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How to get larger leaves on a plant

Wondering how to get larger leaves on a plant? Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for big leaves!

Is there anything more beautiful than lush plants with huge leaves? It is a tropical dreamscape.

It makes sense that you might want to get that big leafed aesthetic from your houseplants.

If your plants are only putting out small leaves, it can be super disappointing. Let’s talk about plant leaf size and how to encourage your plant to grow larger leaves!

How to get larger leaves on your plants

Why are my plants leaves so small?

If your plant’s leaves are on the smaller size, that most likely means that the plant is not in the optimal conditions.

If you are wondering why is my plant growing small leaves – it just means that the plant is probably not as happy as it’s big leafed friends.

You also want to assess if the leaves are VERY small – like oddly tiny – or just not huge and lush. Very small leaves usually indicate a problem, while more averaged sized leaves just mean an opportunity for growth.

close up of Philodendron Brasil leaf
Philodendron Brasil

What factors affect leaf size?

  • Watering – amount & frequency
  • Lighting
  • Temperature
  • Nutrients

If your plant suddenly has new growth with small leaves, that is usually an indicator that there is something bad about the current conditions. Most likely water, light, or nutrients. See if anything has changed lately and try to fix it!

How to make houseplant leaves bigger

To get a plant with large leaves, you want to be sure that your plant is getting the optimal conditions.

If your plant seems at all unhappy or unhealthy, then you want to first troubleshoot and address those issues.

If your plant seems healthy but is just a plant with small leaves, you will want to give it a few tweaks to try to help it get bigger leaves.


An easy way to try to get a large leafed plant is to apply a fertilizer. Always follow the instructions on your fertilizer and don’t over use – it will burn up and kill the plant. But, a good fertilization can be great for leaf growth.

High-nitrogen fertilizers specifically are designed to encourage leaf growth.

pothos moss pole after 1 season outdoors
pothos moss pole after 1 season outdoors

Try a moss pole

Moss poles are vertical poles for vining plants to grow up and grow aerial roots into. It is said that when vining plants have a chance to climb, they get really big leaves, and sometimes fenestrations.

I have had great experience getting plants (especially pothos!) get huge leaves on a moss pole.

No moss pole, no problem. Consider a bamboo stake or trellis for the plant to climb instead!

Water more or more frequently

Some plants don’t like to dry out between waterings. Keep the plant a level amount of moist to keep it happy.

Warning: be sure your pot has drainage holes and never let it sit in pooling water! This is more like a little water more frequently compared to a soaking then fully dry out.

Heat it up

As air temperatures rise, plant leaves tend to get larger. Scientifically, this is to give the plant more surface area to cool via transpiration (basically evaporation from leaves, an attempt at “leaf sweating”!)

So, it checks out that moving your plants to a warmer spot could lead to large foliage. Just keep them away from right in front of heat vents or direct sun, which can burn leaves to a crisp.

tall potted fiddle leaf fig tree

Pick a sunnier spot

In general, plants like bright indirect light. In the summer, most plants do really well outdoors in the shade of your house or a tree. If possible, move the plant to a brighter spot to encourage leaf growth.

If there are small leaves on one side of your plant, it might be unbalanced. Try to rotate your plant regularly to encourage more even growth.

Upgrade the pot

Check to see if your plant is root bound or crowded in the pot. It might not have the space to grow. Repot it in a pot 1-2 inches larger in diameter to help to encourage growth.

chinese evergreen plant in a pot

Give it time

If your plant is young or a rather fresh cutting, big leaves would not be proportionate to the plant. It might just need time to grow and mature into a plant with larger leaves!

Any more questions about how to get larger leaves on a plant?!

Thanks for reading!

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