When Does Monstera Leaves Split: Quick Guide to Leaf Development

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Monstera plants are known for their striking, split leaves, a feature that develops as the plant matures. Typically, the leaves begin to split when the plant reaches around 2 to 3 years old, given the right growing conditions.

This fascinating development, called fenestration, is a characteristic commonly displayed in mature specimens of Monstera deliciosa, transforming the appearance of the plant as it ages. In the early stages of growth, Monstera leaves tend to have a heart shape without any splits or holes.

When caring for a Monstera plant, it is essential to maintain an environment that encourages the formation of these iconic split leaves. Factors such as light conditions and space can greatly influence the development of fenestrations in Monstera plants.

Factors Affecting Monstera Leaf Splitting


Monstera leaves typically begin to split when the plant reaches around two to three years of age. The environment plays a major role in this process, as factors such as stress, exposure to excessive sunlight, or insufficient water may impact the development of fenestrations in new leaves.


Proper watering is crucial for the healthy development and splitting of Monstera leaves. Inadequate water levels may slow down the plant’s overall growth, which in turn delays the appearance of split leaves. Maintaining a consistent watering schedule and ensuring that the soil remains evenly moist can help encourage leaf splitting.

Light Conditions

Bright light is essential for the growth and splitting of Monstera leaves. Providing your Monstera plant with sufficient access to light can significantly improve the chances of leaf splitting. If natural light is not available, consider using grow lights to supplement the required light conditions for optimal growth and fenestration development.

Optimal Monstera Care

Understanding the appropriate care for a Monstera plant aids in promoting the natural splitting of its leaves.


Monstera plants prefer well-draining soil that retains some moisture without becoming too soggy. A mixture of peat, perlite, and potting soil often works well to provide nutrients, drainage, and aeration.


As Monstera plants originate from tropical environments, they thrive in humid conditions. Maintaining humidity levels of around 60% mimics their natural habitat and encourages healthy growth.

Care Tips for Splitting Leaves

Monstera leaves typically start to split when the plant is two to three years old. To promote this process, ensure that the plant receives adequate indirect light exposure, as direct sunlight can damage the leaves. Providing a support structure, such as a stake or trellis, can also help the plant spread, potentially leading to more split leaves. Regularly pruning a Monstera encourages new growth, which increases the likelihood of fenestrated leaves appearing as the plant matures.

FAQs and Myths

One common misconception about Monstera plants is that their leaves will begin to split as soon as they are purchased or brought into a home environment. In reality, it takes about 2-3 years for a Monstera plant’s leaves to start splitting, as it needs time to mature and reach the appropriate age (allaboutgardening.com; Monstera Houseplant Guide).

Another myth is that Monstera leaves will split regardless of the care they receive. However, proper care, including sufficient sunlight, water, and nutrients, is crucial for Monstera leaves to develop fenestrations (When Do Monstera Leaves Split? What You NEED To know!). If a Monstera plant’s leaves are not splitting even after it reaches 2-3 years of age, it may indicate that the plant is not getting the essential care it needs to grow optimally (When Do Monstera Leaves Split? (And How to Encourage It)).

Lastly, many people assume that all Monstera leaves will exhibit the same level of fenestration, but variation can occur depending on factors such as the age, environment, and individual growth rates of plants (When Do Monstera Leaves Split? (+ 3 Tricks To Encourage Them To Split)).