A member of the Araceae family, Monstera Deliciosa is a plant mostly grown in temperate regions. Generally called the ‘Swiss Cheese Plant,’ this plant serves as a popular houseplant. It grows to become exceptionally tall in the tropical forest.
Monstera Deliciosa can become a beautiful addition to your gardens and greenhouses. And under proper care, you will observe that your plant’s leaves grow to develop holes.
Why Does Monstera Deliciosa Have Holes?
Monstera Deliciosa plants generally have holes in their leaves to adapt to their natural environment. The main purpose is to capture more sunlight by growing taller overall, to absorb more water, and to withstand harsh winds. As it grows in shaded areas, the holes allow the plant to capture a sufficient amount of sunlight that sieves through. Moreover, the large gaps within leaves enable rain to drain down to the soil and get absorbed by roots. The slits also protect from harsh winds that could destroy the leaves or uproot the whole plant.
3 Reasons Why Do Monstera Deliciosa Leaves Form Holes?
The general reason for the appearance of holes on the leaves of Monstera Deliciosa is better growth. The holes are the plant’s adaptation to sustain and improve its living conditions.
Let’s discuss these reasons in depth.
1.Receive More Sunlight
Monstera Deliciosa typically grows in tropical forests. Being shaded by other taller trees, the plants do not have much exposure to sunlight.
Hence, they allow their leaves to have holes (where the sunlight does not fall) and grow large to reach the light rays. In this way, they can conserve additional nutrients (by forming holes), and at the same time, absorb sufficient sunlight.
The large size of the leaves increases the surface area and allows more cells to be accommodated. This factor enhances the likelihood of adequate sunlight reaching stomata cells and being used in photosynthesis.
3. Absorb More Water
Imagine a plant with broad leaves, bearing a large number of holes. When rain showers upon a Monstera Deliciosa plant, the drops fall through the gaps (in the leaves) to the stem. And trickle down to the soil.
Additionally, stagnant water on leaves causes them to rot. The presence of holes prevents such a situation.
As the rate of water uptake is increased, the plant is nourished well. The leaves appear greener and continue to grow.
3. Tolerate Harsh Winds
When Monstera Deliciosa Plants are grown outdoors, there is a risk of harsh winds uprooting them. There is speculation amongst botanists that the holes in the leaves save this from happening.
Coarse winds drive through the large holes without physically harming the plant.
Factors That Lead To Splits/Holes in Monstera Deliciosa Plant
There are a few factors that cause Monstera Deliciosa to develop holes in its leaves. This process is also called fenestration.
For every Monstera Deliciosa plant, there is a certain age when holes start appearing on the leaves. The fenestration cannot be forced. Until your plant has reached a mature age, the leaves will remain glossy and hole-free.
On average, people who grow a young Monstera Deliciosa plant do not observe gaps in the leaves until a few years have passed. Yes, that’s right!
So, rest assured, there are many years that you have to wait for fenestration to complete. Similarly, for it to grow into a massive plant, your patience is highly required.
In contrast to holes, splits in the leaves can appear relatively early. Splits are smooth cuts in the leaves. They serve a similar purpose as holes.
One of the best ways to develop holes in your Monstera Deliciosa plant is to expose it to indirect sunlight. Indirect sunlight would only help your plant grow if you slowly increase its dosage.
You have to monitor the amount of sunlight your plant is receiving with care. Both extremes are harmful.
Hence, the reasonable way is to initially place your plant in the morning light for a few hours and then bring it indoors. Never make the mistake of putting the plant under the bright sun all day long.
Adequate plant care is vital. Without a proper amount of water and nutrients, your plant can never grow to have a long life. And eventually, form holes.
You have to ensure that you monitor your plant daily and fulfill all its basic demands. These include an appropriate dosage of nutrients and moisture.
Don’t overwater the soil, as this would cause it to get waterlogged and weaken the roots.
Make sure that your soil has an adequately drained soil mix. A soil mix with empty pores soaks water and causes the root to rot.
Furthermore, as much as fertilization is essential, over-fertilization is not advised. So, make a mental note of only fertilizing the soil twice a year.
Taking Proper Care of a Monstera Deliciosa Plant
With its large, green leaves, Monstera Deliciosa becomes a signature plant of every garden.
These plants require a spacious area to grow. Ensure that you plant a Monstera Deliciosa where its leaves have enough space to spread and receive a generous amount of sunlight.
Huddled between other trees and plants, causes it to compete for essential nutrients. And, this prevents it from reaching a tall height.
Once the plant is potted, make sure that adequate sunlight falls on its leaves. However, direct sunlight is harmful to the plant as it scorches the leaves. And, also inhibits the fenestration process.
When it comes to growing a Monstera Deliciosa plant, one cannot stress enough the importance of carefully following its watering routine. Though this plant needs a lot of water, overwatering can be deadly to its healthy growth.
It is recommended to water it once every week. A better method can be, observing its topsoil and only watering the plant when the soil appears fully dry.
Monstera Deliciosa loves a humid and warm environment. It demands a room temperature of 77 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 29.4 degrees Celsius). Colder temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the plant.
These plants develop fenestrations (or holes) more quickly when grown in a well-lit region, with a proper supply of sunlight, water, and nutrients.
How to Make the Leaves of Your Monstera Deliciosa Plant Holey?
Are you wondering about how to make your Monstera Deliciosa have holes? Have a look at these tips.
- Expose your plant to natural sunlight. If you are growing your plant indoors, place it close to a large window. Make sure enough light reaches your plant.
- Plug out smaller leaves at the bottom. Over time, a brown sheath appears at the stem; peel it off. Doing this would induce your plant to grow with larger leaves that have holes.
- Continue proper plant care. Water your plant as per professional instructions. If you keep up with the daily routine of checking up on your plant, positive results are a promise!
Frequently Asked Questions about Monstera Deliciosa Leaves And Holes
Why does my Monstera Deliciosa plant have no holes?
Chances are that your plant is too young to have holes. More reasons can be that it is not getting adequate sunlight, moisture, and sufficient nutrition. You should ensure that your plant gets as much indirect sunlight as possible.
Should I cut out holes in the leaves of my Monstera Deliciosa plant myself?
It is strictly advised not to form any holes yourself. Fenestration is a natural process that will take place on its own. All you need to do is ensure that you take proper care of your plant and fulfill all its needs and requirements.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.