The tropical vine Monstera deliciosa is renowned for its aggressive, quick growth. While they won’t grow as tall when kept inside, Monsteras can produce a lot of growth quickly. In the wild, they can easily reach heights of up to 60 feet. It’s time to look into your Monstera if you’ve discovered that it isn’t growing at all. There might be a problem.
There are various reasons why a Monstera will cease developing. The most frequent causes are poor lighting, an excess or shortage of water, pests, roots that are attached to pots, and a lack of nutrients. Fortunately, most of these issues are simple to resolve, and a Monstera that has experienced any of these problems typically recovers fast.
A pause in growth, regardless of the reason, can make a houseplant owner feel a little anxious. But don’t worry, you can solve the majority of problems in a few easy steps. In this article, I’ll discuss some of the major problems that can impede a Monstera from growing and what you can do to fix them.
Why is the growth of my Monstera so sluggish?
A popular plant that blends well with contemporary decor is Monstera Deliciosa, sometimes known as the Swiss Cheese Plant. Budget-conscious growers can buy a little Monstera Deliciosa and be sure that it will grow into a giant plant in a short amount of time because these plants also grow swiftly. Unfortunately, when conditions are less favorable, Monstera Deliciosa will grow more slowly. This might be annoying. Thankfully, there are frequently a number of things you can do to encourage your plant to begin growing once more.
The most frequent cause of Monstera Deliciosa’s slower growth is exposure to inadequate light. Think about using full-spectrum grow lights as a supplement to natural light to help your Monstera to start growing more quickly. Water your plant as well as the top 1-2 inches of soil become dry.
The remainder of this post will go into greater detail regarding the causes of Monstera Deliciosa’s growth slowdown and how to encourage your plant to produce more stunning leaves.
How can I promote the growth of my Monstera?
Giving Monstera more light will help them grow more quickly. The largest thing you can do to help your plant grow more quickly is probably this. For your monstera to produce energy and grow, it needs light. More light is beneficial in that regard.
Why won’t the leaves on my Monstera grow large?
When a Monstera is two years old and still appears underdeveloped and is producing little, uninteresting leaves, there may be a problem hindering its development. These can be challenging to diagnose, but in most cases, there are just a few factors that can prevent a Monstera from developing large leaves.
Reason 1: Your Monstera Needs More Sunlight
Smaller leaves are most frequently caused by insufficient sunshine. A Monstera deliciosa’s large leaves serve a number of functions, one of which is to capture more light (and photosynthesize better). Monsteras don’t actually respond to reduced lighting by producing bigger leaves, despite the fact that this may seem like a good idea.
Just like a Monstera that isn’t getting enough water, one that doesn’t get enough light is stressed. Regardless of its age level, this almost always manifests as a Monstera producing little, non-fenestrated leaves. Insufficient sunshine may also cause monsteras to have thin, pale-colored leaves.
If you’ve seen these indications, you might want to look into the illumination your Monstera prefers. A minimum of six hours a day of direct, bright sunlight are required for monsteras. For Monsteras, windows with a west, east, or south orientation are ideal.
However, it’s not always possible to position windows perfectly, particularly in flats with dim daylight. In this case, using a grow lamp to complement the available sunshine is a great idea. For those wishing to support their plants, there are several solutions available at different price ranges and in a variety of patterns and styles.
Reason 2: Your Monstera is Underwatered
If you’ve read up on Monsteras, you might have noticed that one of the first things you should check when a plant isn’t doing well is its hydration. Underwatering is a serious issue that can harm a Monstera deliciosa that is otherwise healthy and stop it from developing into a stunning, dramatic plant.
If your Monstera is submerged, it commonly dries out excessively and develops leaves that are noticeably droopy. Feel the soil in its pot to determine the problem. After the first inch, it needs to be watered if it is completely dry.
Instead, water a Monstera when the top inch or two of soil have dried out. This occurs for many people roughly once per week. However, don’t rely on that advice. The humidity levels in your home and the kind of pot your plant is in, among other factors, might affect how quickly it dries up. You can use your finger or a tiny instrument called a moisture meter to measure the soil’s moisture content.
Reason 3: Your Monstera is Overwatered
Overwatering is a far more serious problem than underwatering, as with any problem involving a Monstera deliciosa. Although both stress the plant, excessive watering can result in other issues including fungus gnats and root rot. Your Monstera may die as a result of root rot, which is a major problem. (Read more about root rot here!)
By measuring the moisture level of the soil, overwatering can be identified. Is the soil typically moist, soggy, or mushy where your Monstera is growing? Have you ever noticed that drying takes more than a week? Both of these are plausible indicators that there is a drainage, soil, or hydration issue. These problems need to be resolved right away.
Let your Monstera dry out after overwatering it once or twice before giving it another drink. Although it’s a good idea to let the soil dry even more after realizing that it’s been overwatered, the top inch or so should be dry. Once you’ve done this, you may stop the problem from getting worse by giving it a good watering and only draining any extra water until the soil is completely dry.
Reason 4: Your Monstera Needs To Be Repotted
A Monstera needs a lot of space for its roots to expand in order to produce the gigantic leaves that make the plant so desirable. A Monstera won’t have the room it needs to continue developing roots that will support its new leaves if its container isn’t the right size. Repotting is essential if you want your Monstera to produce large leaves.
Monsteras should typically be replanted every two years. There is a lot of variation in this, just like there is in everything. How frequently your Monstera needs to be transplanted into a bigger pot can depend on its size, its growth rate, and the other circumstances in the house.
If your Monstera isn’t growing large leaves as it should be, but you’re not sure if it needs to be replanted, consider inspecting the roots. The potential exists that the plant is now root-bound. When a Monstera’s pot is full, it develops root bound. If this is the case, the root ball will fill the pot and the amount of soil inside the vessel will be minimal.
If this is what’s happening, your Monstera has to be repotted. Check out this comprehensive tutorial we have on how to achieve that. Everything you need to know about correctly replanting a Monstera is covered in this post.
Reason 5: Your Monstera Needs To Be Fertilized
The nutrition a Monstera has access to is another factor that can hinder it from developing large leaves. Potassium, nitrogen, and a number of other nutrients are essential to all plants’ growth processes. Monsteras can’t survive without these.
You won’t need to worry about this right now if you’re transplanting your Monstera.
The nutrients that plants require to flourish are added to new soil. However, if replanting your Monstera is still a while off, the next best thing to do is to give it healthy doses of a liquid fertilizer that has been diluted.
Reason 6: Your Monstera Needs Better Water
The best water is a crucial issue that frequently goes unmentioned but may play a role in why your Monstera isn’t producing large leaves. Many people water their Monsteras using tap water, especially those who are just beginning to keep houseplants. Although it needn’t be a major issue, too much hard water might reduce a plant’s quality of life.
Calcium, chlorine, and fluoride are just a few of the several chemicals and compounds found in hard water. Low absorption will be the result when these compounds accumulate over time on the roots and in the soil. Similar to what happens when a plant isn’t fertilized, this consequence occurs.
“Spring water,” as it’s frequently referred as in stores, rarely originates from actual springs and isn’t advised in order to prevent this buildup. Keep in mind that this type of water is typically bottled from the same source as tap water. During a downpour, rainwater can be gathered; all you need to do is place a jar out to catch it! Learn more about the advantages of rainwater here.
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. But if you notice yellow, brown, or dead leaves in various regions of the plant or with new leaves, you’ve got a problem.
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!