The Monstera plant is an evergreen tropical flowering shrub that is famous for its attractive look and low maintenance properties. This vine is native to Central America and is widely used as a houseplant because it grows giant leaves when mature.
Because of its natural holes and splits that form on the leaves, it is also known as the Swiss cheese plant or the fruit salad plants in other parts of the planet (depending on the area and zone).
The Monstera adansonii and the Monstera deliciosa are the two common species widely cultivated by homeowners.
Almost all Monstera species develop holes in their leaves naturally and split a few days or weeks as the plant continues to grow. However, depending on the species, some monstera will differ in size, leaf shape, leaf color, and leaf structure.
Quick fact: If you notice that your monstera does not split, or has not yet split at the correct time, you should be able to tell the problem and know all the troubleshooting approaches available.
Why Is My Monstera Not Splitting?
Many reasons can make a Monstera not to split. Enough sunlight and adequate soil composition are the key ingredients that can make the monstera plant grow efficiently and split naturally.
However, other significant reasons can alter the growth of a monstera plant and make its leaves not to split.
Understand that the older the leaf gets, the more split it gets.
Below are a few reasons and solutions to making your monstera split naturally.
Light is among essential ingredients needed by plants, including the monstera, to make their food and grow strong. Without sufficient light, plants’ growth will be delayed significantly.
If you have your monstera plants placed indoors, they will not develop many splits as it should because of poor light. The Monstera plant will use all the available energy to grow healthier stems and shoot new branches as opposed to splitting its leaves.
As much as some leaves will split even with minimum light, the plant will struggle al through its growing period.
1. The monstera does not need direct bright light to grow efficiently and split its leaves like the other tropical plants. Efficient indirect sunlight can help the plant grow well. When you plan to install the monstera plants indoors, you should place them closer to windows.
2. If the windows do not receive sufficient light during the day, you can install artificial light sources (grow lights). Grow lights come in different colors. So, you should choose the precise color for improved plant growth.
Note: Before choosing the precise window to place your monster, you should identify which window receives the hot afternoon sun rays. The hot afternoon sun rays can cause significant damage to most monstera plants. So, you should not let your monstera overexposed to the sun rays.
Tropical flowering plants are adapted to receiving a lot of water throughout their life. Because the monstera is a native tropical plant, it needs sufficient amounts of water to develop deeper roots, stronger stems, and attractive split leaves.
Without enough water, the plant will not absorb the necessary nutrients required for growth. Nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, and calcium are the six necessary nutrients required for plant growth.
However, Nitrate, as a key element, helps most plant species develop strong foliage. Without the correct amounts of Nitrate in a monster plant, it will not have it’s beautifully split leaves.
Under-watering your monstera often causes the leaves to turn yellow and die prematurely. Overwatering your monster, on the other hand, can cause choke it and cause poor development. The plant will have yellow leaves.
- Water regularly and make sure the soil is slightly moist.
- If your monstera is in a pot, you should repot it every year.
- Make sure the pot has adequate drainage.
Note: You should water your monstera more frequently during the warm months because the humidity levels are higher, and the rate of transpiration is greater.
Underfeeding is the denying of plants the necessary nutrients needed for growth. Monsteras need organic-rich soils, fertilizers, and manure for enhanced growth.
Your monstera plant should contain the required amounts of nutrients to develop strong roots and leaf foliage.
1. Fertilize your monstera once a month (In spring and summer)
2. Apply the recommended amounts of fertilizer to ensure efficient plant growth
Humidity And Temperature
Tropical plants require specific degrees of temperature and humidity levels to mature well. The average tropical climatic conditions are; Temperature 17-18 degrees Celsius (61-64 degrees Fahrenheit) and between 77 and 88 percent.
During the cold season, most monsteras will not grow efficiently because it is a hardy plant that is adapted to the warm tropical weather.
Also, when the temperatures fall below optimal levels, the plant will grow slowly, and the leaves will not split as they should.
Depending on your particular area/zone, you should be able to tell the daily humidity and temperatures that favor monstera growth.
In summer, when the temperatures are scorching, you need to water your monsteras frequently. Watering your monsteras three times a week in summer enables them to maximize nutrient absorption.
Important to note: Do not flood the pot if it does not have adequate drainage. Plants in a well-drained pot should be watered thrice in a week, and poorly drained pots should be watered twice a week.
It Could Still Be A Juvenile
The juvenile phase is a crucial stage for most plants. In this stage, the plant is delicate and vulnerable to unlimited of dangers.
Most juvenile monsteras will assume dark green foliage and will not have split leaves. Note that most young monstera leaves will not have holes on their surface even if they are kept healthy.
The leaves start to develop holes and a light green appearance after a few days/weeks.
How To Care For Monstera And Get Split Leaves
Because the monstera likes to climb objects to look for sunlight, you should identify an ideal location that it can thrive. Monsteras grow to reach massive sizes, and if you have planted this plant species indoors, you should identify the different propagating methods.
Caring for the monstera is easy and straightforward. Here are a few tips that can help you understand what these plant species need to mature efficiently.
Speedy Leaf Split And Growth
Monstera plants grow fast and produce new leaves frequently throughout their life. Pruning both the old and withered leaves can help the plant not only conserve energy and focus on new shoots but look attractive.
A new and healthy leaf should split a few days after it shoots from the stem.
There is no harm in pruning old leaves because these plant species have a tough structure and are resistant to common pests.
Propagating And Repotting To Maximize Monstera Growth
As monsteras mature, their roots become larger, and their need for nutrients increases. To ensure that the plant grows efficiently to produce split leaves at the correct time, you need to repot it after a few years or propagate it to ensure continuity of generations.
Repotting And Pruning Older Leaves
To report a monstera plant, you should pick a newer pot that is larger than the previous pot. The new pot will allow enough room for your monstera to grow efficiently. You can tell a healthy monstera by its multiple splits.
If you do not want to repot your monsteras, you can also choose to continuously prune older leaves and allow the younger leaves to mature actively.
Propagating a plant ensures that the alternation of generation is successful. Propagation by stem cutting guarantees uniformity of the monstera plant. Also, it is a cheaper and simple method as opposed to other methods.
Here are the steps needed for correct monstera propagation.
- Find a leaf with an aerial root below it.
- Cut about one-third of the stem’s diameter below that root notch.
- Wrap the cut area (root, notch, and node) with damp sphagnum moss.
- Securely wrap the sphagnum moss in a polythene bag with a durable tie or string. The wrapping should, however, be loose enough.
- When you begin to see, new roots forming on the cut stem, remove it, and plant it in nutrient-rich soil.
Different species of monsteras are beautiful alternatives in your home. Their simple and straightforward maintenance makes them a favorite substitute for both indoor and outdoor purposes.
If you can replicate a natural tropical climate for your plant, then your monsteras will thrive healthily.
A monsteras natural habitat enables it to split its leaves more frequently. If they are not splitting well, do not worry. Follow the above-discussed points to help you understand what your monsteras want and what it takes for efficient growth.
CHOOSE THE CORRECT SPECIES THAT WILL DO WELL IN YOUR AREA/ZONE.