Generally, Monstera root rot is a deterioration of the root system due to fungal infections in the soil. But do you know prolonged moisture and humidity lure fungi to cause such disorders?
Read along to identify the causes of your Monstera root rot, ways to resolve them, and adopt preventive measures.
Table of Contents Show
- Monstera Root Rot Symptoms
- Causes of Monstera Root Rot
- What To Do If My Monstera Has Root Rot?
- Natural Fungicide for Black Root Rot
- How To Prevent Root Rot In Monstera?
- From Editorial Team
Monstera Root Rot Symptoms
The visible signs of Monstera root rot establish themselves in 3 different phases.
1. Early Stage Root Rot
- Stunted growth
- Foliar discoloration (yellowing & browning)
- Wilted & droopy leaves
- Occasional leaf curling
2. Intermittent Stage Root Rot
- Limp and soft leaves and stem
- Root discoloration (dark brown or black)
- Mushy/ pulpy roots
- Foul smelling soil
- Black or brown foliar spots with yellow halos
- Sudden wilting & leaf drops
- Lanky branches & stems
3. Final Stage Root Rot (Beyond Saving)
- Degeneration of entire roots
- Limpy roots, leaves, and stems
- Severely yellow or brown foliage
- Black spot-ridden leaves
Causes of Monstera Root Rot
Several causes of Monstera root rot are related to water issues and the rise of anaerobic activity in the soil.
Additionally, Monstera root rots occur in soil, water, LECA balls, or any substrate that can soak in moisture or contains plenty of dampness.
Any open or mechanical injuries can also invite soil pathogens (bacteria and fungi) to enter the plant and wreak havoc.
1. Overwatering Issues
When you overwater Monstera, the tiny air pockets in the soil are filled by water.
No air pockets mean no air circulation (oxygen). So, the roots suffocate and become weak.
Lack of oxygen in the soil invites the anaerobic growth of bacteria and saprotrophic fungi (water molds).
Do You Know?
Monstera can suffer from root rot during water propagation where the stems or leaves are entirely submerged.
Hence, it’s ideal to change the water until the cuttings root in the water within 2-4 weeks.
2. Inappropriate Container
Pots with no drainage holes create a waterlogged condition. Also, planter material impacts water permeability through the soil layers in the pot.
The extra water fills the soil pores. This pushes essential oxygen out, lowering the oxygen level in the soil.
Likewise, in a large container, water takes longer time to dry. So, the bottom soil remains soggy for an extended period.
Further, plastic containers hold soil water for longer than terracotta, clay, or ceramic pot with comparable drainage holes.
3. Improper Soil Mix
Monstera loves the consistently moist substrate, but too much soil moisture is vulnerable.
Similarly, too much peat moss, coconut coir, and organic matter in the soil retain moisture, so the potting mix gets saturated.
Besides, heavy soil can hamper the plant due to high soil compaction and limited air circulation.
4. Low Temperature
Temperature affects soil moisture retention capacity. When the temperature drops below 50°F, the rate of soil drying decreases.
The lower the temperature, the higher time it takes for water to dry up in the soil. Hence, the longer the soil remains soggy, the higher the chances of root infection.
So, always reduce the watering frequency by half whenever winter approaches to avoid your plant sitting in soggy soil.
5. Inadequate Sunlight
A non-variegated Monstera needs 5-8 hours of bright diffused light, while a variegated Monstera needs about 7-10 hours of light.
Light intensity is crucial in decreasing soil moisture or drying the soil. High light intensity increases the temperature, drying up the soil quickly.
In contrast, if the light intensity is low, the temperature decreases, and moisture in the soil will remain longer.
6. Overfertilizing the Monstera
Overfertilization causes the mineral salts to build up in the soil, stressing the roots.
A nutrient imbalance will cause the Monstera roots to suffer from chemical burns which will eventually rot.
Moreover, fertilizer application prevents soil moisture from evaporating. Hence, the longer the plant stays in soggy soil, its roots are inclined to rot.
7. Fungal Disease Infection
Monstera is prone to root rot, especially in winter, as the temperature drops and prolongs soil moisture evaporation.
The primary pathogens that bring root rot in Monstera are Pythium, Phytophthora, and Rhizoctonia.
But these pathogens and pathogenic spores crop up due to the elevated soil moisture, yet decaying the roots.
|Pythium Root Rot||Poorly drainage, overwatering, high organic matter & fertilization|
|Phytophthora Root Rot||Overhead watering, frequent misting, & using contaminated soil and water|
|Rhizoctonia Root Rot||Overwatering, overhead watering, & high temperatures|
What To Do If My Monstera Has Root Rot?
Your Monstera can recover your Monstera from root rot at the early or intermittent stage.
Before fixing Monstera root rot, inspect its root system by removing the plant from its pot first.
How To Cure Monstera Root Rot?
Follow these steps to stop root rot in Monstera.
1. Rinse & Cut Off the Infected Roots
- Dust off the excess soil to break the root ball.
- Wash the roots in running water to remove the contaminated soil.
- Then, snip off the infected roots using sterilized pruners.
2. Dry & Disinfect Roots
- Dry the roots in the open air for 1-2 hours by placing them on paper towels.
- After that, disinfect the roots using a copper-rich fungicide.
- Otherwise, you can dip the roots into a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution.
Mix one tablespoon of peroxide for every cup of water to prepare the hydrogen peroxide solution.
Hydrogen Peroxide can kill fungi and bacteria in the soil, effectively halting root rot. It also recovers the oxygen content in the soil.
3. Prune the Damaged Parts
- Trim the damaged yellow or brown upper leaves using sterilized pruners.
- Burn the trimmed parts to avoid the disease extent.
4. Repotting Monstera
Follow these steps to repot your Monstera plant successfully.
- Take a new terracotta planter and soak it in bleach solution for 15-20 minutes.
- Place a layer of pebbles at the base but don’t cover the drainage holes.
- Fill the pot one-third with fresh soil and place the plant in the center.
- Add more soil from the sides, filling the planter about an inch below the brim.
- Press the topsoil to set the plant in place and water thoroughly.
5. Leave the Plant in a Favorable Condition
After repotting, the plant gets stressed before adapting to the new environment.
Hence, Monstera wilts and droops for a few days but revive naturally later.
- And you can offer the plant bright indirect daylight from an east-facing window.
- Also, maintain warmer temperatures and humidity above 40%.
6. Propagate from Stem Cuttings
To deal with severe root rot in Monstera, you can salvage and propagate healthy cuttings with nodes.
These cuttings mainly include stem sections, and even variegated Monstera species, like Monstera albo, can be propagated using such.
This will save the mother plant from collapse and deter Monstera root rot in water and soil.
- To do this, incise at 45° an inch below the node.
- While propagating in soil, ensure that the node lies beneath the substrate.
- Similarly, refill fresh rooting hormone solution every 2-5 days during water propagation.
Natural Fungicide for Black Root Rot
Do you know natural fungicides are eco-friendly, cheap, readily available, and enhance soil quality?
Here are a few options you can try to treat Monstera root rot.
|Amazon||Mix 1 teaspoon of raw neem oil in 1 liter of water.
Add 3-5 drops of dish soap, make a mixture and apply.
|Cinnamon||Sprinkle cinnamon powder on soil.
Make a spray using powder cinnamon, make a strong tea and spray on the underside of leaves.
|Baking Soda||Take a gallon of tepid water, mix 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Spray the mixture on the soil.
|Chamomile||Take quarter or half cup of chamomile flower and add 2 cups of boiling water.
Let the mixture cool down and spray it.
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Mix 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a gallon of water and spray it to the soil and the plant.|
How To Prevent Root Rot In Monstera?
Here are some tips to prevent Monstera root rot.
- Provide ample sunlight and give the plant 1-2 hours of morning or afternoon shade.
- Rotate your plant weekly in quarter turns for balanced light incidence.
- Situate Monstera in an east-facing window or about 3-5 feet from the south-facing window.
- Use frost blankets and heating pads to protect plants from the cold.
- Maintain humidity levels up to 50-70% using humidity trays or by grouping the plants.
- Water your plant weekly in spring and summer and every 2-3 weeks in fall and winter.
- Use well-draining, light porous, organic soil during repots.
- Fertilize your Monstera every 2-4 weeks in spring and summer with balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Wipe off your leaves with soap water weekly to avert pests and diseases.
From Editorial Team
If your Monstera root beings to rot, treat it as early as possible. You can apply natural fungicides or synthetic, depending on the severity of the infection.
The prominent cause of Monstera root rot is overwatering soggy soil, and poor drainage. Thus, a sneak peek at these conditions in time.