Learn about common issues that arise when growing the Monstera plant and discover effective solutions to address them, making the process of caring for this plant hassle-free.
Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a popular houseplant that is known for its striking foliage and low maintenance requirements. However, like all plants, Monstera Deliciosa can be susceptible to a range of problems that can affect its growth and overall health. From excess water and fungal disease to bacterial infections and yellow leaves, there are several common issues that can arise with this tropical plant. In this blog, we will explore some of the most common Monstera plant problems and their solutions, so you can keep your plant healthy and thriving.
A guide to addressing issues commonly faced by Monstera plants.
1. Leaves Curling
Curling leaves on a monstera plant can indicate stress, which may be caused by factors such as underwatering, temperature fluctuations, pests, and low humidity. It is also typical for new leaves to curl.
If a plant is receiving excessive sunlight and insufficient moisture, it may exhibit similar symptoms. To rectify this, relocate the plant to an environment with consistent conditions and moderate exposure to both sunlight and shade until the leaves return to their normal state.
To avoid overwatering the plant, water it thoroughly and then wait until the topsoil becomes slightly dry to the touch before watering again.
2. Root Rot
Root rot is commonly caused by excessive moisture or overwatering, as well as inadequate drainage in the pot or soil.
A lack of light can limit a plant's ability to perform photosynthesis and evaporation, which can affect its water usage. Root rot can exhibit various symptoms, including discoloration and wilting of foliage, as well as leaf drooping and curling.
To inspect the plant's roots, remove it from the pot and carefully examine for any signs of mushiness, browning, or blackening. If present, these roots can be separated and may emit an unpleasant odor.
To remedy an overwatered plant, use shears to trim away the affected roots, preserving the undamaged portion. To ensure proper growth, repot the plant into a new container with a potting mix that is dry and well-draining.
3. Leaves Turning Yellow
Yellowing leaves are a typical issue for houseplants, including monstera, which can result from excessive watering and insufficient light. This issue is often caused by overwatering and a lack of light.
Water the plant when the topsoil is slightly dry to avoid over-watering. A lack of proper drainage can cause leaves to turn yellow on a plant. To avoid this situation, it is recommended to have a drainage hole in the pot and to use a growing medium that facilitates proper drainage.
4. Brown Leaf Tips
Brown leaf tips can be caused by factors such as inadequate watering and low humidity.
In order to address this matter, it is recommended to maintain the soil's moisture without causing it to become excessively wet. It is advisable to periodically assess the top layer of the soil by using your fingers, and if it feels dry up to a depth of 1-2 inches, it is appropriate to water the plant.
To maintain proper humidity levels for plants, it is recommended to place the pot on a pebble tray filled with water or use a humidifier. Excessive fertilization may be the cause. It is recommended to avoid overfeeding the plant.
5. Black Leaves
The development of dark edges and black spots on leaves is associated with inadequate watering methods, which can be caused by both excessive and insufficient watering. There are several factors that can cause black foliage, such as exposure to direct sun, root rot, and over or under-feeding.
Ensure that the soil is adequately hydrated to maintain consistent moisture levels for the plant. However, avoid saturating the soil. Once the soil feels dry, proceed to water the plant.
For optimal growth, it is recommended to keep the monstera in a location that receives bright indirect light throughout the day.
6. Yellow Spots
Yellow spots on foliage can be caused by a variety of factors, including fungal issues. If left untreated, the spots can spread and cause the entire leaf to turn brown or yellow. Improper watering can also contribute to this problem.
To ensure proper moisture levels, make sure to water the plant correctly and use a growing medium that drains well. It is also important to attend to the plant's humidity needs.
7. No Fenestration
The fenestration of monstera leaves is determined by factors such as the age of the plant, season, and light, which affect the splits and cuts on the foliage.
Typically, young leaves do not exhibit any splits until the plant has matured enough to develop holes and splits. The leaves of the plant remain intact during dormancy and only split once the temperature rises and the growing season begins.
Select a spot where the plant is exposed to light from above. This will induce the plant to separate the leaves and enable the light to reach the lower leaves.
Wilting or drooping in monstera plants can be attributed to various factors such as inadequate watering, temperature fluctuations, pest infestations, or shock.
If your monstera's foliage is droopy, it needs moisture. Water the plant when the topsoil is dry up to an inch. Avoid over or under-watering.
To prevent droopy leaves, it is advised not to place the plant near air conditioning or heating vents due to sudden temperature changes. Transplant shock may cause the leaves to wilt, but the plant will recover within a few weeks.
9. No New Foliage
The lack of new foliage on a plant may be attributed to various factors.
During the colder months, the plant goes into a dormant state, preventing new leaf growth and enabling it to conserve energy for the upcoming spring and summer.
If you notice a lack of new leaves during the growing season, it may be a sign that your monstera is experiencing stress. Possible causes include inadequate light or water, as well as being severely root-bound. To address this issue, try repotting the plant into a larger container with proper drainage and fresh soil.
10. Brown Spots
The presence of dark spots and patches on the leaves is a typical problem experienced by these plants.
When roots are damaged, it's best to remove the unhealthy parts while preserving the healthy ones to prevent root rot. In order to successfully transplant the plant, it is essential to remove it from its current pot, trim any damaged roots, and place it in fresh soil in a new container.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may result in brown spots on plants. To prevent this, it is recommended to relocate the plant to an area with bright, indirect light.
The presence of small brown spots on leaves can indicate a pest infestation. Applying insecticidal soap solution can effectively eliminate pests.
11. Slow Plant Development
If the plant is not growing properly, there may be multiple factors contributing to the issue.
There are several factors that can affect plant growth, such as insufficient light exposure, improper watering, and low humidity levels. To avoid hindering growth, it's important to choose a container that is only slightly bigger than the root ball when planting.
Re-potting houseplants every 1-2 years can impact growth if the roots become too bound.
12. Leggy Growth
Leggy growth may occur as a result of inadequate lighting and insufficient maintenance.
For optimal growth, place the plant in an area with bright indirect light for the majority of the day. Protect it from intense afternoon sunlight, particularly in warmer regions. An east or west-facing window would be an ideal spot.
To maintain healthy growth, it is recommended to prune regularly, removing any damaged or stretched foliage to promote new and bushy growth.
13. Tearing Foliage
The reason behind this could be attributed to various factors, such as overexposure to sunlight, pests, excess watering, or the plant's natural behavior.
To ensure the health of the plant, it is important to provide adequate sunlight and protect it from pests and diseases. Neglect or improper handling may also contribute to its decline.
14. Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew is a plant disease that can quickly spread and cover an entire monstera plant. It is identified by the presence of a fluffy substance in white or brown on the leaves. The disease has the ability to rapidly spread and cover the entire plant.
To address the issue, it is recommended to separate the plant and remove the damaged leaves. Ensure proper ventilation and sunlight exposure, while refraining from spraying water on the foliage.
15. Unbalanced Growth
Asymmetrical growth in a monstera plant may suggest unequal distribution of sunlight between its sections.
For optimal sunlight exposure, rotating the plant every 2-3 days is recommended. Prune periodically to ensure an even distribution of light throughout the plant.
16. Webbing Around Stems
Spider mites create visible webs on stems and leaves and cause red and yellow spots on foliage.
Spider mites are a well-known issue that can cause harm to plants if not addressed. It is important to ensure that your monstera's moisture needs are met to combat this problem.
Spider mites thrive in arid conditions, which are unfavorable for monstera plants. Increase the moisture levels surrounding the plant to deter this pest.
17. Deformed Foliage
Deformations on leaves can be caused by infestations of scale and aphids, as well as mosaic viruses which may result in misshapen and bumpy leaves.
Prevention is the most effective way to avoid mosaic viruses in plants, as there is currently no known treatment. This can be achieved by providing the plant with adequate light and avoiding overwatering.
To address pest problems such as scales, spider mites, or aphids, manual removal can be effective. In cases of extensive infestations, neem oil or an alcohol-based solution may need to be employed.
In conclusion, Monstera Deliciosa is a popular houseplant that can bring a touch of the tropics to your home. Whether you have the classic or variegated variety, it's important to be aware of the common problems that can affect these elegant plants. From deformed leaves and stunted growth to infected plants and slow growth, there are several issues that can arise. However, with the right care tips and attention, you can keep your Monstera plant healthy and thriving in your houseplant collection. Remember to provide proper watering, lighting, and soil conditions, and monitor your plant regularly for any signs of problems. By taking action promptly, you can prevent many common Monstera plant problems and enjoy the beauty of this tropical plant for years to come.
Dr. Vandana K.