How to Prune Monstera – Your Complete Guide

Pruning is a unique way of caring for your monstera deliciosa because it allows you to cut off unwanted leaves that use its resources. Therefore, it enables it to accumulate enough energy to support other healthy parts of the plants such as roots, leaves, and stems. So, do you know how to prune monstera?

Pruning controls, the shape, and size of the monstera, and it helps you control where new leaves can sprout. You should prune it regularly to enhance the health and strength of the plant. This article gives you detailed information regarding the best way to prune your monstera.

Monstera Plant

Why You Should Prune a Swiss Cheese Plant

All plants often benefit from regular pruning. Pruning not only maintains the general health of the monstera but also accelerates growth in trimmed regions. Swiss cheese plant grows relatively faster because pruning it is crucial.

Monstera’s old foliage always die with time, causing them to turn yellow and eventually die. Its older parts are susceptible to fungal infection and disease attacks. Monstera deliciosa is a hardy plant; therefore, it cannot be affected easily by stem rot.

If your houseplant is outgrowing the container, pruning is critical if you genuinely care for it. It keeps it small and attractive; thus, you can manage it better without any harm. You can also propagate the cuttings to develop new ones.

How to Prune Monstera: Step-by-Step?

Monstera is known for its attractive green leaves. And, it can grow up to a height of about 8.5-inches. So if it starts to occupy your living space, trim it to manage the shape and size and make it look very great. 

The cut-off techniques are the same for all the types of swiss cheese plants. It needs minimal maintenance. The steps below can help you prune your houseplant easily.

Prune Monstera

 Step #1: Plan for the Right Pruning Season

It is imperative to wait for the right season to prune your monstera, especially before spring growing season. If you are trimming it to maintain the shape or control its size, this is the best time. It allows your houseplant to recover very fast. Nevertheless, if the monstera has some yellow leaves or damaged stem, you can prune it at any time of the growing season.

Step #2: Sanitize the Pruning Equipment

Before you embark on this activity, you should sanitize your garden cutting tools such as scissors, pruning shears using alcohol. Dirty tools tend to transmit infections and harmful bacteria to your houseplant.

Therefore, it is advisable to clean the tools with a cloth soaked in alcohol. If the pruning shears or your scissors are extremely dirty, the best thing is to deep them in water for a while to smoothen the muck. Then you can clean them properly and eventually disinfect these tools.

Step #3: Wear Protective Gloves

The sap from the Swiss cheese plant contains calcium oxalates which can cause skin rashes and irritation. Therefore, to prevent this health issue, wear some protective gloves. Keep it away from children and pets.


If the sap accidentally comes in contact with your skin, rinse it immediately with mild soapy water and don’t touch your eyes with it. If possible, you can also wear goggles to protect your face and eyes.

Step #4: Cut off the Dead, Yellow or Dry Leaves

Before you trim your plant, you need to mark the parts that you intend to prune, such as yellow or dead leaves as well as brown stems. You can also identify soft areas because it’s an indication of rot. For huge outdoor monsteras, use brilliantly decorated yarn to identify the parts that need to be trimmed.

Therefore, whenever you notice leaves with such features, use a sanitized scissors or garden shears to trim the leaves. The leaves turning yellow is an indication that your plant is overwatered. Trim them at the base of the stem to keep it at the desired height.

Step #5: Trim the Stems 

Check for the branches that are unruly and don’t have too many leaves. Use sterilized scissors and cut off the branches near the base of the stem. This encourages your houseplant to develop new and strong leaves and stems.

If you don’t want to eliminate the entire branch, you can cut below the node. To remove the stalks and stems, you should make a flat cut. However, you can also trim your indoor plant where the branch meets the parent stem.

Step #6: Cut-off the Roots

If you notice the roots outgrowing from the container’s drainage holes, pull it out carefully and slacken off the roots using your fingers. Slice off ¼ of the roots using a sanitized garden tools. Fill your potting mix with fresh, well-aerated, and perfectly drained soil, and repot your newly trimmed plant.

The Rooots

You should watch out for root shock and yellow leaves. And, do not overwater it to prevent root rot. Trimming your roots allows them to grow healthy and strong, thus offering steady support to the entire plant.

Step #7: Disposal

After you have pruned your plant, you can dispose of the cuttings by burning them or throw them in the trash to enhance your compost. Swiss cheese plant should be disposed of properly because it is poisonous. Its oxalic acid causes skin irritation; thus, you should be very careful when handling this houseplant.

How to Prune Monstera Deliciosa Leaves

Now that you know how to prune monstera generally, do you know how to prune its leaves? You can use a sharp and sanitized garden knife or pruning shears. Ensure you sterilize the garden tools before cutting to prevent the spread of bacteria and diseases to your houseplant.

If the stem proves hard to cut, look for suitable equipment to avoid its damage or compression while pruning. Trimming back your monstera is straightforward, depending on its condition, shape, and size. The process only becomes relatively complicated if it has overgrown and untidy.

If your monstera deliciosa is exceptionally huge, removing the excess growth randomly can be harmful. This is because it can result in shock, which seriously destroys your houseplant and hinders healthy growth. Therefore, you should cut below the nodes which have substantial growth.

Monstera Deliciosa Leaves

Look for branches or stems with numerous leaves and attempt to snip them. This reduces the spread of diseases or infections to your indoor plant. If you make several cuts, you risk increasing the infection rate, so it is best if you minimize them.

Instead of wasting the cuttings, you can propagate them by planting them in fresh potting mix or hydroponically. This way, you can create numerous swiss cheese plants to beautify your home. This way, you can care for them stress-freely.

If your monstera is not enormous, it doesn’t need too much trimming. Instead, you can make few cuts nearest the parent stem to prevent your plant from outgrowing. Early spring is the best time to conduct the pruning activity.

This allows your houseplant to heal quickly and correctly. In addition, it can be able to access sufficient distilled and bright sunlight so that it can create enough energy it needs to repair the cut areas.

How to Prune Aerial Roots

Monstera has aerial roots which grow above the ground. The roots enable it to cling around trees and other large plants for support. Huge monstera has untidy aerial roots, which might become difficult to prune.

The roots are long and unruly, thus causing structural damage to the pot. Therefore, you must be very meticulous in pruning your plant. Cutting off the aerial roots is simple and easy using sterilized shears. 

Monstera Aerial Roots

Identify the wild and untidy roots and trim them nearest to the node or stem, but you must be cautious not to cut them. Damaging the node or stem can weaken your monstera, making it vulnerable to diseases and pest infestation.

How to Prune Yellow or Diseased Growth of Monstera Deliciosa?

If you stay for long without trimming your monstera, it can start to become untidy. It starts to lose old and yellow foliage and eventually dies. Therefore, you don’t have to worry too much about that because you can trim back the leaves. Thus, you can have detailed knowledge of how to cut off dead monstera leaves.

If your plant starts to show excess yellowing, it’s an indication that you are overwatering it or is due to rotting. If these are the issues, don’t prune them; instead, you should first address these issues before starting your pruning activity.

Monstera Yellow Leave

Trimming back older and damaged growth is simple and easy. Before starting the process, decide the parts that need to be cut off. If you notice the leaves have several holes, turning yellow or dead, then cut them off.

After planning out the whole pruning process:

  1. Follow the leaves and branches back to the parent stem.
  2. Cut it close to the nodes, and remember to use sterile garden shears.
  3. Don’t try to propagate cuttings with unhealthy leaves.
  4. Remember to dispose of the wastes on the compost site.

Special Considerations When Pruning your Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera In Pot
  • Ensure that you wear protective gloves while pruning because the plants contain toxic sap, which can cause skin irritation. In addition, it can result in rashes. If the sap drops on your skin, wash it thoroughly with a lot of water and soap.
  • Use a clean and sharp garden tool so that you get a clean and perfect cut to avoid damaging the stem. Sanitized also prevents your plant from getting affected by detrimental bacteria, which are difficult to treat.
  • If you want to encourage healthy growth, the best thing to do is prune your houseplant during spring or summer. This is the best time for it to experience a growth spurt. If you trim it in spring allows the plant to heal relatively faster. If you intend to repot the cuttings, it is imperative to snip them to enhance their natural growth.
  • Plan well before you starting pruning. Therefore, you should begin by slicing diseased, yellow, or old leaves beneath the stem. If you want your Swiss cheese plant to grow tall and healthy, snip the top part.
  • Cut it close to the node if you intend to propagate your monstera. Therefore, your cuttings must contain to accelerate the growth of new plants. The nodes turn into strong aerial roots. If you follow these considerations, you can understand how to trim a monstera.

Common Problems That Lead to Pruning 

Now that you know how to prune monstera, do you know the issues that result in pruning? Numerous problems might force you to trim back your swiss cheese plant to a manageable size and shape.

Problems With Monstera Leaves

Brown or yellow leaves

If the leaves of your monstera plant start to turn either brown or yellow, it might be due to overwatering or insufficient light. Therefore, you must ensure your plant is getting the correct ratio of these elements. Before you conduct any diagnosis, remove the black, yellow, or brown leaves by pruning them near the base of the stem.

You can also check the condition of the soil. Ensure it is completely dry before the next watering session. Overwatering results in several ailments that require changing the soil and pruning your plant.

Drooping Leaves

Two things can result in drooping or wilting of leaves, which is either under-watering or overwatering. Ensure that you trim back the affected leaves. In addition, you can also check the soil condition.

At the same time, subject your plant to enough distilled bright sunlight. Moreover, ensure you supply it with a constant flow of air.

Curled Leaves

Your monstera can have curled leaves due to under-watering. To fix this problem, supply your plant with enough water by placing it in a bathtub for quite some time. The best thing to do is also trimming it. This allows your houseplant to grow strong and healthy.

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Final Thoughts

Pruning a Swiss cheese plant is very important because it keeps it healthy and attractive. You do it frequently and adequately; it encourages new strong growth. Follow the steps outlined above; how to prune monstera to ensure your plant is tidy and manageable.

Pruning your monstera deliciosa at the wrong time of the growing season cannot kill it. Instead, it suppresses the chances of growth success, particularly during propagation. Pay close attention to it after trimming it to prevent shock and infestation of pathogens. 

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