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9 Causes of Monstera Leaves Turning Brown (And How To Fix)

By this time, Monsteras had occupied a large number of human dwellings. There is a simple explanation for this popularity: Monsteras are very fascinating plants. The more people grow these plants, the more questions arise about their care. One of these cases will be discussed today.

When the tips and edges of monstera leaves turn brown, it’s a sign that the plant needs water. To address this, water the monstera thoroughly, ensuring that the entire soil within the pot is completely moistened. This should be done to the extent that any excess water drains out through the pot’s drainage holes. After watering, wait until at least half of the soil has dried out before watering the plant again.

Root rot due to overwatering

Rotting roots are a serious problem for plants. If the root system does not deliver water to the leaves, they will start to turn brown and die off after a while. A common cause of root rot is overwatering. Being constantly wet the roots lose access to air and the cells begin to die off and root rot develops.

Monstera is quite sensitive to overwatering compared to some other plants. This is because in nature the roots of this plant grow in the upper layer of soil, which is rarely wet for a long time. Monstera needs plenty of water but it is better to keep the soil partially dry between waterings.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of root rot after overwatering.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of root rot after overwatering.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves turn brown, also partial yellowing of leaves especially the lower leaves is possible.
  • Roots are mushy and also smell rotten.
  • The soil in the pot is too moist.
  • Monstera almost doesn’t grow.
  • Chlorosis may be developing.
  • New Monstera leaves brown before unfurling.
  • Tips of Monstera leaves turning brown.

Solution:

  • Remove any brown leaves.
  • Gently pull the roots out of the container and inspect them well.
  • If the roots are rotting, clean and wash off the dirt.
  • Using a sterile and sharp instrument, do surgery to remove all the rotten tissue.
  • Wash the wounds with an aqueous solution of hydrogen peroxide. To do this, dilute hydrogen peroxide in water in a ratio of 1:10.
  • Place Monstera in a dry, dark place for several hours to dry out.
  • Then plant it in sterile, dry soil, for aroids. The pot should have large drainage holes.
  • Don’t water Monstera for 7-10 days after planting, then water the plant.
  • Between waterings, the soil should be about 3/4 dry.

Too dry soil can cause the monstera’s leaves to turn brown

We all know that Monstera can tolerate slightly dry soil, which is not surprising since in its native habitat it grows on tree trunks. Sometimes the roots of the monstera reach the level of the ground and take water from it.

Still, Monstera is not a cactus and is not capable of storing large amounts of water in its tissues. For this reason, prolonged over-drying of the root ball can lead to dehydration of the plant. Subsequently, the plant will try to reduce its evaporation area by deforming its leaves. Next, the leaves will begin to turn brown starting at the edge, and then die off.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of underwatering.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of underwatering.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves will brown starting at the edge (tips). Other symptoms can be the deformation of the leaf blade.
  • Over time, the leaves will shrivel up completely.
  • The soil in the pot is absolutely dry. The last watering was more than two weeks ago.
  • A large brown spots on monstera.

Solution:

  • Remove leaves with more than 50% tissue damage.
  • Water the Monstera with plenty of water. The water should flow out through the drainage holes.
  • Repeat the watering after a few minutes. This is necessary to allow the soil to soak well.
  • Thereafter, water the Monstera when the dirt in the pot is 70-80% dry. But do not let it dry out completely.

Dry air

A common problem with indoor growing is dry air. This is the reason why not all plants can be grown indoors. Monstera is considered one that can tolerate regular room humidity. But if for some reason the air has been too dry, the plants can get dry brown spots.

This is because Monstera evaporates water through the stomata, and some of this water moistens the leaf surface. If the environment is very dry, the leaf surface may dry out. The soil may be moist enough, but the plant will not be able to evaporate the amount of moisture needed to moisten the leaf surface at the desired rate.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of low humidity.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of low humidity.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves get brown, dry spots. The number and size of the spots depend on the dryness of the air.
  • The air in the room is very dry or Monstera is placed near a heater.
  • Leaves may curl at the tips and become brown and crispy.

Solution:

  • Place a pebble tray half full of water near the Monstera.
  • Move the Monstera farther away from the heaters.
  • Place a humidifier near the Monstera and maintain a humidity of 55-65%.
  • Place all of your plants close together to create a humid microclimate.

Cold draft

Monstera is a tropical plant so it can only be grown in warm climates or indoors. A significant drop in temperature can damage the leaves and they will turn brown. Depending on how severe and prolonged the cold has been, the damage will depend.

There are two cases in which the Monstera usually suffers from low temperatures. The first is when there is a cold draft in the room. The second is when the Monstera is placed close to an air conditioner. Even a brief cold airflow is enough to cause brown spots on the leaves.

Monstera leaves turning brown

Monstera leaves turning brown because of cold draft.

Symptoms:

  • Brown spots appear on the leaves.
  • There is a cold draft in the room.
  • The plant is growing in proximity to cooling appliances.
  • If severely damaged, leaves die off.
  • Leaves turning yellow and brown.
  • Brown edges and tips on monstera leaves.

Solution:

  • Remove leaves that are more than 50% brown.
  • Move Monstera to a room where the temperature will not drop below 65°F (18°C) and will not rise above 90°F (32°C).
  • Avoid placing Monstera near a refrigerator or air conditioner.
  • Remove any possible cold drafts from your home.

Too much light

As I mentioned earlier, Monstera clings to the trunk of a tree and grows upward by braiding it. This plant spends its entire life in the shade of trees. Tropical forests create a dense canopy through which the sun’s rays hardly pass.

If you place Monstera in direct sun it can get brown burns. Damaged leaves will never recover, but will photosynthesize even when partially damaged.

The most common problems with direct sun occur when growing Monstera in a southern room. Or when moving this plant outside during the summer months.

Sunburn

Monstera leaves turning brown because of sunburn.

Symptoms:

  • Monstera gets direct sunlight every day.
  • Large brown spots appear on the leaves.
  • Heavily damaged leaves become brown and crispy.
  • Burnt monstera leaves.

Solution:

  • Remove leaves that are badly damaged.
  • Move Monstera to an east or west-facing window.
  • If you are growing in a southern room, move the Monstera further inland. The distance to the window should be at least 5 feet (1.5 m).
  • If you are growing Monstera in a northern room, additional light may be needed.

Fungal damage

You can count a large number of possible diseases of Monstera, but the most common is root rot. I already told you about the symptoms of this disease and how to deal with it at the beginning of this article.

Next are various fungal diseases that affect the leaves. They usually leave a large number of small brown spots on the leaves. If the infestation is severe, the leaf may die off. Usually, these diseases are the result of poor aeration or lack of light.

Also, Monstera leaves can sometimes be affected by rot. This can happen if the plants are grown in a bathroom or if they are misted too often. In this case, most of the leaf blade will turn brown.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of disease.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of disease.

Symptoms:

  • Small brown spots appear on the leaves and their number increases.
  • Part of the leaf will turn brown and the leaf will die off.
  • Signs of mold can be seen on the leaves.
  • The edges and tips turn brown.

Solution:

  • Make sure the room where Monstera grows is well-ventilated.
  • Do not mist the leaves, instead install a humidifier.
  • Do not overwater the Monstera.
  • Remove badly damaged leaves.
  • Spray the leaves with fungicide.

Shock after transplanting

Transplanting Monstera can cause transplant shock, which can cause the leaves to turn brown. Transplant shock usually occurs with improper transplanting, but sometimes even minor changes in growing conditions can stress the plant.

If you damaged the roots during transplanting or transplanted in the winter this can lead to transplant shock. Also, Monstera reacts poorly to transplanting during the summer heat.

Transplant shock

Monstera leaves turning brown because of transplant shock.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves turn brown and yellow after you transplant Monstera into a new container or different soil.
  • Change of growing location.
  • Roots are damaged during transplanting.
  • Brown tips on Monstera.
  • Leaf edges turning brown.

Solution:

  • Remove badly damaged foliage.
  • Move the Monstera as far away from the window as possible to provide maximum shade. After a month, move the plant back in.
  • Avoid fertilizing the Monstera.
  • Water the Monstera so it does not suffer from drought. But do not overwater it.

Fertilizer burn

Too much fertilizer or too frequent use of fertilizer can damage the roots. As a result, the monstera will stop growing.

The fact is that too much fertilizer concentration in the soil is aggresive and can easily burn part of the monstera’s root system.

Fertilizer burn

Fertilizer burn.

Symptoms:

  • Browning of leaves starting at the edges and tips.
  • Large brownish-crisp spots in the middle of the leaf.
  • Stopping the growth of the monstera.

Solution:

  • Take the monstera out of the pot and shake off all the soil from the roots.
  • Wash the roots under running water.
  • Plant the monstera in fresh soil.
  • Do not fertilize the monstera for 2-3 months after the fertilizer burn.
  • In the future, avoid over-fertilizing the monstera.

Root bound

Each year the crown of the monstera grows larger and larger. The same is true for the root system, but the space for the roots is limited by the size of the pot.

If the monstera is not repotted, the roots start to grow in circles, creating a clump. This results in less and less soil in the pot. In addition, in this condition, the roots can easily begin to rot.

root bound

Root bound.

Symptoms:

  • The leaves turn partially or completely brown.
  • The roots of the monstera are curled up in a clump.
  • The plant has stopped growing.

Solution:

  • Pull the monstera out of the pot.
  • Carefully unwind the clump.
  • Cut off the roots that are too long.
  • Plant the monstera in a slightly larger pot using fresh soil.
  • Repot the monstera into a larger container every 1-2 years.

People also ask

How do you fix brown leaves on Monstera?

  1. Avoid overwatering and water only when the soil is 2 inches dry.
  2. Provide bright but indirect sunlight.
  3. Spray leaves with fungicide if the disease is the cause.
  4. Ensure air humidity is 50%.
  5. Transplant the Monstera very gently without damaging the roots.

Should I cut brown leaves off Monstera?

You should cut back the brown Monstera leaves if they are completely brown. At the same time, if only part of the leaf is brown, it is best to leave it as the green part will feed the plant.

Use only sharp tools to cut the leaves. A knife or pruning shears are best. Be sure to disinfect the tools before working.
Do not cut the leaf itself, but the leaf petiole. However, step back a few inches from the stem to avoid damaging it.

What does an overwatered Monstera look like?

  • The tips of the leaves are browning.
  • The leaf edge turns crispy brown.
  • Large brown spots appear on the leaf with yellowing along the edge.
  • The whole plant wilts and drooping.
  • There is rot on the roots.
  • There is an unpleasant smell from the pot.

Why does my monstera have brown spots?

Reasons, why Monstera leaves have brown spots, are:

  • Overwatering (root rot);
  • Underwatering;
  • Low air humidity;
  • Diseases;
  • Pests;
  • Transplant shock;
  • Overfertilization;
  • Lack of light;
  • Sunburn.

Why are my new monstera leaves turning brown?

New Monstera leaves turn brown because of root rot. Mature leaves are denser and can stay green longer, even if the roots are rotten. At the same time, young leaves are more delicate and root problems quickly turn them brown.

To fix this, clean the rotten tissue from the roots and treat the wounds with hydrogen peroxide. Plant Monstera in clean soil and wait 1-2 weeks. Then water it very moderately letting the soil dry out at least 2 inches.

jane_C

Friday 24th of March 2023

Why are my Monstera leaves unfurling with brown spots?

Igor Viznyy

Friday 24th of March 2023

The reason why Monstera leaves turn brown is because of root rot. Young leaves are more susceptible to damage than mature leaves.

Another reason could be a fungal disease. The fungus spores could get into the bud where the leaf comes from. When a new leaf unfolds, it is already infected. You can find out how to fix this above.

Mary A.

Friday 24th of March 2023

Can you cut the brown tips off Monstera?

Igor Viznyy

Friday 24th of March 2023

You should not cut Monstera leaves if only the tips of the leaves have turned brown. If a significant part of the leaf lamina remains green, it is providing energy for the plant. If you cut back such leaves, you will severely weaken the plant.

On the other hand, if pests or diseases are the cause of the browning, it is better to cut it off to prevent it from spreading. Only use a sharp, sterile tool for this purpose.

Robbie

Friday 24th of March 2023

Why are my Monstera leaves turning brown and crispy?

Igor Viznyy

Friday 24th of March 2023

The cause of crispy brown Monstera leaves is most often sunburn. Direct sun can very quickly damage a leaf and it will not only get brown spots, but it will also quickly dry out to a crispy state.

To avoid this, place Monstera in a location where there is no direct sun, but where there is plenty of reflected sun. For example, this could be to the side of a south-facing window.