This article, “Why Are My Monstera Leaves Curling,” will cover why Monstera leaves are curling and tips on fixing the issue in no time. Read on to discover:
- An overview of Monstera (a genus of 49+ species).
- The most common causes of Monstera leaves curling.
- How to fix and prevent Monstera leaf curling issue.
- Important things to know about why Monstera leaves curl.
- Answers to common questions about curling leaves.
Monstera — A Genus of 49+ Species
Native to Central and South America tropical regions, Monstera is a genus of 49 species (49 species and 6 infraspecific names) of flowering plants in the Arum family, Araceae.
The Latin word for “monstrous” or “abnormal” is where the name of the genus comes from, which refers to the plant’s leaves that are unusual and have fenestration (holes) in them.
Monstera Deliciosa, a popular member of the genus often grown as a houseplant, is known for its leathery dark green leaves and fruit, which tastes like a mix of banana and pineapple.
Why Are My Monstera Leaves Curling?
Monsteras are well-known for fenestrated leaves; however, they are quite fragile, and if the plant isn’t doing well with its surroundings or care, the first place you’ll see issues is on the leaves.
Curling leaves are one of the numerous signs that your plant needs a new environment. Since various factors might cause leaf curling, it is necessary to do your research before fixing it.
Below we’ll discuss some of the most probable factors that lead to Monstera leaves curling, as well as several solutions that can help restore the beauty and vitality of your Monstera plant.
To begin, Monstera leaves may curl in several distinct ways (three to be exact), each of which can provide information about the underlying cause of the curling leaves problem.
- Monstera Leaves Curling Inwards: Suppose the leaves of your Monstera plant are curling upwards or inwards toward the top of the leaf. In that case, it may signify that the plant is suffering from a lack of humidity (mostly low humidity levels), improper watering (overwatered or underwatered), or even an insect infestation such as spider mites.
- Monstera Leaves Curling Under: Many of the same things may cause the leaves of a Monstera plant to curl inward toward the base of the leaf. However, in some instances, this is more symptomatic of heat stress or underwatering if the leaf is low turgor pressure. This may be the issue if the leaves seem drooping, feel thin, or have a limp appearance.
- Monstera Leaves Crinkling: Wrinkled and brittle leaves often indicate that the Monstera plant has been underwatered or that humidity levels are too low. In simple words, if the leaves of your monstera plant are curled and even somewhat crispy. In that case, this is a sign that it is either not receiving enough moisture or the atmosphere around it is too dry.
Monstera Leaf Curling (Reasons + How to Fix)
There are many causes of Monstera leaves curling, including the ones listed below. Keep reading to understand each cause in detail and to discover easy-peasy ways to fix it in no time.
- Chlorinated Tap Water
- High or Low Humidity Levels
- High-Temperature Stress
- Compacted Soil or Wrapped Roots
- Root Bound Pot/Planter
- Pest/Insect Infestation
Reason #1: Underwatering/Overwatering
The curling of Monstera leaves is often the result of improper plant hydration. There is a possibility that you are either overwatering or underwatering your Monstera plant leaves.
Examining the state of the soil is the first step in determining the actual cause. If you irrigated the soil a few days ago, but it still feels damp an inch or two deep, the plant is overwatered.
On the other hand, if the soil around your monstera feels dry a few inches below, the plant is probably underwatered. It needs to be watered immediately to receive sufficient moisture.
It is quite conceivable for the root ball to be saturated with water even though the top few inches of soil may feel dry to the touch, which usually depends on the aeration level of the soil.
How to Fix
Utilizing a moisture meter can help you get a more precise image of the amount of moisture in the potting soil. This method also helps in analyzing the pH of the soil.
To begin, insert the sensor of the moisture meter into the soil approximately midway between the bottom of the plant and the edge of the pot, then drive it down into the pot.
If the meter reads less than 3, the plant is probably suffering from a lack of moisture; you should water it. If the meter is reading more than 4, it’s possible that you overwatered it.
Reason #2: Chlorinated Tap Water
Suppose you water your plant according to a predetermined timetable and have not over-or under-watered it. In that case, you should examine the quality of both tap and filtered water.
Both chlorine and fluoride are added to municipal water supplies to combat the spread of disease-causing microorganisms. These chemicals eliminate the beneficial microbes in your soil, stopping them from breaking down organic matter and making it accessible to the roots.
In addition, prolonged exposure to tap water yields salt buildup that, over time, will collect in the Monstera’s roots, causing the tips to die off and making them more susceptible to root rot.
How to Fix
Start off by checking the roots for dark and decaying, and cut them out if you find any. Now, repot all your plants in a pot with drainage holes (to prevent root rot) with fresh soil dry.
To evaporate chlorine from the tap water, allow it to sit for at least twenty-four hours in the open air. In addition, you may use rain or filtered water to water the tropical plant.
Reason #3: High or Low Humidity Levels
Even though Monsteras are sturdy, they are mostly found in natural habitats with high humidity. When the level goes up or lowers, the leaves begin to suffer and curl as a result.
When you alter the indoor gardening environment, Monsteras will need interventions to satisfy their humidity requirements since these plants are native to moist, tropical areas.
How to Fix
If the humidity in your indoor garden is between 40 and 60 percent, then it is not a problem. Nevertheless, you may remedy inadequate humidity levels by using misters or humidifiers.
Reason #4: High-Temperature Stress
Commonly, higher temperatures may cause the leaves to curl because when it is 30°C, the leaf may expel water and moisture three times more quickly than it would at 20°C.
Monstera will exhibit heat stress as soon as it is transferred from a cold, air-conditioned chamber to a heated outdoor setting. This transition will take place during the first few hours.
The ideal temperature range for Monstera is between 18-30°C. Your Monstera leaves may become sunburned if exposed to direct sunlight, causing the crispy leaf tips to become brown.
How to Fix
Place the Monstera plant in an area that maintains consistent temperatures throughout the year and is shielded from direct sunlight. This way, you’ll be able to avoid the inward leaf curl.
Even though Monstera leaves can tolerate reduced light levels, they often have a spindly appearance. An area or window that receives indirect light would be a good placement.
Reason #5: Excessive/Over-Fertilization
Yes, over-fertilizing may be detrimental to your Monstera plants, so be careful not to be too generous with its nutrients. The root system might be destroyed due to excess fertilizer.
An over-fertilized Monstera plant may experience a buildup of excess fertilizer salts, affecting the soil’s PH level, and resulting in root damage, prohibiting the plant from readily absorbing water.
In addition, as you are aware, if your Monstera does not get adequate water, the entire plant will curl its leaves to reduce the amount of water lost by transpiration.
How to Fix
If you see any white crusty buildup on the Monstera’s root system or the top of the soil, then it is certain that you have committed the crime of overfeeding the indoor plants.
Nevertheless, if you ensure that the problem was caused by excessive fertilization, you must immediately stop applying any more fertilizer to prevent further Monstera’s leaves from curling.
To fix over-fertilization on your healthy plants, repot them using a new and fresh soil mixture. Always remember that it is preferable not to fertilize enough as opposed to too much.
Reason #6: Compacted Soil or Wrapped Roots
If the Monstera is suffering from wrapped roots, it may exhibit symptoms of dryness (curling leaves and crispy brown spots) and overwatering (mushy stems and dark brown spots).
This is because when soil is compacted, it does not easily absorb water (which in turn contributes to underwatering), and it does not drain properly, which leads to overwatering.
How to Fix
Additionally, it may not be easy to take in water and nutrients from the soil. Thus, in such a case, your Monstera should be repotted into new soil and placed in a well-draining container.
Reason #7: Root Bound Pot/Planter
If you let years pass without repotting the plant or aerating the soil, the plant will eventually develop a condition known as root bound and become more precarious as the roots spread.
Compaction of the soil in the plant pot is another issue brought on by root-bound Monstera plants. Because of this, there is less air circulation throughout the plant’s root system.
Since Monsteras are not as sensitive as other plants, a root-bound might be overlooked in some cases; however, it isn’t healthy for the plants to be compact if grown in confined areas.
How to Fix
By regularly checking on the root ball and providing sufficient potting soil for the roots to flourish, you may reduce the likelihood of Monstera root bound and ensure healthy growth.
Reason #8: Pest/Insect Infestation
No matter the Monstera plants you have, the last thing you want to see on your lovely plants is any pests or common sap-sucking insects damaging your entire houseplant collection.
Aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, thrips, and scales are the most common pests responsible for significant harm to Monstera plants, and pretty much any other plant leaves they feed on.
These kinds of pests not only strip your Monstera leaves by munching on the nutrient-rich sap but also nibble away the leaf surface, which in the long run may lead to the leaves curling.
How to Fix
Neem oil may be used as an organic insecticide, so you can simultaneously keep your plants healthy and free of pests. As a second option, you may use liquid dishwashing soap.
If there is a heavy pest or insect infestation on your houseplant, then go for the chemical-based option, such as rubbing alcohol, to prevent it from the bugs that attack Monstera.
To conclude, the most common reasons for Monstera leaves curling are under/overwatered Monstera and heat at stress high temperatures. It might also result from excessive fertilizer application, tap water, low humidity, insects, and pest infestations. In addition, a lack of natural sunlight and an excess of moisture may also cause Monstera leaves to curl.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re planning to fix curling leaves in your Monstera plants collection or feeding your brain with general information on leaf curling, we hope this article helped. As a bonus, we’ve taken time to answer some frequently asked questions.
What is Monstera Leaf Curl?
In its most basic form, Monstera leaf curl is a condition that can be identified in the Monstera species by the appearance of curled leaves induced by environmental stress or illness.
What if Monstera Leaves Are Curling?
If the Monstera leaves are curling, it is a common indication that the plant is either not receiving enough water or that the atmosphere around it is too dry. (See above section).
Will Monstera’s Leaves Uncurl?
If you act immediately, the Monstera’s leaves may be uncurled. Make sure there is enough humidity indoors. In addition, repot the plant if the soil has become too compacted.
What Causes Stunted Growth in Monstera?
The most common causes of stunted Monstera growth are overwatering or underwatering, inadequate natural lighting, potbound roots, pest infestation, and a lack of nutrients.
How to Fix Low Humidity with a Pebble Tray?
Add pebbles to a tray and position the plant to sit on the top of the tray. The water will inevitably evaporate over time surrounding the plant, resulting in increased humidity.
Is New Leaf Growth Sign of a Happy Monstera?
The answer is yes. The new leaf growth is a sign of happy Monstera. However, if you see a sudden rise in growth curling leaves, you may immediately look for ways to fix the problem.
Does Grouping Plants Increase Humidity?
Yes, gathering all your plants together in one location is the most effective strategy to raise humidity. Basically, humidity increases due to water vapor released from the plants.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.