How Long Does It Take For A Monstera Leaf To Unfurl? (3 secrets for faster results)

a new monstera leaf waiting to unfurl

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So you finally just got your hands on a Monstera Deliciosa plant. 

Now the world feels complete.

But wait.

Here comes the best part!

Months later, Your split-leaf philodendron is growing a new leaf.

Eeekkkkk. How exciting!

But it’s curled inwards…

So, how long does it take for a monstera leaf to unfurl?

It can take anywhere from 1-7 weeks for your monstera houseplant to fully unfurl. If you’ve provided the perfect environment as well as proper monstera care, the new leaf may unfurl at a quicker rate, like under a week, depending on how old it is and what kind of monstera plant it is. The factors that contribute to the time it takes for a monstera leaf unfurling include the humidity level, watering frequency, amount of sunlight, pests, age, and nutrient level. 

Monstera leaf unfurling time lapse

Watch this time-lapse video of a monstera leaf unfurling in less than a week’s time! Even though it’s possible, don’t be disappointed if yours doesn’t unfurl as quickly as hers. Every monstera plant is different. 

I cannot express how much I love monstera plants!

Whether it’s monstera deliciosa, monstera adansonii, or even the monstera obliqua, I want them all!

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Why is monstera so popular?

They bring such a peaceful rainforest-y tropical vibe to the place. 

And don’t get me started on their big luscious green leaves with the fenestration slits or the holes in them. Hence the name, “Swiss Cheese Plant”. 

Did you know that they can grow beyond 10 feet tall?

It’s absurd but such an amazing sight. 

I also like that it’s a beginner plant. I was a bit skeptical about owning one because of its beauty and that I’m super worried I may kill it, but I’ve come to learn that it’s super easy to care for and will make you become plant-obsessed.

I can’t wait to own another one soon.

They are a truly special type of tropical plant that thrives in being in a warm humid climate.

Monstera plants can grow pretty quickly, and if you’ve purchased a monstera plant, you know that the way the new leaves grow may be stressful and alarming. The growth of a new leaf usually comes out furled and will slowly unfurl when the environment and indoor plant care are right.

Your job is to wait and provide it what it needs while watching out for signs of decay.

Related: How to Quickly Rehydrate a Wilted Houseplant

Why won’t my monstera leaf unfurl?

When you have a new leaf growing on your monstera plant, you might get anxious if the leaves don’t unfurl right away. I know I sure do. Trust that the new Monstera leaf will unfurl on their own time and will require plenty of patience and vigilance. Here are some possible reasons why a monstera leaf won’t unfurl:

  • Not enough humidity
  • Nutrient imbalance
  • Improper lighting
  • Overwatering and underwatering
  • Plant age and genetics
  • Pests

If your leaves aren’t unfurling on their own after a few weeks and are starting to brown, you should make sure your plant is getting the best plant care you can give it. Some species of monstera plants take longer than others to unfurl naturally.

an infographic on steps to take if you are wondering how long does it take for a monstera leaf to unfurl

You shouldn’t make any changes to your planting routine unless you’re noticing the leaves are turning brown before unfurling.

How long does it take for a monstera leaf to unfurl?

It takes forever! Or so it may seem.

But if I were to be completely honest, it probably takes an average of around 1-7 weeks for a Monstera leaf to unfurl if the environment and care are perfect.

And while there’s no right answer to this million-dollar question, there are a few factors that influence the speed of a leaf unfurling.

I know it may be a bit rough waiting days on end for this monstrous plant to unfurl, but you can coach your leaves to unfurl by making modifications to the plant environment.

But whatever you choose to do, never try to unfurl the leaves yourself.

That will cause more damages than you can possibly imagine.

How do you uncurl monstera leaves?

If your monstera leaves don’t unfurl on their own, you may be tempted to do it yourself.

But whatever you choose to do, never try to physically unfurl the leaves yourself.

That will cause more damages than you can possibly imagine.

Furled monstera leaves are delicate, and uncurling them yourself will damage them, causing them to have brown spots and stunted growth.

Some things that you can do to try to speed up the process are:

  • Increase the humidity: monstera plants require 50-70% humidity.
  • Slightly increase the amount of light received. Remember, it should be indirect light.
  • Increase the temperature.

Why is my leaf going brown before unfurling?

When I see my monster leaves browning, I tend to start freaking out. How can this huge monstera plant be turning brown?

What did I do wrong?

a monstera leaf with its slits and fenestrations

In a way, I think that’s how houseplants communicate with us. 

That they’re trying to tell you that it needs you to do something different or to make some adjustments within their environment. It’s teaching you to be a better plant parent. 

So I can’t be too mad. 

It’s just a matter of catching your mistake before it’s too late. 

Is my monstera overwatered or underwatered?

While it’s better to be underwatered than overwatered, your Monstera might just be dehydrated.

How do I know if my Monstera needs water?

A sign of dehydration is brown leaves.

When you’re watering Monstera plants, be sure to provide plenty of water. Keep providing water until the water starts draining from the drainage hole under the pot.

My Monstera deliciosa needed watering once every 1-2 weeks. I like to let it dry out completely before watering again.

Use the finger test or a bamboo skewer to determine when it needs watering. Stick it into the top 2 inches of the soil. And if the skewer or your finger comes out clean, it’s time to water.

Do check the soil often though. You don’t want the soil to be completely bone dry, up to the point where it’s beyond dehydrated.

Using a soil meter will work out just as well to determines the soil’s moisture if you tend to forget to water the plant. I used one when I was a plant parent newbie.

I still have one but I mostly use it for plants that are out of reach places because they’re more complex to test with the bamboo skewer.

Or maybe I’m just lazy.

a monstera new leaf that has not unfurled yet

I’m also a bit paranoid about the type of water I use, so I have a whole watering routine going on. Even if it is a myth, I like to let my water sit out for at least 24 hours before watering my plants with it.

I believe it helps to prevent salt and mineral buildup, even if I may be wrong. But it hasn’t disappointed me yet, so I shall continue till it does.

What do I do if I overwatered my Monstera?

Be careful not to overwater your monstera plant because it can cause root rot, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and black. The worst thing you can do to your green friend is having wet soil or let it sit in standing water for a long period of time.

But good news, there is a solution for handling root rot. But only if you catch it early enough.a

  • you should remove the plant from the pot
  • allow it to dry out
  • trim back roots one inch above where the rot is
  • replant the pot in fresh soil
  • wait a day before watering.

This is why it’s extremely important to have a well draining potting mix as well as drainage holes in your pots.

Adding perlite to the soil will help it to become more draining which will then provide more air circulation to increase the growth of the roots.

What conditions do monsteras like?

Not every monstera plant can live in its natural habitat. Thus this is the reason why we need to create a type of environment that the tropical can thrive in. We need to learn to adapt to the needs of this green beauty in order for it to unfurl its new leaves. 

And this starts with the temperature of the room that it’s in. The ideal temperature for Monsteras is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

And of course, being in an area that has indirect sunlight will help tremendously as well.

Anything under the ideal temperature, and you may start seeing the leaves with brown spots.

Does monstera need sunlight?

Monstera plants are naturally found in tropical climates and are low to the ground. They prefer medium, indirect sunlight.

Monstera plants also experience a unique phenomenon where if they are placed in a spot too bright for them, they will grow toward the darkness, also known as skototropism.

Indirect sunlight is vital for monstera plants because direct sunlight can damage and cause leaf burn.

I like to keep mine in a corner area that has plenty of sunshine coming through the windows.

I also use sheer curtains (just a precaution) to avoid burnt monstera leaves on those extra sunny days.

Do monsteras like high humidity?

A lack of humidity may play a huge role in your monstera leaf problems.

They thrive the best when the humidity level is at least 65 degrees.

Without humidity, brown spots will start forming along with crisp edges.

Humidity is what keeps the green vibrancy of the leaves. So never let the air dry out.

Here are some ways of increasing the humidity level around them.

  • misting your plants in the morning with distilled and room temperature water
  • group plants together
  • consider a humidity tray
  • buy a humidifier (this is the safest option to increase humidity)

Related: How to Increase Humidity in a Room for Indoor Plants

What are the signs of nutrient deficiency in plants?

Lack of nutrients may be a huge reason why the leaves haven’t unfurled yet.

As with any houseplants you own, it is super important to make sure the soil has all of the nutrients it needs.

The ideal soil pH for monstera plants is between 5.5 – 6.5.

I like to use a soil pH meter to help check the soil nutrient levels. It has saved me from a ton of headaches and having to guess whether or not I need to up

To check your nutrient levels, you should purchase a soil pH meter to detect soil nutrient levels. Using an NPK fertilizer has helped my monstera’s growth rate tremendously.

I don’t know how I would have survived without this product. I use it once per month in the warmer months (it’s growing season) and probably once every 2 months in the colder months when it’s more dormant.

a healthy green vibrant monster plant with multiple slits

You should also fertilize your monstera plant with a balanced NPK fertilizer during the growing season. You can learn more about it here.

Watering your monstera plant with unfiltered water can also cause the nutrients to become off-balance, as well as the pH of the soil.

Monstera age and fenestration

Monstera plants can live for many years. As with humans, the older they get, the harder it is for them to have new growth.

With the monstera plant, a new baby leaf may have a lower quality leaf the older the plant is. An adult monstera plant that will produce fruit will most likely be around three years old.

A great way to tell how old your monstera plant is by looking at the leaves. Younger monstera plants won’t have slits in their leaves or will have very few. Older monstera plants will have slits.

Do monstera plants attract bugs?

Ahh pests.

They’re the worst!

Especially if you catch them too late. 

If your leaves are browning before they have unfurled, pests could be the reason why other than being overwatered and having a lack of nutrients.

It helps tremendously to either make a weekly checklist of your goals for the plant, even if it is just checking for pests, or check them whenever you water your green friends.

a monstera plant receiving indirect lighting through the window

I do the latter because it’s so much more efficient.

It’s important to check the leaves thoroughly before getting assuming that there are no pests. Check the bottom, top, in between the leaves, and around the edges of the pot.

Monsteras are known for their luscious leaves, keep them that way by either dusting them or cleaning them with a damp cloth. Or use this (it makes cleaning plant leaves so much more simple and fun!).

As tempting as it may be, do not clean unfurled leaves. It can cause trauma and bruises when they do unfurl.

Related: Do House Plants Attract Bugs?

How do you get rid of pests on a monstera plant?

If you notice your monstera plant has pests, you should treat your plant with neem oil by spraying it onto the plant leaves and stems.

Pests will also be more attracted to your plant if the plant is damaged or sick, so make sure you can control all of the factors mentioned above to prevent pests.

Will monstera leaves split after unfurling?

No, your monstera leaves won’t split after unfurling.

The newly grown leaf will already have the splits that it will have once it has successfully grown and is ready to unfurl on its own.

a thriving monstera plant receiving indirect sunlight in a room

But if your plant has had splits before, but then suddenly the new leaves have no splits, then it’s telling you that it needs more indirect sunlight.

The fenestrations are already formed on the leaf. You may be able to see them before they unfurl. But once the leaf unfurls, there probably won’t be any more fenestration happening.

Monsteras tend to grow new leaves every 4-6 weeks.

You can always prepare the environment, like moving it to a sunnier window, prior to it growing new leaves so that you know what works and what you need to change.

Just remember that fenestrations won’t form until they’re at least 2-3 years old. So patience is key if you’re wanting them to split.

Should I cut off damaged monstera leaves?

Sometimes damaged leaves are just inevitable. But sometimes they can be preventable.

But either way, having damaged leaves is only going to prevent it from thriving. 

It would be healthier to cut off the damaged leaves with a sterilized shear. This is because the nutrients would still be making their way to the damaged or dead leaves instead of the healthy ones.

To remove the damaged leaves, use a clean, sharp pair of garden shears to cut as close to the stem as you can. 

Related: How to Keep Moss Pole Moist {5 simple strategies}

Final thoughts on how long does it take for a monstera leaf to unfurl?

If you have a passion for houseplants, you NEED a monstera plant. There’s no question about it.

Don’t be intimidated by their unfurled leaves and beauty. 

Their leaves will unfurl on their own time, depending on their environment. And even if it takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks, it is important to remember to never unfurl a monstera’s leaf yourself.

Other concerns about Monstera plants

What is some other useful houseplant tip care for monsters?

Since monsteras are climbers, they will need upright support for their yearly 1-2 feet of growth (this is my little secret on how to make monsteras grow faster).

When do you stake your Monstera?

1. when your monstera stem is falling over
2. when you start seeing the aerial roots growing

How do you support a monstera plant?

Support your monster by training it to grow upward.
There are so many monstera stake ideas that will help train the aerial roots to wrap themselves around the object you choose to use. 
1. use a moss pole to help it stand upright (moss poles have to stay moist, this is an added bonus because it will help to increase the humidity level as well)
2. use a plant trellis or find a trellis specifically for monsteras
3. use bamboo stakes for support