Monstera plants are one of the most popular and common indoor plants that you can find in every nursery. They are perfect gifts for plant parents and beginners who want to start an indoor garden.
What makes them more attractive is their beautiful leaves.
Monstera contains heart-shaped leaves with fenestrations or splits in them.
Why do they split? The leaves of Monstera split to encourage proper growth of the plant. Apart from that, there are various reasons for these fenestrations which we have stated below.
But, how long does it take for Monstera leaves to split? If you have any such similar questions in your mind, then read on to find out the answers. 1. 2
When Do Monstera Leaves Split?
Monstera does take time to split its leaves. A young Monstera plant won’t have holes in its leaves for the first two years.
Once it reaches the maturity level, you would be able to see some fenestration in the leaves.
Why do Monstera leaves have holes? There are various reasons for this, which we have stated in upcoming sections.
With a proper growth environment, you can see some holes in the leaves within the first year itself.
Moreover, gardeners and plant parents have clearly stated that a Monstera will only start splitting its leave when it reaches a mature age.
Why does it take so much time for these plants to split leaves? Read on to find out. 3. 5
What Causes Monstera To Split?
Monstera plants are known for their big beautiful leaves with incredible designs that make them lovable indoor plants. But what exactly causes these plants to split their leaves? Basically, there are three reasons as to why they do so. 4. 5
1. Pass Sunlight To Lower Leaves
When a Monstera starts to grow, the surface area of leaves starts to increase. Due to this, it becomes difficult for the lower leaves to receive sunlight as the large ones block the way.
With proper splits or holes in the leaves, sunlight can easily pass to the bottom leaves and encourage them to continue the process of photosynthesis.
2. Proper Drainage
As Monstera leaves are more prominent as compared to other plants, they can easily hold water for a long time.
Due to standing water, there are high chances of fungus growth and pest infestation.
The plant creates holes in the leaves for proper water drainage to ensure that it doesn’t happen. Besides, these holes allow water to reach the roots effectively and encourage growth rate.
3. Air Transmission
Spotted leaves also allow air to pass through them.
As Monstera plants are grown in various world areas, they need to adapt to changing environments. Fenestrations help in coping up with windy areas without breaking or getting damaged due to strong winds.
Why Is My Monstera Leaves Not Splitting?
As stated above, Monstera takes at least a year or two to develop fenestration in its sleeves.
However, if your plant is not showing any signs of splitting in the leaves, then you need to look to adjust some factors to make the environment suitable for your plant’s development. 3. 4
One of the major reasons your Monstera plant does not have any fenestration is lack of sunlight.
Monstera creates splits in the leaves so that sunlight can easily pass through them and reach the bottom leaves.
But, if you live in a cloudy or rainy area, where there is a lack of natural sunlight, then your Monstera will take time to mature and won’t feel the need to develop fenestrations.
2. Might Be Seasonal
There are various species of Monstera plants, and most of them are seasonal.
The growth rate for such plants is lower during winter, due to which they have lesser or no fenestrations on their leaves.
However, with proper care, your plant will start to thrive during summers as well. In such cases, feed your plant with proper fertilizer and provide enough artificial lighting to fasten the growth rate.
3. Not Enough Water
Though Monstera does not need much water, it is important to maintain a proper watering routine and provide them with the correct amount of water.
Improper watering can affect their growth rate a lot.
Before you go ahead and shower your Monstera, check for the moisture level of the soil.
If it’s still wet, then leave it for a day or two and then water it. Never let your plant sit in standing water as it can lead to root rot. Additionally, leaving your plant thirsty can kill them as well.
4. What To Do If Your Monstera Leaves Won’t Split?
We know how impatient plant parents can become when it comes to Monstera, as these beautiful plants do take some time to grow properly.
However. If you have not yet seen any fenestration or leaves splitting in your Monstera in the past year, then it’s time to take some measured steps. 1. 2. 5
5. Change Light Intensity
Monstera thrives on sunlight. But, if you live in a place where there’s winter all the time and no natural light available, then it is better to opt for artificial lighting.
You can use LED and other artificial lighting in your room and adjust it as per your Monstera’s requirements.
It would encourage the plant’s growth rate, and you would be able to see results in no time.
6. Change Fertilizing Routine
Like other plants, Monstera also needs constant nutrition to grow properly.
The majority of these nutrients come from the fertilizer that you use for them.
However, make sure that you are not over or under-feeding your plant as it can easily slow down its growth. Make a proper fertilizing routine by consulting your gardener and then start following it religiously.
7. Change Potting Mixture
Monstera plants need soil that has proper drainage and water retention capability.
If your plant is not developing properly, the last step would be to change the potting mixture. Use cactus soil or Ochid barks for creating the mixture and then repot your Monstera in it.
Do Monstera Leaves Split After Unfurling?
When a new leaf grows in your Monstera, it unfurls slowly.
While some leaves will open up within a day or two, others might take their own sweet time. Why? That’s because several environmental factors affect their process of opening or unfurling.
Another thing that you should be aware of is that when a new leaf unfurls, it won’t have any fenestrations in it.
It takes time for baby leaves to grow properly, after which they develop fenestrations.
So, don’t expect the new leaves to have any splits or holes in them. However, in most cases, you might see fenestrations in the leaves before they start to unfurl. But, these would be the only holes that they would get.
Besides, never try to unfurl a leaf by yourself. That’s because it would affect their tips and structure. Let them unfurl naturally, even if it takes time. A naturally unfurled leaf will grow beautifully as compared to ones opened forcefully.
If you want that your Monstera leaves unfurl quickly, then change the environmental factors such as lighting, fertilizers, watering routine, and as such. By making these changes, you would be able to see the speed of unfurling increasing each day. 5.
Monstera is one of the most beautiful indoor plants and is highly preferred in offices and homes. They are easy to maintain and contain beautiful large leaves with holes in them.
Though growing a baby Monstera is quite difficult, but once it reaches the maturity stage, the leaves will start to transform. This transformation makes Monstera worth the wait.
If you are a beginner and want to have a Monstera plant, then make sure to take proper care of it.
Do not unfurl the leaves by hand, and let the plant grow at its natural pace. Even if it takes years for the leaves to have fenestrations, do not lose patience; instead, provide your plant with proper nutrients and sunlight.
- Monstera Characteristics: https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/2701/OF-5.pdf
- Definition Of Monstera: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/florafaunaweb/flora/1/4/1453
- All about Monstera: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/monstera-deliciosa/
- Growing Monstera: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/119775/monsterosa-deliciosa.pdf
- How did Monstera get holes: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/668819