Why Is Your Monstera Plant Growing Sideways?

Watching your Monstera plant grow big and tall is a rewarding experience. However, Monstera plants can sometimes begin to grow sideways instead of vertically. But why is this?

Your Monstera plant is growing sideways because of gravity. As Monstera plants grow taller, they naturally gravitate toward the side, and the leaves become too heavy for the stem to hold up. You can counter this by placing the Monstera near an upright object or trimming the leaves.

This article will discuss different methods to fix your Monstera growing sideways, whether it’s necessary to stop the plant growing sideways, and how to train it to grow straight. I’ll also go over why staking is ideal for overall plant growth. So, read on!

How Do You Fix a Monstera Growing Sideways?

After learning why your Monstera is growing sideways, your next question is most likely how to fix it. Although a Monstera growing sideways isn’t necessarily bad (as it’s normal for Monstera to do), the look of a sideways-growing plant isn’t the best. So, how do you fix it?

To fix a Monstera growing sideways, place a straight object, like a stake, next to the plant and tie the stem (or stems) to the object. Monsteras love to climb, so putting an object near it will encourage the plant to hold onto it for support and climb it as it grows.

When placing an object, such as a stake, in the Monstera plant’s pot, it’s ideal for putting it near the center of the pot. This position is excellent because Monsteras will naturally gravitate toward the stake and grow on it, just as it does to other plants and trees when growing out in nature.

So, if you want a straight-standing plant, you need to put the stakes where you want the plant to go.

However, using stakes isn’t the only option to make your Monstera stop growing sideways. I’ll go over more options below.

Use a Stake or Other Support Method

As already mentioned, many people choose to use wooden stakes. However, stakes aren’t the only upright object people like to use for their Monstera plants. Below is a list of other excellent choices:

  • Moss poles. Moss poles are one of the most popular options for Monstera lovers, as moss poles offer more benefits to the Monstera plant. Moss more closely resembles the natural growing conditions for a Monstera plant, making it more likely to grow straight.
  • Trellis. A trellis is an excellent option if you have the space for it. As already mentioned, Monstera plants love to climb. Therefore, providing an area with a trellis is an excellent way to encourage straighter plant growth.
  • Coir poles. Manufacturers make Coir poles from coconut fiber. Like moss poles, coir poles (or coco coir poles) are a more natural option, as they mimic the Monstera plants’ natural environment. 
  • Bamboo stakes. A bamboo stake is another more natural-looking option, especially over regular stakes. Bamboo is more realistic, which is what you want when putting stakes in your plant.
  • Trees. Trees are only suitable if you’re growing your Monstera out in the wild, but they are still an option nonetheless!

To give your Monstera plant support, follow these steps:

  1. Select your support method. You can choose from the list above or find your own kind of support. As long as it will hold your plant up, it’ll work!
  2. Install your support method. This process could be putting the Monstera plant near the support (like a trellis) or pushing stakes into the potting soil.
  3. Tie the stems to the support. You can do this using tape, rope, twist ties, or whatever other method you’d like.
  4. Watch your plants grow straight! You might have to readjust occasionally, but you won’t have any plants growing sideways any longer.

Prune the Monstera Plant

If supporting your Monstera plant with stakes isn’t ideal for you, you can always prune the plant. Pruning your Monstera will cut back the leaves and make the plant stand tall again. However, if you like the look of your plant with the long leaves and stems, pruning your plant might not be the best idea.

Nevertheless, if you think pruning the plant is a good idea to stop it from growing sideways, here are the steps to do it:

  1. Get a pair of pruning scissors. Pruning scissors are designed to cut leaves and stems and are sharp enough to do so cleanly.
  2. Find the dry or yellowing leaves. It’s best to trim off the leaves that don’t look as healthy first, as it will help your plant in the long run.
  3. Cut back the branches to the desired length. If you want to control the size of the plant, it’s best to cut back branches by half (or more if you wish).
  4. Keep some healthy branches to propagate. This process is optional, but if you love your Monstera plant and want to create more, it’s an excellent idea.

Do Monstera Plants Need Regular Pruning?

Pruning a plant to change its shape and pruning a plant to keep it healthy are two entirely different things. While altering the plant’s shape is purely cosmetic, pruning for health will encourage the plant to grow more. But do Monstera plants need regular pruning to stay healthy?

Monstera plants do need regular pruning, as they grow very quickly. You can still regularly prune your Monstera plant without drastically changing the overall shape. Pruning encourages new growth and keeps the plant healthy. 

Should I Let My Monstera Plant Grow Sideways?

Now that you know why your Monstera is growing sideways and how to fix it, it’s time to discuss whether or not you should leave the plant. Many people may wonder this, especially if they don’t mind the look of a sideways-growing plant.

You shouldn’t let your Monstera plant grow sideways. A Monstera plant growing sideways won’t thrive as well as one growing straight would, as Monstera prefers to climb. Additionally, Monstera plants growing sideways may not get as much sunlight as those growing straight.

Therefore, while you technically can allow your Monstera to grow sideways, it’s better to encourage it to grow straight, whether that be by putting stakes in the soil or cutting the leaves back.

How Can I Train My Monstera To Climb?

As already discussed, Monstera plants are natural climbers. If you place them near a supported object, such as a tree, they’ll begin to climb up that tree as they grow. However, if your Monstera is already growing sideways, how do you train it to climb?

You can train a Monstera to climb using a support method, such as a stake. A support method will give the plant something to cling to as it grows. Additionally, if your plant is already long and has grown sideways, you can tie the stems to the support, although training a young plant is ideal.

When you begin to notice your Monstera is developing aerial roots, which are roots above ground, it’s a good idea to start staking the plant. While staking before then won’t hurt it, aerial roots show that the plant is ready for the extra support it needs to climb.

Why Is My Monstera Bent Over Sideways?

If your Monstera is bent over, it could mean it’s growing sideways, but there’s also the issue of leaves facing down, which can cause the plant to appear bent over.

Either way, a Monstera plant bent over is unsightly. So why does this happen? 

Your Monstera is bent over sideways because of underwatering. Although underwatering is the most common cause of a bent-over or drooping Monstera plant, long stems and heavy leaves can also be the culprit. It’s best to ensure you’re correctly watering the plant and use stakes to support it.

Does Staking a Monstera Plant Encourage Better Growth?

If you’re still on the fence about using a stake to support your Monstera plant, whether because you don’t like the look of it or you’re not sure if it’s worth it, it’s important to discuss if staking the plant helps it in any way. So, does staking a Monstera encourage more plant growth than not?

Staking a Monstera plant does encourage better growth. Giving the plant a sturdy object to cling to as it grows will encourage the stems to grow stronger and the leaves to grow bigger. Additionally, helping your Monstera grow straight will increase the sunlight it receives, making it healthier.

Therefore, it’s best to stake the plant. A more natural-looking option, such as a bamboo stake or moss pole, will look better in the plant and mimic the natural environment, making it the ideal choice.

Final Thoughts

Your Monstera plant is growing sideways because it’s gotten big enough that it can’t support its massive leaves. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to be done about gravity, so to fix this issue, you’ll have to give the plant support in the form of a stake, moss pole, or some other support method.

Additionally, if you’d rather not stake the plant, you can prune the leaves, making them less likely to lean. However, staking the plant is ideal, as it encourages better growth overall.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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