What to do with a Broken Monstera Stem (Next Steps)

The heartbreak you experience when you notice a broken Monstera stem can be devastating. How could it have happened? Can it be saved? Is there something wrong with your Monstera plant? What can you do with a broken monstera stem and what does it mean? If you are asking these questions, this article is for you!

The good news is a broken Monstera stem is not the end of the world. Depending on the extent of the break, there are steps you can take to try to rescue the stem. For example, you can:

  • try splicing it back together using grafting techniques,
  • try to save the stem with propagation methods, or
  • keep the stem alive as part of a beautiful floral arrangement.
Broken Monstera Stem

Welcome to the Garden Bench Top. In today’s article we are going to help you troubleshoot your broken monstera stem. We’ll walk you through the process of examining your stem to determine if it is salvageable. We will also use this opportunity to give your monstera a once over to ensure the broken stem is not a symptom of anything more sinister.

So if you’re ready, go grab your DIY hat and gloves, because we’ve got some mending to do.

Can You Reattach a Severed Plant Stem?

So this is the big question of the day – can you save your monstera stem and reconnect it back with the rest of the plant?

The answer is going to depend on the state of the stem, and the extent to which it has been severed.

To help you navigate to the right section of this article, we’ve summarized your options below in a table according to the extent of the damage.

State of Broken StemSurvival RateRecommended Action
Stem BentGood Chance of RecoveryTaping
Still AttachedGood Chance of RecoverySplint/Grafting
Completely Severed with NodeWill Not ReattachPropagation
Completely Severed without NodeWill Not ReattachPut on Display

If your stem is bent or broken, but still attached to your monstera plant, you have a good opportunity to try to salvage the stem and nurse it back to health. But you have to act quickly and catch the broken stem early, before the wound starts to callous over.

Repairing a Bent Monstera Stem

If your monstera stem is bent, your goal is to straighten and realign the stem, so the monstera’s vascular system continues to function.

A plant’s vascular system is an interconnected network of tissues that transport all the essential compounds, nutrients and water around a plant. Think of it as the equivalent of our veins that transport blood around our body.

If the vascular system is cut off for too long (while the stem is bent), the disconnected part of the plant will wither and die. It is therefore important that we reinstate this connection, before too much damage occurs to your monstera’s stem.

For this repair, you just need some tape. You can use whatever you have at home, from electrical tape, Scotch tape, or even florist tape. Many gardening gurus believe this method is the most successful.

  1. Around 4 inches (10 centimeters) of tape length should suffice, but you may need more for larger stems.
  2. Gently apply the tape around the break and also cover the entire stem wrapping right down to the base of the plant. You need to ensure the whole stem and base are wrapped to promote healing.
  3. The plant will need at least 2-4 weeks for recovery.
  4. If the stem has still not fully healed after this process, you can give it another few weeks.
  5. Once you see signs of recovery with the stem regaining its strength, you can gently remove the tape.
monstera plant

Splice Grafting Broken Monstera Stems

When your monstera stem has broken and is visibly damaged with an open wound, we need to provide additional support by way of a splint.

Note: there must still be parts of the stem that are still attached to the main plant, to ensure the vascular system can still function. If the stem is completely severed, it means the vascular system has been severed, and the chances of reattaching the stem are very slim.

To repair your stem you will need

  • soft ties, and
  • a firm splint to support the stalk. We have used both chopsticks and bamboo stakes at the Garden Bench Top, with good results for each.

Once you have collected your materials:

  1. Place timber splints on either side of the broken stalk and tie gently at several anchor points. You can use tomato ties or pantyhose.
  2. The plant will need at least two weeks for recovery. After this time, inspect the plant and assess if the stalk has recovered its strength, and if the leaf is still green.

What to do with Completed Severed Monstera Stems

Now, if you are in the unfortunate position of discovering a completely severed monstera stem, you may be asking yourself “Can you reattach a severed plant stem?

We have some bad news. The chances of reattaching your stem back to the original plant are extremely slim. You can try using the splice grafting method (described above), however in our experience the success stories are far and few between.

What to do with Broken Monstera Stem with Visible Node

If you have the good fortune of finding at least one leaf node on your severed stem, we recommend trying a bit of propagation. More often than not, you can successfully cultivate some root growth from the node, and turning this situation into a happy accident.

Monstera Node Identification

We like to water propagate monstera stems. Simply follow these instructions:

  1. Place your broken stem in a jar with water. Best practice dictates you should use filtered water at room temperature water to propagate plants. This is entirely your choice. If filtered water isn’t readily available, you can still achieve a successful propagation using tap water. Filtered water simply has less chemicals (such as chlorine and fluoride), that may inhibit your plant from growing roots. When placing the stem into water, ensure some nodes are below the water’s surface. It is from the nodes that roots will begin to form – which is essential for your plant to take in the next few steps. Where possible, place your jars in similar indirect light conditions as the mother plant. If in doubt, simply place it next to the mother plant. If the main plant is thriving, there is a good chance the cuttings will too.
  2. Maintenance while Rooting. It is important that while you are waiting for your monstera stem to grow roots, you regularly change the water. If the water becomes too stale, it will encourage the growth of bacteria and begin to rot. We recommend changing the water every second day to prevent bacteria growth. You can expect to see roots forming after 14 – 21 days.
  3. Potting time. Once you can see some nice long (2 inches or 5 centimeters) healthy roots from the nodes, it is now time to pot them. Prepare your pots with fresh, well-draining potting soil. This is soil that has good water retention properties, but also drains well and expels any excess water. Carefully remove your stem, ensuring not to damage the newly formed roots. Place it an inch and a half (3 – 5 centimeters) deep into the soil. Make sure the roots are covered with soil.
  4. Ongoing Maintenance. Once the cuttings are settled, maintain a regular watering schedule to make sure the soil is continually moist (but not water logged). This is because you have essentially rooted the cuttings using a hydroponic method, and the roots will be used to water.
Water Propagating Broken Monstera Stem
Water Propagating Broken Monstera Stem

What to do with Broken Monstera Stem with No Node

Sometimes, instead of hoping for a miracle our motto is celebrating the brilliance that is your monstera stem and leaf. Put it on display and soak in its beauty by using it as complimentary foliage in a floral arrangement.

Its unique shape and size make for an interesting backdrop for a delicate flower display, like the arrangement below with monstera leaves supporting gerbera flowers.

monstera leaf floral arrangement

Why Did My Monstera Stem Break?

Now you know what to do with your broken monstera stem. A good question to ask yourself is why did you end up with a broken stem in the first place? Let’s explore some of the plausible reasons.

Accidental

Probably one of the most common reasons why your monstera stem became broken is due to accidental damage.

We love monstera plants because they are so voluminous and bring a sense of the outdoors into our homes. However, this can also be to their detriment. Because they are so large, it is inevitable that one of the household inhabitants brushes into their leaves, accidentally breaking the stem.

As heartbreaking as this can be, if this is the cause of your broken stem, then it is something to be happy about. Because the simple solution is to move your monstera into a position that receives less through traffic OR kick all your family out of the house. We know which one we would choose 😉

Broken Monstera Stem
credit: giphy

Disease

We said earlier that accidental breakages of monstera stems is something to be celebrated. And we meant it, because the other reason is not so easy to resolve.

Sometimes monstera stems break because your houseplant may be weakened from a disease.

If your monstera is infected with a disease, you will be able to tell by examining the rest of the plant. Not only will the stem that broke off look sickly, so will the rest of the plant.

Look out for symptoms like drooping leaves that may be discolored. You may also see other signs of disease like spots on the leaves and stems. Or even dark brown or black mushy patches towards the bottom of the stems, which is an indication of root rot.

You Might Be Interested In:

If you suspect your monstera is suffering from root rot, check out our GUIDE where we discuss treatments for eliminating the fungal disease from your monstera.

Frequently Asked Questions for Broken Monstera Stem

Should I Throw Away the Broken Stem?

NO! You’ve put in a lot of time, effort and love into caring for your monstera. The least you could do is enjoy your work and plant for all the beauty that it represents.

To work out your next steps, use the table above to help guide you whether you can save the stem, propagate, or simply display it proudly with some flowers.

There are always options – and it would be such a waste to see it land in the trash.

Can You Propagate a Monstera Leaf Without A Node?

Some fellow gardeners claim they have succeeded to propagate a monstera leaf without the node. However, we haven’t seen the proof with our own eyes, so we take that with a grain of salt.

The chances of propagation are extremely slim to none. The reason is the node is where all the root cells live, and without this, your stem and leaf will only be absorbing water for survival, and not for new growth.

Where Will a New Leaf Grow Out from a Monstera Cutting?

The center for all new growth (and roots) is located at the nodes on your monstera cutting. This is where you can expect to see new leaves begin to shoot out, as well as new roots that will support the new growth.

Will Monstera Grow Back After Cutting?

You will see new growth emerge from the next leaf node from where you cut back your monstera plant. You can identify the leaf nodes by where old leaves have died back. It is usually indicated by brownish circular ringlets around the stem.

What do you do with a Broken Monstera stem?

What you do with a broken monstera stem will be determined by the extent of the damage that has occurred.

If the stem is still attached to the main plant, you can attempt to reattach the stem using a grafting method if you catch the breakage before the stem callouses over.

Alternatively, if the stem has been completely severed, you will need to examine the stem to see if there is a node available for propagation.

If there is no node visible, you’re best next step is to display your beautiful monstera leaf in a vase with water and some other flowers and foliage.

How often do Monstera Stems Break?

Monstera stems should not break if the plant is healthy, receives the proper care, and you are keeping up with your husbandry responsibilities.

The main reason monstera stems break is due to accidental damage (like children or pets knocking into them), or due to disease or pests.