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Why Do Monstera Plants Have Holes? [ Know These 5 Reasons ]

Why Do Monstera Plants Have Holes? [ Know These 5 Reasons ]

Have you noticed your Monastera has holes on its leaves? There are various reasons why a Monstera can have holes in its leaves.

Monstera is a species of plant found widely across southern Mexico and in countries like Honduras, Panama, and the nearby regions. These plants are considered mildly invasive and have the name of Monstera due to their abnormal structure of leaves.

They belong to the Araceae family and are mildly toxic, and are primarily used for ornamental purposes and as house plants. These plants have a distinctly strong smell, look attractive, and are highly popular as houseplants due to their purifying the air and smelling nice.

If you get yourself one of these Monstera plants, it is an excellent addition to your home’s environment. It will make your house feel fresh because these plants are very particular about taking care of their surroundings.

However, they require considerable maintenance and must be watered with caution to avoid getting overwatered.

If you wonder why your Monstera plant has holes in its abnormally-shaped leaves, then this is perfect for you. You will get the answers to all your questions about your Monstera and its odd appearance below.

Monstera plants have holes in their leaves in general, and it is one of the innate characteristics of this plant.

Regardless of their odd appearance, Monstera plants are biologically structured to have holes on their leaves to accomplish various processes for which holes are required.

The holes facilitate the plant in maintaining different conditions in its plant system to ensure stable growth and maintenance. If you want to know why these holes happen and how they happen, a detailed answer is provided below.

Why do monster plants have holes?

Here are all the reasons explained in detail as to why Monstera plants develop holes in their leaves. Here’s why:

1. Adapting to its environment

Monstera is native to tropical regions and requires substantial water and sunlight and a suitable environment to maintain itself.

If they do not receive the right conditions for their growth, the plant itself goes under transformation or regulates the surrounding conditions to match its ideal growing conditions.

For example, if it lacks humility, the Monstera plant would release water from its leaves to maintain the humidity of the environment.

If it lacks resources like sunlight, it will develop holes on its abnormally-shaped leaves to increase its sunlight absorption to make up for the nutrient ‘and sunlight deficiency.

This mode of adaptation to its surroundings has been noticed in various plants, and it is a hardwired biological response in plants to help them survive in multiple environments.

Adaptation is one of the most fundamental properties of plants. The holes in the leaves of a Monstera Plant are also a result of similar conditions that lead to its adaptation.


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2. Leaf Fenestration

Leaf fenestration is the process of naturally developing holes on the leaves of a plant due to genetic or environmental effects.

The Monstera came to be known as the “Swiss cheese plant” solely because of the holes that naturally appear on its leaves, giving it an abnormal look similar to that of Swiss cheese.

The plant does look suitable as a houseplant, but the exact reason for the natural development of these holes is yet to be found. Leaf fenestration is not only limited to Monsteras, but it has also been observed in other plants.

But most of them have genuine reasons to back up the sudden development of holes.

However, in the case of Monsteras, it is still uncertain why they would naturally develop holes in their leaves, even though there is quite a bit of hypothesis and a probable reason. It is either a genetic trait or a way of adaptation.

3. Adaptive environment

It has been observed that Monstera are plants that originate from tropical environments, where they are much smaller compared to their surrounding plants, which leads them to receive way less sunlight in comparison to their surroundings.

To save their resources and absorb as much sunlight as possible, it is speculated that Monsteras have developed holes in their plants where they do not receive sunlight, which allows them to grow larger and wider leaves, which are green only in the spots where they receive sunlight and have holes wherever they do not receive sunlight.

Thus, it is an effective and efficient method of saving nutrients and receiving optimal amounts of sunlight.

This is a genetic mutation, which was caused due to the deficient sunlight received by similar plants of its species, which now allows it to handle the problem of low sunlight levels by developing holes.

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4. The Monsteras must develop holes in their leaves to tackle various natural barriers

Thus, it has been speculated that another additional reason for your Monster to develop holes on its leaves would be due to the reason for water absorption.

We know that Monstera plants have huge leaves, and when water falls on those wide leaves, it blocks the soil near the plant from receiving water.

Instead, the water stagnates on its leaves, which blocks the leaf from effectively photosynthesizing, leading it to rot.

Thus, the Monstera developed holes on its leaves so that the water flowed down to the soil instead of collecting on its leaves.

Preventing this allows the soil near the plant to get sufficiently hydrated, which gets absorbed through the leaves, helps in the plant’s stable growth, provides nourishment, and promotes growth instead of rotting its leaves.

5. To combat harsh hurricane winds

Monstera plants are mostly grown as outdoor plants, natively to tropical environments, and are regularly susceptible to extreme weather conditions.

Whether it’s fast winds or even a hurricane, these are common occurrences for a Monstera plant. Normally, hurricanes are incredibly destructive and uproot trees and plants that lie in their wake.

But the Monstera plants, to adapt to such harsh environmental conditions, developed holes in their leaves, which help them to avoid the powerful winds they encounter.

The winds pass through the holes, allowing it to prevent the strong effects that lead to numerous plants and trees uprooting.

In addition, the passing of the winds through its leaves prevents any physical damage to its body, thus helping it survive the harsh conditions of its surroundings, regardless of even hurricanes.

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  1. Is it possible to trim a monstera plant?

Why don’t all my Monstera have holes?

If you wonder why all your Monsteras do not have holes, then here’s the answer to that question.

1. All Monstera plants do not have the same age

It takes a Monstera plant about two to almost three years to reach maturity, and it develops holes and fenestrations in its leaves only after it has reached maturity.

So if your Monstera is new or not old enough, you do not have to worry since a completely mature Monstera is bound to develop holes.

You have to keep supplying it with sufficient water and nutrients to ensure its proper growth, and the holes will appear by themselves when the time is right.

The holes are a signature characteristic of the MOnstera plants and are bound to appear once maturity is reached.

2. Your Monstera is not receiving sufficient nutrients

An underdeveloped Monstera plant is less likely to develop holes in its leaves. Since the development of holes is a long process and occurs only after a monstera plant has attained maturity, if it does not have sufficient nutrients from the get-go, then your plant will not develop holes in its leaves.

Therefore, you should always keep your Monstera plants’ nutrition in check and provide them with just enough water and sunlight to ensure proper growth and development of the plant.

Supplying Monstera plants with the right resources would make sure they grow well, with green leaves, and add to your house’s beauty, as well as purify the surrounding air effectively.

3. Your Monstera plant is of different species

Only some Monstera plants develop holes on their leaves naturally.

If your plant is not a Monstera Deliciosa, then there is a high chance it’s a different species that do not develop holes naturally.

Even the Swiss Cheese plants are highly dependent on their environment and are not guaranteed to create holes. However, they might do so under certain environmental conditions to adapt to their surroundings.


The above article answers all your questions about why your Monstera plant might have developed holes and why it might not have done the same.

Development of holes in leaves, and fenestration in general, is a rare event and is not guaranteed, so it is nothing to be worried about. Monstera plants are exceptionally well suited for most environments, and it is not mandatory to have holes in them unless you want the signature look.

You need to take care of the nutrition of your Monstera Plant, and whatever else is required, it does by itself, including fenestrations.

Monsteras are a great plant to have in your house and look great with and without holes.