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Why Is My Monstera Producing Small Leaves? [With Solutions]

The Monstera, famous for its monstrous glossy leaves, can sometimes disappoint you with small foliage, but it may not be its fault.

Generally, Monstera starts producing small leaves because of insufficient light, improper watering, harsh temperature, imbalanced fertilization, and inappropriate soil mix. But if corrected on time, the plant will feature large cascading leaves.

Needless to worry, even the small leaf of Monstera can make a gorgeous addition to your indoors.

However, those who expected to enjoy a single Monstera leaf size 2 feet across but could not get it can scroll through the article.

Do Monstera Leaves Get Bigger With Age?

Monstera, also known as Monstera deliciosa, came from the rainforest of southern Mexico to adapt as a houseplant in the 1700s.

Since then, people have homed Monstera as an ornamental plant for its mature, fenestrated, split leaves that get bigger with age.

However, the Monstera undergoes three stages before reaching the mature size. It is the sprout stage, juvenile stage, and adult stage.

Starting from the sprouting, the Monstera focuses more on root development than shoot growth.

Moving on to the juvenile stage, the leaves turn glossy and solid without any tiny holes in Monstera. This stage confuses many for Monstera, giving only small leaves.

Giant leaves of Monstera over a white pot in a table
The leaves change from heart-shaped at a young stage to split at maturity.

But it is just the stage before your Monstera enters the adult stage to give leaves as large as 24 inches wide.

Also, the Monstera vines reach up to 8 feet indoors in about three years or more. So, if your Monstera leaves are still small, doubt care problems.

If your Monstera reaches 6 to 8 feet tall but has only 6 to 8-inch long leaves even after three years, it could be mini Monstera, not Deliciosa.

Why Are My Monstera Leaves So Small? Possible Causes

Patience is the key when you are growing exotic plants like Monstera.

However, if the plant suffers due to your negligence and signals you with specific symptoms, rush to know the cause and remedy it.

Some of the significant causes for small Monstera leaf are as follow:

1. Over or Underwatering

Monstera prefers to stay moist, so you should water it when the top 2 inches of soil dries out.

However, the excess water appliance can make the plant suffer from overwatered conditions depriving the root of oxygen and increasing the rot problem.

Also, the overwatered Monstera has salt build-ups near the root zone. It makes the plant unable to absorb required nutrients, and ultimately smaller leaf and stunted growth.

As for the underwatered Monstera, the nutrient has no media to dissolve and stays in clumps instead of loose form.

Such a condition makes roots unable to absorb required nutrients and hence small leaves.

2. Insufficient Light

Light is essential for Monstera to grow bigger. The leaves are responsible for photosynthesis from natural light.

But when you place the plant in a dark room or room with insufficient light sources, the leaves start to stunt its growth.

Even the preference of Monstera plant for bright indirect light is enough to indicate you need a bright location.

However, not all apartments and rooms are lucky enough to have more than two windows. But that should not be the issue as artificial sources can assist natural light.

Meanwhile, do not consider placing it outdoors under direct afternoon sunlight as it can scorch the leaves instead of growing them bigger.

3. Harsh Temperature

A mild temperature lover, Monstera can withstand hot tropical days with humidity around 30-50%, similar to its native zone.

But the temperature should not exceed 90ºF, as the plant will start to lose water rapidly and lose the green color.

On the other hand, it loathes cold temperatures below 45ºF as it becomes rather harsh for Monstera to perform any physiological activities.

And due to no proper functioning, the leaves will stop growing and encounter cold damage.

You can notice this effect mainly during winter when they undergo dormancy to save energy.

So whether the Monstera suffers from consistently higher temperatures or frost cold, the leaf will start to shrunken and invite pests that add to the tiny leaves.

4. Over and Underfertilization

Optimum fertilization during the active season boosts the growth of Monstera and helps in health maintenance.

However, do not overwhelm yourself with fertilizer, as an excess application in the hope of bigger leaves can backfire on you.

Monstera suffering from overfertilization will have root burn problems, small dark leaves, and stunted growth.

The severe effect is due to high salt build-ups in the soil surface that blocks the entry of required nutrients and water deep into the root.

Also, it invites other pest and disease problems that feed on Monstera’s leaf and root.

Not to leave out, under fertilized Monstera is also not a delight to the eyes as the plant lack the nutrient for growth.

This leads to Monstera growing smaller leaves and small leaves on Monstera turning yellow, which can ultimately die.

5. Inappropriate Soil Mix and Pot

Monstera always loved well-draining and richly organic soil that is loose and porous.

However, when the plant ages, the soil, too, starts to lose its vigor and turn compact due to overconsumption from the same ground.

Also, the soil with less perlite or coco coir can turn compact over time, making it stay soggy most of the time.

Soggy soils can drown the roots and hamper the entire growth process of the plant as the leaves turn mushy and have slowed growth.

Even the pot you choose to plant your Monstera can determine its health.

A porous pot like terracotta drains excess water even from its skin. But plastic and ceramic should have drainage holes to excrete excess water.

Using ceramic and plastic pots without enough drainage holes can make the plant suffer from root rot, leading to growth and Monstera leaf issues.

Also, the roots can get overcrowded over time. So look out for the pot, size, and material you use for planting Monstera.

How To Fix Small Leaves?

The plausible causes mentioned above are all related to growth care requirements.

So if you can correct the wrong practices as soon as possible, larger leaves are just a matter of time.

A. Watering Issues

  • Cut back in watering for damp soil and place it under direct sun for a day.
  • Place the plant over a newspaper to soak excess water.
  • If the soil appears compact and dusty, water the plant thoroughly until excess water drains from the holes.
  • If the situation worsens, try repotting the plant by cutting off damaged roots.

B. Improper Light

  • Change the pot location into an east-facing or south-facing window.
  • If there is no window, install a grow light to provide an artificial light source.
  • For direct shining windows, install a drape or curtain.

C. Temperature Shock

  • Mist the plant every day during hot days to balance the temperature.
White variegated leaf of Monstera in a brown pot
Wipe out the fallen water over the leaves to prevent infestation and infection.
  • You can install a humidifier if you want a better result, as misting can sometimes invite pests and infections.
  • Avoid moving your plant to maintain consistency of temperature and minimize shock.
  • Cover the plant with a frost blanket or a heating mat during cold days.

D. Imbalanced Fertilizer

  • Put the planter below the running water to remove excess salts in the soil.
  • Prune off the damaged leaves, if any, to allow growth instead of recovery.
  • If the plant lacks nutrients, supply it with a balanced fertilizer.

E. Wrong Potting Mix and Pot Size

  • Add perlite or horticultural charcoal and compost to boost drainage and nutrient supply.
  • Change the soil with peat moss, perlite, and pine bark fibers mixed in a 1:1:4 ratio.
  • Replace the pot if it is over two inches wider than the root balls.
  • Drill holes yourself if it lacks one.

Prevent Monstera leaves From Growing Smaller

Preventing mishaps is much better than saving a Monstera plant already suffering from the problem.

Although you might have tried the fixes, try not to repeat the same in your new Monstera. Follow the tips to get a healthy Monstera from the beginning.

  • Provide the Monstera with at least 6 hours of bright indirect light.
  • Clean the dust and debris on the Monstera leaf with a cotton cloth and water to let the plant absorb light more efficiently.
  • Maintain a temperature between 65-85ºF.
  • You can use a bottom-watering or top-watering approach for Monstera. But remember, it needs water weekly.
  • Consider the water quality while watering the Monstera, as tap water can be hard for your Monstera, while distilled water best.
  • Place a humidity tray beside the plant to boost humidity. You can even group plants.
  • Use the liquid soluble fertilizer (20-20-20) every 6 to 8 weeks by diluting it to half its strength.
  • Monstera does not like to be rootbound. So repot them once every two years.
  • Pruning the leaves regularly can help the healthiest growth of small leaves at the bottom of Monstera.
  • Also, you can cut off any extra growth and damaged leaves occasionally.

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

If you wish to enjoy the gigantic leaves of Monstera sooner, bring a plant about 2 to 3 feet tall from a nursery.

This saves you from the sprout stage and the juvenile stage. Meanwhile, you should cut small leaves off Monstera if you do not wish to wait longer for the larger leaves.

Most importantly, provide optimum care!