Skip to Content

Monstera Problems: 11 Frustrating Problems & Solutions

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.

There are many burning questions that people have asked me about growing Monstera deliciosa, so I’m here to help! I’ve compiled answers to 11 common, urgent questions which will save your plant from dying and help your Monstera thrive!

Topics range from what to do with aerial roots, to problems with growth, and various defects with leaves. Keep reading and you might find the answer to one of your questions!


1. Can Monstera deliciosa live in water?

You can really grow any plant hydroponically. You need more than just water though. Be sure to add a complete fertilizer like Dyna-Gro Grow.

This fertilizer can be used for hydroponics, for watering your soil, and also for foliar feeding. For hydroponic growing, the label recommends using 1 teaspoon of Dyna-Gro Grow to a gallon of water for non-recirculating systems.

If you have a fancy system that circulates the water, they recommend 2-3 teaspoons per gallon.

2. Does Monstera need a lot of light?

In most cases, if your plant is not directly in front of a window, you can’t expect your plant to thrive. The bigger the window the better. And the closer to the window, the better.

I have mine growing as close to my window as possible without the leaves touching the window. You’d be shocked how quickly the light intensity drops when you move even 1 to 2 feet away.

Proximity to a window makes a huge difference. In nature, these grow in filtered light or relatively shady conditions, but some sun is fine.

I would not place these plants in full sun though though. My large Eastern window is working beautifully. Western exposure would also be OK.

North will work too if your window is a nice size. Southern exposure may be too much sun so you may need to diffuse the light with blinds.

It is important though to have your plant as close to a window as possible without touching the window.


3. How can I make Monstera grow faster?

I’ve had so many people ask me why their plants are not doing well, and the answer is LIGHT.

There are no shortcuts in plant care. For the fastest growth, you must situate your Monstera in good light (this means it needs to be right in front of a window!).

You also need to have warm temperatures, have a great, well-drained potting medium, and use a fantastic fertilizer.

Refer to my Monstera deliciosa care post for all the conditions that these plants love, including an amazing potting soil recipe to supercharge growth. I also talk about repotting and how to support your Monstera deliciosa using my special support system!

I highly recommend the Dyna-Gro Grow fertilizer. I use it on all my tropicals and it is my go-to all-purpose, premium fertilizer. You won’t be disappointed!

4. Can you cut Monstera air roots off?

In nature, Monsteras use their aerial roots to climb up trees. You will find that your plant will produce quite a few air roots over time.

My own plant has produced tons!

If at all possible, I would recommend just leaving them unless they are in the way or they really bother you. There is no harm in trimming some of the roots if they are in the way.

You can also try and redirect the aerial roots so that they can potentially start growing into the soil.


If your plant has no aerial roots, just give it time. They won’t start to appear until the plant reaches a certain age.

5. Why are my Monstera’s leaves turning brown?

There are numerous reasons why you might get brown spots on your leaves:

Inconsistent Soil Moisture

If the very tips of your leaves are turning brown, it could result from the entire soil drying out too much and/or from inconsistent and improper watering.

Never let ALL the soil dry out completely. And when you do water, make sure you water thoroughly so that you don’t have any dry patches of soil. This is really important!

Fungus Issues

If your plant has brown spots on the leaves, which are surrounded a yellow “halo” around the brown spot, this is a classic symptom of a fungus.


The photo above came from a follower on mine on Instagram who had recently purchased her plant from a big box hardware store. She had mentioned that the plant was very wet when she purchased it.

Fungal infections are encouraged by excessively wet conditions for long periods of time, especially in conjunction with poor air circulation. Be very careful if you are purchasing a plant from nurseries that don’t take care of their plants.

If you have any fungal leaf spots on your plant, it is best if you catch the issue early and remove any infected leaves. Keep the foliage dry to be safe (no misting) for a while.

These are two of the main reasons why leaves turn brown, but there are other reasons why your plant might be getting brown, crispy leaves.

6. How often should I water Monstera deliciosa?

This is one of the most common questions I get. “How often should I water [insert any plant here].”

My answer to that is…for a plant that is growing in soil, it depends! I can’t tell you how often because it all depends on your conditions. Light, pot size, pot type, potting mix, temperature, all affect how quickly your soil will dry out.

What you should be asking instead is, how dry should I let the soil get before watering? And please, for the love of plants, don’t use a moisture meter!

Why? Because most of them are just junk and many people have come to me that have killed their plant because they used a moisture meter.

Simply use your finger to feel the soil. Let the top inch or two (depending on the size of the pot) and then water.

Be sure your pot has a drainage hole. It is not an option to not have a drainage hole.

And when you water, always, ALWAYS water thoroughly. Completely soak the soil, let all the water drain out, and you’re done! You should get the fear of overwatering out of your head because it doesn’t mean what most people think it means!

Most people have an irrational fear of overwatering. Ironically, because of this fear, they actually end up underwatering! Find out what overwatering really means. It may shock you.

7. How can I grow a monstrous size Monstera?

All I can say is that it takes patience and consistently good care over time.

You must have all required care aspects in line just like I describe in my Monstera deliciosa care post. There are no shortcuts!


8. Why are my Monstera’s new leaves brown or black before it unfurls?

If your plant’s new leaves are brown or black before it has even unfurled, your plant has most likely suffered from a very bad soil moisture imbalance.

Either your soil has gone much too dry, or you plant has stayed wet for too long. Be sure to read my blog post on underwatering and overwatering to learn how to properly water a houseplant.

9. Can I put my Monstera outside in summer?

Yes absolutely! It will thrive outdoors! There is one absolutely critical thing to do if you put your houseplants outside during warm summer months.

You must harden your plants off or your leaves can burn. Many people are not aware of this and they mistakenly think that their plants don’t like to be outside.

Once you harden your plants off, the outdoors will have shockingly wonderful effects of growth of your Monstera or any houseplant that you choose to summer outdoors. After all, no plant was meant to be indoors!

Be sure to check for pests before you bring your plant back indoors though.

10. Why is my Monstera deliciosa wilting?

This is most commonly due to either your soil being super dry, or on the opposite end, really wet.

When you see your plant wilting, you should immediately evaluate the soil moisture. Has the soil gone bone dry? If so, give it a good thorough watering right away.

On the other hand, if you see your Monstera has wilted and you go to feel the soil and it is very wet…your plant could have suffered from root rot.

If you have a pot without a drainage hole, root rot becomes a much bigger risk.

If the soil is very wet and your plant looks wilted, take the plant out of its pot and evaluate the roots. Have the roots rotted? Does the soil smell a little rancid perhaps?

At this point it would be a good idea to clean up the dead roots, remove as much of the soil as you can, and repot into fresh soil.

11. Why is my Monstera getting yellow leaves?

Probably the most common reason your Monstera leaves are turning yellow is from the soil being too dry.

If you notice the lower leaves (especially the oldest leaves) are turning yellow, go ahead and feel the soil. If your soil has gone too dry (completely dry), the oldest leaves will turn yellow first.

Leaves will continue to yellow if you don’t water.

From my experience, this is the most common reason, but there are quite a few other reasons why your houseplant leaves are turning yellow.

Where can I buy Monstera deliciosa online?

You can always find a Monstera deliciosa on Amazon!

Be sure not to miss my Monstera deliciosa care post. If you follow everything in that blog post, you will not have any issues at all with your plant!

And if you read this entire post, you noticed that improper watering causes many of issues! Be sure to read my post on overwatering and watering myths. They will help you tremendously!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:


philodendron pink princess
Pink Princess Philodendron: 11 Critical Problems & Fixes!
Maidenhair Ferns: 1 Amazing Secret on How to Keep Them Alive


Sunday 8th of November 2020

I bought my Monstera from Trader Joes 1 week ago, and havent watered it since. I noticed one leaf had the brown haloed spots so I cut it off. Then just yesterday, I lost one of the baby leaves. It turn completely yellow and just fell off the base when i lightly pulled on it. Today, two more baby leaves went the same way and there are two more baby leaves that are on their way to full yellowing. The soil seems very wet to touch. What do I do? Thanks in advance.


Thursday 12th of November 2020

Hi Marianne! Sorry to hear about your issues! Can you send me some photos? Use the contact form on my website. When I reply, you can attach photos. Was the plant sitting in water at all? Has the soil dried out by now?


Monday 2nd of November 2020

I have a very old Monstera 30yrs+. I cut it right down 15yrs ago because it was straggly and it regrew, now 2m high again. I repotted it a month ago, during which many fine roots got broken off because they went through the fine holes at the base of the ‘self watering’ pot. Now my poor plant is losing its leaves, going yellow and dying one after the other. Is there any chance it could still revive or would I do best cutting it right down again?


Wednesday 4th of November 2020

@Raffaele, I’ve repotted into a larger self-watering pot. Embarrassed to send the photo - poor thing looks awful! But I will as you suggest.


Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Hi Jo! I'd have to see a photo to best advise. You can email me via the contact form on my website, and you can attach photos when I reply. Is it currently in a self-watering pot? Or was that only the old pot?

Maria Chrisna Ampo

Saturday 24th of October 2020

Hello im maria chrisna ampo. I just bought 2 weeks ago a monstera albo variegated cutting with one leaf and 2 aerial roots with no terrestrial roots. It took 1 week for the travel from norway to italy then i am takibg care of it now for 6 days..then yesterday i just notice that the stem of the leaf was turning brown from the bottom going up. The drying part was more on the whiter color of the stem. I didn't check the roots yet because i want to know first if i should do something about it or not. The medium that i used is live moss because i dont have a dried moss. Then i used the soil mix that was included in the plant when i received it..thats just it. Its my first time to have this plant so please help me. Thank you.


Saturday 24th of October 2020

HI Maria! It would help a lot if I can see photos. Please use the contact form on my website to email me. Once I respond, you can attach the photos.


Wednesday 14th of October 2020

Hi I have a monstera deliciosa which was doing perfect until now..however recently I have noticed that leaves are on it are curling up and the new baby leaves are turning yellow what could be the reason plz help..thank you


Wednesday 14th of October 2020

Hi Ambrin! Have you checked your soil moisture when you noticed that problem? Did you potting mix go completely dry for a while?


Monday 5th of October 2020

Ello! Thanks for this, I suspected the browning tips on my monstera were down to underwatering and this confirmed it. I've noticed my monstera has a big root coming through the bottom of the pot and it's in need of a stake or pole for support. I was told not to re-pot until spring, should I leave it 'til then or re-pot ASAP? He was last re-potted in September 2019. Cheers!


Thursday 8th of October 2020

@Raffaele, Thank you for the advice! Spring it is then :^)


Monday 5th of October 2020

You're very welcome Addy! Spring is the best time to repot. I'm sure it's not urgent since you just change pots a year ago, so I would just wait until Springtime. :-). Good luck with your plant!