There is nothing more heartbreaking than finding your favorite Monstera with a broken stem. I remember the time when my dog ran through my living room and crashed into the pot with my Monstera plant, completely bending one of the stems. I panicked at first but was able to save my beloved plant.
Depending on the extent of the damage, there are a few simple and effective methods to repair a broken Monstera stem without spending a fortune on fancy products.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to save a broken Monstera so it can continue to light up your apartment. So slide on your favorite gardening gloves, and let’s get to work!
Why your Monstera Stem Broke
There are several reasons why your Monstera stem may have broken. Some of the common causes include both underwatering or overwatering, physical damage from wind, or caused by a wrong manipulation or infestation with pests and diseases. It can be also connected to poor lighting conditions together with insufficient support.
Finding what caused your Monstera to snap is the first step to successfully healing the wound. If you don’t what caused the damage, it will likely happen again and again. Let’s talk about every one of these causes so you can better understand your plant’s needs.
Overwatering or Underwatering
One of the most common reasons for Monstera’s steam breaking is improper watering.
In either case, it can cause stress to the stem, making it weaker and more susceptible to breaking.
When a Monstera deliciosa is underwatered, the soil becomes dry, and the stem loses its elasticity, becoming brittle and prone to snapping. On the under hand, overwatering can lead to root rot, causing the stem to weaken and break.
And even if the stem doesn’t break, by improperly watering, you are headed for even more issues in the future.
Accidents can happen, you or your pet can knock or bump into the plant, causing the stem to break. Similarly, improper handling during transport can cause this.
But it can happen even without you noticing. When keeping Monstera outside the house, it’s exposed to all sorts of weather conditions. A heavy storm might strike and deal a devastating blow to your plant. If there are no protective barriers in place, the strong winds, and heavy rains can easily cause the stem to snap.
Pests and Diseases
The most common parasites found on indoor plants are those that make tiny punctures to the stem and suck out the sap and nutrients that come through. If this takes on for a longer time, the plant will become weak and brittle because of a lack of nutrients.
Keep a close eye on your Monstera to take action at the first sign of infestation or infection. Most of the issues will start showing up on the leaves first. As soon as the leaves start to turn yellow, check that all is well.
Poor Natural Light
Your plant won’t, of course, survive without light. But there is one additional issue with poor lighting.
Monsteras are phototropic, meaning they will naturally grow toward the light source. This comes from their nature, as they grow on the side of a tree. If the plant becomes too big and it’s growing unsupported toward one side its whole life, the pressure on the stem can build up, bending the plant even more until it snaps.
That’s why you should both support your plant and rotate it regularly to ensure that all sides of the plant receive adequate sunlight. You can check my article on How to Rotate your Monstera deliciosa for tips to maintain a healthy and sturdy stem.
How to Fix Broken Monstera Stem
First, before we dive into fixing our plant, you must check how much damage was done.
If the stem is bent but not completely broken, your plant has a good chance of recovery. However, if the stem is completely separated into two parts, you need to examine the breakage point and look for a visible leaf node.
If the separated part has a leaf node, you are in luck! In this case, you can follow our step-by-step guide to fix the broken stem. Otherwise, the best thing you can do is to put the leaf on display until it wilts.
Fix Bent Monstera Stem
If your Monstera stem is just bent but not completely broken, there’s a good chance you can fix it by just straightening the stem to recover the Monstera’s vascular system and supporting it in that position.
A plant’s vascular system is similar to your veins and arteries. It connects and transport water, nutrients, and other essential substances throughout the plant’s body, from roots to the rest of the plant.
If the stem is bent, it disrupts the flow, and the rest of the plant wilt or even dies. Fortunately, this repair is the easiest to perform and also with the highest success rate. All you need is any type of tape. it’s better to use florist tape, as this won’t discharge any substances to the plant.
- Depending on the thickness of the stem, unroll enough tape to be able to wrap around the stem at least four times.
- Gently straighten the stem using your hands. Make sure not to apply too much pressure.
- With the stem straightened, tape around the break and also above and below that point. That’s why we got that much tape. Start at the break point and continue wrapping the tape upwards to create a layer above the break and also downward to create a layer below and end in the center again.
- Additionally, you can also tape a small plant pole to the stem to create better support.
- Don’t take off the tape for at least 4 to 6 weeks. After that, you can gently remove the tape. If the bent is not yet fully healed, give it a little more time.
Repair Broken Monstera with Visible Leaf Node
A leaf node is a small, raised bump on the stem where a leaf emerges. It contains dormant cells that can differentiate into new roots, shoots, or leaves under the right conditions.
If the separated part of the stem has a visible leaf node, it’s possible to encourage the plant to regenerate by rooting that section in water or soil.
For this to work, you don’t need any special tools. Just a jar with water and, after a few days, a pot with fresh soil. But unfortunately, there is no way to reconnect the two separated parts of the broken Monstera stem.
- Cut off any damaged or broken parts of the stem. Do not touch the leaf node. It must stay intact on the separated part for this to work.
- Fill a jar or vase with room temperature water and place the stem into the water. Make sure the node is fully submerged.
- Place the jar in a bright place, avoiding sunlight or excessively hot or cold temperatures.
- Wait a few days. Make sure to change the water ideally every day. If the water becomes too stale, it will encourage bacteria, and in a day or two, you will have a whole colony there.
- Over time, the leaf node should begin to grow new roots. Once the roots are at least a few inches long (5 to 10 centimeters), you can transplant the stem into fresh soil. This can take around one month.
- Make sure to cover the whole roots with soil and water the whole pot with enough water.
- Once the cuttings are settled, make sure to take proper care of your new Monstera, following your regular watering schedule.
What to do when Broken Monstera doesn’t have a Visible Leaf Node
Well, sometimes things just don’t work out as we wanted.
It’s definitely not impossible to get out of this situation, but it’s more challenging to repair. You can try cleaning the broken stem with a sharp and sterilized knife, making a clean, straight cut. After that, you can propagate the cutting in soil or water, similarly as we did in the previous section.
Or, instead of hoping for a miracle, remove the broken part, clean it, and let it dry. Then you can save it as a memory or discard it.
If you came home to find your Monstera broken into multiple parts, don’t worry just yet. You can worry in a bit when the separated part doesn’t have the leaf node attached.
But in the happier scenario, there is an easy fix! Simply clean the separated part and put it into a jar with clean water. In a few weeks, it will grow roots long enough to transplant it to a soil. And in a few months from that, you got a brand new Monstera!