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Why Won’t My Monstera Leaf Open (And Solutions)

The glossy, dark-green fenestrated leaves of Monstera are ideal for bringing a little bit of nature into your home. Depending on how well they are cared for, a fully unfolded leaf can grow to a height of three glorious feet.

That’s why it’s so upsetting to see your Monstera leaves not fully unfurling or taking a long time to fully open. What’s going on here?

The most common reason for Monstera leaves not unfurling is a lack of humidity.

  • Increase humidity by misting regularly.
  • Using a humidifier
  • A pebble-filled humidity water tray

Check for insect infestation if the growth rate of the entire Monstera is affected. Watering, nutrient, and light imbalances, on the other hand, could be to blame.

Why is My Monstera Leaf Not Opening

[1] Leaf Unfurling Cannot Take Place Due to Low Humidity

Monstera Leaf Not Opening Due to Low Humidity
Monstera Leaf Not Opening Due to Low Humidity

Plants like monsteras thrive in moist, tropical climates. They are indigenous to the Central American rainforests, which are always hot and humid.

Therefore, they require a high humidity level (ideally above 65%) to maintain healthy growth and produce lush green leaves.

When it comes to delicate growths, this is especially true. Furthermore, the Monstera uses waxes and secretions to protect new leaves from ravaging insects and disease.

If the air around your Monstera is crisp, drafty, and dry, the waxes used to protect it will harden. This is especially true in the winter when you’ve turned up the heat in your house to the maximum.

As a result, no matter how much food and energy the plant has, the new leaves will never open. The brown crispy edges and tips of openly exposed leaves indicate low humidity as the cause.

There is no doubt that your Monstera will look wilted and limp. The leaves will also dry out and become crunchy. Insufficient watering and excessive light exposure will exacerbate the problem.

How to Fix Low Humidity For Your Monstera Leaves to Unfurl

You don’t have to get worked up about it because the solution is simple: increase the humidity around your Monstera. And there are numerous ways to do so:

  • Group houseplants together to create a humid environment around your growing Monstera.
  • Encourage foliage misting regularly, though this method isn’t ideal if some leaves are injured or diseased.
  • Using a humidifier (check the latest Amazon price here) is your best bet for increasing humidity levels.
  • You can also make a shallow humidity water tray with pebbles for your Monstera.
  • Place it in a naturally humid area, such as the bathroom.

Additionally, keep your Monstera away from drafty areas in your home.

[2] Lack of Cell Moisture Causing Monstera Leaves Not to Unfurl

Monstera Leaf Not opening Due to Low Moisture
Monstera Leaf Not opening Due to Low Moisture

The leaves of a Monstera plant are indeed a biological marvel. Turgor pressure and other forms of bio-hydraulics are used to aid in growth, allowing foliage to expand and unfurl.

Moisture buildup in the leaves creates an internal leaf pressure known as turgor. This is because the cell wall requires moisture to function correctly.

They rely almost entirely on moisture to maintain their shape and are fully open. So lack of water may be blamed if your monstera leaves aren’t opening fully or unfurling slowly.

Check the soil moisture level. It would be preferable if you only let the top quarter or third of the growing medium dry before watering. Your Monstera has become dehydrated if it is dry below this point. (Source: NC State University)

Underwatering can exacerbate other issues that affect leaf unfurling, such as humidity, temperature, and lighting, making the situation even worse.

Is the pot lighter or heavier than it usually is? In your hands, do you find the topsoil to be lighter, dustier, and crumbles when you touch it?

Are the edges of the leaves brown or wilted as well? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve got a dehydrated Monstera on your hands.

[3] Not Enough Photosynthesis for New Leaf Due to Extremely Low Light

Each monstera leaf can grow up to three feet long and several inches wide if adequately cared for. A Monstera plant can withstand low light, but it should not be kept in a basement or a dark corner.

All of your Monstera’s leaves and new growth must be supported by a sufficient amount of photosynthesis energy.

Energy is also needed for new leaves to unfurl, repair tissue damage, and protect the plant from harmful microbes.

Your Monstera’s ability to produce enough energy to support the unfolding of new growths will be compromised if it is deprived of light. As a result, new leaves will take excessive time to unfold or not open at all.

Poor lighting in Monstera can also show up in the following ways:

  • Leaves turning yellow
  • The growth that is lean or leggy
  • The leaves of the plant do not split or turn a pale green color
  • The drying time for the growing medium is too long.

Furthermore, in a dimly lit area, Monstera is easily overwatered. Therefore, your Monstera is at greater risk of disease and root rot due to these pests.

How to Treat Monstera in Extremely Low Light

Even though monstera plants are relatively tolerant of low light, they prefer bright, indirect sunlight every day for their new leaves to fully unfurl.

Therefore, consider moving your Monstera closer to the south or east-facing window to get the maximum amount of diffused sunlight.

However, it is crucial to remember that excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause bleaching, sunburn, and other detrimental effects on your Monstera.

[4] Pests Are Wreaking Havoc On New Monstera Leaves Before They Open

Common Bugs on Monstera
Common Bugs on Monstera

Mealybugs, thrips, red spider mites, and scale insects can all infest your monstera plant, so keep an eye out. Infestations of pests are more frequent and more severe in the open air than indoors.

So, if your new monstera leaves fail to unfurl on time, and you have ruled out the above reasons, they may be hiding these creepy bugs. They love to hide in the folds of the new growths and eat the delicate foliage.

By looking at its mature leaves, you can tell if your plant is infested with insects. As an initial step, keep an eye out on the leaves’ undersides for bugs. If the leaf tips and edges are turning yellow, it could signify a severe pest infestation.

Another telltale sign is the presence of black sooty mold.

How to Get Rid of Monstera Bugs

Use a damp paper towel or sponge to remove debris and dust from the foliage to keep pests at bay. If the bugs are already present, however, use the following methods:

  • Spray neem oil, pyrethrins, or a broad-spectrum insecticide on your Monstera. Repeat every other week to ten days until the bugs are gone.
  • Use insecticidal soap to clean the foliage.
  • Using rubbing alcohol, clean the pest-infested leaves.
  • Blast your Monstera leaves with a strong stream of water; this will aid in the removal of bugs from the foliage.

Monstera New Leaves Not Opening

Monstera New Leaves Not Opening
Monstera New Leaves Not Opening

Even if you have addressed the issues listed above, the new leaves on your Monstera may not appear for some time. As a result, you may have to wait a little longer. Perhaps your Monstera is still dormant, or the new leaves have been damaged.

If the new leaves are too late, you can begin uncoiling them to be safe. While monstera plants are not fussy, they will need some attention for their new growths to thrive.

Check the growing medium as well. Is the drainage in good condition? Is the potting mix deficient in essential nutrients? Correct these problems and the new leaves may sprout.

How to Help Monstera Leaf Unfurl?

If your Monstera is receiving optimal conditions, you may want to give the leaves some time. However, the waiting game can detract from the ornamental value of your Monstera plant. How to Assist Monstera Leaves to Unfurl

Misting should be a part of your daily care routine. Congratulations if the new leaf begins to unfold within a few hours or days. Use a pebble tray or humidifier for a set-it-and-forget-it approach.

Wipe the leaves clean of dust and debris as well. That may help raise the humidity and moisture levels sufficiently to cause unfurling. A mild soap solution can also remove some waxes and other secretions.

Don’t rub the foliage too hard, no matter which path you take.

What If My Monstera Leaf Opens Too Soon?

Don’t be concerned if your Monstera opens its leaves too soon. That indicates that your Monstera is doing well and that the growing conditions are ideal.