When Do Monstera Leaves Split?

When Do Monstera Leaves Split

Are you eagerly waiting to see split leaves in your Monstera plant? You are not the only one to expect his/her Monstera to have split leaves. Monstera Deliciosa is one of the stunning tropical houseplants. People love this plant due to its eye-catchy leaf fenestration. Its split leaves may remind you of Swiss cheese.

The tropical plant is quite famous for its iconic holes and splits across the leaves. However, if you have brought a young plant home, you will have to wait for at least a couple of years for the holes or splits. The iconic fenestrations on Monstera’s leaves will appear once the plant gains maturity. Although it may take a young plant 2 to 3 years to grow fenestrated leaves, some factors often restrict the plant from having split leaves.

If you love those holes and splits in Monstera Leaves very much, you might be wondering thinking when Monstera leaves split. In this article, we will discuss everything you want to know about leaf fenestration. We hope this will give some light to your confusion and help you understand the physiological system of your beloved houseplant Monstera Deliciosa.


Monstera Deliciosa grows fenestrated leaves only when it matures. A young Monstera plant requires at least two years to produce holey or spilt leaves. Monstera grows fenestrated leaves for better drainage, maximum light, and airflow and a plant parent can encourage a mature Monstera to grow holey or split leaves in many ways.

What Split Leaves In Monstera Plant Are All About?

Not all Monstera Deliciosa plants come with split leaves. If you own a baby Monstera, you are most likely to see the plant having heart-shaped leaves. Leaves in young Monstera plants do not have any splits or holes. Leaves in Monstera plants get larger with time and they start producing new leaves with holes after reaching a specific stage.

As your Monstera plant ages, it will start growing leaves with holes. If you suddenly encounter your Monstera has started producing split leaves, you should not worry about it. It is quite normal and it signifies your plant’s good health and happiness.

Why Does Your Monstera Have Holes On Leaves?

You may love those splits or holes across Monstera’s leaves a lot. But, your Monstera develops those holes for other reasons. It is a part of evolution and you will be happy to learn the actual reasons behind this phenomenon.

  1. For Better Drainage: 

The fenestrated leaves of matured Monstera plants facilitate good drainage. Large leaves without holes can hold water for a long period causing wet leaves. Standing water on the leaves can provide fungi and bacteria with an ideal environment to grow.

Holes or splits across the leaves of Monstera plants allow water to slide down and reach the soil. So, holes are there to prevent the pooling up of water and save the plant from several problems.

  1. For Maximum Sunlight: 

Leaves are one of the most important parts of a Monstera plant and they can grow up to 2 feet. So, large leaves without holes can block the sunlight from reaching down. If the leaves on the top do not have holes, sunlight will never be able to reach those leaves growing around the lower part. Thanks to evolution for helping the plant receive sunlight through the plant itself. If the sunlight cannot reach most of the leaves, your Monstera will never be able to obtain proper nutrients.

  1. For Better Flow Of Air:

Holes on the leaves of Monstera plants allow air to flow freely and reach those leaves that have not grown holes yet. If the flow of wind is blocked by large leaves without holes, the force of the wind can damage the entire plant. Also, the free flow of the wind through the split leaves will help the plant get dry quickly.

When Do Monstera Leaves Split?

Now that you are familiar with the reasons why your Monstera produces leaves with holes or splits. let us talk about when your Monstera prefers to have holes across its leaves. Juvenile Monstera plants do not grow leaves with holes. They produce heart-shaped dark green leaves instead.

When a plant reaches a mature stage, it gradually develops holes and splits in its leaves. If you are a frustrated plant parent, you will have to wait for a while. Your Monstera may take two to three years to show you the first slits.

In the later stage, you might encounter some rows of holes across the leaves as a result of improved fenestrations. If your Monstera is more than three years of age, you will see it producing enormous leaves with splits and holes.

Reasons Why Your Monstera Leaves Not Splitting?

You cannot expect your adored Monstera plant to produce holey or split leaves in the early stages. However, sometimes plant enthusiasts do not get fenestrated leaves in their favorite Monstera plant even though the plant has reached its mature stage. Here are two major reasons why your Monstera leaves are not splitting.

  1. Insufficient Light:

Low light is one of the major reasons why you may not see fenestrated leaves in your Monstera plant. Low light can restrict the natural growth of a Monstera Deliciosa plant. You can also encounter smaller leaves in your Monstera if you continue to keep the plant in a low-light area. In such a condition, a Monstera plant cannot produce fenestrations. Low light conditions can invite problems like leggy growth.

Your Monstera plant needs bright but indirect light to thrive and produce holes or split leaves. Remember, extreme light can also cause new problems and distract the plant from growing fenestrated leaves.

Related: How Much Light Does A Monstera Plant Need?

  1. Nutritional Deficiencies:

Nutritional deficiency is another reason why your Monstera is not growing iconic split leaves. Like most the foliage houseplants, Monstera Deliciosa needs nutrients to become healthy. In short, your plant needs crucial nutrients in a 3-1-2-N-P-K ratio.

The ratio signifies that your Monstera plant requires nitrogen (3), phosphorous (1), and potassium (2). These are macronutrients and they contribute a lot to the good health of leaves, stems, and roots. These macronutrients help the plant to bloom and grow holey leaves.

How to Encourage Your Monstera to Grow Leaves with Splits and Holes?

Although Monsteras thrive best in hot and humid tropical forests, you can also get them at their best form by providing them with the condition that imitates their natural habitat. So, if you think that you are giving your Monstera the utmost care and support, you can expect it to grow holey leaves at a mature age.

Your beloved Monstera will produce fenestrated leaves if it grows rapidly. However, here you must know that existing leaves cannot develop holes and splits. If you encounter holes or cracks in a leaf, you should consider structural damage. Some external factors like low humidity and poor watering practices often cause such problems.

When thriving in a suitable environment, your Monstera is likely to produce holey leaves. Hence, make sure you are giving the plant the best possible environment. Damp soil, good nutrients, adequate sunlight, etc. are some of the factors you need to take care of when growing a Monstera plant indoors. Here, we will discuss some factors that can encourage a Monstera Deliciosa plant to grow holey leaves.

  1. Light:

Houseplants originated from tropical rainforests grow best under bright but indirect sunlight. Your Monstera hates being in dark or heavily shaded areas. If you place your Monstera under too much shade, you will restrict its growth.

If you want to ensure optimal growth of your beloved plant, you have to give it adequate light. To do this, you can place the plant in front of a north-facing windowsill. Try to avoid direct sunlight, especially in the summer months.

Placing the pot behind a curtain can be a good idea, as the sheer curtain can filter the excess sunlight. Adequate light is very important for a Monstera plant. It does not only ensure optimal growth but also helps the plant to grow holey and split leaves.

  1. Water:

Whether it is winter or summer, you Monstera will need water to survive. Even though watering practices can vary from one season to another, you have to water it at least once a week. Dry soil can discourage your plant from growing naturally.

To check how dry the soil is, you can insert your finger into the topsoil and assess the level of dryness. In some cases, people feed excess water to their plants, causing overwatering issues. If you water your Monstera plant heavily, you will cause root damage and yellow leaves.

A well-planned watering routine can help the plant to grow rapidly and produce holey leaves on time. To avoid watering issues, check the dryness of the soil frequently and take necessary measures whenever needed.

Related: Why Is My Monstera Plant Dripping Water?

  1. Fertilizer:

If you want to see your Monstera plant grow holey or split leaves on time, you have to feed it with good nutrients. Tropical houseplants like Monstera Deliciosa like magnesium-rich soil and you need to arrange it for them.

If you find that your Monstera has matured enough and thriving happily without producing holey leaves, you can set up a fertilizer schedule. Fertilizing the plant once a week or month during the summer season will be a good idea.

Like fertilizer, the soil is another important aspect you need to be careful about. Make sure you are using proper and well-drained soil to encourage your Monstera to grow holey and split leaves.

Soil that contains vitamins and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen can also ensure a balanced growth for your plant. You can use compost soil to give your beloved Monstera the best nutrition it requires to grow faster and get holey and split leaves.

  1. Support:

A rapidly growing Monstera needs support to sustain its growth. A pole-like stick can help the plant climb rapidly. You can use a moss pole to help the plant grow upwards. Let the plant climb up rapidly and produce holey and splits leaves shortly.

Important Things You Need to Be Careful About

Sometimes, we lose our patience and practice unnecessary things to make the Monstera plant grow holey or split leaves. We must remember that we cannot force the plant to produce holey leaves. The plant will grow fenestrated leaves naturally when the time will come. Here, we are going to mention some practices we should avoid anyhow.

  1. Avoid Cutting Leaves On Your Own: 

Whether they are heart-shaped small leaves or large holey leaves, every leaf plays a major role in the process of photosynthesis. Hence cutting healthy smaller leaves will not be a good idea. Remember, if they look fine, they are generating energy and helping the plant to thrive.

  1. Wait For Split Leaves After Propagation: 

When you use cuttings to propagate the plant, new leaves on the mother plant will not have splits in their leaves. In such a condition, you have to give it some time to become mature and produce split leaves. With time, the plant will gradually increase the size of its new leaves and have fenestrations.

Monstera Leaves With Fewer Splits

Some external factors like shipping, repotting, environmental stress, etc. can cause fewer splits in the leaves of your Monstera plant. You can hold such factors responsible for fewer splits problems. However, there is no need to worry about it, as your Monstera will grow holey leaves if you continue to provide the plant with the ultimate care and support.    

Related: Why Are My Monstera Leaves Turning Yellow? Causes And Solution


If you want to see your adorable Monstera plant growing holey or split leaves, you have to hold your patience and provide the plant with the utmost care. You have to let the plant reach a mature stage to grow fenestrations. Picture-perfect holey or split leaves come naturally and you do not have to hire an expert for this. You cannot expect a baby Monstera plan to grow holey leaves. You will have to wait to see Monstera Deliciosa’s fenestrations. Give your Monstera enough space and energy to grow. Be careful with your watering practices and check humidity levels frequently to ensure a better growing environment for your Monstera Deliciosa plant. We hope you liked the information provided in this article. We welcome guest readers and request them to join the conversation below.


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