Monstera leaves will split after the plant has been growing for 2-3 years. Young monstera plants will start with round leaves but over time as they grow they will start to split. They will usually start with one split and this will increase to 2 and then many.
Once the monstera leaf has grown to around 6-8 inches across it can split over a period of around 1 month. Always leave the largest leaves on the monstera as these will be the first to split.
Monstera are a beautiful plant that grows large leaves over time. The older the plant gets, the more the leaves will split and look amazing.
This article will explore all you need to know about getting monstera leaves to split, how long it takes and why your leaves are not splitting.
How long it takes for monstera leaves to split
Small monstera leaves or those growing on young plants will be complete leaves to start with. As the leaf grows bigger and bigger the edges will start to split and you will start to see the Swiss cheese effect on your monstera.
Smaller monstera plants will start with a single split which can grow into more splits as time goes on. The larger the leaf grows, generally the more monstera plants will have splits.
How to get Monstera leaves to split
Here are my top tips to getting your monstera leaves to split sooner.
Water the plant regularly – but not too much
Getting monstera to grow quicker will give you a larger plant with bigger leaves that will split quicker. While monstera hate overwatering they will grow quicker if they are watered regularly. Check them each week and water them thoroughly to encourage new growth.
Monstera plants prefer to have their soil dry out between watering but once you feel the water is dry 1-2 inches below the surface the plant can be watered to encourage new growth.
Water them over a sink or outside so the excess water can drain out of the bottom.
Place them near a window
Monstera plants will grow larger with bigger leaves that will split sooner if they get plenty of bright light. I have moved my monstera near a bright window to make sure that it gets lots of light. This will encourage quicker growth and larger leaves.
The plant will be able to photosynthesize well creating food for the plant and allowing it to grow large leaves.
Add some liquid fertilizer
The next trick to getting your monstera plant to split sooner is to add a dilute dose of nitrogen fertilizer. Use an indoor plant fertilizer as they generally smell less. You can use a general liquid nitrogen fertilizer if you have one but the key is to give it a small amount often.
Dilute the fertilizer in the watering can and give it to your monstera once per month over the warmer months. From spring to summer small doses of liquid nitrogen can be given to the plant. This will encourage quicker leaf growth, larger leaves and allow them to split quicker.
Repot the monstera plant to give it space to grow
Monstera plants can grow rapidly so repotting them is important to allow them the space to keep growing. Monstera plants ca be repotted every 12 months to give them room to grow.
It is important when repotting monstera to only increase the pot size a small amount. They can be sensitive to the addition of too much soil which can stay too cold and moist. Choose a pot that is only 1-2 inches wider and deeper than the pot that it is in.
This will allow the space for more growth but will not add too much soil which can cause problems.
Why Monstera leaves are not splitting
The top reason why monstera leaves will not split is due to the age of the plant. Young plants start out with solid, heart shaped leaves. Once the leaves reach around 6-8 inches across, they will usually start to split and show the classic monstera leaf pattern.
This starts slowly with one split and as more leaves grow they will get large, and split more and more. After the plant is 2-3 years old the leaves can grow large enough to have even splits on each side of the leaf and have the classic monstera pattern.
How long does it take for new Monstera leaves to open?
Monstera leaves can take 3-4 weeks to emerge from the stem of the plant, reach their maximum length and uncurl. This process is slow at first but once the leaf reaches its maximum length, the leaf can uncurl with a week.
The leaf will continue to grow larger over time and then begin to split. New leaves will grow from the center of the stem and continue to grow upwards like a vine. As the plant gets bigger it can be attached to a grow pole and weave up to grow vertically.
You can take cuttings of the outer stems and grow these into new plants. Look for areas with aerial roots and prune a piece below these. They can be placed in a jar of water to continue to grow roots.
Do existing monstera leaves split?
Existing monstera leaves will split once they grow to a size of around 6-8 inches. This will usually be when the plant is 2-3 years old.
Most monstera plants are sold at around 1-2 years old. My monstera was around 10 inches high when I got it and within around 8 months it has large leaves that are starting to split.
How long until monstera leaves split | Summary
Monstera leaves will take around 1 month to start to split once the individual leaf as grown to 6-8 inches across. Monstera plants will grow leaves of this size after the plant is 2-3 years old. Most monstera plants are sold at an age of 1-2 years so you could have leaves that split straight away or you may be waiting a year before plants grow this size.
Encourage your monstera plant to grow quicker by repotting them with good quality potting soil, water regularly and add some liquid nitrogen fertilizer over spring and summer.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.