Monstera plant problems with yellowing leaves can result from improper watering, including both under-watering and over-watering. The leaves are probably drowning and dying if they feel dry and brittle.
Yellow Leaves With Black Spots
Act quickly if the leaves on your monstera plant are turning yellow and getting black patches. Your monstera most certainly has root rot, which, if left untreated, can swiftly kill your plant.
Repot your monstera into new soil and a clean pot to treat root rot. Remove as much soil as you can from the root ball, and then cut off any rotten roots. Make sure the soil and new pot both drain well.
Once your plant has been repotted, put it in a location with plenty of bright, indirect sunshine and water it less frequently than normal. Use our Root Supplement when you water to help the roots heal and stop additional infection.
Yellow Leaves With Brown Spots
What if your leaves are browning and turning yellow? Here, the texture and color both play a significant role.
Your plant is likely underwatered if the areas are light brown, dry, or crispy; check to see if the soil is dry.
You should repot your plant as soon as possible if the areas are mushy and dark brown, as this indicates possible root rot.
You might have a bacterial infection if the spots are dry and more medium brown, however this is uncommon. Yet another thing to think about! Try carefully removing the afflicted leaves using clean hands and tools after ruling out dryness and root rot, then repotting the plant as you would for root rot. That ought to stop the virus from spreading (no pun intended).
Yellow Leaves With Brown Edges
You can have a nutritional shortage if the leaves on your monstera are yellow with crisp, brown edges. Chemical burn from too much fertilizer is another possibility. Finding out when you last fertilized is the greatest method to discern the difference. A white crust on the soil’s surface may indicate overfertilization and the accumulation of certain minerals in the soil. Here’s how to stop monsteras from overfertilizing.
Check the soil’s moisture content because the plant could also be underwater.
Should I Cut Yellow Leaves Off Monstera?
Yup! When a leaf turns yellow, it no longer benefits your plant and instead becomes a drain, thus your monstera is better off without it. Remove any yellow leaves you spot using clean shears, but first inspect your plant to see whether there’s a problem that needs to be fixed or if this is just a typical, healthy amount of leaf fall.
Why are the leaves on my Monstera yellowing?
Inappropriate soil moisture, particularly overwatering, is the most frequent cause of yellowing leaves in Monsteras. Whenever the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry, water your Monstera only then. The soil must be kept moist but not drenched. You can wait a little bit longer between waterings during the winter.
When watering, be sure to use enough water so that liquid runs into the saucer from the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. It’s crucial to remove any extra water from the saucer since your Monstera won’t do well with “wet feet,” which leads to the rot of the roots and the eventual death of the plant.
In order to properly and consistently care for a Monstera, the soil must be adequately hydrated. Your Monstera may become stressed and become yellow if it alternates between incredibly dry and wet soil as a result of inefficient watering.
Low humidity and dry soil lead leaves to first turn brown on the edges before eventually turning completely yellow. The humidity will rise if you mist your Monstera plant’s leaves frequently.
In general, Monsteras do well in indirect light that ranges from low to bright. The foliage will burn if exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time. Monsteras can tolerate low light levels, although their growth will be slower. Yellowing leaves can be a sign of insufficient light. Move in accordance with the amount of light that your Monstera is receiving.
Monstera that are stressed or weaker are more prone to bug infestations. Spider mites and other sap-sucking insects can dehydrate your plant. Leaflets and fronds quickly start to yellow as a result of this issue. In an interior environment, scale, mealybugs, and spider mites are usually present. These tiny pests multiply and travel into nooks and crannies along frond portions if they are not eliminated at an early stage. The insects’ piercing jaws fatigue your plant and hasten yellowing, particularly if your Monstera is already unwell due to inadequate lighting, nutrient inadequacy, or insufficient soil moisture.
Are you seeing fresh growth on your Monstera? This yellowing is normal if your plant is experiencing new development and the yellowing leaves are older, especially near the base of the plant. Old leaves on your plant are shed, and new growth is energized.
Can you keep a Monstera from going bad?
- When the top inch of soil seems a little bit dry to the touch, water monstera. Depending on the climate and conditions, the exact frequency can vary, but generally speaking, watering monstera once every seven days with a deep soak maintains the ideal moisture balance. If you’re unsure, feel the soil with your finger to check for moisture. Water the monstera thoroughly as soon as the top inch of soil feels a little dry.
- Always water deeply enough for any extra moisture to flow out of the drainage holes in the pot’s base. As a result, the soil is guaranteed to be evenly moist and the water will have reached the roots where it is needed. If you water monstera too lightly, it may experience drought stress, which causes the leaves to become yellow. Monstera leaves that have become yellow from dry soil typically recover rather fast following a watering cycle.
- Regularly empty the trays and saucers under the pots. Avoid letting water gather under your monstera for an extended period of time as this might lead to root rot.
- In pots with drainage holes in the base, always plant monstera. Water must be allowed to readily drain from the pot’s base since monstera plants need proper drainage.
- If the dirt feels too heavy or compacted and you can’t stick your finger into it, repot the monstera. Because there is not enough oxygen for root respiration when the soil is compacted, the leaves will become yellow. The optimum soil for monstera growth is one that is easily aerated so that oxygen can reach the roots and water can drain efficiently. In order to more closely resemble the permeable soil of the monstera plants native environment, repot the monstera in potting soil or compost and add around 1/3 succulent and cactus soil or orchid potting media.
- Place your Monstera in a spot with strong, filtered light. The pierced leaves of the monstera vine, which grows like a vine in the canopy of tropical forests in Central America, spread out widely to absorb as much light as possible. The leaves can become scorched by direct sunshine, and too much shade turns the foliage yellow (in rooms with north facing windows for example). A room with good lighting and perhaps an east or west facing window is ideal for monstera growth.
- When it’s growing, fertilize your monstera once every month. As a result of their big leaves, monstera plants are relatively nutrient hungrier than other plants. The roots of the monstera may deplete the soil of nutrients if it has been in the same container for a long period. Additionally, the starting potting soil may not have been extremely nutrient dense. Use an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer at half strength once a month from Spring through Mid-Summer (do not fertilize in the Fall or Winter) if your monstera has yellowing leaves with weak development and is not suffering from overwatering or underwatering. This should revive the yellow foliage.
If your monstera has turned yellow due to a lack of water, it should quickly recover following a thorough soak and a regular watering plan, usually once every seven days.
However, if your monstera is overwatered and the leaves keep turning yellow and beginning to droop and seem dead, it may be very difficult to preserve the plant.
Roots that have root rot appear squishy, rotting, and smell unpleasant, whereas healthy roots should feel hard.
You can take immediate action in this situation by removing the monstera from the container, emptying the dirt, and using a clean pair of pruners to trim back any diseased roots and encourage healthy development (wipe the pruners with a cloth soaked with disinfectant after every cut to prevent spreading any pathogens to otherwise healthy root).
However, this causes a lot of harm to a plant that is already unwell. Take a cutting of a monstera leaf for propagation, which is what I would advise you to do first.
The easiest approach to save a monstera plant is to propagate it if there are some healthy-looking leaves and stems still present.
Watch this instructive YouTube video to learn how to grow monstera quickly:
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 can 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.
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.
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.
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 considerably greater hardship.
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.
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.
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.