Monstera Growth Stages: All You Need To Know

Monstera is one of the most sought-after indoor plants among plant enthusiasts. It’s a low-maintenance houseplant popular for its unique foliage and fast growth rate.

The most fascinating thing about growing Monstera at home is watching it grow into an adult plant. Knowing what to expect at each growth stage lets you understand how best to care for and maintain the plant.

This guide discusses four Monstera growth stages and growth habits at every stage. You’ll also learn what your plant requires to grow fast and healthy at each phase.

Stages of Monstera Growth

Monstera undergoes the following four distinct growth stages:

  • Seedling stage (baby Monstera)
  • Juvenile stage (young Monstera)
  • Adult or mature stage
  • Flowering stage

Let’s explore these stages to help you understand what to expect from your houseplant.

Seedling Stage

After sowing your Monstera seed, it sprouts within 7-21 days, depending on the condition of the potting mix. The seedling that emerges relies on the seed for water and nutrients. The cotyledons (seed leaves) are the first leaves to appear but will fall off after a couple of weeks.

During the seedling stage, the baby Monstera is too weak to grow upright. So, it grows as a terrestrial creeping plant. 

Some Monstera species will grow toward darker areas, a phenomenon called negative phototropism. The plant does so to look for a tree trunk, litter, or branches for support.

As the actual leaves emerge, the seed leaves wither and fall off. Thin roots grow from the nodes with time, allowing the plant to spread quickly. This characteristic is common in Monstera varieties such as Monstera acuminata, which grow stolons.

Growth Requirements During the Seedling Stage

Preparing the medium and caring for your seedling can go a long way to ensure the plant grows healthy and strong. Ensure your container has a well-draining potting mix. The container should have enough drainage holes at the bottom.

As your seed germinates, you’ll need to observe the following tips to care for the seedling:

  • Water deeply, but avoid making the soil soggy. Water when the soil appears dry.
  • Place the container where the plant can get bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Ensure the temperature remains around 68-78°F.
  • Fertilize the plant every 2-4 weeks. You can use Monstera Plant Food for better results.

Juvenile Stage

Monstera plants stay in the seedling stage for about three months and then transition to the juvenile stage. The young Monstera produces small oval- or heart-shaped leaves during this stage. The leaf shape depends on the plant variety.

The leaves are bright green but grow darker with time. As your plant grows, the leaves become broader and more irregular. Leaf edges will begin to curl upwards.

Aerial roots will develop during this stage, growing out of the Monstera nodes. The plant grows to 6’ in height, and the stem becomes woody.

The stage lasts 2-3 years, with a new leaf developing every 4-6 weeks.

Growth Requirements During the Juvenile Stage

  • Water when the top soil is dry, but ensure consistent moisture.
  • Ensure the plant receives bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Provide your plant with physical support to climb upwards. You can go for a trellis or moss pole.
  • Fertilize the plant every 3-4 weeks.

Adult Stage

Monstera plant reaches maturity or its full potential after around three years. During the adult stage, your plant will produce mature, fenestrated leaves.

Leaf fenestration is when the leaves develop distinctive holes and splits. It’s one of the most notable characteristics in Monstera growth stages you’ll see with your houseplant. A mature Monstera with fenestrated leaves is also called a Split-leaf Philodendron or Swiss cheese plant.

The leaves grow larger and deeply lobed. Monsteras become strong and resilient and can grow up to 12’ high. Support it with a moss pole to grow upwards.

Depending on various Monstera varieties, your plant can stay in this stage for over five years.

Growth Requirements During the Adult Stage

  • Monstera plants in the adult stage are more resilient than in the juvenile stage. So, they require less water to retain soil moisture. You can water when the top soil appears dry or after every seven days.
  • If your plant outgrows its container or pot, you can repot it during the adult/mature stage.
  • Ensure the plant accesses bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Fertilize your Monstera every 6-8 weeks.
  • Prune any damaged or yellowing leaves.
  • Shape your plant as you desire.
  • When winter comes, use supplemental light to allow the plant to survive through the season.

When caring for your mature Monstera, be mindful of pest infestations, overwatering, and nutrient deficiency. Symptoms of health issues in your Monstera include the following:

  • Yellowing leaves: This sign indicates insufficient nutrients or overwatering.
  • Leaves curling or turning brown: This sign indicates more exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Aerial root rot: These roots may rot due to low humidity and inadequate water.

Flowering Stage

As Monstera plants reach the adult stage, they bloom and produce fruits. This plant blooms into clusters of small, white flowers. For your Monstera to produce fruit, you must mimic its natural habitat. Always monitor your indoor garden to allow the plant to reach this stage.

Fruits of a Monstera grow from a few flowers. The fruit is green with a similar size and shape to a banana. The fruit has a fleshy, white interior and is edible when ripe. Note that this fruit can be toxic when unripe.

You can use the seeds to grow new Monstera plants if your plant produces fruits.

Growth Requirements During the Flowering Stage

  • Water deeply but infrequently. You can check if the soil is dry by inserting your finger a few inches into the soil.
  • Ensure the plant receives bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Like other Monstera growth stages, fertilize the plant at the flowering stage. You can fertilize every 8-12 weeks to encourage healthy growth. Add a bloom booster if you want your plant to produce more flowers.
  • Prune any spent flowers to allow the plant to grow stronger and healthier leaves and flowers.

Monstera Leaf Growth Stages

As your Monstera germinates, it produces its first leaves. The subsequent leaves following the seed leaves go through several growth stages. Below we’ll look into each Monstera leaf growth stage:

  • Initiation stage: This stage occurs during the seedling phase. The first leaves appear from the sheath and can measure 2-3” in length. Depending on the plant variety, they can appear oval- or heart-shaped.
  • True leaves growth stage: New leaves appear in the Juvenile stage, and the seed leaves drop off. The true leaves are larger than the seed leaves and will retain the typical oval- or heart-shaped appearance.
  • Expansion stage: Leaves expand in the juvenile stage until the adult stage. The leaves are massive in the mature stage and will appear irregularly shaped. With time, leaves in the mature stage will start to curl upwards to absorb more sunlight and enhance photosynthesis.
  • Fenestration stage: Leaves start to fenestrate in the adult stage to create the distinctive appearance of the Monstera plant. Your Monstera plant’s fenestrated leaves will have varying holes and splits.

Bottom Line

Monstera growth stages allow you to understand what to expect as your plant grows. You’ll know what your houseplant requires to grow healthy and transition to the next stage.

The tips above will help you grow a healthy Monstera plant with stunning leaves. You can keep this plant indoors, where it receives plenty of indirect sunlight. With time, your Monstera will add aesthetic beauty to your home with its unique foliage.