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I have some potted plants (philodendron selloum, monstera deliciosa) that were propagations from larger plants. Their leaves are on average only about 4 inches long. They were propagated about a year ago. Is there a way for me to encourage larger leaf growth, or will that come with maturation?

The plants are in potting soil in pots that are a suitable size, and are in front of north facing windows, as that is all I have to offer.

  • can you add photos please? how long ago were they propagated? – Bamboo Apr 15 at 18:17
  • These two species should do well without direct sunlight, so I don't see a problem with your North facing window. You say they are propagated from a larger plant, a year ago. However, it is unclear how large your clones are at the moment. My guess is that you'll need to wait for the plant to grow larger, and then the leaves will get larger with it. – benn Apr 20 at 14:30
  • @benn leaves are about 4 inches long, stems 12-16" long. I would include photos but they're too large to upload natively, haven't had the chance to reduce them – jackwise Apr 20 at 16:15
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    A picture is worth more than a 1000 words. From the measures you mention, the plant is not very large yet. If the leaves are still in proportion with the rest of the plant, I am sure that it will be just a matter of time. Maybe wait a few more leaves, see if they get any bigger than the existing ones. – benn Apr 20 at 19:36
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A plant that's not growing right can have a host of problems. Probably the most common in potted plants is drainage or sun/light issues.

If you are using clay pots with holes over a saucer, try putting some Legos between the bottom of the pot and the saucer. You don't want any of your soil sitting in standing water--ever.

Are your roots free? Did the transplant get put into too small of a pot?

Is there something in your soil to improve water management such as perlite, sand, coco coir, peat, clay pebbles...?

Can your plant get more sun?

Beyond that, look closely at your leaves; there may be signs of a nutritional problem.

If you want to "cheat": Humus can be turned into a water-soluble salt called humic acid. My favorite is Diamond Nectar by GH. It creates robust growth. Raise the CO2 level for a few weeks with a tank or a few blocks of dry ice. I'm presuming you're indoors with a south facing window. Within a month you should see substantial new growth.

Edit: You face an impossible task without more light. Even a table lamp with a grow light, light bulb would be fine. With a north-facing window...You have about as much lux as a 60W equivalent (6W energy use) grow light at 12 inches. You need to at least double that to have any chance of larger leaves. However, there's nothing inherently wrong with slow growth and small leaves. You could just leave it alone.

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  • I don't know if I'd say they're not growing right, they look otherwise healthy. However lack of sunlight could definitely be the problem - I only have north facing windows. – jackwise Apr 17 at 18:55
  • Yes, you'll need a grow light. – Stu W Apr 17 at 23:11
  • Would you be able to update your answer? I have included my lighting situation in my question. – jackwise Apr 20 at 13:20
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Phosphorus is supposed to help increase leaf size in plants generally, I've read. It's also supposed to help plants mature, and increase internode length. Cold temperatures can decrease phosphorus availability.

A soil pH imbalance might reduce phosphorus availability.

I gave my rubber fig some basalt rockdust once, and it's been growing small leaves and dark spots ever since. I imagine the rockdust raised the pH, due to the calcium in it. It was fine before.

If you gave it something interesting, you might consider giving it new soil and not giving it that thing again.

Use potting soil designed for indoors (not for vegetables, outdoors, or seeds).

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