Three and a half years ago, after settling into my newly built home, I decided to try my hand at raising a houseplant that I had always admired. I bought a palm-sized Monstera at the garden store.
In just three and a half years, my Monstera has grown taller than me, exceeding my height (5 feet 8 inches [172 cm])!
At first, the growth was slow, but as it got bigger, the growth rate kept accelerating! In this article, I’ll share with you the growth record of my Monstera over the past 3.5 years, and some personal tips on how to care for it and make it grow big.
Once you learn how to manage it, I think you’ll find Monstera to be a relatively easy houseplant to grow.
Please take these tips into consideration for your Monstera care, such as how often to water it, light requirements and when to replant.
- My Monstera’s Growth Rate: Purchased in Late February 2020, Repotted on March 6th
- My Monstera on April 13th, One Month After Repotting
- Monstera Growth Rate: As of January 3, 2021 (10 Months)
- Growth Rate of My Monstera: As of March 3, 2021 (A Full Year)
- Monstera Growth Record: As of January 13, 2022 (1 Year and 10 Months)
- Monstera Growth Record: As of November 26, 2022 (3 Years and 9 Months)
- Purchasing a Monstera
- Key Takeaways
My Monstera’s Growth Rate: Purchased in Late February 2020, Repotted on March 6th
I became interested in houseplants during quarantine and wanted a monstera in my collection, and that’s when I stumbled across a Monstera at a garden store. Curiously, I wandered over to the plant section, wondering if they had any Monstera there.
What I found was a small Monstera, just big enough to fit in my hand, with the whole plant standing at about 6 inches (15 centimeters).
It was placed in such a precarious balance that it looked like it might topple over at any moment. Thinking it would die if left like that, I decided to buy it on the spot.
Afterward, I spent a few days intensely studying how to care for a Monstera plant. My research taught me that once the roots start poking out from the bottom of the pot, repotting it into a slightly larger container helps it grow faster.
When I bought my Monstera, I could already see the roots peeking out from the bottom of the pot.
While the best time to repot was said to be between May and October when it gets warmer, I hesitated for only a moment before repotting it into the garden store pot shown in the photo above on March 6th, 2020.
It’s good to place a repotted plant, which may be weak at the moment, in a spot that’s bright but not in direct sunlight.
I found just the right spot for it in my living room, away from direct sunlight.
My Monstera on April 13th, One Month After Repotting
I’m thrilled that a long-awaited new leaf has appeared! I’m relieved to see it’s growing, even after repotting it out of season.
The leaf that was initially all curled up has slowly begun to unfold. It’s slightly bigger than the previous leaves, shiny, and incredibly cute!
Monstera Growth Rate: As of January 3, 2021 (10 Months)
Three more months have passed, and the leaves have multiplied. Since it’s January, no new leaves are sprouting, but I’m still happy to see it looking healthy.
And look, there’s a second Monstera hiding in the back! (laughs) I was so pleased with how quickly the Monstera sprouted new shoots and grew that I ended up buying a second one in the spring.
In the winter, growth slows down, and it doesn’t take up water as quickly. So, I make sure to water it generously once the surface becomes dry.
In the summer, I watered it when the potting mix surface 1-2 inches feels slightly dry inserting my finger into the soil which is a very effective way to gauge moisture level in soil.
Another tip I’ve noticed with watering the Monstera is that if the edges of the leaves look a bit weak and start to droop, it means the plant needs water.
When there’s enough water, the edges of the leaves are firm and straight. If they’re not drooping like the area in the black circle (↑), the plant has enough water.
But if they start to droop (↑like this in red circle), it means the plant will need more water soon.
When the leaves really start to droop from the center, the plant needs more water.
If you can’t judge by the surface of the soil, please look at the leaves and decide the watering timing based on their condition.
Growth Rate of My Monstera: As of March 3, 2021 (A Full Year)
The First Crisis is Upon Us! Winter’s chill has finally passed, and I was looking forward to watching the Monstera grow and thrive in the warmer weather, but things are starting to look a bit off.
There are some yellow leaves, and the color of the leaves is turning a bit too yellow, losing their vitality.
Having nurtured this Monstera for three and a half years, this was the most challenging time ever! It almost withered and died on me.
Possible Reasons for the Leaves Turning Yellow and Losing Vigor
- Exposing the leaves to too much sunlight
- The pot is filled with roots, starting to cause root rot
- The temperature was too cold
I believe these are the four reasons. Now I may have to repot the Monstera and if I am not careful the weakened plant may suffer even more damage.
To overcome this challenge, I made sure to:
- Draw the lace curtains when the sun is shining
- Pay attention to the room’s temperature
Monstera Growth Record: As of January 13, 2022 (1 Year and 10 Months)
After safely overcoming some challenges, my Monstera plant had a growth spurt in the summer of 2018. Look at how big and thick the stem has become!
At this point, I’m feeling a bit more relaxed about it. I’m coming up on a full 2 years of raising it.
With the experience I’ve gained, I’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge, and I guess that’s giving me a bit of confidence, huh?
The leaves are now approaching a whopping 20 inches (50 centimeters) in diameter!
Comparing that to how it all fit in the palm of my hand 2 years ago, the size is quite astonishing.
Whenever my brother, who lives far away, comes to visit, she’s always surprised at how much the Monstera has grown since the last time he saw it.
With it growing this big, I’m sure that it’s the “Deliciosa” variety that I wanted.
Monstera Growth Record: As of November 26, 2022 (3 Years and 9 Months)
It’s grown so much!It’s truly living up to its name by being as big as a monster! (There seems to be a theory that the name “Monstera” comes from its monster-like appearance.)
The leaves now have not only slits but also lots of holes in them, and it has become the ideal Monstera that I always wanted.
Then, half a year after surviving the winter, it faced a crisis where I thought it might die.
During the winter, it seemed healthy without needing much water, so I continued that way even as it warmed up in the spring. That turned out to be why it began to wilt and looked so pitiful.
I’ve detailed that experience in another article here.
Purchasing a Monstera
If you buy a Monstera that’s somewhat big like this, you can enjoy large leaves and splits right from the start, and you likely won’t need to re-pot it immediately. (However, if the roots are sticking out from the bottom of the pot and it’s not absorbing water well, re-potting will be necessary.)
Since it might only be labeled as “Monstera,” it’s hard to determine if the small ones are Deliciosa or not.
If you absolutely want a plant that will grow large, the ones mentioned above are labeled as Deliciosa, so they should be a sure bet!
Over the past 3 and a half years, I’ve been nurturing my Monstera, paying attention to certain aspects along the way.
By taking care of these details, I believe you can ensure that the plant grows steadily without wilting or suffering from root rot midway through its growth.
- Monstera is native to tropical rainforests, so it’s important to remember that it doesn’t like cold temperatures or direct sunlight.
- Only water the plant generously after the soil’s surface has dried.
- Make sure to find the right spot with good lighting but not too much direct sun.
- If roots start coming out from the bottom of the pot, transplant it into a pot that’s one size bigger. (Be careful not to transplant it into a pot that’s too big, as the Monstera might absorb more water than it can handle, leading to possible root rot.)
- It’s best to re-pot during the warm period from May to October. (If left as it is, and there’s a risk of root rot due to overcrowding, you should re-pot with great care when needed.)
- Water generously after re-potting, then avoid watering for the next 2 weeks. (However, if the soil surface becomes bone dry and the leaves look lifeless, you should water it.)
- Since the plant might be weaker after re-potting, avoid giving fertilizer and be cautious of direct sunlight.