Why Do Monstera Leaves Split

The Monstera deliciosa benefits from the Monstera’s fenestrated leaves’ effective drainage. More than just letting light through, the leaves’ holes serve other purposes as well. They also give the plant the right drainage.

Option 1: Wait

Depending on how young and little your monstera plant is, you might just need to give it some time.

Young monsteras almost resemble a distinct plant because of their sturdy, heart-shaped leaves. Your monstera should grow and finally form those lovely holes and splits on its own when it is between two and three years old with adequate light, the proper quantity of water, and a little fertilizer. Be tolerant!

Option 2: More light!

This is typically the most crucial thing you can do to encourage your monstera leaves to split. However, without plenty of bright, indirect sunlight, monsteras won’t grow much or produce many splits (or numerous rows of splits), even though they can survive in reduced light. Your monstera leaves might not split even if you follow all other instructions to the letter without the proper light.

If you buy a mature monstera with split leaves, lower light may work, especially if you don’t want it to grow much bigger and take over your house (since monsteras often do!).

However, you’ll need good lighting if you have a young plant that you want to observe develop and flourish. The best windows are those that face east or south, while north can still be used. Just be extremely careful around windows that face west since they often receive a lot of direct, scorching afternoon light that might burn the leaves.

Don’t worry if your home lacks excellent illumination. A grow light can always be used as a supplement. To replace greenhouse-style lights that you may get from nurseries, you can either purchase ready-made grow lights or install grow bulbs in standard light fixtures.

Why do certain leaves of monstera split?

Scientists disagree on the purpose of these leaves. Although it is generally accepted that Monstera have splits to control light, I believe all three hypotheses are as plausible and share the same overarching cause:

To aid in the plant’s faster growth and development of strength and size, monsteras have splits in their leaves.

Reason #1 that Monstera have splits: light

Currently, it is widely accepted that Monstera plants have splits in their leaves so that light can pass through them and reach the lower leaves.

As monstera move closer to the light, their leaves get bigger because they need more energy to support their expanding size.

However, a large leaf will block the light that can be absorbed generally by the leaves below it. Therefore, the cracks and holes allow light to pass through.

This is reasonable.

Compared to Monstera deliciosa, Monstera adansonii tends to be bushier and have shorter petioles, which results in more obvious holes from the start.

Reason #2 that Monstera have splits: water

Getting wet leaves is unpleasant for plants. At the very least, it closes their stomata, and at the worst, it might make them rot and let bacterial and fungal infections spread.

The nodes and roots of plants do enjoy being wet. They are able to swiftly absorb nutrients and water.

By allowing rain to easily pass through the leaves without sitting on them and allowing the rain to easily reach the ground where the roots may absorb the water, having fenestrated leaves kills two birds with one stone.

Reason #3 that Monstera have splits: wind

This seems less probable to be the reason that Monstera developed to have fenestrated leaves because they don’t often reside in exposed regions (though they’ll try any conditions), but it’s still worth mentioning because Monstera will adapt to any situations.

It is most likely one of the causes for Monstera Deliciosa’s reputation as an invasive species.

The plant can receive wind through the holes in the leaves without being knocked over. It seems logical, doesn’t it?

By the way, it’s believed that the split leaves of Bird of Paradise plants are a wind defense mechanism. Compared to Monstera, they often reside in regions that are more exposed and have easier access to light.

However, due to Monstera’s adaptability, their holey leaves have undoubtedly allowed them to flourish in exposed locations for which they weren’t *technically* intended.

I believe fenestrated leaves serve multiple functions, whether or not that is what they are intended to do.

Why don’t all of my monstera’s leaves split?

Age and sufficient light are the two main causes of the fenestrations that some members of the monstera genus develop.


As a monstera matures, its leaves become fenestrated, and no amount of wishful thinking will cause the plant’s leaves to split before it is ready. Monsteras are born with small, sturdy, heart-shaped leaves that gradually get larger as the plant matures. Once a monstera has grown to a width and height of at least 3 feet, it typically starts to develop the distinctive deep cuts. As a juvenile monstera develops fenestrations, you’ll also observe that it happens gradually and that each leaf’s number of splits grows with time. Therefore, patience is essential if you recently bought a little monstera and are waiting for your first split-leaf. Maybe the plant needs more time.


If your monstera has been growing without producing split leaves for a while, it might not be getting enough light. As they mature, monsteras require a steady supply of strong, indirect light in order to develop split leaves. In order to save energy, a monstera grown in low light settings will not develop fenestrations and will instead push out tiny leaves. Consider using a grow light if there isn’t enough natural light for your plant.

What is the term for split monstera leaves?

Some plant leaves have holes that provide a unique (and highly desired) appearance. Plant species like monstera and pothos generate leaves with internal slots and holes that are deeply divided. Perforated or fenestrated leaves are those with holes in them. The Latin word for “fenestration,” fenestratus, means “containing apertures Fenestrate is a botanical term that refers to “having tiny holes or translucent regions. similar to little windows!

There are several explanations for why some plants develop in particular ways. One benefit is that it promotes air movement through the leaves, which can be beneficial in strong winds. There is also the belief that the perforations aid in cooling the plant. or better catch light. Or that the plant is shielded from grazing animals by the holes, which aid in camouflaging it. Regardless of the reason for the plant’s behavior, fenestrated plants are prized by botanists all over the world.

Fenestration in plants that naturally create holes can be made easier with your assistance. For instance, as monstera leaves swell and mature, they develop holes. Before producing leaves with holes, Monstera deliciosa (also known as split-leaf philodendron) normally reaches a width of at least 3 feet. The “Cebu Blue” pothos will only fenestrate if it climbs, and it takes some time for the plant to mature before the leaves split. Try Monstera adansonii, which is bushier than Monstera deliciosa and produces smaller leaves with holes in them on younger plants, if you can’t wait for your monstera to start producing them.

Deeply lobed plants may appear to have leaf holes, however closer examination reveals that the edges of the leaves are so deeply scalloped that they just have the appearance of holes. Lobed leaves can grow on monsteras. Deeply lobed leaves can also be found on philodendrons like Philodendron bipinnatifidum (also known as Selloum) and Philodendron ‘Xanadu.

How can I tell whether my Monstera is content?

How can you prevent your Monstera from drowning? We’ve discussed a little bit about how to avoid overwatering it. Once you get to know your Monstera and understand all of its behaviors, you’ll notice lots of indicators that it needs water. Some of them may not come as a surprise because the indications that a Monstera needs watering are also quite similar to those that other plants exhibit.

Your Monstera’s Soil Is Dry

The primary indication that a Monstera needs watering is dry soil. A Monstera deliciosa shouldn’t thrive in arid conditions, despite the fact that it’s vital to allow the soil dry up a little bit between waterings. Although too-dry soil won’t immediately kill a plant, it will hinder its capacity to grow effectively.

Since every plant and indoor environment is unique and can necessitate a different amount of time between waterings, routinely testing the soil will enable you to determine when your Monstera needs to be watered. Using your finger is the simplest method for doing this!

If the soil is dry after sticking your finger in it for about an inch, water the plant. Don’t water your Monstera just yet if it’s moist or still wet.

Your Monstera is Leaning Over

Although it is an unusual indicator, I have observed a leaning Monstera in my collection. An underwatered Monstera will begin to sag in a manner that causes the leaves to droop, which is similar to wilting. On a little Monstera, this is much simpler to see, although it can be seen on bigger plants as well.

Always examine the soil before watering because leaning plants might occasionally be an indication of a different problem, such as overwatering. Never add more water when the earth is damp; dry soil indicates that it is time to water.

Your Monstera should bounce back within a few days after receiving a thorough watering if the cause of drooping is too little water. As much stress as possible should be avoided allowing the Monstera to become this dry as it will stunt the plant’s growth.

Your Monstera’s Leaves are Curling

Leaf curling is just another sign that a Monstera needs watering. The leaves of a Monstera that needs water will start to curl inward, making them appear smaller and less wide.

This is a temporary problem that almost always goes away with some time and some good watering! If the soil is dry, check it and give it a nice, thorough watering. Within a few days, the leaves ought to resume their regular state.

If they don’t, there might be another problem going on. Before watering once more, take some time to run a diagnostic.

Your Monstera’s Leaves are Brown, Yellow, or Dead

An alarming sign may be the yellowing of your Monstera’s leaves. Dark green, waxy leaves are present on a healthy, happy Monstera (though younger plants or new leaves may be lighter green).

Some discoloration is expected because older Monstera leaves gradually turn yellow and drop off as they become older. However, you have an issue if you notice many sections of the plant with yellow, brown, or dead leaves or new leaves.

In addition to underwatering, additional issues that might cause leaf discoloration include overwatering, excessive or insufficient sunshine, or parasites. Don’t water the plant right away; instead, take the time to inspect it for any signs of these issues.

Although older growth will occasionally die off, you should take immediate action if any leaf loss is accompanied by other symptoms like drooping or discolouration. The soil’s moisture content should always be checked as the initial step. Water the soil deeply if it is dry. Look for indications that your plant may have been overwatered if the soil is wet.

Your Monstera Isn’t Putting Out Fenestrated Leaves

With adult Monsteras that haven’t started fenestrating or that produce leaves with holes in them, a lack of fenestration can become a problem. Fenestrations are nearly always a sign that the plant is not receiving enough light.

This can occasionally be brought on by inadequate sunlight. Examine the surroundings of the plant to rule that out. Monsteras require six to twelve hours a day of bright indirect sunlight. Try transplanting the plant to a brighter location if it isn’t receiving this much light.

Set a smart alarm to remind you to inspect the soil if lighting isn’t the issue and you think your Monstera needs extra water. This will assist you in forming the practice of routine plant maintenance. You can establish the ideal watering balance by making sure the soil is moist enough many times per week. Be careful not to overwater, though!

Why are the leaves on my plant splitting?

Species-specific factors can cause leaves to split on houseplants, but an unfavorable growing environment is nearly always at blame. Bananas and other large-leafed plants have leaves that are engineered to split in the event of strong winds. Leaf splitting may be expected in large-leafed plants, especially in spaces with fans or a lot of natural airflow.

Low humidity frequently causes indoor orchids and other plants to develop leaves that split down the middle. Make sure your plant is receiving enough water, and that any trays that are maintained underneath it to improve humidity are fully stocked. In some cases, if the plants are too far from a source of humidity, soaking the leaves in the morning can help enhance humidity.

How frequently do I need to water my Monstera?

Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii are the two varieties of Monstera that are grown as indoor plants. In addition to having entirely enclosed leaf holes, Monstera adansonii differs from M. deliciosa by having longer, tapering leaves. Leaf holes on Monstera deliciosa eventually mature, move toward the edge, and then open up.

Though they hardly ever flower or produce edible fruit inside, they are one of the few aroids that produce edible fruit, especially Monstera deliciosa, which is a member of the Araceae, the Aroid Family. Although the indigenous peoples of Central America had been familiar with monsteras for a very long time, the botanical community only became publicly aware of them in the early 20th century, like many aroids.

thrives in direct light that is bright to medium. Although it cannot tolerate strong, direct sunlight, it can become accustomed to it.

Water every one to two weeks, letting the soil dry out in between applications. In brighter light, water more frequently, and in less-bright light, less frequently. Pro tip: Water that has been filtered or set out overnight before use is beneficial for monsteras.

Although normal room humidity will do, humid circumstances are preferred. Use a fine-mist mister or humidifier to increase the humidity level in the room.

Most houseplants enjoy temperatures between 65F and 85F. (18C-30C). It’s ideal to keep the temperature above 60F. (15C).

Use a potting mix that drains effectively. As needed, include elements like perlite or lava rocks to improve soil aeration.

The Monstera is a calm and often pest-free plant. Treat pests as soon as they show up by wiping down the plant frequently and weekly applications of a natural insecticide like neem oil.

SYMPTOM: Edges of leaves that are turning brown and crunchy. CAUSE: Overwatered, thirsty, or high salt buildup