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Monstera Leaves Turning Brown: Here are 7 ways to fix it

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.

Roots rotting due to over-watering, too dry room air, a cold draft, and prolonged desiccation of the soil are the main reasons why Monstera leaves turning brown. To fix brown leaves, water the Monstera when the potting soil is 70-80% dry and eliminate all sources of coldness near the plant. Also, provide 60% humidity and do not place the monstera in direct sunlight.

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.

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 the 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 plate.
  • 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.

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, 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 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.

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.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of 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 crispy and die off.

Solution:

  • Remove leaves that are badly damaged.
  • Move Monstera to 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 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.
  • Traces of mold can be seen on the leaves.

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.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of transplant shock.

Monstera leaves turning brown because of transplant shock.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves turn brown after you transplant Monstera into a new container or different soil.
  • Change of growing location.
  • Roots are damaged during transplanting.

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.