As a flowering plant, Monstera Deliciosa is a member of the Arum family. The 3750 species of this plant species are famous for their spike inflorescences consisting of a spathe and spadix.
Monstera Deliciosa is native to tropical regions like South Panama and Southern Mexico forests. Many people lovingly call it the “Swiss-cheese plant” as its leaves get fenestrated and develop holes as the plant matures.
How to Have Holes in Monstera Deliciosa leaves?
If your young plant does not have holes in its leaves the reason can be that it is premature and needs to mature more. If it doesn’t naturally split, the problem may be insufficient sunlight. Try placing it where it receives indirect but bright light. You should also develop a regular and consistent watering schedule. Using a well-balanced fertilizer or pruning older leaves will also encourage your Monstera Deliciosa to form holes.
How Does a Healthy Monstera Deliciosa Grow?
Due to its stylish leaves, Monstera Deliciosa is a popular choice. It is also convenient to grow. So, many people cherish it as a houseplant. A healthy Monstera Deliciosa undergoes several stages, from being a seed or cutting to a mature plant.
If you nurture it well, your Monstera Deliciosa will grow quickly and thrive. Monstera Deliciosa likes ample sunlight and water. When it is a juvenile, it has small leaves that are not fenestrated. They are glossy green and shaped like hearts.
If you recently got this plant and it is still small, don’t be alarmed if the leafes don’t look like Swiss-cheese yet. From seedling to fenestrated leaves it will usually take between 2-3 years before Monstera Deliciosa leaves become fully fenestrated and are split.
However, in most cases, you will buy a young Monstera Deliciosa that already has a couple of leaves and will develop more and more fenestrations as it matures.
When Monstera Deliciosa consistently receives good nutrition, its leaves can start splitting after several solid leaves. They may look lobed or parted from each side with multiple projections. I have found that they also darken in color the older the plant gets.
A healthy Monstera Deliciosa has holes in almost all of its leaves by the time it turns four years old. It also develops many branches and beautiful vines that love to climb. When it is outdoor, a mature Monstera’s spadix can produce edible fruit in spring and summer.
In a year, a Monstera Deliciosa plant ideally grows by 1.5 feet (0.45 meters). Its leaves are about 22 inches (55.8 centimeters) long and 20 inches (50.8 centimeters) broad.
Why Are the Holes in Leaves Important?
Many plant enthusiasts love holey leaves for their aesthetic look. If you want to ornate your home and make it refreshing for guests, Monstera Deliciosa is a great feature plant adding a jungle look to your interior. Its leaves are unique, and the vines are beautiful.
The perforated leaves give the Monstera plant a signature look, so the holes add to its visual appeal.
You may be wondering if the holes serve any practical function. The correct term for these holes is “fenestrations” and botanists have different theories on it.
Some say that the holes resulted from the natural evolution of Monstera Deliciosa. As it is prevalent in the tropical forests, it would face intense hurricanes at times. Developing holes made it tolerant to strong winds. So, it is possible that the creation of holes was its defense mechanism.
Another perspective on the significance of holes comes from Christopher Muir of Indiana University. He says that holey leaves allow the sunlight beams to reach the bottom part of the plant. It makes sense because Monstera Deliciosa grows in a crowd of other plants in the forests.
Its vines climb upwards because they struggle for light. So, holes in the leaves ensure that the sunlight can pass through the canopy.
Either way, the holes are an integral part of Monstera Deliciosa leaves. So, not having them in your plant can be troubling.
Why Your Monstera Deliciosa May Not Have Holes?
It is normal for you to expect the “Swiss-cheese plant” to live up to its nickname. But several reasons cause its leaves to look bland.
Here is a detailed description that can help you discover the root of the problem.
Expecting a few months old Monstera Deliciosa to have holey leaves would not be any good because it is too young.
I’ve seen that these plants start growing fenestrated leaves from the age of two to three years. Your Monstera Deliciosa may not have holes because it is only a few months old.
Monstera Deliciosa loves indirect sunlight. So, insufficient light can also hamper its growth.
Sunlight helps your Monstera Deliciosa in photosynthesis, through which it makes food. Lack of light means it does not have sufficient energy to grow. If your plant is not growing, its leaves are unlikely to split.
It will direct its available energy to other parts, like shoots, stems, and branches. Consequently, there won’t be any energy left to grow holes in all its leaves. It is likely if your Monstera plant is young.
Water, more accurately, the lack of water, can also inhibit the growth of your Monstera Deliciosa. These plants love drinking water, so having a watering routine is essential.
Whether you planted your Monstera Deliciosa in a garden or a pot, water helps it acquire nutrients from the soil. These minerals and nutrients facilitate its growth rate.
Not having enough water also slows the transport of food. So, the leaves of Monstera Deliciosa don’t receive the desired substances. As a result, they are incapable of generating the energy that splitting leaves and developing holes requires.
If your plant is not having holes despite being mature, you may want to recheck your watering schedule.
Plant fertilizers typically include beneficial substances like Potassium, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus. Sometimes, plants need extra help in growth. It is particularly true when they are in unsuitable surroundings.
I’ve observed that if you plant your cutting in soil that is not rich, it is unlikely to flourish on its own. But adding fertilizer to the soil can do wonders. So, your Monstera Deliciosa may be experiencing low growth because it lacks a good fertilizer.
This insufficient growth can give it tedious leaves without any holes.
Helpful Tips for Growing Holes on Monstera Deliciosa Leaves
Though the lack of holes may be disheartening, it does not mean that your plant’s leaves will never grow holes.
By understanding the reasons and adjusting your plant care methods, you can encourage the Monstera Deliciosa to develop holes and split leaves.
Before we proceed, you should note that your plant may be a juvenile. You may have to wait for it to mature in such instances. For older Monstera Deliciosas, here are some tips you can try.
Adjust the Light
Insufficient light is the most probable reason behind the condition of leaves. You can adjust the placement of your Monstera Deliciosa to optimize the sunlight it gets.
The Monstera Deliciosa thrives in bright indirect sunlight. It means that the sunbeams should bounce off from another surface before they approach your Monstera Deliciosa.
The best hack I discovered for my plant’s light problems is placing the pot on an east-facing window.
Develop a Watering Schedule
Irregularly watering your Monstera Deliciosa may be slowing its growth. You can solve this by selecting two days in a week to water your plant.
When you water it, make sure you mist the leaves too.
Monstera Deliciosa will need a few hours to absorb this water. So, I would suggest watering in the morning. This way, your plant can also receive maximum benefit from sunlight.
I use a calendar to mark the watering days in red. You can also create one to help you remember.
Use a Fertilizer
You can help your plant to create holes in its leaves by using fertilizer. There are many methods of fertilizing a plant. But I prefer a liquid fertilizer for my Monstera Deliciosa.
It is best if you use a fertilizer with a 20-20-20 ratio. You can then add some water to dilute it. Pour a moderate amount of fertilizer on the surface of the soil.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find out why my Monstera Deliciosa does not produce holes in its leaves?
You can find out by checking whether your watering, the right level of light, soil, and fertilizer are on point and confirming that your Monstera Deliciosa is not too immature to develop fenestrations.
How does water affect the holes in my Monstera Deliciosa?
Your Monstera Deliciosa relies on water for absorbing minerals that help it grow. These include Nitrates that encourage the leaves to develop holes. So, dehydration and nutrient deficiency can negatively affect a leaf’s development too.