ethanwes

How to get Monstera stalk to resprout leaves?

ethanwes
3 years ago

Hi guys,

I’ve inherited a very old Monstera Deliciosa which is about 1.6m tall but only has 2 leaves. The ‘trunk’ is quite thick & self-supports fine, but I was hoping I’d be able to get it to sprout leaves lower down. My understanding is that if I were to take a cutting from the growing tip (where the 2 leaves are) it would sprout new growing tip/s, however the only visible node is an aerial root just below those 2 leaves. If I were to take such a cutting, it would leave this long stem with no leaves to photosynthesise. Would it still form a new growing tip/s? Or would the trunk just die? Part of the trunk is green, but much of it is grey-brown... would hate for this lovely old plant to just die!! But it looks so sad as is... would really appreciate any advice on how to get this thing back to its full glory!!

Cheers

Ethan

(PS probably worth adding I’m in Western Australia, so it’s our spring time right now)

Comments (86)

  • Eleanor
    3 months ago

    Also hi again Russ! Sorry for the hiatus!

    I have the base plant which has sprouted a full new (immature) leaf, and another on the way.

    Also, I got my central heating working! So that much is great. However, while my plant is progressing, it’s very slow, and I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better to just pot her up now. I have about seven cuttings all of the same plant, all in a container together in water.

    The roots are pretty spaced out on the aerial roots, definitely not full of them, and what’s there is anywhere from a centimeter to an inch long. Do you think it would harm the plant to pot her up early, or do you think she’d be most successful staying in water?

    Also, I may have already asked this, but are the new growths going to have backtracked into being fully immature again? They used to have many slits and some holes, and am wondering if I’m going to be right back into no slit heart shaped tiny leaves again. I don’t mind too much, as I’ll just be happy if even one lives, so the plant can live on!

    Thanks again!!

  • Eleanor
    3 months ago

    @russ1023 also! My boyfriends plant has yellow spots on the two new growth leaves - I’ve seen these spots before and the plant doesn’t seem unhealthy at all, so I was just wondering if you knew what they were. Here’s a pic!

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  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Eleanor, this could be a nutrient deficiency, possibly manganese. If he's not fertilizing, be sure to get one with micronutrients. Also, be careful of overwatering, only water when the top inch or so of soil is dry. I wouldn't use a full strength dose this time of year, go with 1/4 of recommended strength of a water soluble type fertilizer, preferably higher nitrogen which is first ratio number, or equal numbers such as 20-20-20, with minors.


    Not that it matters, but this doesn't look like a monstera, is it a philodendron?

  • Eleanor
    3 months ago

    It’s a philodendron! And he just got it from the nursery which is the confusing part!

  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    3 months ago

    I can't tell which Philo it is from that pic, interesting it has these spots straight from the nursery. I would see what happens with a fertilizer, and water only when the top of the soil is dry.

  • Georgia Wetherall
    3 months ago

    Hello! I'm new to this forum, but I've had a monstera plant for the last 2 years. He is thriving, but possibly thriving too much! He's grown to 6 feet tall, and is just one really long stem. He's only growing vertically, and no matter how much I propagate him and prune him, he's just purely a vertical boy and isn't growing outwards like I how normally see monstera growing. He's gotten to the point now where I physically can't let him grow any taller, but I'm worried about cutting too much off and harming him or killing him, and even if I do cut it off it's just going to grow back to the same length! Any help would be appreciated. (He's grown about a foot and a half in two months!!)

  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Georgia, monsteras typically don't branch to produce a bushy plant unless you intervene by cutting it. These are climbing plants in nature so they remain in a single-stem form and run across the ground in search of a tree. If it was much shorter you could simply take off the tip, but you will have to cut it closer to the base nearer the pot.


    There's no guarantee more than the last node on the base part of the stem will start growing, but very often 2 or sometimes 3 nodes will grow, which is the objective.

    Once the new vines have a few leaves you can cut those to hopefully produce a couple of branches on each of them, making a bushier plant.


    Cutting your plant won't kill or harm it, I would cut so that 3 or 4 leaves are left on the old vine. Let me know if you want instructions on how to propagate the top part that you cut off.


    I assume you have the dwarf form of M. deliciosa, the so-called Borsigiana form. If your plant is variegated, you probably know that the cuttings you can make from the top part of the vine are valuable. If it's all-green, not so much.

  • Sweet
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    hi! i was wondering if anyobody could help me. because im so confused right now. i bought a monstera stem cutting with soil roots and 1 node from a seller. when i got the cutting i watered it and have put a dome over it for humidity. it's under a grow light as well. i told the seller what i have done and she told me to let it dry out for 2 weeks before watering. so i don't know if i made a mistake of watering it.

  • Dawn Anderson
    3 months ago

    Help please!


    so I was given this from work, and I would like to know what your opinions are on what I should do with her?





    I am thinking that I am going to totally take off the leaves and propagate them into a few new plants but what about her base??? Is her base completely dead and non recoverable??


    Thank you in advance

  • Dawn Anderson
    3 months ago

    Can’t seem to post pictures have tried twice

  • Dawn Anderson
    3 months ago

    Hopefully this works

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago

    Hello everyone!! I have read this entire post and it gives me hope. My monstera LOVED my front porch but an unexpected cold snap got to it before I could get her inside. Now ALL the leaves look JUST AWFUL. I am not sure if I should cut all the leaves off, and try to cut the main stalk in segments.... or ride it out and just SEE if it will recover. Im in Louisiana and we typically dont get frost until October 31st... this one came early and got to my poor monstera. The main stalk seemed/seems healthy. I cant find any posts about "frost bitten Monstera" .... Ditch the leaves? Wait to see? Could I even expect new growth in the winter? Should I get her a heating mat to warm her up? Could this encourage new leaf growth? Any help is so appreciated.

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago

    Also, I should say that the leaves were initially light green and faded looking? And over the past 2 months continued to get more and more yellow, then brown. Its cold here (for us southerners) and my floors & near windows are definitely cool.

    Im trying to upload pictures...

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago


    Frost bite.

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago


    I think the stem looks pretty healthy... but the leaves that are yellow are beginning to turn yellow down the whole stem... Normal?

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago


    Stem. See some yellow and some green?

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago


    Poor baby...

  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Looks like several people have posted with problems lately with no answers, I'll try to help individually but info might be similar in these cases.

    Sweet Gan, how has it turned out after 3 weeks? Your supplier didn't tell you correct info in saying to keep dry for 2 weeks, I hope you didn't follow that advice. Let me know what has happened.

    Dawn, you have an old plant there that does need some attention, what have you done in the last 3 weeks?

    If you haven't cut it yet, it's best to leave it alone until spring or early summer because propagation is iffy during the winter months. If you have cut it, keep the base and any cuttings warm and in decent light, and keep fingers crossed.

    You asked about the base. Since it has the big root system it will produce strong new growth if you cut the vines leaving 2 or 3 nodes. If you don't know about nodes, that's a little bump at the base of each leaf that will grow a new plant if the stem is cut above it. If the leaf is gone, the node is still there. Once cut this should be a bushier plant since you could get more than one node to grow from each stem.

    Your plant sorely needs repotting, but rather than going bigger and bigger with pots, if it were mine I would root-prune it and repot back into the same pot or one of a similar size. The simplest way is to unpot the plant, and with a big knife (carefully!) or even a hand saw, cut off a couple of inches all around the edge and bottom of the rootball. Then repot in a fresh soil mix similar to the original material. If you can scrub some of the soil mix off the cut edges of the rootball, that would be good. Do this in summer when it's growing strongly.

    Lacey, you must be in northern Louisiana to have had a freezing cold front. I spent 3 years in Shreveport decades ago when in the Air Force, great country but too cold for me. Your monstera will probably be okay as long as you don't see black areas forming on the stem. Probably not since it's been 2 months. Cut off all the yellow or yellowing leaves, they'll eventually fall off anyway. Leave the top leaf since it's still green. You could trim off some of the brown edges of that leaf if you don't like how it looks, don't try to cut out the interior spots.

    If you have a warmer spot for it with reasonable light, move it there. At this point having it warm is more important than higher light. Let it get through the winter for now. Your plant isnt too tall but if you want a bushier plant next summer, follow my notes for Dawn above. You can propagate the tip cutting in water or a light peat-based soil mix.

    More questions from anyone, no problem

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago

    Thank you so much Russ! Do I cut the stem at the base? Or just the leaves trimmed off the stems? Could it survive with no leaves, and just stems???

  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Lacey, no, don't cut the stem, just cut off the yellow leaves plus the petiole. The petiole is the stem that connects the leaf to the main stem. So you'll have a long main stem with the green leaf at the top. If the top leaf yellows completely, cut it off along with the petiole.

    Sure, the stem/plant will be fine it if loses all the leaves, the stem is green and can make energy from it's chlorophyll. It will start producing new leaves in the spring with coming of warm temps. If you want to shorten the plant in summer, cut the stem above the soil level leaving a couple of nodes. You might not see the little bumps that are nodes, but there's one where each leaf was attached. Just locate a couple of those old leaf scars on the stem and cut above them.

    Let me know if this isn't clear, or you have more questions. If you want to email directly, I'm at bluesea14808@yahoo.com.


  • Sweet
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Russ1023 (central Fla) hi! just an update.. it's starting to sprout (is that the right term?) all the existing roots that was there rotted. it was my fault because i made it too wet. i have changed the leca/ perlite / soil mix. cut the roots away. its still growing and im super excited. but, im afraid about the roots..


    crossing my fingers that it grows 😌

    question again though.. why is the tip brown?

  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    2 months ago

    It looks fine, just stay with what you're doing. I've never used leca so can't advise you on that. The little brown tip doesn't look too ominous and could be from several minor conditions, I wouldn't worry about it as long as it doesnt get a lot bigger.

  • Sweet
    2 months ago

    thank you! 😁 will give an update soon.

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago

    Ohhhhh ok. I totally just googled "petiole" - I was calling THAT the stem. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️ I see now. Thank you so much. Your information has been so helpful. Do you sell plants as well? Do you have a website @Russ1023 (central Fla) ??

  • Eleanor
    2 months ago

    Lacey! Fully agree with Russ. When spring rolls around and the weather warms up, if you’re wanting a bushier plant you can propagate off of each node if you’d like. Just make sure you’re cutting so that each one has a node and root (the new leaf will sprout from the node, looking like a tiny light-green spike at first, and the aerial root will eventually turn into your entire root system for that segment). That’s what I’d do if I were you just to prevent it from being too lanky and top heavy, and it’s what I did with mine.

    Also update for Russ, every single one of my cuttings have full leaves, a few even have two already. So happy to bring my family plant back to the living!

  • Eleanor
    2 months ago

    Here’s an easy reference for knowing what the main terms are if you aren’t already aware! Those roots are called aerial roots as they grow in the air, their purpose is to latch onto trees in the jungle essentially (you may have seen people using moss poles to mimic this) so that they don’t fall over, and so that broken ones can reroot in the soil. Everywhere that you had a leaf, you also have a node! I hope this is helpful! Also, I recommend watching a YouTube video of someone propagating monstera cuttings the first time so you can follow along. Send progress pictures if you can!

  • Lacey Dougherty
    2 months ago

    Oh...em...gee....@Eleanor !!!!

    You did this in the WINTER?!?! CAN I DO THIS?!?! Or will it kill my baby?!?!

  • Eleanor
    2 months ago

    I would definitely wait until spring to be safe, my plant had a bacterial infection on every leaf (I left it with a friend while traveling abroad, whoops) which is why I acted so fast with it when I got it back so it wouldn’t die. It’s definitely possible if you have a hot and humid home, but I’d say if it’s not urgent to wait until spring! :)

  • Sweet
    last month

    @Russ1023 (central Fla) just an update.. she finally opened. it was supposed to be an albo borg but i don't know why it didn't have any white on it. just little spots. hopefully the 2nd leaf would have some variegration :) if not, it is going to be the most expensive monstera i have ever bought! :D


  • Sarah Lane
    last month

    Hey all, Sarah here from little ol NZ!


    I am a novice houseplant, and got Myrtle from a garden centre about 8 months ago... she seems to be doing fine but looks a little sad atm...


    Its summer here and my house is hot... however I left a friend house/cat/plant sitting over the Christmas break and Myrtle looks a little worse for wear.


    Shes gone a little yellow/bronze in the leaves, although this hasnt spread down the petioles yet.




    She seems to only have one stem which is starting to look a little long... how have others managed to get so many stems?


    Lots of aerial roots tho, so many be ok?





    Am I worrying unnecessarily?


    Any advice to help improve Myrtles state of being?


    Thanks!

  • Eleanor
    last month

    Hi Sarah! Monsteras only have one stem. Other people having multiple just have multiple plants in their pots!

  • plantlife123
    28 days ago

    Hi everyone! So yesterday I propogated my monstera for the first time (hopefully correctly).


    It was getting a little wide for my space and I cut off the main (stem, I'm guessing?) Here's a picture of both.






    Thanks for any and all advice! 🌱

    -Amanda

  • plantlife123
    28 days ago

    Hi everyone! So yesterday I propogated my monstera for the first time (hopefully correctly).


    It was getting a little wide for my space and I cut off the main (stem, I'm guessing?) Here's a picture of both.






    Thanks for any and all advice! 🌱

    -Amanda

  • plantlife123
    28 days ago







    Hope that worked ☝️

  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Amanda, personally I would have waited until spring, success would be far more certain and growth would be faster. I also would not have taken such short cuttings, 2 or even 3 nodes are much safer for success. Your cuttings are basically one node, the tip is weak new growth and will likely die if the lower stem section starts rotting and destroys the node and aerial root.

    That said, rooting in water is the safest way to go and the cuttings look healthy and strong. They will probably be fine but do keep them warm and in reasonable light. Don't worry about the time being in water, monsteras, philodendrons, pothos types and the like can grow in water indefinitely. I wouldn't try to transplant to soil until spring or early summer, as temps start to warm outside you could add a few drops of a water soluble fertilizer to the water. Good luck.

    Russ

  • plantlife123
    27 days ago

    Thank you Russ!!

  • Natalie Bureau
    27 days ago

    Hello Russ. I have a question. I recently propagated my monstera and pruned it a little bit because it was getting out of control. I cut out three very old leaves at the base. I was reading online that if you prune where you want it to grow that it will grow more. The leaves did not have nodes on them. My question is, will some eventually grow back? If not I was considering planting back one of my propagated pieces into the plant (once it has a good amount of roots established). Below is the three cuttings.


  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    Natalie, you didn't send the pic but I think I understand your question. I haven't heard that cutting leaves at some point on a stem will cause growth there, but in my experience that's nonsense.. Cutting the actual stem does cause new growth from nodes on the base plant. Philodendrons, pothos types and many other vining aroids produce multiple growths if the growing tip is removed, but monsteras are solitary plants and will normally only branch from the top node..

    Planting the cuttings back into the old pot will give it a bushier look, so a good idea. Since monsteras are generally solitary growers, there's no point in leaving more than one node above the soil line. So you can take cuttings down to that point if you wish, preferably with at least 2 nodes, 3 even better. Rot can take 1 node quickly and without a 2nd or 3rd as backup insurance, the cutting is dead and gone.

  • Angela Arellano
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    Hello! Can someone give me advice regarding my monstera. So i had this cutting for about 10 days and I let it sit in water to root. Should the node be totally soaked in water or only the roots? I was afraid it was starting to rot. 😪🤒😬 what can I do to atleast save it? Thank youuu


  • Eleanor
    24 days ago

    The whole node is fine in the water - if you have pieces that serve no purpose (like a part of a leaf stem with the leaf cut off) that will rot in the water and fall off. The node itself should keep in tact fine just make sure to change your water out regularly especially if you think something is rotting. You can also post pics to give us a better idea of what your cutting looks like!

  • Angela Arellano
    24 days ago

    The circled part was totally soaked in water. It's starting to form like it has black rings. Am i doing it correctly? Or is it rotting already?


  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    24 days ago

    Angela, I think you're saying you had the whole stem under water. If so, that's probably why the top has some rot. The water should only be deep enough to cover the roots. Keep a sharp eye on that rot, if it creeps down the stem, cut it back to where you see good tissue without the slightest hint of any gray or brown color in the center. Looks like you lost an aerial root below the top, watch that black area carefully too. Hopefully it won't get any worse.

  • Megan Nadeau
    9 days ago

    Hello, I have tried finding a solution to my problem for awhile. I bought my Monstera Deliciosa a year ago when it was very young and it has grown. However, I am not getting new growth and I have several stems without leaves that are brown at the top. How do I fix this? I have pictures below to refer to. @Russ1023



  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Megan, are you having trouble posting the pics? Unfortunately, not unusual for Houzz.

  • Megan Nadeau
    9 days ago



  • Love, Life, and Beauty
    6 days ago

    Hello,


    I ordered a monstera deliciosa and the mailman left it outside on my porch in -0 degree temps. I got home and discovered it on the porch 9 hours later and the 3 leafs on the plant where basically dead. I cut the leafs off and planted the stem in soil. After a week and a half of no progress I digged up the stem and discovered it was turning brown along both ends of the root but the aerial root appeared to be okay. It is also sprouting a new root. I took it out the soil, cut off the brown areas on the stem, and put it in a small jar of water.


    My question is, should I have left it in the soil? Will it still grow in the jar of water? Any advise would be great for I am trying to save this plant.


  • Megan Nadeau
    4 days ago

    Hi @Russ1023 (central Fla) hopefully this picture works! You can see on the right especially where the stem is completely browned over on the top, allowing no more growth.


  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Megan, your plant was originally produced by tissue culture given it's many leads from a central point. There are dormant nodes (growing points) on all the stems that will start growing if the tip is cut, or destroyed as in your case. On the stem in question, there is a node that is being hidden by the petiole (stem holding the leaf) of the leaf just below the cut stem. If you bend the leaf back a bit you might be able to see a small round or oval bump on the main stem, which is the node.

    So no worries, in the spring you will see a replacement plant emerge from that node. If this was a Philodendron you would probably see 2 or 3 new growths from nodes, but monsteras are solitary and usually only replace a lost growing tip with one new plant from the next highest node on the stem.

  • Russ1023 (central Fla)
    3 days ago

    An afterthought, nodes aren't always obvious, so if you don't see it don't worry, it's there and will show itself when it starts to grow in spring.