When do Monstera leaves split? How to encourage it splitting

Monstera plants, known for their cool split leaves and neat look, have become a hot item as houseplants recently. The leaf splits are what make the Monstera a real showstopper, bringing a bit of the tropics to any space. But, lots of plant parents might be asking themselves when their Monstera’s leaves will start to split and how they can help things along. This article will clear up the question, “When do Monstera leaves split?” and share some handy tips on making those splits happen.

What does Monstera split mean?

When we say “Monstera split,” we’re talking about the special split or perforated leaves of the Swiss cheese plant, also known as Monstera deliciosa. These splits give the plant its fun holey look.

Some folks think these leaf splits help the plant soak up more sun, while others reckon they help the plant stand up to strong winds and heavy rain.

Lots of people choose to grow Monstera deliciosa for its stylish vibe and the coveted split leaves. The plant’s funky foliage has even sparked some creative art and design ideas.

When do Monstera leaves split?

When a Monstera plant is old enough to produce grown-up leaves, which usually takes a few years, the leaves will start to split. How much light, water, and food a Monstera plant gets are some of the things that can influence how its leaves split naturally as it grows. To help along leaf splitting, try this:

  • Monstera plants need a good amount of light to grow adult leaves. Find a spot for your plant that gets loads of bright, indirect light.
  • Check your plant is getting enough water. Too much or too little water can stress out your plant and mess with leaf splitting.
  • Nutrients matter: Feed your Monstera plant right to encourage leaf splitting and healthy growth.
  • Monstera plants need room to spread out and grow. Make sure your plant has space to stretch its leaves and isn’t squished.
  • Patience is a virtue: Leaf splitting takes time. Wait for your plant to grow mature leaves and don’t rush the process.

Remember, it’s no big deal if your Monstera plant doesn’t always split its leaves. Every plant is unique, and as long as it’s growing and looking good, it will survive.

What causes Monstera to split?

Monstera leaf fenestration, or splitting, is a natural thing that happens as the plant gets older. It’s thought that this splitting helps the plant deal with wind and rain in its native habitat. Leaf splitting usually kicks in when the plant is one to two years old and has several mature leaves.

The splits in the leaves come from natural perforations or holes in the leaf tissue. These holes get bigger and eventually join up to make the characteristic splits we associate with the Monstera plant as the leaf matures.

Factors like how much light the plant gets, how old the plant is, and how nutrient-rich the soil is can all impact how Monstera leaves split. Monstera plants love bright, indirect light and might not split their leaves if kept in dim conditions. Plus, plants that are underfed or overfed might not develop the usual splits in their leaves.

While you can’t force Monstera leaves to split, giving them the best growing conditions, like bright light and proper watering and feeding, can help them grow healthily and encourage natural leaf splitting.

Do you know how often to water Monstera? Read the following article: http://famiplants.com/how-often-to-water-monstera/


Temperature swings can also make Monstera plants split. If a plant gets too hot or cold, it might not adjust fast enough and start to crack open as it loses moisture from its insides. Lots of sun can do the same thing.

If it gets too hot, the Monstera might be able to fix itself with time. But, if it stays in a cold place too long and doesn’t get enough food, it might fall to pieces.


Wind can also make a Monstera split. Strong and quick gusts of wind can snap the stem of a plant and make it fall open. A plant getting too much wind might need extra support or some kind of protection to stay in one piece.

While lots of things can make a Monstera split in two, how healthy the plant is plays a big part in whether it makes it. With the right conditions and care, a Monstera can live a long, healthy life without getting damaged by outside stuff.

How to get Monstera leaves to split

How Can You Encourage Monstera Leaf Splitting?

With a bit of work on your end, you can easily make Monstera plants split in half. Here’s what you gotta do:

Encourage Monstera leaf splitting with Light

Monstera plants come from the tropics, so they need lots of light to do well. When your plant starts growing new leaves, make sure you move it somewhere it can get lots of sunlight. Ideally, the plant should get at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. No windows in your home? No worries! Spend a bit more on top-notch grow lights, and you’ll see the difference in a year.

By “light,” I mean being near a window. People often get it wrong about how much light indoor plants need to live, and sadly, if you use them to lighten up dark corners of your home, they won’t do well.

If your home doesn’t get much natural light, try using artificial lights to make up for it.

Read now the article Monstera light requirements so that your plants can be cared for with the right amount of light

Encourage Monstera Split Leaves with Fertilizer

To get your Monstera plant to split in half, you might need to start feeding it regularly. In the summer, you could make a light biweekly or monthly feeding plan if your small Monstera is growing happily but hasn’t split yet.

Use a top-notch fertilizer made for tropical plants, and make sure you follow the instructions on the label closely.

Encourage Monstera leaves to split with Temperature

Monstera leaf splits help the leaves handle strong winds and harsh sunlight. But why do some Monstera leaves have more splits than others? It turns out temperature plays a part in making splits. Leaves that go through warm days and cool nights are more likely to get splits than those that stay at a steady temperature.

Monstera plants like warm temperatures, so keep your plant in a room where the temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid putting your plant near heating vents or air-conditioning units, as this can scorch the leaves and cause other issues.

By giving your Monstera plant lots of light, water, food, and a warm temperature, you can make it split in half naturally over time.

Why won’t Monstera leaves split?

If you’re waiting for your monstera plant to start getting those cool leaf holes but they’re not showing up, there might be a few reasons:

The plant is still too young

Split leaves usually show up when the plant is grown-up enough, which is like after 2 or 3 years, so don’t hold your breath for leaf holes on a baby plant.

Those huge monstera plants you see on Instagram are almost definitely way older plants that had loads of time to get big and grow.

So, if you’re taking good care of your monstera, just hang tight and the leaf holes will come.

Related: Monstera growth stages

Your monstera is not getting enough light

Your monstera won’t grow well if the light is too dim. The leaves might shrink because there’s not enough light, and that stops the plant from making those leaf holes.

Even though monstera plants can handle low light, not enough light will mess up the growth, including making it grow tall and skinny.

Give your monstera plant bright, indirect light. Bring it next to a bright window where it’ll get loads of light, or even better, move it outside. Just make sure you don’t put it in direct sunlight, cause that can hurt its leaves.

Deficits in nutrition or care

Monsteras don’t need food that often, but giving them a weak fertilizer once a month can help the leaves grow bigger and healthier.

If there’s not enough humidity or you’re not watering it enough, it could mess up how the plant grows and how big the leaves get.

When does monstera grow new leaves?

Monstera leaves take about 3-4 weeks to pop out of the plant’s stem, get to their full length, then unroll. This takes time at first, but once the leaf gets to its maximum length, it can unroll in about a week.

This is because monstera leaves grow slowly at first and need time to get to their full size. Once they get to their maximum, though, the process of unrolling happens pretty fast. The leaf will keep getting bigger over time before splitting. New leaves will grow from the middle of the stem and keep growing upwards like a vine. As the plant gets bigger it can be attached to a growing pole and climb up to grow vertically.

You can cut off pieces of the outer stems and grow these into new plants. Look for areas with aerial roots and cut a piece below these. They can be put in a jar of water to keep growing roots.

Monstera Deliciosa New Leaf

Do all Monstera leaves split?

Not all types in the Monstera family make leaves with splits. There are a few that don’t, like Monstera standleyana and Monstera peru. These two types have smooth, non-split leaves and won’t grow leaf holes at all.

Even with this difference in leaf shape between certain types of the Monstera family, all of these plants grow the same way and need the same care. They love warm, humid places and can be grown inside as houseplants or outside in the garden. With the right care, they’re pretty easy to grow and take care of, which makes them a popular pick for plant lovers all over the world.

So whether you like the unique split leaves of Monstera deliciosa, the weird upright growth of Monstera obliqua, or the pretty variegated leaves of Monstera adansonii, there’s definitely a type in the Monstera family that’s perfect for you!

Do existing Monstera leaves split?

While existing Monstera leaves won’t split, it’s possible for new leaves to develop holes, or splits. This can happen when the plant is stressed, like if it’s getting too much direct sunlight or not enough water. Also, leaf holes might be caused by genetic stuff. If you’re worried about your Monstera plant, it’s best to talk to a pro.

Conclusion about when do Monstera leaves split

Monstera leaves will split when they get big enough. If you want to make this happen, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure your plant is getting enough light- without enough light, the leaves won’t get as big and they’ll be less likely to split. Second, be patient- it might take a while for your plant to get big enough to split its leaves. Finally, if you want to help speed up the process, give the leaves a gentle pull every now and then. By following these tips, you can get your Monstera Plant to split its leaves and enjoy their awesome new growth!

Apart from the question When do Monstera leaves split, If you have any questions about caring for your Monstera, be sure to reach out to 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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