Monstera plants have big, beautiful, fenestrated leaves. As such, they make for excellent houseplants.
Read this article to know:
- Why monstera plants become droopy
- How to fix the drooping leaves of your Monstera plant
- What you need to keep in mind to ensure the leaves of your Monstera plant don’t droop
Let’s get started.
Why is My Monstera Droopy?
Lack of water is the most common cause of drooping leaves. You might have seen dried-up plants lying around office lobbies covered in dust, indicating they are deprived of water.
Monstera plants don’t require much water, maybe every one to two weeks. Their soil needs time to dry up a little between the watering sessions.
The leaves only turn droopy if you let the soil become too parched or run water from the top without giving the soil enough time to absorb it.
The best way to judge if your plant is thirsty is by sticking a thumb a few inches in the soil. Your plant doesn’t need water if the top two inches of soil are dry, but the rest feels moist.
Overwatering plants is also as harmful as underwatering. Most houseplants don’t need much water and tend to develop yellow, burned, and drooping leaves if given more than required. In fact, excessive water can also lead to root rot.
Monsteras may show signs of distress from overwatering in the following situations:
- Watering Schedule: You may have been watering Monstera more than required. The ideal frequency of watering these plants is just once every one or two weeks.
- Poor Drainage: Monsteras also suffer if the potting mix isn’t well-draining or the pot doesn’t have proper drainage holes. The soil remains soggy if the excess water doesn’t drain out timely, leading to drooping leaves.
- Over-potting: Is your Monstera living in a pot much larger than its size? You may want to put your plant in a large pot with more soil to give it enough room to grow. But excess soil in the pot absorbs more water than the plant can handle, making it soggy.
Excess or Inadequate Lighting
Lighting conditions affect both size and health of your houseplant.
Monsteras are tropical plants adapted to survive in forests amongst large trees and thick canopies.
The Sun shines bright in those areas and filters through the canopies to reach these plants. Hence, they need bright, indirect light to thrive indoors too.
Some Monstera varieties, such as Variegated Monstera Deliciosa and Monstera Thai Constellation, require a little more light to preserve their lovely colors.
You will see Monstera leaves drooping in low-light conditions. Other signs of inadequate lighting are sparse foliage and stretchy stems.
Such signs appear if you don’t place the plant near a bright window and it doesn’t receive at least 8 hours of sunlight every day.
On the other hand, prolonged exposure to direct sun can scorch your Monstera’s leaves; you can look for brown spots to know if your plant is suffering from leaf burn.
Too much light increases water loss through transpiration as the plant tries to cool off. Also, the soil dries out quicker in such conditions. The plant droops if water loss exceeds the rate at which it can absorb.
Monstera’s huge and quick growth means they soak water and nutrients from the soil pretty fast. Hence, they need an extra boost of nutrients via a balanced fertilizer once every two weeks in the growing season.
These plants stop growing in fall and winter, so they don’t need fertilizer in those seasons. Fertilizing in their formant period can damage their roots and make them droopy. This also happens if excess or slow-release fertilizer is used during the growing season.
How to confirm your plant is suffering from over-fertilization? Look for a buildup of salt on the surface of the potting mix.
Monsteras frequently outgrow their pots in favorable environments because of their fast and huge growth rate. You must transfer them to an inch larger pot size to prevent them from becoming root bound.
But moving them to a different pot can cause shock because they are not adapted to move around in nature.
You have to be careful in handling the roots while repotting Monstera. Any damage to roots during the transplanting process may cause the leaves to droop.
Monsteras are prone to attacks from insects like spider mites, thrips, and mealy bugs. These insects love to suck the sap out of houseplants’ leaves and stems. They can injure the leaves, leading to loss of water and nutrients.
The most common symptoms of attacks from such insects are droopy leaves, webbing, brown and red dots, and sticky residue. If you notice any of these signs on your Monstera’s shiny foliage, take quick measures to save your plant before it dies.
Remember to check the top and undersides of the leaves regularly. It helps identify a pest attack early and prevent those insects from taking over your Swiss cheese plant.
Lack of Support
Monsteras are climbing plants. These plants cling to other trees in the wild and grow upward with their support. One of the reasons for needing support is to reach and absorb more sunlight.
Considering their trailing nature, your Monstera may droop and spread across the room in search of something to climb upwards towards sunlight.
Since Monstera is a tropical plant native to dense forests, it can grow well only in warm temperatures.
An ideal temperature range for Most Monstera species is 64 to 84°F (18 to 29°C). Anything colder than that can stress them out, resulting in droopy leaves.
Although they may not instantly die when exposed to colder temperatures, their health and growth will surely get affected.
To confirm temperature stress, you can track the minimum and maximum temperatures around your plant with a digital thermometer.
Excessive moisture in the soil can lead to root rot. This means your plant will develop diseased and discolored roots if you water it more frequently than required or don’t ensure proper drainage of excess water.
Wilting or yellow leaves and poor growth are two early signs that your Monstera has root rot. Thin, dark, or mushy stems and leaves with black spots indicate that the root problem has turned severe. In such cases, you will also experience a foul smell coming from your plant’s potting mix.
Low Humidity Levels
The natural habitat of Monstera plants is tropical forests where humidity levels are high. Hence, you must maintain the same humidity levels to grow a healthy Monstera indoors.
Ideal humidity levels for Monstera range from moderate to high, around 40 to 80 percent. Anything lower than that can make your Monstera droopy.
Low humidity makes tropical plants lose more water through transpiration than they can absorb. Moreover, their soil becomes dry more quickly in less humid environments. Besides drooping, Monstera leaves develop brown tips and start turning yellow.
Moreover, your Monstera’s growth turns dull and slow. You might also see premature defoliation if your plant remains in low humidity for a long time.
How to Fix Drooping Leaves of Monstera Plants
Water the Plant Sufficiently if it’s Under-watered
Check if your plant’s potting soil is completely dry. If yes, you must water your plant immediately to compensate for its lack of hydration.
You can water the plant in two ways; from the top or the bottom.
To water the plant from the bottom, fill half a container with water and leave your plant there for 10 to 20 minutes. The soil will absorb water gradually through capillary action.
When watering from the top, ensure that you don’t let all the water run off without being absorbed by the soil. Water slowly to give soil enough time to absorb the water.
Once the potting soil is moist enough, allow the pot to drain any excess water through the drainage holes. Then clean Monstera leaves of any dust and put the pot back in its place.
Fix a Watering and Fertilizing Schedule
Monsteras require more water in the summers when they are growing actively. They don’t need as much water in winter.
You should water a Monstera plant only when the top two inches of soil feel dry. As an estimate, your Monstera will only need water once every one or two weeks.
You can also use a moisture meter to detect the moisture levels of the potting mix and water the plant accordingly.
Move Your Monstera to a Brighter Area
If the current location of your Monstera isn’t bright enough, you need to move it to a better location with enough natural light.
The most suitable location for Monstera plants is an east-facing window because it receives adequate indirect sunlight. South- or west-facing window can still work well as long as the bright light from the Sun doesn’t fall on the plant leaves directly.
You can also use a sheer curtain to block direct sunlight or simply move the plant to avoid the direct rays.
If you reside in an area that doesn’t receive enough natural light, use a full-spectrum grow light to compensate. It can easily fit in with your regular light fixtures.
Flush Away Any Extra Fertilizer
Keep an eye out for a buildup of fertilizer salts on the soil’s surface.
To nurse an over-fertilized Monstera Deliciosa back to health, first, remove the white crust off the surface. After that, run water through the soil for five to ten minutes to dissolve and wash away the extra salts through the drainage holes.
As an alternative, you can also repot your Monstera plant into new soil to give it a fresh start. But remember not to fertilize your plant too much after repotting.
Treat the Plant for Pest Attacks
The first step to saving a plant from a pest attack is to clean off the insects from the leaves and treat the plant with an insecticide.
Rinse the plant with a hose or kitchen sprayer. Make sure you tip the container so those insects do not get washed into the soil. You can also use a lint roller to get rid of the pests clinging to the plant leaves.
After that, apply diluted Neem oil or insecticidal soap to your plant. Neem oil acts as a natural repellent for insects like spider mites and mealy bugs.
You might have to repeat this procedure several times over the next few weeks to eliminate new pest generations as they hatch.
Add Something to the Pot for Support
You can add moss poles and trellises to your Monstera’s pot to satisfy their climbing nature. These objects can support their structure, helping them grow upward. They are also covered in nutrients to give your plant an extra boost of nourishment.
Maintain High Humidity Levels
You can use a hygrometer to track humidity levels around your plant. If the levels are low, buy a humidifier or spritz your plant a few times per week.
Other techniques include clustering your plants to establish a microclimate, using a pebble tray, and relocating your plants to areas with high humidity levels, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Treat for Root Rot if Needed
Healthy plants have firm, light-colored roots (usually beige, green, or tan).
If you sense a problem with your Monstera’s root system, you must first allow the soil mix to dry out completely. This enhances air circulation in your plant roots, allowing them to breathe properly.
The next step is to remove the brown and droopy leaves. Then, gently remove the plant from the pot and cut off decaying roots without damaging the main root ball. The last step is repotting your Monstera plant in fresh soil.
Important Things to Know
Removing Drooping Monstera Leaves
Plant experts do not recommend removing Monstera leaves unless they are truly injured by insects or covered in too many diseased and discolored spots. You can restore them to health by addressing the source of the disease.
Recovery of Monstera Leaves
The answer to this question depends on the cause of the drooping problem.
If your Monstera is droopy due to lack of water, it might just need a few hours to recover after you water it thoroughly.
If the problem lies in the roots, it can take a week or more to recover.
If your plant is suffering from excess water or fertilizer, it will need repotting in new soil to recover, increasing its recovery time to a few weeks.
Keeping a Monstera Plant Upright
Monstera Deliciosa, also known as Swiss cheese plants, grow tall in the wild by clinging onto other trees for support. They need some kind of support structure to grow to their full size. You can use a moss pole, trellis, or garden stakes to help your plant grow upright.
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.