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Monstera Not Growing (And How To Revive It)

What amazing plants these Monsteras are! Huge leaves with big holes really look monstrous. But by growing them in the house we put them at risk of getting into trouble because this is not their native environment. As a result, Monstera can fail to produce new leaves and become sick.

Underwatering, not enough room for the roots, root rot, lack of nutrients, too little light, and pests are the main reasons why Monstera is not growing. To revive Monstera water when the soil in the pot is 75% dry, fertilize it at least 2-3 times a year with aroids fertilizer. Repot the plant in a larger container and place it in a location with 8-10 hours of indirect sunlight.


Monstera not growing

Monstera not growing because of underwatering.

Over-drying the potting soil is a very common cause of many plants not growing. The more delicate plants will immediately drop their leaves, but succulents, for example, will not show any signs of underwatering.

The monstera will not drop its leaves when it is not watered, but it will not be very happy about it either. This tropical plant can tolerate a short drought, but vigorous growth is out of the question. When the soil dries out the monstera will stop its growth and if it is not watered, the leaves may turn yellow and shrivel up.

If you often underwater your plants, this can be the reason for stopping their growth. To remedy the situation, water the monstera on time. When the potting soil is about 75-80% dry, water the monstera with plenty of water.

Do not water the plant superficially with a small amount of water. Soak all of the roots and soil in the pot with the excess water coming out through the drainage holes.

Also, avoid watering the monstera on a schedule. Different conditions and times of year will cause the potting soil to dry out at different rates. So you have to check the soil from time to time and water only when it is almost completely dry. But do not let the roots be dry for a long time

Not enough space for the roots

Monstera not growing because of small pot.

Monstera not growing because of a small pot.

Very often monstera stops its growth due to lack of space for growth. If the plant has been growing in the same pot for several years, the roots may become crowded and begin to wrap themselves up in a ball. Gradually the number of roots will increase and they will start to push the soil out of the pot. In addition, the soil will begin to compress.

All this will lead to the plant not getting enough water because there will simply be nothing to hold onto. Also in this state, the plant will experience a lack of nutrients. With a lack of water and fertilizer, the monstera will stop growing and may even become sick.

The obvious way out of this situation is to repot the plant. Choose a pot twice as big as the previous one and make sure that the container has enough drainage holes.

Next prepare the substrate, take half of the normal potting soil and mix it with half of the multi-purpose compost. The mixture should be light and drained. You can also buy ready-made aroids potting soil, which is easy to find on the market.

Gently transplant the monstera into a new pot. If you see dead roots remove them. Also avoid replanting too often, once every 2 years is enough.

Very wet soil

Monstera not growing because of overwatering.

Monstera not growing because of overwatering.

Prolonged waterlogging of the monstera root system will sooner or later lead to root rot. As a result, the plant will stop growing and slowly die. The outward signs of root rot are yellowing and drooping leaves. Over time, the leaves will begin to shrivel up and die off.

In addition, an unpleasant odor may be released from the pot. And small flies may appear near the surface of the soil.

Root rot in most cases begins as a result of improper care. Firstly, in the case of very frequent watering of the monstera. Secondly, if there is no drainage or very heavy (compact) soil.

If you see the above symptoms with your monstera, you need to act immediately. First, remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots, if there is dead tissue remove it after cleaning the roots from the soil.

Then treat the rotting areas with hydrogen peroxide. Take a pot with large drainage holes (at least 3-4 holes) and fill it with a freshly drained substrate. I already told you how to make the substrate above.

Put the monstera in clean soil and water it as soon as it dries out 70-80%. Always check the moisture content with a finger or a moisture meter before watering.

Too dark place

Monstera not growing because of not enough light.

Monstera not growing because of not enough light.

The monstera may not grow if there is not enough light. The first thing that will happen is that the plant will use its internal energy reserves for the process of photosynthesis. As a result, the leaves and branches will become soft and brittle.

The second is that the leaves will not have holes, i.e. the leaf blade will be in one piece without fenestration. If your monstera is variegated, the variegation will be very slight. Also, the stems and leaves will become very elongated, this is the way the plant looks for a source of light.

In the long absence of light, the monstera will stop growing and its life begins to fade away. Also, if there is not enough UV light the plant might become diseased, this is especially true for leaf diseases.

You need at least six hours of light to bring the monstera back to life. But it’s better to give it 8-10 hours of indirect but bright sunlight per day. Avoid placing the monstera in direct sunlight as it will get sunburned. The ideal location to place the pot is on the side of a south-facing window.

Unfortunately, not all monstera owners have a suitable spot. If you are one of them, artificial light can help. There are many types of lights on sale, you can choose the most suitable in terms of power and light output. Usually using artificial lighting you need to increase the number of light hours.

Lack of nutrients

Monstera not growing because of lack of nutrients.

Monstera not growing because of a lack of nutrients.

Fertilizer is another important part of growing monstera. Without fertilizer, the plant will grow very slowly and sooner or later stop. This is because in the wild the monstera gets everything it needs from the environment, but at home, in a pot, it is not available. Over time, the soil is depleted and the plant begins to experience a shortage of necessary substances.

Most often the monstera suffers from a lack of nitrogen and magnesium. Both of these elements are responsible for photosynthesis and if they are insufficient, growth will stop. The plant can even fall ill with a disease called chlorosis, the symptoms of which are yellowing of the leaves with green veins.

The first thing you have to do is to make sure that the soil is not very compact and contains some compost or other organic matter. The Soil pH should be 6.5-6.8. If the pH is above 7.0 there is a risk that the plant will not be able to absorb fertilizer from the soil.

Next, you need to fertilize the monstera. This is best done using liquid aroid fertilizer. You can buy quality fertilizer from reputable manufacturers online. Make sure that the product contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. It is also a good idea to have iron in the fertilizer.

Fertilize the monstera at least 2-3 times per season, starting in early spring. But you do not want to fertilize in late fall and winter, because this is when the plant should be in hibernation.

A plant in hibernation

If you notice that your monstera does not grow in the winter, this is because it is in dormancy. Most plants hibernate to rest and gain strength for the new growing season.

In addition, in late autumn and winter, there is usually very little sunlight and the plant has to reduce the photosynthesis intensity to avoid suffering from the lack of light. So don’t be surprised if your monstera stops growing sometime between October and November and stays like that throughout the winter months.

To improve the overwintering of the monstera you will need to remove any dead plant parts (if any). Next, you will need to keep watering to a minimum. The potting soil can then dry out completely before you water the plant. Also, as I mentioned earlier, don’t fertilize the monstera in the winter because this could wake it up.

Also, constantly check the leaves and stems for various spots, rot, or mildew. When the plant is dormant it is more susceptible to disease. If you see anything that looks like a disease, remove the affected part of the plant immediately and spray it with fungicide.

Provide the monstera with good air circulation and enough light. Avoid placing it near heating or cooling devices.

Pest infestation

Monstera not growing because of lack of spider mites.

Monstera not growing because of the lack of spider mites.

For many living organisms, plants are a source of food. Monstera is no exception in this respect. Several insects feed on both the sap and the tissue of this plant.

The plant will not suffer much if the pests are not too much spread. But if the number of pests is high, the monstera will not only stop growing but may even die.

Fortunately, most pests are easy to spot, both by their physical presence and by the traces they leave behind.

The first pest of monstera is thrips. They are white-colored insects that occupy the leaves and stems of the plant. They have an oblong body, their color is light when they are young but in maturity, they become dark or almost black. Basically, these insects feed on the sap of the plant.

To get rid of these pests you need to remove badly damaged leaves. Then spray the monstera with horticultural oil and repeat the spraying after a while. If this does not help, move the monstera to the garage or outside and spray with pesticide. Use personal protective equipment when doing so.

A second common pest is spider mites. Look at the underside of the leaf and if you see white clusters, take a magnifying glass and take a good look. If you see microscopic bugs together with thin cobwebs, they are definitely mites.

To get rid of this pest you need to mist the leaves of the monstera regularly. Also, spray it 1-2 times with acaricide.

Monstera not growing after repotting

Every plant experiences transplant shock after transplanting. The result is a stoppage of growth, yellowing, and wilting of the leaves. Some plants are more susceptible to transplant shock than others.

This also applies to monstera. Very often this plant will not grow new leaves after transplanting, but it will not die either. It can stay in this dormant state for quite a long time. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with the plant, it just needs time to adapt. The adaptation period can last a few months.

If your monstera doesn’t grow after transplanting, don’t rush to do anything. Just water less, since the roots are more prone to rotting after a transplant. Also, reduce the amount of light a bit. Afterward, you can just wait, during this time the monstera may lose a few leaves and this is normal.

What you definitely don’t want to do is transplant it again. Replanting very often will cause problems with the plant. Repot the monstera no more often than every 2 years. When transplanting, use twice as big pots so the roots have room to grow. Also, use loose and drained soil.