Monsteras make ideal low-maintenance houseplants, but beware of neglecting them, which you would know by their sickly yellowing leaves.
Not to worry, because the yellowing of Monstera leaves can quickly be solved when caught early.
Read on to find out what may cause the yellowing of leaves and how you can treat them effectively.
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Why Are My Monstera Leaves Turning Yellow (Causes & Fixes]
Despite being a resilient houseplant, Monstera succumbs to many problems, especially when this tropical species is neglected.
Grown for their large, glossy leaves with unique fenestrations, the Monstera foliage looks appealing, but they are the first to succumb to the problems.
You could tell your plant is suffering when the leaves primarily begin to turn yellow, among many other signs.
Let us inspect what different reasons can compromise your Monstera’s health and invite chlorosis.
1. Poor Draining Soil
Monstera plant thrives in a container with a potting mix, but it has one significant challenge -the wrong soil mix succumbs to poor drainage.
If the soil in which Monstera is growing does not drain well, the roots can become waterlogged, leading to a lack of oxygen and yellowing of leaves.
The leaf chlorosis is an early indication that roots are suffering, which may lead to fungal infestation and Monstera root rot.
Sometimes, failing to change the soil may lead to compact soil and poor drainage.
Check out for yellowing of bottom leaves with wilting to identify soil drainage problems.
- Cut back on watering and trim off excessively yellowed, wilted leaves.
- Ensure the pot has sufficient drainage holes; otherwise, change the pot to one with multiple bottom drainage holes.
- If the soil is still wet or the roots are visibly rotting, repot the plant into fresh soil, trimming any rotted roots.
2. Inappropriate Watering
The improper soil moisture, overwatering in particular, is another major problem that invites Monstera leaves turning yellow and drooping.
Remember, potting soil for Monstera should remain damp but not soggy, as it may cause waterlogging and root rot problems.
An overwatered Monstera would exhibit similar problems to waterlogged or poorly draining soil, including yellowing bottom leaves and wilting.
Insert your finger to check whether the top few inches of soil feel wet or use a soil moisture meter; anything over 40% is excessively soggy, and below 20% is dry.
Underwatering, in particular, will make the soil too dry for plant roots to absorb oxygen and water, leading to the transpiration of leaves.
- Cut back on watering and uproot the plant to check for rotted roots (dark, mushy, and smelly).
- Trim off infected roots, apply fungicide, and report in a fresh potting mix.
- Trim off excessively yellowed and spent leaves to prevent further stress on the plant.
- If the soil is dried, thoroughly water the plant and trim the affected leaves.
- Alternatively, submerge the entire pot in a bucket of water for 30 minutes to rehydrate the soil.
- Water the plant when the two inches dry out or once every 7-14 days.
3. Inappropriate Fertilizing
Monsteras are not heavy feeders, meaning you do not have to fertilize them very often.
Beware of overfeeding them, which may lead to salt buildup in the soil and root burn, indicated by yellowing or browning leaf tips.
Similarly, using solid or undiluted fertilizer may lead to root burn from chemical buildup, stunting the plant growth and inviting chlorosis.
Although rare, under fertilized Monstera may sometime exhibit slow growth and yellowing, small leaves.
The lack of nutrients, especially nitrogen, causes the leaves to be minor, deformed, and discolored.
Therefore, occasional feeding with a diluted balanced fertilizer is necessary to grow healthy Monstera leaves.
- Stop fertilizing the plant immediately and flush the soil with fresh water to eliminate excess salt.
- If the plant fails to revive within a few weeks, repot it in a fresh soil mix immediately.
- Trim off damaged leaves and burned roots.
- Start fertilizing the plant with a balanced fertilizer if you have not done so in the last few months.
- Follow the instructions on the fertilizer label or dilute the solution with water in a ratio of 1:1 before applying.
Pro Tip: As a precaution, apply a diluted solution of 10-10-10 fertilizer or all-purpose Miracle Gro every 1-3 months in the growing season.
4. Repotting Stress
Yes, Monstera leaves turning yellow after repotting has to do with transplant stress, especially if they are not repotted correctly or if the new potting mix is unsuitable.
Always use a good aroid mix and aerate the potting mix with perlite or orchid bark to improve soil drainage.
Similarly, avoid repotting the plant in winter or excessively shedding the roots before transplanting to prevent stress.
Do not worry because Monsteras suffering from transplant shock can revive in weeks when provided with the ideal growing condition.
Give the plant time to adjust by avoiding excessive handling or moving the plant around.
5. Wrong Lighting Condition
If exposed to too much direct sunlight, its leaves may become scorched and yellow from excess transpiration.
You will find Monstera leaves turning yellow with brown spots or burnt tips, indicating bright direct sunlight exposure, especially those close to the south-facing window, patio, or outdoors.
On the other hand, insufficient lighting affects the plant’s ability to produce chlorophyll, leading to chlorosis and slowed growth.
The leggy growth of stems stretching toward the light source is one way to tell it lacks adequate sunlight.
Therefore, growing them in the house’s low-lit or dark areas is a complete No-No!
- Move the plant to a location with indirect sunlight or partial shade, such as east or feet away from the south-facing window.
- Rotate the plant regularly to ensure that all sides receive equal exposure to sunlight.
- Trim off burnt or brown leaves to prevent further stress on the plant.
- Consider supplementing the plant’s light with artificial grow lights if it cannot receive enough natural sunlight.
6. Cool or Hot Temperature
They ideally prefer a temperature of 65°F to 85°F during the day and up to 50°F at night.
The early sign of inappropriate lighting may include the yellowing of tips or bottom with a wilted appearance.
- Find the right spot in the house that receives bright, indirect sunlight and prevents cold drafts.
- If the plant is severely affected, prune away dead or damaged leaves.
- Mist the plant couple of times during the hot days.
- Avoid heating and cold drafts nearing the Monsteras.
7. Wrong Humidity Level
Monsteras love humidity and thrive in moderate to high humid conditions that mimic their natural tropical habitat.
It prefers about 60-80% humidity as a fellow tropical plant. However, too little or too much humidity can alter the plant.
When Monstera does not get enough humidity, its leaves can turn yellowing or brown with a crispy texture.
Similarly, excess humidity keeps the plant wet, leading to fungal growth and root rot, eventually inviting the yellowing of bottom leaves and stunted growth.
- Place a room humidifier near the plant or on a tray of pebbles and water to increase humidity levels.
- Mist the plant regularly in summer or when the temperature rises exponentially.
- Increase ventilation and air circulation around the plant.
- Ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes and the soil is well-draining to prevent excess humidity.
- Remove the affected leaves and adjust the watering schedule if the plant has fungal growth or signs of root rot.
8. Pests and Diseases
Monsteras exposed to overwatering, high humidity, and cold temperature, are more likely to invite pest and disease problems.
The pests such as Spider mites, Scale Insects, and Thrips generally suck out the nutrients from the leaves.
But the diseases, including Pythium Root Rot, Phytophthora Root Rot and Rhizoctonia Root Rot, invite weak root health and rot.
The infestation will lead to leaf chlorosis, slowed growth, brown spots around the leaf, and blackening foliage and stems.
- Isolate it from other plants to prevent the infestation from spreading.
- Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to kill pests on the plant.
- Remove the affected leaves if the plant has a leaf spot or bacterial blight to prevent further spread.
- Use fungicides to treat fungal diseases, but follow the instructions carefully.
Pro Tip: Provide yearly Monstera care and clean the leaves to prevent pests and diseases.
From Editorial Team
Monstera makes an ideal houseplant!
Inspect your Monstera every week to check for yellowing leaves or any discoloration, deformed foliage, signs of pest eggs, mushy stems, etc., to identify the problem.
A quick diagnosis can help save your plant all the mess and avoid possible damage!