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When Do Monstera Leaves Split – A Brief Guide

Monsteras are a variety of Araceae, and their leaves change with age. The leaves can be fenestrated when the plant grows, whereas young varieties may have simple heart-shaped structures. The Monstera is also known as the “swiss cheese plant” for its natural holes in the leaves.

The giant leaves with characteristic holes look incredible on any houseplant stand. One common question about this unique plant is “When Do Monstera Leaves Split.” This article will discuss the answer in detail, so make sure to read till the end!

When Do Monstera Leaves Split
Monstera Leaf via Pxfuel

Splitting Of Monstera Leaves

A few plants in your yard can be both aesthetically pleasing and functional, and Monsteras are one of them. Leaf fenestration is a term that is not unique to Monsteras. It’s a common occurrence among plants and can be seen on many species such as begonias and coleus leave too.

Some theories have suggested that this plant creates holes in its leaves to resist strong winds, such as hurricanes. Its unique fenestration or holes gives it an otherworldly look.

The young plants have heart-shaped leaves, but as they grow older, they start to split apart. Finally, the edges are curled before unfolding into a beautiful fan shape with jagged points.

When Do Monstera Leaves Split

The leaves of the Monstera plant are devilishly beautiful. When they first develop, these plants have heart-shaped leaves that can be as large around as your hand. These leaves start splitting once they reach the age of 1-3 years.

They become narrower and more pointed at both ends like swords or daggers. It can be difficult to predict exactly how old your leaf is when it splits, but one thing is confirmed that spitting occurs after 1-3 years of plant age.

Reasons Behind Monstera Leaves Splitting

Fenestrations are one of the most striking features of a Monstera plant. They only appear when plants have matured. The following are the 4 main reasons that cause Monstera leaves to split.

1.     To Allow Sunlight Reaching Lower Leaves

The mature leaves of monsteras are usually large, obstructive, and blocking needed sunlight. As the plant ages, it becomes necessary for lower levels to receive sunlight blocked by huge upper leaves. As a result, the leaves start splitting due to a lack of oxygenation and shaded spots in their enclosure.

2.     Having Smaller Leaves

Your baby Monstera plant will neither have any holes in it nor go through the fenestration process. It is because smaller leaves don’t block the sunlight from reaching evenly to the plant. The mature leaves, i.e., 2-3 years old, are wide enough to block sunlight, and therefore, they split up to allow the transmission of sunlight.

3.     Excessive Watering

Monstera leaves create little chambers, envelopes, and pools of water when they mature, leading to problems with root rot.

Here, the leaf splitting occurs so that the plant’s huge leaf has more surface area and better drainage while remaining attached at the base; this helps prevent issues like fungus or bacteria buildup in wet soil conditions.

4.     Creating Air Passage

Fully developed Monstera leaves would be like parachutes for wind if left unsplit. It causes the leaves to split to create a natural defense mechanism against gusty conditions.

In strong winds, the holes in these plants allow air to pass through without damaging them significantly. In addition, these kinds of holes in leaves offer more stability than other types.

Encourage Monstera Growth And Splitting

Monstera plants are often grown indoors. They have fenestrated leaves, which means that they grow in a pattern of many small holes all over the surface of their leaves.

It helps them to stay cool and avoid becoming too chlorotic (leaves turning green). Here’s what you should do to encourage the plant’s growth and splitting process:

Increase Light

For those looking to give your houseplants a significant boost in growth, the number one thing that will help is increasing available light. For example, your Monstera plant could develop splits much earlier when given more sunlight.

Ideally, it needs a well-lit spot with plenty of sunlight, like a window. However, this could also mean that there is a risk of being too close. Hence the perfect solution would have them near windows facing south or east, which will give just enough light without any direct sunrays hitting their leaves.

Adequate Watering

If you want to have the best luck growing your Monstera, they must always be getting enough water. Rapid growth can lead even gentle plants like this one into becoming thirsty and needing more frequent watering. So, water this plant every week or when the reading of the soil meter is at 2 or 3.


Make sure that your Monstera has the nutrients it needs to support rapid growth. Fertilizer is important for a plant’s health and well-being. Dyna Gro Foliage Pro 32oz 1 Quart Liquid Plant Dyna Gro Fertilizer Bloom Grow is recommended. The best time to fertilize is in summer and spring.

Dyna Gro Foliage Pro 32oz 1 Quart Liquid When Do Monstera Leaves Split
Dyna Gro Foliage Pro 32oz 1 Quart Liquid via

Other Factors

  • Having the right support will help your leaves grow and split sooner. You can use a moss pole to help Monstera grow its best.
  • High humidity and high temperatures are conducive to the growth of Monstera.
  • Repotting your Monstera is a good option if you want it to grow well. The roots will significantly be affected if they won’t have much space to stretch. Therefore, repot your plant in a larger container after a few years.

>> Related Post: What To Do With Monstera Aerial Roots (A Quick Guide)


Monstera plants often split their leaves as they grow, creating effective drainage and helping sunlight reach all over the plant. To benefit your plant with this unique and amazing mechanism, you should give it proper light, adequate water, and other necessary living conditions.

  • The leaves of young Monstera don’t have any holes or splits; rather, they are solid, heart-shaped leaves with thinner stems.
  • Monstera can take 1-3 years before the plant matures enough to develop splits in the leaves.

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