Monstera Leaf Not Unfurling? Causes and Solutions

Monstera plants are known for their big, pretty, shiny leaves that unfurl as the plant matures. But sometimes, for lots of reasons, the leaves don’t unfurl as expected. This can cause big worry for Monstera keepers and often leads to questions like: Why isn’t my Monstera leaf unfurling?

In this article, we will discuss 8 usual reasons for monstera leaf not unfurling that may stop your issue, along with some tips on how to fix each problem.

Common causes of monstera leaf not unfurling

Luckily, there are several usual reasons for this problem, as well as solutions to ensure that your Monstera stays strong and lively.

Monstera leaves not unfurling

Cause 1: The plant is too young

It’s important to remember that Monstera plants are slow growers and it can take several weeks or even months for the leaf to unfurl properly. If you have just recently bought your Monstera and it has not yet started to unfurl, there is no need to worry – just keep providing your plant with suitable conditions and eventually it will unfurl.

Cause 2: Too Much Sunlight

If a Monstera is exposed to direct sunlight for too many hours, it will burn the leaves and prevent them from opening up right. The best way to fix this is by moving the plant to an area that receives indirect light, such as near a window which gets morning sun but not hot afternoon light. Additionally, you can also place sheer curtains over the window or a shade cloth over the plant to filter some of the sun’s rays.

Cause 3: Not Enough Water

These tropical beauties actually grow better when their soil is allowed to dry out a little between waterings. Monstera plants, in fact, favor a watering schedule that strikes a balance between adequate hydration and preventing root rot – a common issue in overwatered plants.

If your Monstera is not unfurling its leaves, it could be a sign of not enough water. To fix this, change how often you water. Be sure to water thoroughly, until you see water run out from the bottom of the pot, indicating that the water has sufficiently penetrated the potting mix. After watering, allow the soil to dry out slightly before the next watering.

To help you gauge when your Monstera is ready for more water, you can employ the use of a moisture meter. These handy tools can accurately determine when the soil has dried out to the right degree, helping you avoid the dangers of giving too little or too much water. With careful attention to your Monstera’s watering needs, you should see new, opening leaves in no time.

Cause 4: Excess Fertilizer

Excess fertilization can put too much stress on your Monstera plant by damaging its root system, which may lead to lots of problems, including leaf unfurling issues.

If you suspect that over-fertilization is the cause behind your Monstera’s leaves not opening fully, there are certain fixing steps you can take. Initially, you should stop adding any more fertilizer to the plant. This stop will prevent further harm and let the plant begin its getting better.

Subsequently, consider cleaning the soil with water to wash away any leftover too much fertilizer. This can be achieved by watering the plant with a ratio of one part water to two parts water, facilitating the drainage of extra nutrients from the soil.

Post-flushing, you should observe an improvement in the state of your Monstera’s leaves. However, if the leaves still aren’t unfurling as they should, repotting might be necessary. Transplant the plant into a new pot filled with fresh, unfertilized soil. This could provide a clean slate for the plant to recover fully and resume its normal leaf opening process.

Cause 5: Poor Air Circulation

Monstera plants need plenty of air circulation to do well. If the plant isn’t getting enough breeze, this can lead to a buildup of humidity around the leaves and stop them from opening up the right way. To increase airflow around your Monstera, you can put a fan close by or move it to a windier part of your house.

Cause 6: Pest Problems

A bunch of things can stop a Monstera leaf from opening up, with bugs bothering being a main one. A few common culprits that can mess up Monsteras include:

Aphids: These tiny, soft-bodied bugs often hang out on the underside of leaves, feeding on plant sap, which can weaken the plant and stop new leaves from opening up.
Spider mites: These tiny, eight-legged creatures like dry, dusty places and feed on plant fluids, causing leaf discoloration and wilting.
Mealybugs: Covered in white, fluffy wax, these bugs suck out plant sap, which can weaken the plant and disrupt leaf opening up.

If you think you’ve got bugs, isolate your Monstera to avoid the spread of pests to other plants. Take a good look for signs of bugs – keep an eye out for insects, eggs, or webs on the leaves, stems, and leaf undersides.

When you find the Monstera pests ,use a safe bug spray for houseplants. Be sure to stick to the label instructions when using it.

Along with bug treatment, making sure your Monstera’s growing conditions are good is important. This involves providing bright yet indirect light, soil that drains well, and regular watering. With the right care, your Monstera should bounce back from the bug attack and start growing leaves again.

Cause 7: Incorrect Temperature

Monstera plants do well within a specific temperature range, generally between 65-85°F (18-29°C). If the temps get too high or low, these plants may react by showing signs of stress, such as leaf deformation or stopping leaf opening.

If you see a new leaf on your Monstera staying all coiled up, you should check out the environment where it’s living, with a specific focus on temperature. If it’s too cold, this could be the problem. In these cases, moving the plant to a warmer area can often fix it.

However, remember that temperature isn’t the only thing that affects leaf opening. Other things like humidity, light, watering habits, and overall plant health are important too. To make sure Monsteras grow and open their leaves properly, caring for all their needs is recommended.

Cause 8: Inadequate Lighting

Monstera plants do well under bright, indirect light. Not enough light can lead to leaves that aren’t fully grown or that don’t open up right.

Increase the light exposure so that it has more energy from photosynthesis to unfurl. This often gets falsely blamed on low humidity, but it’s not the cause. To make sure your Monstera gets enough light, put it near a south, east, or west-facing window. Use grow lights if natural light isn’t enough. Direct sunlight, though, can harm the leaves. Watch out for curling or yellowing leaves – a sign your plant might need more light. Fixing this, along with proper watering, enough dampness, and pest control, should help your Monstera open its leaves beautifully.

Cause 9: The pot is too small

Monstera plants can become root-bound if they’re stuck in a pot that’s too small. If your Monstera seems like it’s root-bound, what you should do is move it into a bigger pot. Make sure to use soil that drains well and give the plant extra water after you repot it. This will help the plant recover and encourage new, healthy growth.

Related: How and When to Repot Monstera to keep your plant happy

By dealing with the issues above and taking good care of your Monstera, you can help it to do well and grow new leaves. With the right environment and a bit of patience, your Monstera should start opening up its beautiful leaves.

How long does it take for a monstera leaf unfurling?

The answer is that it can take anywhere from one to seven weeks for your Monstera plant’s new leaves to unfold and show how pretty they are. How long it takes for your specific plant’s new leaves to open up will depend on the growing conditions in your home, as well as the age and size of the plant.

Monstera leaves not opening

In general, most Monsteras will take at least a few weeks before they start to show their beautiful foliage. If you want to speed up the process, make sure your plant gets enough light and has enough dampness — both are essential for healthy growth. You can also give your Monstera a little extra plant food to help it along.

Why is monstera leaf turn brown before unfurling?

Monstera leaves turning brown before they unfurl can be a scary sight for any plant parent, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your Monstera is doomed. Usually, this happens because you’re not watering it right or the soil’s too dry or wet.

Monstera leaf turn brown before unfurling

If the soil’s either too dry or too wet, the leaf will start to dry up and turn brown. If your plant is in soil that’s gone dry and the leaves are brown, then you need to step up your watering game. But if the soil is super wet and leaves turn brown before they open, then you should chill out on the watering.

The trick to keeping your Monstera happy is to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. If it’s too wet, water less often and if it’s too dry, then give it more water. By keeping a steady moisture level in the soil, you should stop your Monstera leaves from turning brown before they open.

Step-by-step guide to help Monstera leaves unfurl quickly?

When you first get a Monstera, its leaves might not have opened up yet. No biggie, with the right care, your Monstera’s leaves will open in no time! Here are some tips to help Monstera leaves open quickly:

  1. Put your plant somewhere with bright but not direct light – Monstera plants love this kind of light to open up their leaves. If you can, put your Monstera near a south-facing window that gets a few hours of sunlight each day.
  2. Increase the humidity – Monsteras need a humid environment to thrive and open their leaves. To make it more humid around your Monstera, you can mist it with a spray bottle of water once or twice per day.
  3. Fertilize regularly – Fertilizer gives your Monstera the nutrients it needs to grow and open up its leaves. Use a liquid fertilizer at half strength every two weeks during the growing season for best results.
  4. Prune and propagate – Pruning your Monstera can help encourage new growth and leaf unfurling, as well as provide a way for you to propagate the plant. When pruning, be sure to cut just above a node (the point where two leaves come together) on the stem.

Follow these simple steps and your Monstera’s leaves will open quickly and it will stay healthy for years to come!


Monstera leaves opening up is just nature doing its thing and can take anywhere from a week to seven weeks, depending on the environment.

The key to getting your Monstera’s leaves to open up quickly is by giving it the right care like bright indirect light, more humidity, regular fertilizer applications, and pruning/propagation. With steady moisture levels and the right care, you should get your Monstera leaves to open in no time!

The more love you give your Monstera, the healthier it will be and the quicker its new leaves will open. So if you’ve been wondering why your monstera leaf isn’t opening, now you know what to do with Famiplants! Good luck and happy growing up!

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

Leave a Comment