Monsteras are attractive plants with large, beautiful leaves. They are evergreen plants that grow in tropical regions and are most known for the holes in their leaves. They are vining and have long trailing vines that can climb, hang, or crawl across the ground.
However, sometimes, the plant no longer wants to grow up. It may grow sideways and struggle with standing up on its own. For most plants, water and sunlight are the biggest reasons plants start leaning or growing sideways. Monstera usually grows sideways due to a lack of sunlight and structural support.
Since Monstera is woody, they don’t need much water to grow straight up. That would be like a tree leaning when it was dehydrated instead of wilting. However, Monstera isn’t as stable as trees and needs support via a stake or pole to grow upwards.
Why Is My Monstera Growing Outwards?
One of the main reasons why Monstera starts to grow outward is age. Unlike other plants that grow tall and follow tree-like patterns, as Monstera ages, it tries to grow outwards instead of upwards.
If your plant isn’t mature yet but still growing outwards, one reason might be a lack of light. If your Monstera isn’t getting enough light, they might stretch out to try and find a light source. Putting them somewhere closer to the light can stop them from growing outwards and instead grow upward to stay close to the light.
Watering can also affect it, as your plant won’t have the structure and strength to support itself. Many non-woody plants get structure in their stems from water filling up their cells, so without that rigidity, plants will lean.
While this can affect Monstera a little, it isn’t the main issue, as Monsteras are considered woody plants.
Should I Hang or Climb Monstera?
Depending on what you want, Monstera can climb or be hung. Their vines will trail down toward the ground if given a chance, but they are also more than happy to cling and climb up anything they can.
Monstera can grow pretty big, though. As they get bigger, they may be too awkward to be used as a hanging plant. In that case, it may be best to allow them to climb. Make sure you give them plenty of space and things to climb, so they don’t start growing outwards.
Additionally, Monstera tends to trail if not given a place to climb. While this is normal and natural, it doesn’t always look super attractive, as the Monstera has to lean over, and then the aerial roots start trailing until it can find something to cling to and climb up.
How Do You Stop Monstera From Growing Sideways?
Monsteras tend to grow outwards, especially if they need light or a place to climb naturally. When that happens, the best thing to do is to make sure they have enough to climb up.
It isn’t enough to just put your Monstera near a ladder or a table and let them climb up the legs and shelves. Instead, you must ensure they have plenty of garden stakes, a thick moss pole, or a trellis to climb up.
This gives your Monstera the tools it needs to grow upwards instead of sideways. Doing it at a young age also trains them to climb instead of trail, so they are less likely to expand outward.
Should My Monstera Be Leaning?
Leaning is a natural thing that Monsteras do. It isn’t a sign that something is wrong, but just a normal part of their growth. In the wild, Monsteras tend to grow tall when they are young. As the plant becomes heavy, it will start to lean over.
When they touch the ground, the plant will crawl along the ground. It will do this until it finds a strong enough structure to climb up, such as a tree or fence.
As your Monstera grows bigger and heavier, they usually need a little support. If you don’t want your Monstera to lean or to start trailing across the ground, the best option is to give it support so it can immediately grow straight up.
Some good support tools are:
- Bamboo tripods
- Wood plants
- Moss Pole
- Coconut Coir
How Do You Fix a Crooked Plant?
To fix a crooked plant, you must tie it to a structure for support. This will help your plant stop being crooked and start to grow straight up. Rotating your plant around in the sunlight at regular intervals can also help.
For most plants, their natural drive toward the sunlight causes them to be the most crooked, which is still a big reason for Monstera. They want all of their leaves to get sun and will start leaning to do just that.
While staking is important, especially for Monstera, to allow them to grow upwards, ensuring they get the right light helps them grow upwards and makes the staking much more effective.
How Often Should You Rotate Your Monstera?
Usually, a good rule of thumb is to rotate your Monstera about every two days. This gives it the most light and helps to provide some stabilization. Additionally, you don’t want to rotate too much. Usually, rotating the plant about 45 degrees at a time is plenty.
Just make sure to rotate in the same way so that your plant is slowly getting sun on every side during the week. Usually, with smaller plants, you can rotate them less often, but as your plant grows larger, you will have to rotate as often as every other day or even every day.
Some people remember best by rotating the plant every time they water it. You don’t necessarily have to rotate your Monstera, but if you don’t rotate it, your Monstera will often grow unbalanced, and the leaves always against the sun will usually burn.
Additionally, this will also encourage the plant to lean over more. Rotating your Monstera regularly entices your plant to stand up straighter, so it doesn’t need as much support.
How to Attach Monstera to a Moss Pole?
It is important to note that many people aren’t happy with Moss Poles you can find at the store. Thankfully, they are easy enough to make. You just need some structure, moss, something to tie it all together, scissors, and a container.
This is a great option because you can adjust the thickness and height to your preferences. For example, Monsteras usually need tall and thick stakes, so making your own ensures you get a stake that works well for your plant.
All you have to do is soak the moss in water for about fifteen minutes, squeeze out any excess water, and then tie the moss around your pole or stick. Sphagnum moss is often considered the best option.
Either way, whether you buy one or make your own, you still have to get your Monstera to attach to the pole. The first step is getting the pole to stand up independently. You have to push the pole down into the soil carefully. You need to make sure you don’t damage the roots, but you also need to push it far enough into the soil that it can support its weight and the weight of the Monstera.
Once it is far enough down, you will use something to secure some of the aerial roots of the Monstera onto the pole. Some good tools are string and zip ties. Eventually, the plant will learn to hold onto the pole, but to start, it will need some help to know where to go.
The method works the same whether you use a moss pole, coconut coir, or trellis.
Monstera is a plant that is fairly easy to take care of. However, indoors, they need a little extra support to grow their best. In the wild, they send out aerial roots to cling to trees and other plants to allow them to grow upwards. But inside, they do not have trees to hold onto.
Monstera usually grows sideways due to a lack of sunlight and structural support. Without structures they can cling to, your Monstera will start to lean over. They may also crawl along the ground or hang downward instead of climbing.
The best structures to help your Monstera are moss poles, coconut coirs, stakes, and bamboo tripods. These support tools will have your Monstera growing upwards and will help it thrive as it grows larger and taller.