Happy Plant is a little too happy
February 11, 2021 3:29 PM   Subscribe

A few years ago I picked up a half-dead leaf with a bit of root that someone had thrown out, and stuck it in a pot. Now it is this happy monster, probably 6' in diameter. How do I a: trim it b: keep it in the same size pot and c: hopefully make it a little more vertical and less horizontal? Oooh, bonus if I can propagate for friends. Thanks!
posted by cyndigo to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My mom has a monstera (I’m guessing yours is some variant of monstera) and she just cut back all but like 3-4 leaves from time to time. It would spring back to enormousness in no time.
posted by slateyness at 4:01 PM on February 11, 2021

Based on your description, you could probably remove a leaf with a bit of root and stick it in a pot.

- pruning monstera
- root pruning monstera
posted by aniola at 4:15 PM on February 11, 2021

My father had a big one of these - we staked it with a really robust stake all the way down to the bottom of the pot to coax it into verticality.

In terms of propagating - pick up some rooting hormone (hardware store will likely have). Cut a leaf and stem- could be a small one that's just opening - dip in rootone and then put in water or wrap in wet papertowels in a plastic bag. Seems like it wants to take over the world so rooting shouldn't be hard.
posted by leslies at 4:16 PM on February 11, 2021

Response by poster: I think it's a philodendron ... would the same rules apply? Articles keep talking about a "node" but the stems on this are completely smooth.
posted by cyndigo at 4:19 PM on February 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Rooting philodendron
posted by aniola at 4:25 PM on February 11, 2021

Ok, so each leaf of your plant has a stem connecting it to the central stem. In your case, a node is the portion of that central stem that each leaf-stem sprouts from. A node is capable of growing roots, as well as sprouting leaves: it’s like the basic propagation unit of a plant.
posted by fancyoats at 4:27 PM on February 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

...and your plant has a known history of being easy to propogate. You already did it once!
posted by aniola at 4:32 PM on February 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

This link has some good info on pruning and propagating specific to split leaf philodendron, as well as how to tell the difference between philodendron and monstera.
posted by fancyoats at 4:39 PM on February 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

Your cutting needs to have a leaf, a leaf-stalk, and a bit of the plant’s main stem with a little brown bump (a node).

The leaf and stalk can live in water for a while, but they will never root by themselves- the little brown bump root node thingie is what will become the root.

And the node has to be connected to a leaf, in order to get enough energy (from the sun) to create the root.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 8:53 PM on February 11, 2021

Just don’t give it human blood.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:32 PM on February 11, 2021 [5 favorites]

Re: making it vertical rather than horizontal

I haven't seen it with this particular philodendron, but with monsteras it's common for people to use a moss pole to encourage vertical growth. There are lots of DIY variations/tutorials out there. I've seen people also use trellises or tomato cages, though your happy monster may be a bit too big for a cage now...
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 1:26 AM on February 12, 2021

If it helps you out, I think what you've got here is a philodendron Xanadu. They tend to stay "bushy" and are not climbers like a monstera.
posted by PardonMyFrench at 2:25 AM on February 12, 2021 [4 favorites]

I came in to say what PardonMyFrench said. It's not the sort of philodendron that will be trained on a pole.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:38 PM on February 12, 2021

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