Overwatered Monstera: What Should I do?

It is well-known that Monstera, a tropical plant, loves moisture; however, it is never good to overdo the watering aspect.

Overwatering your Monstera is the wrong choice since the plant is sensitive to excessive moisture fluctuations in its soil.

Generally, overwatered Monstera shows signs like yellow leaves, drooping, brown blotches on leaves, etc. To save an overwatered Monstera, enhance the pot’s drainage mechanism and allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry before watering the plant.

The healthy leaves of Monstera (Source: Unsplash)

If you’re concerned that you’ve overwatered your Monstera, do not worry. Your plant will not die if you discover the problem early.

Even if only one healthy leaf remains, there is still hope!

Continue reading to learn how to identify the indicators of overwatered Monstera and how to remedy these issues.

Signs of Overwatered Monstera

Monstera enjoys wet, well-draining soils; however, it doesn’t like to stay in soggy soil for an extended period.

Overwatering is harmful to your Monstera since it deprives the roots of oxygen and depletes the soil of essential nutrients.

You may tell whether your Monstera is overwatered by looking for some of the signs listed below.

1. Brown Spots on Leaves

Dark brown spots are the unmistakable symptoms of root rot caused by overwatering.

Excess water pulls oxygen out of the soil, clogging the roots and lowering their efficiency. The roots will choke, drown, and decay if left unattended for an extended period.

Thus, the leaves develop dark brown blotches due to the root system’s failure to absorb water and other vital elements.

Brown spots in leaf due to bacterial infection
Brown spots in the leaf (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

2. Root Rot

Overwatering is a typical cause of root rot. If left untreated, the disease impairs the root’s capacity to absorb water and other critical nutrients, causing your plant to dry out.

The soggy conditions prohibit roots from absorbing all of the oxygen they need to survive.

When oxygen-deprived roots die and degrade, their rot can spread to healthier roots, even if the soggy conditions have been corrected.

The roots die, and the plant loses its vitality, causing a foul odor. 

Root rot of Monstera. (Source: MaxPixel)

On the other hand, softening roots makes them more vulnerable to soil fungus, which is another cause of root rot.

Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium are some of the more well-known fungi that grow in moist conditions and cause root rot.

So, it is essential to examine the soil for root rot. It is okay if it is wet, but you’ll most likely find rotting, nasty, and slimy roots beneath the ground if it is wet for a long time.

3. Wilting of the Leaves

Plant roots absorb both water and oxygen to survive and grow. Overwatering your plants causes them to drown.

There aren’t enough air spaces when soil is always damp, and plants can’t breathe by absorbing oxygen via their roots.

Even though the soil is damp, your plants will wilt, giving the illusion of not getting enough water.

Wilting Monstera leaves (Source: Pexels)

The leaves become mushy and floppy when your Monstera wilt due to too much hydration.

Are you worried about your Monstera drooping? Here is the complete guide on why your Monstera is drooping. 

4. Yellowing Leaves

The most prevalent reason for yellowing leaves is overwatering your Monstera.

Overwatering causes the condition of chlorosis, which is characterized by greenish-yellow to yellow leaves.

For instance, iron chlorosis can be caused if soils are kept excessively saturated, compacted soils, or inadequate drainage.

Chlorosis causes plants to turn yellow-green to yellow between the veins, with the veins retaining a darker green.

When severe chlorosis occurs, the leaves turn pale yellow and acquire brown patches between the main veins.

Yellow Monstera Leaf due to Overwatering. (Source: Unsplash)

5. Mold Growing on Soil

The plant is unaffected by the unpleasant mold on the soil and around the base of the stems.

However, the presence of white or gray fungus, on the other hand, indicates that there are problems with the plant’s care.

If you see mold on top of your soil or mushrooms developing around the base of your Monstera, it is a sign that your plant is receiving an increased amount of water and less sunlight.

White mold on the soil of Monstera. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The emergence of long, white threads on your soil around the base of your Monstera plant is a crucial indicator of fungus infections.

Suc development of mold might also indicate that fungus entered the pot from another source, such as contaminated utensils or a contaminated pot.

Are you worried about your Monstera curling? Get to know Why is My Monstera Leaves Curling.

6. Edema

Edema (also known as Oedema) is a sort of improper water retention in plants that occurs when the plant’s tissue cannot retain water appropriately.

Similarly, it’s neither a bacterial nor fungal problem; therefore, it won’t transmit from one plant to another.

Edema is caused by inconsistent watering schedules, leading to varying soil moisture levels.

Water pressure builds up inside the leaves’ interior cells, causing them to split, resulting in the dead cells visible as lesions on the undersides of leaves.

Leaf Edema
Leaf Edema (Source: Researchgate)

The primary cause of edema is when a plant absorbs more water than discharges. As a result, the Monstera’s cells will begin to collapse.

Edema in plants can manifest themselves visually as blisters or yellowish lumps on the foliage.

7. Infestation of Pests

Pests are also an indicator of overwatering and excessive soil moisture levels. Insects prefer moist, wet soil to live in.

If you observe small bugs moving about in or around your Monstera, first look for other indicators of over-watering before treating the issue.

Scale insects in the stem insects of Monstera. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs, aphids, gnats, and other insects are most frequent. Here are some symptoms to look at;

PestsWhere they are found? Symptoms
Spider mites Underside of leavesLeaves with lots of tiny yellowish or bleached spots, leaves turning pale bronze, scorching around leaf edges, or leaves falling off prematurely.
Scale InsectsPlant stems, twigs, trunks, foliage, or fruit. Yellowing or wilting of leaves, stunting or unthrifty appearance of the plants.
MealybugsBase of stemsStunting, chlorosis, defoliation, and wilting.
AphidsThe tender shoots and lower leaf surfacesTwisted and curled leaves, yellowed leaves, stunted or dead shoots and poor plant growth
GnatsDecaying organic matter that is moist and shadedSudden wilting, loss of vigor, poor growth, and yellowing.

How to Save an Overwatered Monstera?

Maintaining the health of your Monstera requires a careful balance of supplying adequate hydration for your plant while avoiding soggy soil, which can lead to overwatering and root rot.

It’s time to begin treatment now that you’ve diagnosed the problem. The treatment will depend on how severe the problem is.

If your plant is waterlogged but does not yet have root rot, all you need to do is clean the roots and repot them in a suitable pot.

Here’s how to save an overwatered Monstera: let’s go over the steps in detail.

Step 1: Remove the Plant from the Pot

The first step is to take the plant out of its pot and let it drain. Allow the excess water to drip off on a towel or sink.

It will aid in the removal of some of the water that has saturated the roots and soil. It also allows you to inspect the root system for root rot.

Remove the Monstera from its container carefully to check the roots.

Woman potting and repotting plants
A Woman removing plant from the pot (Source: Pexels)

Similarly, if any of the roots appear dark, mushy, or smelly, prune them and gently remove as much of the old soil.

The best way to do this is to loosen the roots and gently shake them carefully.

Step 2: Trim off Damaged, Yellow, and Rotten Roots

Remove any yellow, dead, dying, or withered Monstera leaves. The damaged leaves divert more energy away from the roots of the plant.

Throwing them away allows your Monstera to refocus its energies on recovery.

Disinfect your pruning instrument with some disinfectant before making any cut. Repeat it between cuttings to prevent germs from spreading throughout the plant.

Trim each dead or dying stem right after it splits from the nearest healthy growth.

Damaged plant with root rot disease
Damaged plant with root rot disease (Source: Stocklib)

Likewise, remove any rotten roots you find. If left untreated, root rot will spread.

Removing unhealthy Monstera leaves and roots also frees up energy that your plant can utilize to grow new leaves and roots.

Step 3: Treat Fungal Infection and Root Rot

If you see white, healthy parts of the root among the brown, slimy appearance, then the decaying parts should be cut.

Remove as much soil and damaged roots as possible by washing the root under running water.

Cut the rotten parts with sharp scissors, being careful not to damage the white parts.

Use a fumigant containing methyl bromide to help reduce disease spread.

Then, to inhibit the transmission of illness, use a fungicide to eliminate fungi present in your soil.

Spray fungicide to prevent diseases
Spray fungicide to prevent diseases (Source: Amazon)

Step 4: Repot the Plant

After removing the old potting soil and trimming any decaying roots, it’s time to repot your Monstera in a new potting mix.

Use a well-draining potting mix with perlite or vermiculite to keep the soil aerated and prevent it from becoming soggy.

Choose a pot that is one size larger than the previous one and has adequate drainage holes to allow excess water to drain.

Fill your container with new potting soil. You can put a layer of stones at the bottom of the pot for extra drainage.

Then place your Monstera inside and thoroughly water it.

A woman repotting plants
Repotting Plants (Source: Unsplash)

Step 5: Adjust the Environment Setting and Maintain Proper Watering

After repotting your Monstera, it’s time to resume watering gradually.

First, thoroughly water the plant, but then allow the soil to dry completely before watering again.

Water your Monstera once or twice a week during the summer and once every two weeks during the winter.

Healthy Monstera getting sunlight from window
Healthy Monstera getting sunlight from the window (Source: Reddit)

Place your Monstera in a location that receives strong, indirect light and adequate ventilation. Make sure drastic temperature changes don’t stress it.

Before applying any fertilizer to your Monstera, wait at least one month. Chemical fertilizer can harm the young roots that are forming.

Related Article: Monstera Sunlight: How Much and How Often?

Tips to Prevent Overwatering Monstera

  • Watering on a consistent schedule and timely check the moisture of your soil. You can apply the finger test, stick, or even purchase a moisture meter.
  • Do the finger moisture test and water the plant only if the top two inches of the soil are dry.
  • Avoid frequent watering; instead, opt for deep soaks, allowing a few top inches of potting mix to dry before repeating the process.
  • In the summer, water weekly to every other week, and every few weeks in the winter.
  • Avoid getting the leaves damp. Instead of dropping water on the plant, add it to the soil.
  • Watering your Monstera in the early morning, between 5:00 and 9:00 a.m., is the ideal time of day.
  • Use a pot that is the correct size. If the pot is too big for the plant, the soil will not dry out quickly enough.
  • Use self-watering pots if possible. These pots include a reservoir that holds water, allowing you to water less frequently.
  • Instead of gardening soil, use excellent potting soil, and lighten it with sand or perlite.
  • When watering your plants, use room-temperature filtered water or leave the water out overnight to allow the chlorine to dissipate.

Also, watch the full video for more information,


Fortunately, Monsteras are tolerant plants that can tell you precisely what they want!

Keep a close eye on your plant and understand what to look for and what these indications signify.

With enough practice, you’ll be able to read your Monstera like a pro!

The key is to get things off to a good start with the correct soil and a drainage-friendly container and keep a careful eye on your soil’s moisture level.

Happy Gardening!

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