Why Is My Monstera Not Splitting? Here’s The Solution!

If it doesn’t get the proper lighting, you will notice weak, thin, and non-glossy leaves with a lack of splitting. In addition, sunlight can shine on the under-story plant so that the leaves below do not lack the sun.

Observing your mature Monstera plant is not splitting? Perhaps, your plants are protesting that you are not providing the growing conditions they need to live. Since it is a low-maintenance plant, plant collectors often become careless and ignore its growth and needs. Therefore, we will help answer your concern about, “Why is my monstera not splitting?” by giving tips to encourage leaves to split in Monstera.

In addition, knowing the cause is very important, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes. It will also help you to find the right solution to handle this issue. Hence, we also cover this matter in this article. Read it thoroughly so that you won’t miss important details about Monstera deliciosa plants!

What Is Fenestration?

Apparently, there is a term for splitting leaves in the Monstera plant. It is called fenestration. Fenestration is a process where, when the Monstera is around 2-3 years old, their broad leaves will start forming holes and splitting. Some of them even feature both.

Furthermore, these fenestration leaves are a unique characteristic of Monstera plants, making them a favorite houseplant to decorate indoor and outdoor spaces. Not to mention the dark green leaves will stay green all year, adding everlasting greenery to the place they reside.

Monstera Plant
Monstera Plant

In addition, they will start fenestration only if you take good care of them and provide their growing conditions. Improper sun exposure, low humidity, and lack of nutrients will delay splitting.

However, it should be noted that not all Monstera plants have this feature of split leaves, such as Monstera standleyana and Monstera peru. Meanwhile, Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii are two examples of a favorite for plant lovers, thanks to the split variations.

Why Do Monstera Leaves Split?

The reason behind Monstera fenestration remains a mystery. Some scientists said that the split leaves prevent water from pooling on the leaves. Thus, creating good drainage. The holey leaves also make it easier to water and easily access the soil, which will eventually reach the roots faster than those without holes.

In contrast, many still doubt this theory because the Monstera has aerial roots that are barely attached to the soil. In addition, they also sit under the tropical rainforest canopy, which has a high frequency of rain. Hence, why do they need to split their leaves?

Monstera Leaves
Monstera Leaves

Another speculation arose, saying that the fenestration is one of Monstera’s adaptation methods to prevent its structure from being damaged by strong winds. So, the split leaves will let the strong winds pass through easily without harming the tropical plant.

However, it is easily debunked because this ‘survival mode’ is not found in many other tropical plants.

Meanwhile, others debated that those holes are beneficial to absorb more sunlight in a balanced way in every inch of the leaf. In addition, sunlight can shine on the under-story plant so that the leaves below do not lack the sun. Well, does it mean that this theory is the correct one? Unfortunately, the answer to the question is not yet known.

Besides the theories we have discussed, some benefits of the split leave that Monstera plants can get include:

  • Better air circulation.
  • Provide good drainage for the leaves.
  • Ensure balanced light intensity.

What Is The Cause of Monstera Leaves Not Splitting?

With so many benefits of split leaves for Monstera plants, are all Monster plants split? Nope. Some cultivars simply don’t have such characteristics. Those with holes also sometimes have some issues getting their leaves divided. In general, the leading cause is that the plant is still young.

Monstera plant requires 2-3 years to be fully established. After that period, the leaves will naturally split. It will also grow new leaves every four to six weeks. On the other hand, you can start to worry if your plant doesn’t fenestrate its leaves even though it’s mature.

If this issue persists, you may need to check on how you treat your Monstera and the growing conditions you provide.

why is my monstera not splitting
Monstera in Pot

Even though this tropical plant is relatively hardy and not fussy about its maintenance, it doesn’t mean you can neglect its needs. As in its natural habitat in tropical forests, Monstera favors gentle light.

Therefore, the best spot to grow them is under a shady tree, where the leaves don’t block the sunlight. And for the potted indoor plant, it is better to set a grow light to ensure it thrives.

If it doesn’t get the proper lighting, you will notice weak, thin, and non-glossy leaves with a lack of splitting. Similar adverse effects will occur if your Monstera doesn’t receive a humid environment and water. Even worse, then they will begin to stop growing and die.

This is because the process of photosynthesis, which requires these three elements to produce food and energy for the plant, cannot run properly.


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How Long Does It Take for a Monstera Leaf To Split?

You may not see split, heart-shaped leaves in younger Monstera leaves as the plant needs 2-3 years before starting to fenestration (split the foliage). After that, they will grow leaves every four to six weeks. But does it guarantee that every mature Monstera will split? Sadly, no.

why is my monstera not splitting
Monstera Deliciosa or Swiss Cheese Plant

It doesn’t only take age as the primary condition for your plant’s leaves split beautifully. You also have to pay attention to other things in the treatment, such as sunlight exposure, humidity, and watering. The lack of one of them will hinder the splitting process. Or worse, they will end up with no fenestrated leaves.

Moreover, fertilizing will also help the plant as it adds more nutrients for its growth. You can introduce balanced NPK fertilizer to boost the growth of leaves, flowers, and, best of all, fruits!

How To Encourage Monstera Leaves To Split?

Alright, let’s talk about the solution to the issue. As we discussed, the main factor causing your Monstera to refuse to split is improper maintenance. Age matters, but not providing what they need won’t help fenestration at all costs. So, how to stimulate leaves splitting in the Monstera plant?

Let’s find out below!

why is my monstera not splitting
Indoor Monstera Plants

1. Sunlight Exposure

Like tropical plants or other plants in general, so to speak, your Monstera needs sunlight exposure. It’s just that the intensity must be considered. Instead of direct sunlight, this plant prefers bright indirect light to flourish.

It mimics the growing conditions in its natural habitat under the rainforests canopy. Besides helping the fenestration, such a lighting level allows better photosynthesis. Thus, ensure your Monstera plant has the energy and food to produce flowers and fruits.

2. Humid Environment

Your Monstera appreciates moist soil as it resembles the forest floor, where it grows naturally in the wild. Therefore, it is a crucial matter that shouldn’t be missed out! Low humidity that goes on for too long will turn the dark green Monstera leaves into yellow and brown colors. And when the issue persists, they will drop and die.

How come they can split if they aren’t healthy? The best way to maintain the humidity is to provide humidifiers indoors. You can also set a tray filled with pebbles and water to help lock the moisture.

3. Watering Schedule

Following the humid environment, water should help a lot! Providing adequate water for your Monstera keeps it fresh and ensures healthy leaves. Try to water the soil when the surface starts drying. And also the most important thing is to add water thoroughly.

In addition, avoid overflooding your plant, as it can trigger root rot. It can lead to bigger problems, like fungal diseases spreading throughout the plant.

4. Fertilization

To encourage splitting means you need to put in the extra effort. One of the things you can do is fertilize your Monstera to add more nutrients. You can give the plant an NPK fertilizer that can stimulate the leaves’ growth, hopefully triggering the splitting.

In addition, fertilizer can help boost flowering and fruiting! Aside from the chemical one, you are always welcome to use your household waste, such as peels, egg shells, rotten veggies, and fruits, to make compost for your Monstera.

5. Pruning

Any plant will mostly appreciate pruning as it stimulates new growth. It also applies to the Monstera plant. You can remove the old ones, characterized by yellow or brown leaves, and sometimes they drop.

Also, the leaves with holes that do not split are safe to remove. Now, prepare sanitized sharp scissors, then cut the stalk at the base. In addition, the best time to prune them is in the spring or early summer.

Conclusion of Why Monstera Leaf Not Splitting

The reasons why your Monstera plant is not splitting are either that they are too young or receive improper care. But don’t be sad. You can stimulate the fenestration by ensuring your plant grows under bright indirect sunlight on the moist soil with proper watering.

Also, pruning and fertilizing may be necessary to ensure it thrives.


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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do Monstera Leaves Split?

The young monstera plant doesn’t split as it needs more time through the fenestration. And after 2-3 years, you will notice the new split leaves grow. This is normal for Monstera. In fact, it is a sign that your plant thrives and ages healthily.

To encourage Monstera growth and fenestration, you just need to make sure it is planted in the area with bright indirect light and moist soil but well-drained.

What Are Splits In Monstera Leaves Called?

The split leaves event in Monstera plants is called fenestration. Fenestrated leaves create a unique characteristic that makes them the hallmark of this tropical plant.

Normally, Monstera leaves split 2-3 years after planting, when the plant is mature. If you don’t see any signs of them breaking, you may need to double-check the growing conditions causing Monstera leaves not splitting.

How Often Does Monstera Grow New Leaves?

Monstera will produce new dark green leaves once every four to six weeks. However, you can speed it up by providing fertilizer, pruning the dead leaves, installing a stake to allow vertical growth, set a watering schedule. And most importantly, imitate growing conditions like in natural habitats.

This tropical leafy plant favors bright indirect light and a humid environment. So, providing water is necessary. But remember not to overflow it as it can trigger root rot.

How Many Times does Monstera Leaf Split?

When your Monstera is 2-3 years old, they will start to split. This process will continue as long as you provide the growing conditions your plant needs to thrive. Lack of sunlight and humidity can delay their fenestration.

In addition, it supports their growth by adding fertilizer. Although it loves growing on magnesium-rich soil, we still recommend balanced NPK fertilizer to stimulate dense leaves, flowering, and fruiting.

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