This Is Why Monstera Plants Have Holes
Many plants are visually impressive, they have all kinds of color changes and a variety of unique features. And then you have the Monstera with all kinds of holes. This is quite strange for a lot of people, since they don’t understand the plant, its properties and features. Before we understand the Monstera plant, we need more understanding about why they have holes and how these affect the plant as a whole.
What are Monsteras?
These are evergreen tropical shrubs or vines. Monsteras are native to the Central American region and they are also a part of the Araceae family. It’s interesting that they are generating edible fruits, but only when you have them grown outdoors. It can be very strange for them to deliver edible fruit while indoors.
Is there a specific reason why some plants have holes?
Many know the Monstera plant as the swiss cheese plant. And it’s easy to see why, it has those holes that might end up making the plant less appealing. But the truth is that this is something natural, and it’s a process called leaf fenestration. You can find it in the case of the Philodendron Monstera and a variety of other Monstera plants. But it’s not solely unique to Monsteras either.
You can find this in the case of lithops and haworthias too. In those cases, the plants have transparency so the lower part of the plant can actually receive some light. Also, they do have dust and sand storms in their native region, so the plant had to adapt appropriately. It’s still quite interesting to see the way plants try to adapt as a whole.
Why do Monstera plants have holes?
There’s quite a lot of speculation and different ideas regarding the leaf holes. It’s said that the Monstera plant create holes in order to deal with hurricane winds. These are coming from central America, a region that’s known to deal with hurricanes from time to time. Since Bird of Paradise plants split their leaves to deal with this type of situation, we can expect other similar ones to do the same.
However, others suggest that it’s actually possible for those to have holes in order to make it easier for water to reach the overall roots. These rarely have contact with the soil, so it makes a lot of sense to actively have these kinds of holes.
It can be hard to figure out whether these theories are actually truthful or not. Plants will sometimes have holes in them, that’s definitely the type of thing you want to consider here. What really matters and we must understand is that Monsteras live in rainforests, and these are places where it rains almost every day. So the theory that it might actually end up having holes to give water to the roots is not really feasible. After all, these roots have access to lots of water in the first place.
The same thing can be said about wind as well. Wind can be quite powerful here, then again most plants have their leaves full and don’t really end up with any holes due to the massive wind storms. So yes, it does take quite a bit of time to understand this and the process as a whole.
If these theories are a bust, then what should we know here? According to Indiana University’s Christopher Muir, he says that the lighting conditions are what pushed Monsteras to generate these holes. These are growing away from the forest floor and go up the trees like vines. Because of that, such plants need to capture sunlight beams.
Since they modified the overall leaf structure so they can have holes in them, that means the same part of the leaf can easily cover a larger area. That helps the plant immensely, which is something to keep in mind. These plants need to grow quite fast, and that requires more access to sunlight, which is why they are harnessing all the sunflecks as much as possible.
How can you facilitate the fenestration process?
The reality is that most Monsteras will end up growing quite a lot and they will generate those holes on their own. With that being said, the shape of their leaves differs mostly based on the age of the plant. If the plant is young, the Monstera’s leaves maintain a shape quite similar to aroids. However, if the Monstera becomes older, the fenestration process will begin. That’s when they start growing new leaves and some of those leaves will have holes, though not all of them.
What we noticed is that if you trim the leaves that are older and smaller when they detach from the base, it’s a great thing since it helps create much larger leaves. It also helps make the fenestration process quicker and more comprehensive. Of course, nothing guarantees this, but it’s definitely worth a shot and something to take into consideration as much as possible. That’s why it can be a very good idea to avoid any rush here and ensure that you consider all options, especially if you want the Monstera to grow new leaves.
The great thing about Monsteras is that they have an extraordinary look, so these are certainly plants you can grow in your home. Of course, if you grow them outside there’s a higher chance of having fruits from them as well. But in general, Monsteras are a pleasure to grow, they don’t require a lot of care and attention, and you will be impressed with the benefits and experience. Rest assured that Monsteras are a great decorative plant, and their unique holes in their leaves make them a wonderful plant unlike many out there. It’s certainly a great idea to check them out if you want a new plant, you will not regret it!
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