Why Is My Swiss Cheese Plant Leaves Turning Brown

Too much light or heat will result in brown and brittle leaves. If you place your indoor plant in direct sunshine outside, this is what will happen. Instead, stick to covered porches!

Unfortunately, sunburned leaves don’t recover, so you might wish to remove them. It is only an aesthetic issue, though. It won’t happen again if you move your plant out of the sun.

What should I do if the leaves on my cheese plant are brown?

  • Trim all of the dead, browned leaves from the area close to the base of your Monstera Deliciosa. The discolored edges need to be pruned since they cannot recover or turn green.
  • After ensuring that the soil is dry, water your plant. I would also advise giving your plant a little more frequent waterings.
  • The potting mix, light, temperature, pot size, and type all affect how much water your plant requires or how quickly the soil dries. Consider how dry the soil should be before watering it rather than how frequently you should apply water.
  • If you have any reason to believe your Monstera Deliciosa has been overwatered, you should check the soil right once. Repot your plant in a new potting soil combination if necessary.
  • When cultivated outside, the scorching sunlight causes the leaves to burn and turn brown. Move your plant to a location with filtered sunlight if it is currently exposed to direct sunshine.

Should I remove the Swiss cheese plant’s brown leaves?

Pruning is a crucial component of any plant care regimen. Pruning gets rid of leaves that no longer help the plant but are still consuming its resources. As a result, the healthy leaves and new growth can be supported with more energy! You may manage a plant’s size and shape via pruning. Therefore, remember to prune your monstera!

Additionally, pruning can help your plant grow and allow you to manage where it produces new leaves (and in the case of some plants, branches).

Because your monstera occasionally needs a little additional assistance getting rid of dead or dying leaves, pruning is especially crucial.

However, pruning is primarily a useful method for managing a monstera’s size. This plant grows really big! If you live in an apartment with 8-foot ceilings, this is crucial because monsteras can grow up to 30 feet outdoors and 10 feet indoors.

Yellow monstera leaves can mean it’s either getting too much water, or not enough nutrients.

Yellow leaves can also signify a variety of things. You’re probably overwatering your monstera if the leaves are turning yellow. Make sure your plant receives lots of indirect sunshine so the top few inches of soil may dry out quickly before watering.

Considering that your monstera may also be lacking in nutrients, this is an excellent moment to start using a liquid fertilizer in your usual care. Because Monstera Plant Food is made to be used with every watering, you won’t need to keep track of a fertilization schedule, which is why we adore it!

Dark brown spots on monstera leaves is a good indication of the plant getting too much water.

If your monstera plant has dark brown stains on its leaves, it may be because of overwatering, which is rotting the roots. (Read 4 Signs Your Monstera Is Over-Watered for additional information.)

Trim off any roots that appear mushy or brown with clean, sharp pruning scissors after carefully removing the plant from the pot. Repot the plant into a clean container (either a new one or the old one that you’ve cleaned out) with fresh, dry soil after removing as much of the old, damp dirt from the root ball as you can.

Make sure your monstera receives enough of light, and reduce watering while the plant is healing. You can also remove the damaged leaves with pruning.

Make sure the soil feels dry before watering to prevent root rot, and think about obtaining a moisture meter like this one to check the moisture content of the root ball before watering.

Light brown spots and crispy edges on monstera leaves means the monstera needs more water.

Your monstera plant may be thirsty if the edges become a light brown color and become “crispy.” Give the earth a drink and think about watering a little more frequently if it feels dry. The dead edges can be removed because they won’t recover.

Additionally, avoid placing your monstera in direct sunlight as this might burn the leaves! Move your monstera a little further into the space or to a better location altogether if you observe the sunshine directly striking your leaves.

A drooping monstera can mean it needs more water or more light.

Another symptom that could imply a variety of things is drooping monstera leaves. Your monstera may be overwatered or underwatered in this situation.

Look at the earth to determine which it is! It’s likely that your plant needs water if the soil seems dry. Give your plant a chance to dry out if it feels moist before watering it once more. Make sure it receives plenty of indirect sunshine so it can successfully do this. Consider repotting into a pot with greater drainage and a faster-draining soil if you notice your soil remains wet for an extended period of time.

Your monstera might need additional light if the soil looks to be healthy and watering doesn’t seem to be the problem. (Read 4 Signs Your Monstera Needs More Light for more information.)

Read our instructions on watering your monstera here. Watering is typically the most challenging aspect of taking care of any plant.

Should I remove the monstera plant’s brown leaves?

Your Monstera should have any damaged leaves removed. Trimming dead leaves helps your plant’s health in addition to improving its appearance.

  • Unable to photosynthesize are dead leaves. Any brown or black areas on your Monstera’s leaves are no longer able to supply the plant with energy.
  • Dead leaf sections have no protection against rot and infection in comparison to healthy leaves. Dead plant cells provide nutrients that are consumed by bacteria and fungi. For instance, you can notice mold growing on dead leaves that have been left on the plant or in the soil. To help defend the remainder of the plant against these diseases, remove any dark or damaged tissue.

It is possible that only the ripped edge of a leaf will become brown to seal a cut if there is only very minimal damage, such as accidently ripping or torn a portion of the leaf. Leave minor imperfections alone if they don’t affect other parts of the plant or interfere with your pleasure of the plant’s aesthetics.

Monstera damage to the roots and stems can be more serious than damage to the leaves because it prevents the plant from transporting water and nutrients. Visit our soon-to-be-available guides on stem damage and root rot.

How frequently should a Swiss cheese plant be watered?

If possible, irrigate your Swiss cheese plant every two to four weeks while checking the soil’s moisture with a skewer. Hold off on watering if it’s damp, advise the experts at The Greenhouse People (opens in new tab).

Before watering again, make sure the top 2 inches (5 cm) are dry. Additionally, it’s crucial to check that the roots are not submerged in water and that the container has appropriate drainage.

How often should a cheese plant be watered?

With occasional irrigation, they thrive. If you’re potting it yourself, be sure to water it properly the first time, then wait a few weeks before watering it once again. Do this for the next roughly every two weeks. Don’t drown it (i.e., don’t keep pouring water until it overflows; instead, make it appear as though the soil is soaking it up). To be safe, however, make sure you examine the soil with the tips of your fingers; if it seems dry, it is likely a sign that it is slightly thirsty.

What is causing the brown and yellowing of my Swiss cheese plant?

Tropical plants like Monstera prefer greater humidity levels. While these plants can survive for a while in homes with an average humidity level, prolonged exposure to reduced humidity levels may cause the leaves to yellow or turn brown.

If so, clustering your Swiss Cheese Plant more closely with other plants or setting it on top of a pebble tray with water filled with water may be necessary to increase the humidity surrounding it. More information on how to make your indoor plants more humid may be found here.

Lighting Problems

Another potential reason for your Swiss Cheese plant’s browning leaves is poor illumination in your home. In order to thrive, Swiss cheese plants demand bright, indirect light.

If the plant is exposed to direct sunshine, the heat and intense rays could scorch it, turning the leaves yellow or even brown. If this is the case, relocate the plant to an area that receives bright but indirect light, away from the sun’s direct rays.

Pale yellowish leaves could also result from inadequate lighting. The plant won’t produce enough chlorophyll to keep the leaves a glossy, dark shade of green if it doesn’t receive enough light.

If you keep your Monstera in a dim space, you might also observe leaf loss, sluggish development, and the plant spreading out to seek out more light. If this is the case, you may either transfer the plant to a room with more natural light or install a grow lamp to provide it with more lighting.

Watering Problem

In terms of water, monsteras can be picky. They dislike drying out because they are native to the rainforest. However, if they are exposed to too much water for too long, they might develop root rot.

It is crucial to examine your Swiss Cheese plant to determine the cause of your Monstera’s yellowing, as one of these could be the issue.


Checking the soil for excess moisture should be your first step if you find your Monstera’s leaves turning yellow. Simply dig your finger into the soil.

  • Is the ground damp?
  • Does it seem damp?
  • Does it have a rotting or rather stinky odor?

If so, you should completely repot your Swiss cheese plant since it is probably suffering from root rot brought on by overwatering. For more thorough instructions, please see our tutorial here.

A Monstera that is overwatered will sag, get brown blotches on its leaves, and have yellowing of the foliage as a result. Its soil may grow a fungus on top and take a very long time to dry off.

Keep in mind that soil that retains water and excessive watering frequency, not the amount of water applied all at once, are what cause overwatering.

When watering your Monstera, make sure the soil is not already excessively wet first, and then water it until water begins to drain from the bottom drainage hole.

Before doing any care or maintenance on your Monstera, especially before you water it because it could make the problem worse, it is important to check for root rot because it can swiftly kill your Monstera.


Yellowing of your Monstera’s foliage is another symptom of inadequate watering. Fortunately, fixing this is simple and much less likely to harm your Monstera.

When you inserted your finger into the ground, it came back completely dry. Your Monstera needs to drink.

A Monstera that has been submerged will reveal it in its leaves, which will droop, yellow, curl, and eventually turn light brown and crispy.

The soil needs to be watered more thoroughly because it is so dry. Transport your plant to a location where it can receive plenty of water, such as outside with a hose or in the shower. You might need a friend’s assistance to carry a large Monstera.

Shower your Monstera until water begins to drip from the pot’s bottom, then continue for a little while more. Long-term soil drying out might cause it to become hydrophobic, which means it won’t absorb water as efficiently.

Keep an eye on the yellow leaves and the dampness of the soil after this vigorous watering. You might need to increase the frequency of watering your Monstera.

Even after giving the plants enough water, if more leaves begin to turn yellow, you may have another problem, such as bugs, that has to be addressed.

Temperature Stress

True plants from the jungle are monsteras. They dislike the cold because they do not understand what winter is.

Once the temperature falls below 50F (10C), monstera plants will stop growing, and as the temperature goes closer to freezing, the leaves will begin to yellow or suffer damage.

They will also feel anxious if exposed to extremely hot conditions or harsh sunshine. They occupy the understory of the jungle, climbing the trees to shade their leaves from the glaring sun.

The afflicted leaves of the Monstera will turn yellow, crispy, or brown under any temperature stress. Younger, more delicate leaves may be more vulnerable to temperature stress, however older or younger leaves are not always where this stress begins.

Look at the plant’s position if you see yellow leaves on your Monstera:

  • Does it face a southwest window that receives intense afternoon sun?
  • Is it next to a window that drafts in the winter?
  • Does it stand close to a hot radiator?

Your Monstera may become stressed from any of these sources of excessive heat. It would be ideal if you relocated your Monstera a little distance from the troublesome source to an area with more constant temperatures.

Repotting Stress

Have you lately moved your Monstera into a new location? Stress from repotting could be the cause of its yellow leaves.

After transplant, monsteras frequently exhibit sensitivity. The roots being exposed for too long, a change in soil, or even repotting at the incorrect time of year can all contribute to stress in this situation (late winter to early spring is best).

The leaves and petioles of a Monstera that is experiencing transplant shock will droop, making it appear as though it needs watering. Starting with the oldest leaves, it could start to turn its leaves yellow.

The Monstera attempts to conserve nutrients and water after the stressful occurrence by turning its leaves yellow. It will ultimately return to normal, and in its new pot, it will be even happy.

By relocating your Monstera in the same spot and keeping the same watering routine after transplant, you can help the plant feel less stressed. The transplant shock will worsen if there is too little or too much light.

Don’t fertilize the plant until it has healed and begun to grow once more. You can give it a little additional humidity if it still feels dry even after frequent watering.

Improper Light

Monsteras don’t like extremes in light, just like they don’t like them in water or temperature.

If they receive the wrong kind of light—whether it’s too much or too little—they may start to produce yellowing leaves. They do best in direct, strong light.

Too much light: Leaf Burn

As I already said, monsteras do not thrive in direct sunshine in the wild. The leaves will burn if they receive too much direct light.

Too much light can burn a Monstera leaf, causing the burned area to turn crispy and brown (or black), while the surrounding areas of the leaf turn yellow.

The entire leaf may or may not die and fall off depending on how much of it has burned.

If your Monstera is placed in front of a south or west-facing window, this is more likely to happen. By placing your Monstera a few feet away from the bright window, you can avoid leaf burn.

Too little light

Yellowing of your Monstera’s leaves is not a direct result of insufficient light, but it might be a secondary indicator of overwatering.

A Monstera’s growth is slowed down when it isn’t given adequate light. This indicates that it requires less water and fertilizer. In these circumstances, it is much simpler to overwater your Monstera, which will result in yellowing leaves.

You ought to have already examined the dirt around your Monstera. If not, get started right away!

These are some other signs of inadequate light:

  • Etoliation a stretched stem straining for the sun that seems spindly or leggy
  • smaller leaves with no or very few fenestrations (holes and splits).
  • modest growth
  • Stem slanting either in or out of the window
  • It takes a while for the soil to dry up between waterings.

If your Monstera displays these signs and has begun to produce yellow leaves, you should take it out of the pot and inspect the roots for rot.

Your Monstera may experience some stress as a result of this, but if root rot is allowed to progress, it will experience even greater stress.

You could try to relocate your Monstera closer to a south or west-facing window to avoid future overwatering brought on by insufficient light. If you can’t do that, you should think about getting a grow light for it.

Nutrient Problem

A nutrient deficit or an excess of fertilizer that burns the plant with salt might cause this.

Each of these has additional distinct symptoms that you should watch out for to make the right diagnosis.


In order to keep your Monstera healthy and vigorous during the growth season, it would be ideal to feed it every few weeks. A balanced fertilizer is preferred for monsteras.

If there is an excessive buildup of nutritional salts in the soil, overfertilization happens. These will reverse osmose, or take water out from the roots of the plant.

They can also change the pH of the soil. Salt burn, a symptom of chemical dehydration, is a result of too much salt in the soil.

Are the yellowing leaves on your Monstera being caused by overfertilization? Keep an eye out for these additional overfertilization signs:

  • extra fertilizer has built up a white crust on top of the ground.
  • leaf edges turning crispy and brown
  • Yellowing of oldest and lowest leaves

You must give your Monstera a good soaking to remove all the extra nutritional salts from the soil once you have verified that this is the reason for its yellow leaves.

Flush the soil completely in the shower or outside with a hose until the water runs freely from the pot’s bottom drainage, just as you would if your plant were underwater.

When you fertilize your Monstera again, you might want to hold off a little longer than normal because the soil likely still contains sufficient nutrients.

You should lessen the quantity and/or frequency of fertilizer applications for your Monstera in order to avoid future overfertilization. Think about switching to an organic, moderate fertilizer. These are far less likely to result in a salt burn and include fewer macronutrients.

Nutrient Deficiency

On the other side, your Monstera can be lacking in certain nutrients. When was the last time it received new soil or fertilizer? You should feed your Monstera soon if you can’t recall!

All plants require the three primary nutrients (macronutrients) nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each of these influences a distinct biological process within the plant, and a lack of any one of them will have a different impact on your Monstera.

Your Monstera’s growth will be limited if it lacks nitrogen. Its leaves will exhibit chlorosis, which means they will get lighter and eventually turn completely yellow on the oldest leaves at the bottom.

The growth of your Monstera will also be hampered if it lacks phosphorus. The leaves and stems may get darker and discolored in a reddish or purple hue as the illness gets worse. Leaves do not become yellow as a result of this.

Chlorosis between the leaf veins and browning or burning at the leaf edges are symptoms of a potassium deficit in Monstera. As the plant redistributes its low potassium to the younger leaves, the oldest leaves will first show signs of yellowing.

As you can see, a lack of either nitrogen or potassium may be to blame for your Monstera’s yellow leaves. As this is a less frequent and unlikely cause of your Monstera’s death, you should first rule out other possible causes.

If you’ve identified a nutritional shortfall in your Monstera, you should feed it with a balanced organic fertilizer and think about top-dressing with new soil or worm castings.

Pests & Diseases

Knowing that a bug is destroying your gorgeous Monstera is one of the worst sensations!

If the leaves of your Monstera are yellowing, you should look at three diseases: anthracnose, fungal leaf spots, and powdery mildew.


The first symptoms of the fungal illness anthracnose are spots of yellow or brown color on the leaves. The splotches will expand as the condition worsens, and the yellow spots will turn brown.

The staining could go all the way to the leaf. On the stem, anthracnose can also cause brown, cankerous lesions.

When it rains or when a worried plant mother constantly mists the leaves of a sick Monstera, anthracnose spreads more quickly.

The disease will spread until you get rid of the diseased plant. All impacted branches and leaves should be removed using a pair of sharp pruning shears. Dip your shears in rubbing alcohol or peroxide to disinfect them between each cut.

After removing the infected spots from your Monstera, you can spray it with a copper-based fungicide to make sure you didn’t miss any regions that hadn’t yet started to exhibit symptoms.