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House Plants/Monstera Deliciosa deformed leaves


QUESTION: I have a Monstera Deliciosa whose leaves don't open properly. When the leaves emerge from their green hood, they're deformed and often remain crinkled and won't unfurl, from about half way along the leaf. Sometimes they won't come out of the green hood properly and end up breaking at the midway point. Is this plant needing extra fertiliser? Or more light? More/less water?


It sounds like that your plant is being overfed and is causing it to produce weak but lush growth. At this time of year, they need more light to produce healthy growth but no feeding and less water.

Have you checked for any aphids as these sap suckers can also caused deformed growth. If there are pest like these, then it shows that the growth is too soft and weak due to over feeding and the aphids are transmitting infection that causes the leaves to grow abnormally. If you hold back on the feeding and water and put the plant in a brighter position(weak growth could also mean its not getting enough light), the plant should soon grow strongly again.

Also, try cleaning the leaves with leaf shine to unblock the pores in the leaves as it may not be getting enough air due to household dust and grime. Leaf shine also makes the leaves shiny aswell as getting rid of dust.

I hope this helps.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks very much Jonathan. Based on what you say and since I'm not fertilising this plant at all and hardly watering it (even though we're in early summer here!) I suspect it's a lighting problem. Should it be getting direct sunlight? Lots? It gets plenty of indirect light but no direct sunshine.

Hi Cos

Happy New Year. I truly am sorry about the long wait. My internet has been down for a few weeks. Sorry for leaving you waiting.

Your plant is getting indirect light and it needs plant indirect sunlight and it needs more water. It also needs the morning or evening sun and not direct midday sun as this will scorch the leaves.

At this time of year while the weather is cold up here in England, we can put them in the sun throughout winter as the light is very poor in winter. But down in southern hemisphere, the light is much better, so your plant only needs bright indirect sunlight.

Once the plant feels the light, it should resume normal growth and then you will have to water it regularly.

I hope this helps.


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Jonathan Alderson


I cannot answer questions about difficult and rare houseplants but I can with all the rest of the popular or even uncommon types.


I have grown houseplants for a lot of years and as always, I started off with a cactus and a Chlorophytum. I know all about the growing conditions, watering, feeding, humidity and propagation. I also know about the winter care and the pruning of flowering houseplants and the lighting for the foliage plants. I can also tell people the difference between pot plants and permanent plants and how to keep the pot plants for another season if that is possible for that particular plant.

Trade Base Community Allotment Association.

I have an NVQ Level 1 in horticulture.

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