plant too. I’ll see if I can find a stake that it can hold on to. Then I’ll plan on moving into a high ceiling house in a few years ;) – Gwendolyn Jan 6 at 18:45
  • They enjoy lots of water. – Wayfaring Stranger Jan 8 at 15:53

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