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Monstera Problems: 11 Frustrating Problems & Solutions

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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!

Monstera-Deliciosa-Dying

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.

Monstera-Deliciosa

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.

Monstera-Air-Aerial-Roots

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.

Monstera-Brown-Spot-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!

Big-Monstera

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:

OHIO TROPICS PLANT CARE STOREFRONT

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Ken

Saturday 11th of July 2020

I repotted my monstera deliciosa new home it has one bigish hole with cracks over it it was in a 8cm pot I put it in a 29cm pot the worter dos drain and i remove the water from the sorcerer it's bin three weeks since and it is wet still and a new leaves were started to appear one just died it went down/black help please

Amy

Monday 6th of July 2020

Thank you for writing about #11! I have been struggling this and everyone was telling me that it was from OVER watering so I pulled back but it was still happening. My monstera is doing exactly as you said...older bottom leaves yellowing first. Thank you for clearing this up! Should I cut off the yellow leaves?

Raffaele

Monday 6th of July 2020

You're very welcome! Yes, once the leaf is completely yellow, go ahead and cut it off. Whenever you notice something wrong on your plant, always feel the soil. It will give you a lot of clues!

Ada

Thursday 28th of May 2020

The aerial roots on my monsters are pruning up at the tips & the plant has stopped growing new leaves, I’m not quite sure what happened. Ideas?

Raffaele

Friday 29th of May 2020

It's hard to say without more information. Did anything change in terms of conditions that you keep the plant in? How long have you had the plant? How far is it from a window?

Trisha

Monday 6th of April 2020

Thank you for all your tips! Sadly mine had root rot I believe so I washed the roots and re potted it with new soil. It’s still dying! I’m not sure what to do! Can I cut back the leaves and start from scratch do you think?

Raffaele

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Hi Trisha! I'd have to see photos to help, and would need to know details of your light, watering, etc (all your growing conditions are care practices). It is important to understand what went wrong first before continuing otherwise you may continue with the same results. Please email me photos and we can go from there!

Jodi

Monday 30th of March 2020

Potassium deficiency also causes the edges of M. deliciosa foliage to dry out.

Raffaele

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

Thanks for the addition Jodi! There are so many factors!