If you’ve been trying to make your Monstera Deliciosa plant grow faster then this article is for you. I’ll share with you how to speed up your monstera’s growth while keeping it happy and healthy.
What are the best ways to make your Monstera grow faster? To make a Monstera grow faster, ensure it’s receiving optimal sunlight. Monstera’s also need proper hydration, plenty of humidity, clean leaves, an adequately-sized pot, and fertilizer to exceed its average growth rate.
In this guide to fast Monstera growth, I’ll touch on each point above in much more detail so you can see your Swiss cheese plant reach its full potential sooner. I’ll also discuss just how big and wide you should expect this plant to grow, so keep reading!
Table of Contents
How Do I Make My Monstera Grow Faster?
Provide Bright, Indirect Sunlight
Plants need light and water to photosynthesize, so if you want to see growth out of the split-leaf philodendron, lighting is one area to prioritize.
What kind of lighting does the Monstera require to thrive? That would be bright, indirect sunlight.
The difference between indirect and direct sunlight is that there’s a medium between the sunlight and your Monstera, typically a curtain.
That curtain safeguards the plant from receiving too much direct sunlight.
Despite the rather sizable leaves of the Monstera (when it’s mature, that is), this plant cannot withstand full sunlight. Its fenestrated leaves can develop white spots that appear bleached.
Those spots become browned or blackened. Your monstera’s leaves will also become droopy, and its growth can slow or stop.
An easterly-facing or northerly-facing window with a curtain will ensure your Monstera gets just the light it needs without the risk of burning.
Per day, the monstera plant requires five to eight hours of indirect light.
If you’re not getting that much sunlight per day, such as in the wintertime, then set up an artificial grow light for your Monstera.
I’ve talked about this before, but plants cannot differentiate between natural sunlight and artificial light. So providing either natural or artificial light will work just as well.
If your Swiss cheese plant’s leaves aren’t splitting to develop those trademark holes (aka fenestrations), then it’s not receiving enough light.
You might also notice leggy stems that are arched towards one direction. The Monstera is aiming for whatever little light it can get.
You won’t see much growth lengthwise out of a plant in this condition, so increase the Monstera’s lighting, stat!
Water When the Soil Dries Out Several Inches Deep
Remember, the other key ingredient in plant photosynthesis is water.
Watering is also where most indoor gardeners make critical mistakes, unfortunately. It can be tricky to get a plant’s watering habits just right, but it’s very much doable.
The Swiss cheese plant needs slightly moist soil that dries out before you replenish it.
Allow at least two inches of the topsoil to dry out, then water the Monstera again.
If not two inches, you can wait for up to four inches of dryness, but no more than that.
How will you know how dry the soil is? By putting a clean finger or two into the pot and feeling for moisture.
If you test for soil moisture that way, then you’ll only ever water your Monstera when it needs it. Your plant will be happy, and it will grow.
The alternative is far less pretty.
An underwatered Swiss cheese plant will develop sad, yellowed foliage. The leaves can curl, as an attempt for a plant to retain moisture on the leaf surface.
Further, wilting is likely, growth ceases, and the leaf edges can become brown and crispy. Once that happens, those edges are fried. You’d have no choice but to prune your monstera and cut them off.
Much more dangerous for the long-term health of the Monstera is overwatering. That’s something this plant is especially sensitive to.
A lot of the symptoms of overwatering and underwatering a plant are admittedly the same. You’ll see yellow and/or brown areas across the foliage, wilting, and growth will likely come to a complete stop.
Some unique symptoms of overwatering include visible surface mold and a very foul odor.
Both those symptoms are indicative of root rot, a fungal disease that occurs when plants are exposed to waterlogged conditions for too long.
Not only will you not see any further growth from a Monstera with root rot, but the plant could die.
You can’t necessarily prevent it either, but you can try. You’d have to remove your split-leaf philodendron from its pot and treat the root ball.
Root rot kills the roots first, then the symptoms manifest across the rest of the plant. Thus, start by inspecting the roots.
Using clean pruning shears, you’d have to cut every brown or black root, leaving only the white ones.
Then you’d have to repot your Monstera in fresh, dry soil. Moisten the soil (but don’t saturate it) and continue caring for the plant.
Only if the Monstera has enough healthy roots to sustain itself will it survive.
Raise Humidity Over 40 Percent
How much humidity are you providing for your Monstera?
To answer that, you’ll need a hygrometer. If you don’t already have one for your home or office, they’re a useful little tool to have. They are relatively inexpensive.
You can use a hygrometer to determine how moist any environment is. The device is usually accurate within five percent, plus or minus, so keep that in mind when taking your measurement.
You’ll notice as you test that most indoor environments don’t surpass 50 percent relative humidity.
The Monstera likes at least 40 percent humidity but up to 60 percent.
Thus, if you’re not pleased with how quickly your Swiss cheese plant has grown, try increasing its humidity!
One of the ways you can do that–especially if you’re growing Monstera at home–is to move the plant to your bathroom.
At its size, the Monstera should be able to fit with room to spare. Plus, you can ensure it gets indirect lighting and plenty of moist air.
For those in situations where growing an indoor plant in their bathroom isn’t feasible, then buy a humidifier.
Keep tracking the humidity with the hygrometer when using the humidifier to get the settings just right for the Swiss cheese plant.
Keep the Leaves Clean
Monstera leaves, as I alluded to earlier, are not small. When the plant reaches maturity, a very healthy and happy Swiss cheese plant could grow leaves as large as two feet in width.
With that much surface area, you have to do some leaf cleaning from time to time.
After all, whether you grow your plant at home or in the office, the air is full of dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can land on your Monstera’s leaves.
When enough gunk is on the leaves, the plant will struggle to drink in the sunlight. This affects how well it can photosynthesize.
The result? A stunted split-leaf philodendron.
All you need to keep the leaves clean is a soft microfiber cloth. Lightly moisten the cloth and then rub it on both sides of the leaves.
You should gently support the leaf with your free hand while you’re cleaning to avoid putting too much pressure on the stem and accidentally damaging it.
Clean the leaves like this about weekly.
Repot Every Two Years or So
It’s a fact of life that every indoor plant will eventually outgrow the pot it’s in.
For the Monstera, that day comes maybe two or three years after you establish its home.
That’s not always on the dot, though.
If you’ve noticed that your Swiss cheese plant is struggling to retain water even though you haven’t changed its watering habits, that’s something to pay attention to.
If you see roots poking out of the drainage holes, that’s another indication that you can’t wait longer than you already have to repot your plant.
So too is slowed or stopped growth a sign that it’s time to upgrade.
I recommend measuring the current pot you’ve housed your Monstera in. Once you have that diameter, add two to four inches to it. Then buy a pot that size.
Although it’s tempting to always purchase a bigger pot, please refrain.
When a pot is larger than the plant itself, it’s likelier to tip.
Plus, with all that excess soil, the water in the pot dries out more slowly. This can potentially lead to root rot.
What time of year should you repot the Monstera? The spring is best, right as the plant’s active growing season gets underway.
Your Swiss cheese plant may experience a bit of transplant stress after the move. This is something that affects almost all plants when you transfer them to a new pot.
Be on the lookout for wilting or shedding leaves, dying branches, and temporarily stopping growth.
Give your Monstera time in one spot and it should become healthy eventually.
Fertilize at Least Monthly During the Growing Season
Fuel up your Monstera to grow with fertilizer.
You can begin fertilizing this plant as spring gets underway, which you’ll recall from earlier is the Swiss cheese plant’s active growing season.
The Monstera needs three macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) just like any other plant, but not in equal measure.
Rather, its plant formula should read 3-1-2. That’s three parts nitrogen, only one part phosphorus, and then two parts potassium.
If you see a formula that reads something like 6-2-3 or even 15-5-10, that’s still fine. The formula contains more nitrogen than anything else and then more potassium than phosphorus.
You shouldn’t need such heavy-duty fertilizer formulas for the Monstera as 15-5-10, especially for an indoor garden. That’s just for the sake of example.
How often should you fertilize the Monstera? At the very least, once per month until the autumn when the growing season ends.
Some indoor gardeners opt to fertilize their Monstera once every two weeks. That’s an option as well, and it will certainly accelerate the growth of this lovely fenestrated indoor plant.
Just make sure that you don’t overdo it on the fertilizer. Although fertilizer is filled with a mix of macronutrients and micronutrients that growing plants like the Monstera need, that doesn’t mean that too much of a good thing can’t become a bad thing.
Overfeeding the Monstera fertilizer can lead to fertilizer burn. This injurious condition causes foliar discoloration, usually yellowing and/or browning.
Much more seriously, the leaves of your Swiss cheese plant can wilt or wither. Growth will crawl to a stop.
The most overt sign of fertilizer burn is visible fertilizer crust on the soil, which will typically look white.
If you happen to imbue the Monstera with too much fertilizer, you’ll have no choice but to treat its soil.
The accumulation of minerals, nutrients, and mostly salts in the soil can continue to have long-term consequences.
If flushing the soil sounds too time-consuming, you can always dump that soil and repot the Monstera in fresh soil. You’ll want to give its root ball a thorough cleaning first to ensure it’s not too salty.
How Much Should a Monstera Grow Per Year?
To wrap up, as promised, I want to discuss the average growth parameters of a Monstera so you can learn what to expect from this fenestrated indoor plant.
If your Swiss cheese plant is both happy and healthy, then every year, you might see its growth expand by one to two feet.
You’re likelier to see this plant grow wider than it does taller, which is something to keep in mind.
For those indoor gardeners who want their split-leaf philodendrons to grow as tall as they are wide, then you’ll need trellises or stakes to encourage vertical growth.
It will take time to train the Monstera to grow that way, but it’s by no means impossible.
A mature Monstera can reach widths of eight feet and heights of 10 to 15 feet. Yes, that’s the Monstera’s expected growth indoors, so you will need a big, open area for this plant!