Monstera deliciosa is a popular indoor plant loved for its beautiful foliage and ease of care. However, one common problem that Monstera owners including me, face, is that the plant starts growing sideways instead of upwards.
This can be frustrating, especially if you’ve been trying to train your Monstera to climb a trellis or moss pole. In this article, we’ll explore some reasons why your Monstera might be growing sideways and what you can do to fix it.
Monstera plants can grow sideways due to various reasons, such as insufficient light, improper pruning, or a response to environmental factors such as lack of space or support availability. To prevent sideways growth, ensure the plant receives adequate light, follow proper pruning techniques, and consider providing a sturdy support for it to climb.
Lack of light is one of the most common reasons a Monstera might start growing sideways. Monstera plants require bright, indirect light to grow properly, and if they don’t get enough of it, the top parts will aim to reach the nearest light source. This can cause them to grow towards a window or light source, resulting in a sideways growth pattern.
The right light is an important prerequisite for good growth. The window leaf needs at least six hours of bright, indirect light. The tropical plant can only tolerate direct sun in the winter months. Monstera feels comfortable on a south or west window.
The phenomenon you are seeing is called phototropism. For a better understanding of the meaning of this term, note that the prefix “photo” means “light” and the suffix “tropism” means “turn”. Thus, phototropism is when plants turns and grows in the direction of the light.
The plant wants to use the light to do its photosynthesis. She feeds on the light. Now you have to imagine that plants grow upwards outdoors, because that’s where (and usually from all sides) most of the light comes from.
However, your apartment is more of a gloomy dark cave from the point of view of a plant. The light doesn’t come from above as it should (unless you have a skylight), but from the side, namely from a window.
And in all other directions, from the monstera’s point of view, there is absolute darkness. So the Monstera has no choice but to bend and try to somehow get closer to the light source.
To fix this issue, you must ensure that the Monstera is getting enough light. Place it in a spot that receives bright, indirect light for most of the day. If you don’t have a suitable location in your home, consider using artificial grow lights to supplement the natural light. This can help your Monstera grow straight up instead of sideways.
One of the most common reasons for sideways growth is a lack of space in the pot where the plant is.
Monstera plants are known for their large, impressive leaves, which can make them a beautiful addition to any room. However, as they grow, they require more space to accommodate their increasing size.
When Monstera plants don’t have enough space in their pot, they will start growing sideways to find the space they need to expand their foliage.
If you notice your Monstera plant is growing sideways, it’s time to check if it needs repotting. To ensure that your plant is healthy, it’s vital to choose the right size pot that can accommodate the growth of your Monstera plant. A pot that is too small can stunt the growth of your plant, while a pot that is too large can lead to overwatering and other issues.
When repotting your Monstera, choose a pot that is one size larger than its current pot, and ensure that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to avoid waterlogging the soil. Use a well-draining potting mix that can provide the necessary nutrients for your Monstera to grow healthily.
In addition to repotting, it’s also essential to prune your Monstera to control its growth and ensure that it has a well-defined shape. Pruning will also help to stimulate new growth, which can improve the overall health of the plant.
Water and nutrients are essential for the healthy development of Monstera plants. When the plant doesn’t receive enough water, it can affect its growth and cause the leaves to wilt or turn brown.
Similarly, when Monstera plants don’t receive enough nutrients, their growth can be stunted, and the leaves can turn yellow.
To prevent your Monstera from growing sideways due to a lack of water and nutrients it’s essential to establish a regular watering and fertilizing routine.
Water your plant when the top inch of soil is dry, and ensure that the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. It’s also essential to use a high-quality fertilizer specifically formulated for houseplants.
When fertilizing your Monstera, it’s vital to follow the instructions carefully and not to over-fertilize. Over-fertilization can lead to salt buildup in the soil, which can cause root damage and affect the overall health of your plant.
A good rule of thumb is to fertilize your Monstera once a month during the growing season and reduce or stop fertilizing during the winter months when the plant is dormant.
In addition to watering and fertilizing, it’s vital to ensure that your Monstera is growing in the right conditions. Monstera plants prefer bright, indirect light, and temperatures between 65 and 85°F.
If your plant is not receiving enough light or is exposed to temperatures that are too low or too high, it can affect its growth and lead to sideways growth.
Monstera plants are known to be climbers, which means they naturally grow upwards by attaching themselves to a support structure like a tree or trellis. When growing indoors, however, Monstera plants may not have the same support structure available to them, which can cause them to grow sideways or even downwards.
Lack of support can be why your Monstera is growing sideways. If your plant is not receiving enough support, its stems can become weak and bend under the weight of its foliage.
To prevent your Monstera from growing sideways due to a lack of support it’s vital to provide it with a support structure. You can use a trellis or moss pole to help your Monstera climb upwards, or you can train its stems to grow in a certain direction using plant ties or clips.
A moss pole is an excellent support structure for Monstera plants, as it mimics the natural environment that these plants are accustomed to. Moss poles are made of a wooden or PVC pole covered in sphagnum moss, which provides a moist environment that helps Monstera plants grow upwards.
To use a moss pole, simply attach it to the pot and encourage your Monstera to grow around it. As the plant grows, you can use plant ties or clips to attach its stems to the moss pole.
Trellises are another popular support structure for Monstera plants. You can attach a trellis to the back of the pot or place it behind the plant, and encourage the Monstera to climb it. As the plant grows, you can use plant ties or clips to attach its stems to the trellis.
When providing support for your Monstera, it’s important to ensure that the structure is sturdy and can support the weight of the plant as it grows. Weak or flimsy structures can break under the weight of the Monstera, causing damage to the plant or even injury to people or pets.
If your Monstera plant is growing sideways and you have ruled out issues with light, water, nutrients, and support, genetics may be the cause. Genetics play a crucial role in how plants grow and develop, including their growth habit.
Some Monstera plants naturally have a sprawling or bushy growth habit, which can cause them to grow sideways. This can be due to their genetic makeup, which may be different from other Monstera plants that grow more vertically.
If your Monstera is growing sideways due to genetics, there may not be much you can do to change its growth habit. However, there are still some steps you can take to help it grow in a more aesthetically pleasing way.
One option is to prune your Monstera regularly. By removing any stems or leaves that are growing in unwanted directions, you can help encourage new growth that is more vertical. This can also help your Monstera look more full and bushy, which can be desirable if it is already growing sideways.
Another option is to propagate your Monstera. By taking cuttings from your plant and rooting them in water or soil, you can create new plants that may have a more desirable growth habit.
If you notice that one of your Monstera cuttings is growing more vertically than your original plant, you can focus on caring for that cutting and encouraging it to grow into a more upright plant.
It’s also worth noting that even if genetics are the reason for your Monstera’s sideways growth, other factors can still impact its overall health and appearance. Ensure you are providing your plant with adequate light, water, and nutrients and that it has a proper support structure to prevent damage to its stems and leaves.
Monstera can grow quickly, and proper pruning is essential to encourage new growth and maintain its shape. If you prune your Monstera improperly, you can cause the stem to become misshapen or grow sideways.
If you by mistake prune off a significant portion of the leaves on one side of a Monstera, it may begin to develop more foliage on the other side to compensate for the leaf loss.
As a results there will be an uneven distribution of leaves in which Monstera may grow more leaves on one side than the other, leading to a lopsided growth pattern.
Improper pruning can also weaken your Monstera’s stem, making it more susceptible to damage. To prevent sideways growth due to improper pruning, make sure to remove dead leaves and stems, and cut back any growth that is growing in an unwanted direction. When pruning, be sure to cut at the right point so as not to damage the plant.
When pruning, remove only dead or damaged leaves and stems, and avoid eliminating too much growth on one side. Furthermore, use clean, sharp trimming instruments to minimize plant damage, and sanitize them before and after use to avoid disease transmission.
How to Encourage Monstera to Grow Upright
- Provide Adequate Support: Providing adequate support will help the Monstera grow straight and strong, and prevent it from leaning or growing sideways. Offer a trellis, stake, or other support for the Monstera to cling to as it grows.
- Ensure Proper Spacing: Proper spacing will help ensure that the Monstera has enough room to grow and spread out, which will prevent it from growing sideways. Make sure to plant the Monstera in a pot that is big enough for it to grow, and provide adequate space between it and other plants.
- Provide the Right Amount and Type of Light: Providing the right amount and type of light will help the Monstera grow properly and prevent it from growing sideways. Place the Monstera in a location with bright, indirect light, and protect it from direct sunlight.
- Properly Prune the Plant: Proper pruning will encourage new growth, help the Monstera maintain its shape, and prevent it from growing sideways. Remove dead leaves and stems, and cut back any growth that is growing in an unwanted direction. When pruning, take care to cut at the right point so as not to damage the plant.
If your Monstera plant is growing sideways, it could be due to many factors. By considering issues with light, water, nutrients, support, and genetics, you can determine the cause and take steps to improve your plant’s growth and appearance.
Whether it requires pruning, propagation, or simply optimizing its growing conditions, there are steps you can take to help your Monstera thrive. With proper care, you can enjoy a healthy and beautiful Monstera plant, regardless of its growth habit.
It actively pulls the leaves always towards the light, it may crash one day, the mass is large. In this regard, the plant is not capricious – it grows under any conditions. Just do not forget to water, after all, such a juicy monster needs a lot of water.
Monsteras are climbing plants, which love to climb vertical surfaces. If you want it to grow tall rather than wide, use moss sticks to guide its upward growth.
The Monstera needs a lot of nutrients to produce the large, magnificent leaves. From April to August you should fertilize the plant weekly with a green plant fertilizer. During the remaining months it is sufficient to supply the window leaf with a fertilizer once a month.