This article, “Why Doesn’t My Monstera Deliciosa Have Holes,” will cover all the reasons your Monstera doesn’t split, followed by tips on getting fenestrated leaves. Read on to discover:
- An overview of why your Monstera leaves have no holes.
- A step-by-step guide on how you get Monstera to have holes.
- Answers to some questions about Monstera fenestrated leaves.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Monstera Delciosa — A Member of 49+ Species Genus
Native to Central and South America tropical regions, Monstera is a genus of 49 species (49 species and six infraspecific names) of flowering plants in the Arum family, Araceae.
Monsteras are a type of evergreen tropical vine or shrub and are one of the few aroids that belong to the family Araceae and produce edible fruit for human consumption.
The Latin word for “Monstrous” or “Abnormal” is where the name of the genus comes from, which refers to the plant’s leaves that are unusual and have fenestration (holes) in them.
Monstera Deliciosa, a popular member of the genus, often known as Swiss Cheese Plant, is known for its dark green, heart-shaped leaves that develop fenestrations when matured.
From time to time, you may find that your Monstera plant doesn’t produce (holes) —characteristic of its appearance, which may be frustrating for a Monstera lover like yourself.
So, what does happen if leaves don’t ultimately split? Does this indicate that your Monstera is a dud and that you’ll have no choice but to get rid of it and get a new one?
So, Why Do Monstera Have Holes (Fenestrations)?
Monstera leaves have holes for various reasons: to let the light pass through, prevent the plant from being damaged by precipitation, and provide some camouflage against predators.
Additionally, since the leaves have holes, there’s more surface area available to absorb light. As a result, the Monstera plant is less resistant to strong winds, protecting it from any damage.
Many botanists, each with their own theory on Monstera leaf fenestration, have proposed hypotheses that these holes help the plant regulate its temperature according to the forest floor.
In the past, researchers have also hypothesized that the Monsteras have holes either to endure better heavy rains (by allowing water to flow through) or to engage in thermoregulation.
Now that you know why the Monstera plant has holes (fenestration) on its larger leaves, it’s time to answer the main question, “Why doesn’t your Monstera Deliciosa have holes?”
READ ALSO: Different Types of Monstera Plants
So, Why Doesn’t Monstera Deliciosa Have Holes?
We bet that one of the things that drew your attention to the Monstera plant in the first place was its distinctive fenestration, which consists of splits and holes in the healthy leaves.
For a Monstera to grow fenestrations, it is necessary to provide the young plant with the appropriate amount of indirect sunlight, water, high humidity, and adequate fertilization.
If it is well cared for, the Monstera leaves will begin to split between two and three years. Below we’ve listed some reasons why doesn’t your Monstera Deliciosa have split leaves.
Reason #1: Age of Your Monstera
The onset of fenestration in Monstera plants often occurs at the age of three years. Thus, you’ll need to exercise patience if the Monstera leaves don’t have holes (fenestration) yet.
Additionally, even if your plant is older than three years, you still need to wait since not all Monsteras fenestrate at that age, which is why those grown straight from seeds need time.
First things first, Monsteras must be grown under circumstances that are ecologically analogous to their natural habitat. However, fulfilling these needs isn’t a possibility indoors.
Once followed appropriately, you’ll notice that your Monstera plant starts producing new leaves with rather small holes, while others are quite enormous and fully split the leaf in two.
The size of these holey leaves and slits expands as the leaf matures and continues to develop; older, comparatively large leaves have larger holes and slits than younger, lower leaves.
Reason #2: Adequate Exposure to Light
To survive and grow sufficiently, Monstera plants need enough light (sunlight). If not, the plant will take much longer to grow and develop holes in its dark green, leathery leaves.
If you’re planning to plant your Monstera outdoors, where it will be exposed to direct sunlight (more light), you should position it in the shadow so the leaves don’t become scorched.
When located near an east-facing window, the plant will get the optimal amount of natural light since those near west-facing windows are subjected to more sunlight in the afternoon.
On the other hand, the Monstera won’t get proper lighting from a south-facing/north-facing window, which is why you must refrain from placing your house plants in this position.
Additionally, if exposed to good lighting (indirect light), the Monstera plant should be able to speed up the growing cycle and, ultimately, develop holes (fenestrations) as the time comes.
Don’t worry if the lighting in your house isn’t the best; you always have the option of using grow lights as a supplement to provide an appealing alternative to a greenhouse-style light.
Invest in a spectrum light (blue or red) if your Monstera plants are placed in a working space. Even though a spectrum light causes eye strain, they promote healthier, fenestrated growth.
Reason #3: Humidity in the Natural Environment
Just like other tropical plants, for Monsteras to thrive and develop holes, they need enough water, humidity, nutrients, and appropriate temperatures.
Suppose you don’t offer these components. In that case, Monstera will most likely exhibit stunted growth, characterized by delayed growth and the absence of fenestrations on leaves.
Monstera plants need high humidity to survive. If it’s too low, the plant will react by growing slowly and stunted or will either take a very long time to fenestrate or die altogether.
Reason #4: Nutrients from the Soil
Monsteras deprived of nutrients have a difficult time maturing and developing fenestrations. However, this may be remedied by routine repotting, providing the plant with new nutrients.
Even after moving the plant to the same pot, you may still need to give it some fertilizer to make up for the nutrients it lost. With proper fertilization, you can guarantee healthy growth.
Fertilize periodically using a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength. And instead of using excessive quantities, which may harm the roots, begin with a tiny amount and see how it reacts.
Monstera plants need an N-P-K ratio of 3-1-2, which translates to three parts of nitrogen, one of phosphorus and two of potassium, to develop perforated leaves like tropical rainforests.
Roots, flowering, stem, and leaf splitting are all aspects of a plant’s life that contribute to its overall well-being, and they all occur simultaneously; thus, prepare and apply wisely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know the answer to ‘Why Monstera Deliciosa Doesn’t Have Holes,” you can take care of your young monstera and ensure it develops fenestrations. Here’s an FAQ section to answer any questions you may have about this plant.
How Do You Get Monstera Deliciosa to Have Holes?
- Expose the Monstera plant to bright, indirect sunlight or grab a grow light to promote fenestration.
- Follow a proper watering routine (consistent watering once or twice weekly).
- During the spring and summer, fertilize once a month to keep the nutrients going.
- Try to mimic high levels of humidity and high-temperature conditions as possible.
- Consider repotting if the Monstera plant is root-bound or shows signs of sluggish growth.
Do Monstera Plants Always Have Split Leaves/Holes?
When Monstera plants have reached approximately three feet, fenestration begins, which means they grow new leaves with holes. However, this is not the case with other plants in the Monstera genus.
How Long Does it Take for Monstera Plant Leaves to Develop Holes?
With the right amount of water, appropriate light, and balanced fertilizer, Monstera should grow and eventually develop split leaves on its own when it reaches the age of 2-3 years.
Why Do Monstera Leaves Split?
Every plant continues to age, and as it does, its dark green leaves expand and grow in size. Consequently, the Monstera leaves split down the middle when the plant matures.
Should I Cut Monstera Leaves Without Holes?
You can promote new growth by removing the smaller solid leaves, especially if you’re concerned that they are using up an excessive amount of the resources provided by your plant. Once you remove these leaves, you should see better growth.
How to Encourage Monstera Deliciosa to Grow More Fenestrated Leaves
Providing your Monstera Deliciosa plant with moss poles or trellises to climb on is the most effective way to promote it to produce both bigger and more densely fenestrated, split leaves.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.