Monstera is a beautiful plant that adds great beauty to your home. It has glossy, attractive green leaves that can grow up to 10 feet indoors and more than 12 feet outdoors. However, the leaves of this plant may get smaller under some specific conditions.
If you notice that the leaves of your monstera are getting smaller, it could mean that your plant lacks water, nutrients, or light. Additionally, a small pot or inadequate soil can make the leaves of this plant grow smaller than usual.
If your monstera is growing small leaves, then you should not worry. In fact, all you have to do in this case is to tweak some parameters in the care protocol, and you will be able to see big monstera leaves.
I will discuss why this problem occurs in this article and give appropriate solutions. Furthermore, you will learn how to encourage monstera to grow more giant leaves.
Table of Contents
Why Is My Monstera Growing Small Leaves?
A few factors can cause a Monstera plant to grow small leaves. The first factor is low light. This plant is accustomed to receiving bright indirect sunlight in its natural habitat. Therefore, low light can cause it to grow small leaves.
The second factor is nutrient deficiencies. This happens when the soil becomes depleted of nutrients or when the plant is not given enough fertilizing. Finally, a lack of water can also cause small leaves in monstrea because, without enough water, the plant cannot transport nutrients to the leaves.
The other factors that may cause your monstrea to grow small leaves include low humidity and small pots.
Let’s go over all the causes of this problem and see how you can save your plant depending on the source of the issue.
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Poor Lighting Conditions
When monstera gets exposed to low light for a long time, it produces less chlorophyll and photosynthesizes at a lower rate. This cause the plant to produce less food and energy for growth. As a result, the plant will grow smaller leaves to optimize the use of the amounts of food and power available.
Low light conditions can cause issues for your monstera. One is that it will grow discolored leaves, which means there is not enough chlorophyll available for the plant. Another problem is that the plant may experience stunted growth, which means it is not using nutrients efficiently.
If your monstera is growing small leaves because of low light conditions, you should first move it somewhere where it will get more sunlight. This can be done by moving it closer to a window, a balcony, or somewhere in the yard where the sunlight is not intense.
If sunlight is unavailable continuously where you live, you can turn on an artificial light source near the plant.
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Underwatering can also cause monstera leaves to grow smaller. In fact, plants get nutrients from the soil via water flow. When water is available in a small quantity, the plant will not be able to get all the nutrients it needs. As a result, it will grow small leaves and stems.
Another drawback of underwatering is that the plant will often wilt and die before it can mature. In addition, underwatered plants often have stunted growth, and their leaves are usually wilting.
If your monstera is growing small leaves because of underwatering, you can save it in two ways. One way is by giving the plant more water. You will need to check the soil regularly and water the plant whenever the soil feels moist. If this is done over weeks or months, the plant should recover.
However, your monstera will never recover if its roots have been damaged. In this case, you should repot the plant.
To repot your monstera, remove it from its pot, remove the potting mix from the soil, and disinfect it. After that, you should clean the healthy roots and cut the dead ones. When the roots dry up, fill the pot with fresh potting soil. Then, transplant the plant again.
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When monstera outgrows its pot, the roots will not find enough space for expansion. This causes the roots to grow outside the pot or inside it but in the form of a spiral. When this happens, the roots become less efficient in transferring water and nutrients from the soil to the leaves and stems. As a result, the new leaves will grow smaller than usual.
Small pots are often used by houseplants growers because they don’t require a lot of space. However, this is not always the best practice.
If you’re growing your plants in containers, be sure to choose large and deep pots to support the growth of the roots. If the pot is too small, it will not allow the roots to grow deep enough and access all of the nutrients in the soil.
If your monstera has reached its limits in the current pot, try repotting it into a larger pot approximately twice the size of the old one.
Before repotting, remove the plant from its current pot and shake it out slowly. Gently separate the roots from the soil and loosen them.
Fill the new pot with fresh soil, place the plant in the new pot and gently press the soil around the roots.
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Lack of Nutrients
Nutrients are what allow plants to grow and develop, and the leaves are the parts that consume most of these nutrients. A lack of nutrients will cause your monstera to grow smaller leaves and eventually stop growing altogether.
You may have heard that it’s best to grow your houseplants without any fertilizer. While this is true for many plants, it isn’t necessarily valid for monstera.
In general, monsteras that are grown without sufficient fertilizer will start to look tired and unhealthy. It’s like a car that has no gas. The engine won’t run.
If your monstera is growing small leaves because it lacks nutrients, you can try feeding it using a liquid fertilizer with a 3:1:2 NPK ratio. If you notice that the plant is growing slowly, you can add a fertilizer high in phosphorous and nitrogen.
If your plant is growing but is not developing, then you may need to add a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus.
Begin by mixing a small amount of fertilizer into a cup of water. Pour this mixture onto the soil around the base of your plant and allow the fertilizer to soak into the soil.
Do this every two to four weeks during spring and summer until your plant thrives again. If your plant is going through dormancy, you should wait until spring to fertilize it.
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Monstera has a natural resistance to tap water. These plants tend to grow smaller leaves when exposed to water that contains chlorine or chloramines. This can be caused by the presence of chemicals in the water supply.
It is essential to understand that tap water is not sterile. It contains bacteria and other organisms that can cause illness.
If you are unsure about the quality of your water supply, consider using distilled water. This kind of water has been treated to remove any harmful contaminants.
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Low humidity slows down the rate of photosynthesis and makes the plant unable to absorb enough oxygen and nutrients. As a result, monstera leaves grow smaller under low humidity.
High humidity is necessary for healthy growth. Plants grown in high humidity have larger leaves than those grown in low humidity.
If your monstera has been growing in low humidity, it may be suffering from stress. There are many reasons why a plant could be stressed. If this is the case, the plant should be moved to a location with more humidity.
The best location that offers high humidity for houseplants is the kitchen. In fact, the steam coming from food and cooking makes kitchens the perfect environment for plants to thrive.
The next best location for houseplants is the bathroom. Bathrooms are generally very humid due to condensation from the shower.
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Should I Remove Small Leaves from Monstera?
Small leaves should be removed from monstera only when they are unhealthy. If your monstera is growing small leaves that are discolored or wilting, then you should remove them to encourage the plant to grow new big, healthy leaves.
In most cases, this will improve the health of the plant. It may also allow your plant to grow faster because the healthy leaves will no longer compete with the sick leaves for resources.
Removing dead leaves also prevents the build-up of disease, which can be highly damaging to the plant.
If all the leaves of your monstera are healthy, try removing the smallest leaves and keep the medium and big leaves.
You can remove the dead or unhealthy leaves by gently tugging them off the plant. Be careful not to pull them too hard, or you will damage the stem. If the leaf is still attached, try using gardening scissors or a small knife and cutting it off at its base, where it meets the stem.
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How Do You Encourage Monstera to Grow Big Leaves?
To encourage monsteras to grow big leaves, you should provide them with the same conditions as their native habitat. High humidity, warm temperature, and bright indirect light are the key elements that guarantee healthy monstera growth.
Additionally, well-draining soil and regular repotting can increase your chances of growing a healthy monstera with big shiny leaves.
If you follow the recommendations below, we guarantee you will grow a giant leaves monstera.
Monstera requires 10 to 12 hours of bright indirect sunlight to grow healthy big leaves. You can achieve this by placing your plant near a south-facing window or balcony.
If you can’t provide at least 10 hours of sunlight daily, you should supplement with grow light.
The best way to position a grow light is to place it above the plant. This way, the plant receives light from the best angle. If you place grow light behind or in front of your monstera, it will start leaning toward the direction of light.
Remember, though, that if your grow light is too close to the plant, it can burn the leaves. Therefore, it’s best to keep it at a distance of at least 18 inches from the plant.
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Monstera is very sensitive to dry air and will wilt if the humidity drops below 60%. A good humidity level for monstera is around 80%.
It would help if you used a humidifier to ensure that your monstera gets high humidity consistently.
You can use other techniques to raise the humidity around your monstera, such as misting and pebble trays. However, these techniques do not guarantee consistent moisture, and you can’t know precisely how much moister they provide for the plant. That’s why a humidifier is the number one choice if you want to maintain high humidity for your plants.
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Monstera grows best between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a warm area, you can reach this temperature level by keeping this plant near a window. However, If you live in a cold place, you should use a thermostat or a heating pad to keep your plant warm.
If you are in an area with frost, try bringing your monstera inside during winter. This will save the plant from the risk of freezing which can cause this plant to die.
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Monstera plants are sensitive to over-watering and prefer to keep their roots damp. As a result, you should water this plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch.
You can also purchase a pot saucer, a large dish, or a bowl with holes in the bottom. This will allow the excess water to drain out. Be sure to let your plants dry out after watering, so there is no chance of damping-off disease.
Your plant will require more water during the summer months than in the cooler winter months. Therefore, you should check the soil more frequently during this season.
Also, when watering your monstera, avoid tap water and use distilled or filtered water instead.
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Repotting your monstera will not only encourage it to grow big leaves, but it will also help to prevent diseases and legginess and helps to prolong the lifespan of the plant.
It is a good idea to repot your monstera every year, regardless of whether you grow it indoors or outdoors.
The process is simple. First, gently remove any plant clippings or debris. This includes old leaves and decaying plant material. After that, loosen the dirt in the pot with your fingers and carefully remove the roots. Be careful not to damage the plant, as this can cause it to wilt or even kill it.
Next, clean out the dirt around the roots and place the plant into a new pot using a unique soil mix. Lastly, firm up the soil by gently tapping the bottom of the pot.
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Do Monstera Leaves Get Bigger After They Unfurl?
No, you can’t expect your monstera leaves to grow bigger after unfurling. However, the plant will continue its growing cycle after unfurling. If the leaves still have room to grow, they will get bigger after unfurling.
On the other hand, if the plant has reached maturity, the leaves will keep the same size they had before unfurling.
Furling is a natural condition if the plant is ready to bloom. When plants flower or set seeds, their leaves furl as protection against any external damage. This is a common thing that occurs with many flowering plants, including the monstera.
The leaves fold together to protect the delicate flowers or seedpods, and then when conditions are suitable for germination, they unfurl so the plant can start growing.
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