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How to prune a monstera deliciosa

Updated November 21, 2016

With its jungle-like foliage, Monstera deliciosa, a relative of split leaf philodendron, makes a beautiful houseplant or, in tropical areas, a garden plant. The Monstera deliciosa requires little maintenance. To keep its size manageable, an occasional pruning is needed.

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  1. Mark intended pruning points and pieces to be removed. Such pieces include yellowing or dead leaves, brown or black areas on the leaves or stems (these indicate burning) and areas soft to the touch (indicate rot). For big vines outdoors, use brightly coloured yarn to help identify parts to be pruned.

  2. Remove whole or partial leaves. Make a flat cut across the stem--rather than an angled one--as close to the parent branch as possible when removing whole leaves. When only part of a leaf displays signs of withering or burn damage, remove only the damaged section using snips or hand shears unless you prefer, for aesthetic reasons, to remove the entire leaf. The leaves of a Monstera deliciosa can survive such pruning.

  3. Remove stems and branches by making a flat cut where the stem or branch joins with the parent stem. Make the cut flush with the parent stem.

  4. Dispose of the pruned material either by burning or via the trash. Monstera deliciosa is poisonous, and the oxalic acid it contains can cause irritation.

  5. Tip

    Wear gloves and long sleeves when pruning Monstera deliciosa; some people may have a sensitivity to the plant's oxalic acid. Prune during the growing season if pruning to train the plant or encourage new growth. Cut it back during its dormant period if you are pruning Monstera for size reasons. Do not hesitate to cut stems or branches if you believe the additional pruning is necessary. This will not negatively impact the health of the plant; it is very hardy and will rebound well.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears or snips

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