Ask a Question forum: Help with Split Leaf / Monstera?

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Name: Jannica
Winnipeg, MB
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Jannyes
Mar 12, 2018 8:58 PM CST
Thumb of 2018-03-13/Jannyes/ca4c98

Bought this beauty on Kijiji the other day and it was advertised as a "juvenile split leaf philodendron". I've been wanting a Monstera deliciosa for ages so I was really excited. The seller told me the plant was only about a year old and that it came from a cutting of her mom's split leaf. She claimed that her mom's plant was 10 ft tall with huge leaves.

As you can see, she's really leggy and droopy - when I got her, her leaves were pale green and some were yellow. I suspected this may have been from getting too much light. I have her by an east facing window, but she's out of the direct sun and she's darkened up a bit. Since taking the attached picture I've put up rods to help support her (in attempt to help her stand upright rather than spilling outward). I've read that moss poles are best - would this help in my case?

My plant doesn't really look like an iconic Monstera. Is it a matter of nursing her back to health or is this not the plant I thought it was? I'll be a bit disappointed if it's just a regular philodendron - but the one split leaf is throwing me off! Does anyone have any insight?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 13, 2018 9:00 AM CST
I belive her legginess and yellow leaves were due to her not getting enough light before you got her.
She has improved, good.
If she's getting enough lite now, she will start growing new leaves as normal.
Peat moss poles are fine, and look nice. 👍

Ttfn
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Mar 13, 2018 10:33 AM CST
I agree, your plant is a juvenile Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) and they prefer bright light but no direct sun, which will scorch the leaves. If you can supply it with a moss pole or thick tree branch (planted in the center of the pot) it may start to naturally climb upwards. Here in Florida they climb up into the trees and as the more mature leaves form holes and splits.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 13, 2018 6:17 PM CST
The huge pot is contributing to the droopiness. When kept quite potbound, the leaves will stand more upright. However, this is not a plant that naturally grows upright anyway. In nature, it is a vining plant.

You can use any support that you want. Moss poles work well if the moss is kept constantly damp so that the nodes that come in contact with the damp moss will push out roots that will then attach to the moss. The same for bark poles, but they are harder to keep damp.

The light appears to be okay, but it might be better if you could move the Monstera out of the corner a bit to improve the light.

Allow the top inch of soil to dry before adding just enough water so that the top inch gets dry again in about a week. If you water thoroughly, the soil will stay damp for too long.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Jannica
Winnipeg, MB
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Jannyes
Mar 13, 2018 9:29 PM CST
Philipwonel said:I belive her legginess and yellow leaves were due to her not getting enough light before you got her.
She has improved, good.
If she's getting enough lite now, she will start growing new leaves as normal.
Peat moss poles are fine, and look nice. 👍

Ttfn
😎😎😎


Thank you! This is reassuring. I'm hoping she will get better and start splitting. Do you know if the age of the plant has anything to do with when she will start to split? Or is it a matter of her getting the right care...
Name: Jannica
Winnipeg, MB
Image
Jannyes
Mar 13, 2018 9:33 PM CST
WillC said:The huge pot is contributing to the droopiness. When kept quite potbound, the leaves will stand more upright. However, this is not a plant that naturally grows upright anyway. In nature, it is a vining plant.

You can use any support that you want. Moss poles work well if the moss is kept constantly damp so that the nodes that come in contact with the damp moss will push out roots that will then attach to the moss. The same for bark poles, but they are harder to keep damp.

The light appears to be okay, but it might be better if you could move the Monstera out of the corner a bit to improve the light.

Allow the top inch of soil to dry before adding just enough water so that the top inch gets dry again in about a week. If you water thoroughly, the soil will stay damp for too long.


Thanks for the tips and insight! I thought the pot may have been too big for her but her aerial roots are so big and are all over the pot. Would she benefit from being repotted into a smaller pot - and should I try to prune her back or let her grow leggy like that?

I've since moved her out of the corner and into a spot that allows for direct morning sun and bright indirect light throughout the rest of the day. Hoping she does better here!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 14, 2018 11:10 AM CST
You moved her out for more lite. Good !😀👍!
I believe as she ages, she'll split more. Go back and see 1st picture Lin sent you. Notice the younger leaves, at bottom, are not split.

Patience is a virtue 👍

Plus : She is trying hard, and fast as she can to please you. Lovey dubby
She greened up for you. Lovey dubby
She grew a leaf with one split for you. Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
She'll be splitting her heart out for all of your love and attention, before you know it. Hurray!
Then you can chop off those long leggy leaves, if you want. Shrug! Whistling
Ttfn
😎😎😎

Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 14, 2018 3:04 PM CST
Jannyes - Aerial roots are just that and do not need to be moved into the soil. When a Monstera is potted, the aerial roots no longer serve any useful purpose and can be safely cut off.

Downsizing an over-potted plant is always a tricky call because it may further stress the plant unless you are skilled at repotting. I suggest that you leave it as is and follow the watering instructions I posted previously so you can avoid keeping the soil too damp.

Good that you improved the light, as that will help.

Pruning is an aesthetic issue and will not affect the health of your plant one way or the other. Prune it to make it look the way you want it to look.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Jannica
Winnipeg, MB
Image
Jannyes
Mar 14, 2018 8:38 PM CST
Thank you all for your input and kind words! I've attached a picture here of what she looks like now (it's about 9:35 at night here as I'm posting this). I'd like to get some moss poles or get some moss to slab on these sticks but for now, just wooden rods are supporting her. She gets plenty of sun in this new spot.

Are there any indications on leaves that show they are going to split? She has one leaf that has a small brown line and it's starting to tear open - but I'm not sure if this is a split or was from improper care from her previous owner!
Thumb of 2018-03-15/Jannyes/8d0349

[Last edited by Jannyes - Mar 14, 2018 8:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 15, 2018 8:27 AM CST
WOOH-HAH. Ya chopped her. She looks good 👍😀😀😀
Brown line on leaf, physical damage.
Ttfn 😀
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Jannica
Winnipeg, MB
Image
Jannyes
Mar 15, 2018 12:02 PM CST
Philipwonel said:WOOH-HAH. Ya chopped her. She looks good 👍😀😀😀
Brown line on leaf, physical damage.
Ttfn 😀
😎😎😎


Yes!! She looks happier.
And oh no Thumbs down is there any way to tell when a split is coming in or will the holes just magically appear!!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 15, 2018 1:37 PM CST
There is no way to anticipate or to control the leaf splits. Just provide good care and let the plant do its thing. And remember that old saying, "A watched pot never boils!" Patience.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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