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Has your Monstera deliciosa gotten brown tips or brown edges on the leaves? While you can’t reverse leaf browning, there are a few causes for Monstera brown tips that you should be aware of. Learning the causes will help you understand your plant better so that you can better care for your plant.
MONSTERA BROWN TIPS
While there are other reasons why Monstera deliciosa can get brown leaf tips, the reasons listed below are by far the most common reasons I’ve witnessed in my experience.
The first 4 reasons all have to do with various ways in which your Monstera is not getting sufficiently hydrated.
1. Potting mix has gone too dry in between watering
We all get too busy and sometimes neglect our plants. While brown tips won’t be caused by neglecting to water your Monstera just one time, if you do it repeatedly, it can certainly start to happen.
Monstera deliciosa is a pretty resilient plant, but they do not like to dry out completely, especially for long periods of time.
2. Improper watering practices
Too many people are scared of “overwatering” to the point where they are afraid to water properly, and so they ironically don’t water enough.
If you only add a small amount of water and don’t moisten all of your potting mix, it will be an issue. If you’re leaving dry pockets of soil, any roots in those areas will dry out and die if they are left dry for too long.
This is problematic and can cause brown tips, or worse.
When you water any plant, it should always be thoroughly. Regardless of whether you have a moisture loving plant like a fern, or a drought tolerant succulent, you should always water thoroughly until water escapes the drainage hole.
What you do need to vary is how dry you let your plant get in between watering.
And for Monstera deliciosa, I would recommend allowing the top quarter of the potting mix dry out (at the most) before you water again.
Of course we can’t talk about just watering. You also need to make sure that you’re providing enough light, have a good potting mix, an appropriated sized pot and more. Be sure not to miss my Monstera deliciosa care guide for more details.
3. Monstera has gotten very root bound
Over time, your Monstera will get root bound. When that happens, you can take your plant out of its pot, loosen the root ball, and plant it in a larger pot.
There will come a time though where your plant will get much too big, and repotting to a larger pot is no longer practical.
When roots become constrained and very root bound inside your pot, it can also cause brown tips because your roots may not be getting sufficiently hydrated.
It becomes even more important to water thoroughly when your plant is very root bound.
4. You’re using a faulty moisture meter
I lost track of how many times I’ve worked with my readers and clients that have used faulty moisture meters.
Many of the commonly available, inexpensive moisture meters are often just plain junk. Many times, the moisture meter will register as “moist”, but if you go and feel the potting mix, it is bone dry.
If you have not started using a moisture meter, I suggest not starting. Simply use your finger to judge soil moisture levels.
5. Potting mix has built up too many salts
Over time, as you water and fertilize your Monstera or any other plant, minerals and salts from tap water and fertilizing will build up in your potting mix.
When it is heavily built up, you will see crusty, whitish or even yellowish deposits on the rim of your pot or on the surface of the potting mix, especially if your plant has been in the same potting mix and pot for a very long time.
If you grow your plant in a terra cotta pot, you will even see a lot of mineral deposits on the terra cotta itself.
If you see a lot of fertilizer salt or minerals from using tap water build up on your potting mix, I would recommend repotting your plant (if it needs to be repotted) with fresh potting mix. Remove as much of the crusty deposits as you can.
In order to minimize salts from building up over time, I recommend flushing out your pots periodically with plain water with no fertilizer.
Once every month or two, water your plant with plain water (even tap water, but you can also use filtered or distilled) with perhaps more water than you’d normally use in a regular watering.
This will help any salts to flush out of the pot.
6. Fertilizer burn
Fertilizer burn is real and can result in brown, crispy edges and tips in your Monstera. If you are following the directions on your fertilizer label, and are measuring both water and fertilizer amounts, you should not have any issues.
If you are using liquid fertilizers, always measure them out (I use kitchen measure spoons dedicated specifically for my fertilizing) and also measure the amount of water.
If you make your fertilizer solution too weak, it is not a problem at all. If it is too concentrated, this is when you can run into issues, especially if you do it repeatedly.
Another common cause for leaf tips browning in general is low humidity. But I’ve found that Monstera deliciosa is very tolerant of low humidity in our homes and doesn’t generally cause brown tips on its own.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH BROWN TIPS ON YOUR MONSTERA?
Tips that have turned brown (or any part of the leaf that has turned brown), will not turn green again. All you can do is clean up your plant and trim off the brown tips with scissors.
Plants are not perfect in nature, and so we shouldn’t beat ourselves up just because our plants have some brown tips on them.
Hopefully though, after reading this post, you can do your best to minimize Monstera brown tips on your foliage!