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Why Are My Monstera Leaves Small?

Monstera plants are a perennial favorite among indoor plant lovers, and with their impressive large, glossy leaves they make any interior look stunning. But sometimes, Monstera owners may encounter an issue—their leaves can be smaller than normal. If this has happened to you, it is important to investigate why your Monstera small leaves before trying corrective measures so you can ensure the health of your plant in the long term. In this blog post, we’ll provide insight into some of the possible reasons behind small monstera leaves as well as advice on how to get big monstera leaves.

Causes of monstera small leaves

Some Monstera might show small leaves that look different from your usual Monstera leaf. A couple of things can cause this.

Lack of sunlight

One of the most common reasons behind smaller-than-usual Monstera leaves is insufficient sunlight. As a tropical plant, the Monstera thrives in environments with ample bright, indirect light which aids growth and Photosynthesis. Without enough sunlight, the plant focuses its energy on basic survival rather than leaf size and fenestrations.

Signs your Monstera might be getting not enough light:

  • Smaller leaves that look underdeveloped and fail to reach their potential size
  • Lack of characteristic holes/fenestrations in the leaves
  • Slower growth rate overall
  • Tall, stretched out stems as plant reaches for light

Solutions to Boost Light:

The good news is that adjusting the lighting can make a big difference! Here are some tips to ensure your Monstera gets the sunlight it craves:

  • Gradually move plant to a brighter location with several hours of indirect light daily, like an east or west-facing window
  • Rotate pot regularly so all sides get evenly illuminated
  • Consider investing in a supplementary grow light to provide extra brightness
  • Be patient – it can take some time for the Monstera to adjust and resume normal growth patterns

With the right adjustments, you can satisfy your Monstera’s light demands and enjoy much larger, iconic split leaves over time. Proper lighting is key to these tropical plants showcasing their signature peekaboo holes and flourishing in an indoor environment.

monstera small leaves due to lack of sunlight


Monstera Overwatering is often the problem when a Monstera plant starts showing smaller than usual leaves, among other unhealthy signs. When Monstera plants get watered too much, soil gets overly wet, stopping air from getting to the roots. This can lead to root rot, a really bad and potentially fatal problem for the plant.

Root rot messes with the plant’s ability to absorb water and essential nutrients, leading to a visible decline in the plant’s health. Signs are monstera yellowing leaves, leaf drop, and diminished leaf size. Moreover, root rot on monstera can make them more likely to get other issues, like monstera pest infestations and problems from cold temperatures.

Poor drainage is part of the problem of root rot, as it lets water hang around the roots, creating a perfect environment for rot to start. When your Monstera plant shows signs of trouble, it’s really important to act fast to lessen harm and potentially save your plant.

Here are steps to take if you think your Monstera has root rot due to too much water:

  • Repot the Plant: Choose a pot with better drainage to stop water from hanging around in the soil. A well-draining potting mix also helps.
  • Prune Damaged Roots: Remove any dead or decaying roots to stop the rot from spreading to the healthy roots. Be gentle during this step to avoid causing additional stress to the plant.
  • Apply a Fungicide: Treat the plant and its remaining roots with a good fungus killer to kill any remaining rot-causing fungi.
  • Adjust Watering Schedule: Water your Monstera less often and make sure the top layer of soil dries out between waterings. Too much water is the root of this problem, so this step is really important to the plant’s recovery and future health.

By quickly sorting root rot caused by too much water, you can help your Monstera plant get back its vitality, leading to the production of larger, healthier leaves. Nutrient Lack

You may also like: How often to Water Monstera Plant for Optimal Growth

Nutrient deficiency

If your Monstera has smaller leaves than expected, nutrient deficiencies could be the reason why. Monsteras need a regular supply of major nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium for healthy growth.

Signs of nutrient deficiency:

  • Discolored leaves – yellowing between veins, purple/reddish hues, browned crispy edges
  • Slower new leaf production and stunted growth
  • General lackluster appearance

The soil could be depleted of nutrients if it’s old, dense or waterlogged. Insufficient fertilization can also cause deficiencies over time.

Correcting Nutrient Deficiency:

  • Test soil and adjust nutrients as needed – Nitrogen for greener leaves, phosphorus for healthy roots and flowering, potassium for disease resistance
  • Repot into fresh, well-draining soil to reboot nutrient supply
  • Apply balanced liquid fertilizer at half strength every 2-4 weeks in growing season
  • Ensure adequate sunlight and watering to facilitate nutrient absorption

Meeting the Monstera’s nutritional needs is key to vibrant growth. Pay attention to visual cues, test soil quality, and provide supplemental feeding as warranted. This will reward you with much larger, unmistakable Monstera leaves.

5 small leaves Monstera


Not watering enough, unlike watering too much, can also cause issues for your Monstera plant. When the soil is always very dry, it messes with the roots’ soaking up water and crucial nutrients effectively. This lack can cause leaves to go yellow and dropping off for your monstera, also stopping leaf growth leading to super small leaves.

Not watering enough may be because of:

  • Not watering enough, leading to a constant dry soil situation.
  • Too big pot, which can spread water too thinly and leads to quick evaporation before the roots can soak it.
  • Bad soil quality that doesn’t hold water well, causing fast soil drying.

If you think your Monstera plant isn’t getting enough water, you need to act fast. The next steps can make your plant better:

  • Thorough Watering: Give the plant a good soak until water leaks out from the holes at the bottom. This makes sure the water gets deep into the soil, wetting all the roots.
  • Increase Humidity: Monstera plants thrive in a humid environment. Often spraying the leaves can make the air around more damp and help the plant get better.
  • Fertilize Regularly: Use an even feed once a month to supplement the soil’s nutrients. This can help the plant get better and grow healthy, larger leaves.

By dealing with not watering enough quickly, you can help your Monstera plant’s recovery, helping it grow better and bring back its characteristic big, bright leaves.

Inappropriate Pot

An unsuitable pot can restrict the growth of your Monstera, resulting in disappointedly small leaves. Issues like poor drainage, cramped space and restrictive materials compromise the root system and prevent the plant from accessing the water, oxygen and nutrients it needs to thrive.

Signs of inadequate potting:

  • Slow or stunted growth
  • Leaves remain stubbornly small
  • Wilting/yellowing despite regular watering
  • Roots clearly visible and pot-bound
  • Soil stays wet for too long after watering


  • Re-pot into a container one or two inches wider if roots are dense and circling the bottom
  • Choose a pot with multiple drainage holes to prevent waterlogging
  • Use breathable containers like terracotta or fabric pots to improve airflow
  • Opt for loose, aerated potting mixes made for Monsteras
  • Add pebbles, gravel or sand at the bottom of the pot to improve drainage

Providing an appropriately sized, well-draining pot with fresh, suitable soil gives Monstera roots ample room to branch out. This enables the plant to uptake nutrients and moisture essential for facilitating expansive, signature split leaves over time.

Repot your Monstera now to prevent small leaves and an unhappy plant.

Inadequate fertilizer

When it comes to feeding Monstera’s small leaves, not enough feed is the main cause. Not enough feed can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which in turn your monstera will stop growth and reduce the size of your plant’s leaves.

To avoid this, make sure you’re using enough feed but not too much as this can burn the roots. It’s best to use a weak feed, about half strength, and feed only once per month during the growth period. To choose the right fertilizer for your plant, you can refer to the article Best Fertilizer for Monstera.

Monstera small leaves no holes

Water Quality

Water with too much chlorine and fluoride can damage the leaves of your plant, making them smaller and less bright. Water that has been softened over a long time can also stop its growth.

To get the best health for your Monstera, use clean water when caring for it. Rainwater or spring water is also a great option that can give your Monstera the food it needs to do well. Bottle water can be used too, but avoid tap water when you can.

For an even better plant, consider using a feed made for houseplants like Monstera to add to its nutrition.

Low Humidity

When the dampness level in your home is lower than 25%, it can make your monstera plant’s leaves get smaller. Not humid enough can make the water evaporate faster, causing the soil and leaves to dry out. Not being humid enough also stresses the plant, slowing its growth and size of leaves.

In addition, not being humid enough can also lead to brown bits and dry ends on the leaves.

To create a humid environment for your monstera plant, spray them regularly with water or use a room humidifier. You may also place the plant in a pebble tray filled with water. This will help up the dampness levels around the plant and stop the leaves getting smaller.

It’s also important to keep the air movement in your home at a good level with open windows, as too much stuffy air can cause low dampness levels. Regularly check the soil wetness and change watering as needed to keep your monstera plant happy and healthy!

Temperature shock

If your Monstera begins developing noticeably smaller new leaves, it could be reacting to recent temperature swings in its environment. As a tropical plant, the Monstera thrives in stable warm temps and is sensitive to sudden dips or spikes, which shocks the system.

Identifying Temperature Issues:

Monitor for drafts, abrupt weather changes, rapid moves to unheated spaces, etc. Pinpointing the source of temperature flux will help prevent and manage future issues proactively.

Caring For a Shocked Monstera:

  • Provide consistent temps between 65°F-80°F away from drafty windows or heaters
  • Mist leaves and increase humidity around the plant to ease transition
  • Stick to a regular watering and feeding schedule to support recovery
  • Be patient with growth and leaf progress – it may take some time

Prevention is also key – maintain optimal stable temperatures, limit rapid environment changes, and pre-acclimate Monsteras when shifting spaces to avoid shock. With TLC during transition and favorable stable conditions, your Monstera will adjust and resume emitting iconic, substantial leaves.

Insect infestation

If your Monstera suddenly begins producing noticeably smaller new leaves, a pest infestation could be the culprit. Common houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, thrips and scale insects can all attack Monsteras. They puncture cells and suck out moisture and nutrients, causing stunted growth, spots, yellowing and wilting of leaves over time.

Identifying and Eradicating Pests:

Start by thoroughly checking the plant, especially the undersides of leaves and along stems, for any visible insects, sticky residue, fine webs or speckles. Identify the specific pest so you can use the appropriate targeted treatment method:

  • Insecticidal soap – effective for soft-bodied insects
  • Neem oil – repels a range of common pests
  • Horticultural oils – smother and kill scale, mites and aphids
  • Botanical insecticides – derived from plants, less toxic

Preventing Future Infestations:

Promote vigorous growth and make your Monstera less susceptible by providing good care:

  • Quarantine new plants before introducing
  • Keep nearby plants clean and monitor for cross-infestation
  • Maintain moderate humidity around 60%
  • Ensure adequate sunlight and nutrition
  • Prune away any damaged leaves/stems

Catching an infestation early and using integrated pest management facilitates healthier, pest-resilient plants with larger, unblemished leaves.

Incorrect soil pH

Having small leaves on a monstera plant can be an indication of wrong soil pH. If the soil is too sour, it can prevent the plant from getting enough nutrients, resulting in slowed growth and smaller leaves.

To correct this issue, you will need to adjust the soil pH until it hits the just-right range of between 6.0 and 7.0. This can be done by adding lime to the soil, which will help raise the pH, or sulfur, which will lower it. Adjusting the soil pH will not only help your monstera’s leaves grow larger, but also improve its overall health and make it tough against sickness. Make sure you test the Monstera soil regularly to ensure that the pH remains at a consistent level.

Monstera small leaves due to incorrect soil pH

How to make your Monstera leaf bigger

One of the most common questions asked by Monstera owners is how to make their Monstera leaf bigger.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much effort to grow a big and healthy monstera plant! Here are some tips that you can use to help your plant reach its maximum size potential:

  1. Provide the right amount of light: Monstera thrives in bright, soft sunlight. Make sure to place your plant near a window where it can get plenty of sunlight without direct sunlight hitting it directly.
  2. Fertilize regularly: A regular feeding program will help promote healthy growth and increase the size of your monstera leaves. Use a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for Monstera plants. Follow the instructions on the package to determine how often you should fertilize your plant.
  3. Repot when necessary: As your monstera grows, it may need more space. When this happens, it’s a good idea to repot your plant into a bigger pot with fresh soil. Make sure the new pot has drainage holes so the excess water can escape.
  4. Prune regularly: It is important to prune your monstera plant in order to maintain its shape and control how big it gets. Pruning will also help encourage thicker leaf growth, which in turn makes bigger leaves.

For example, I recently had to let go of my monstera I also purchased in June 2022. Try moving your plant closer to your east facing window. Open the blinds from sunrise to sunset. Monsteras thrive on light. Turn your plant a quarter turn once per week and check if it needs water at the same time. Does your container have drainage? I use a plastic growers pot for most of my plants and place it into a decorative container. Maybe repot her as well. Even if you repot into the same container, a little refresh of well aerated soil may just perk her up. From spring to fall try a little bit of fertilizer once per month to keep her healthy and well feed. After following these steps, my monstera is healthy and the leaves are a little bigger. Good luck!

My Monstera small leaves

Frequently Asked Questions on small monstera leaves

Should I trim small Monstera leaves?

Trimming small Monstera leaves is generally discouraged as it can lead to slowed growth and weird-shaped leaves. should only Prune dead and damaged leaves and encouraging new leaf growth, as well as improving air circulation around the plant.

Why are my mini Monstera leaves small?

Small Monstera leaves are a natural variation of the Monstera plant. They are caused by mutations in the plant’s DNA, resulting in smaller leaves than usual. The small size of these leaves can also be attributed to tough conditions like giving too much water or not enough sunlight exposure.

Concluded, It is not unusual for Monstera small leaves, but there are ways to fix the problem. By providing proper lighting, adjusting watering schedule, fertilizing, pruning and repotting your plant, you can encourage your Monstera to produce bigger leaves. Keep in mind that the process of growing bigger leaves takes time, but it will be worth the effort in the end. For more tips on how to care for your Monstera, visit us at Famiplants!

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.

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