Those iconic holes and classic looks make them distinct from other houseplants. Monsteras, aka swiss cheese plants’ beauty, gets disturbed when the foliage starts drooping and curling, browning or yellowing due to several reasons and unfavorable conditions. But what causes monstera to droop? Let’s find out!
Inappropriate watering is one of the most common causes of drooping leaves in monstera plant. Both overwatering or underwatering could lead to droopy leaves. Other causes of droopy leaves in monstera include inadequate lighting, fertilization problems, stress, and pests.
Commonly, it is found that droopy or curled leaves are the result of inappropriate watering. In both cases, they will droop.
If you are watering right, then overfertilization, too much light, poorly draining soil could be the reasons.
Since your plant’s leaves were firm and lustrous a few days back but looking depressed now, don’t stress. There are easy to cure formulas and to maintain their excellent large foliage. Let us jump right into it.
Table Of Contents
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Why is my Monstera droopy?
There can be various reasons for droopy leaves in mostera. These include:
- Watering problems
- Inadequate lighting
- Poorly drained soil
- Pest infestation
- Temperature fluctuation
- Low humidity level
- Wrong size of the pot
Let us have a look at all these problem in detail.
We feel you are ignoring your plants’ need for water. Yes, that is what your plant is pointing towards.
Since they are forgiving, a few times ignorance will be forgiven but if you are going ahead of the same way, be ready to see the droopy foliage.
New leaves will be droopy and soft and not hard and firm as a result of under-watering. They are yelling for water.
Overwatering might be the reason too. Usually, when your plant doesn’t get enough light plus you overwater it, they suffocate the roots and make it harder to absorb nutrients and oxygen.
The droopy leaves come in sight, and if continued further, it will cause the yellowing of leaves.
Bad drainage is also one reason for overwatering, so make sure there is a proper drainage system to flush out excess water.
They are strong compared to other plants and can tolerate drying out to the point it gets occasional attention.
Fix: Re-evaluate whether you are overwatering or underwatering.
Underwatering: Soak your plant in a tray filled with water such that the bottom of the pots doesn’t touch the water. Through the capillary method, the plant will soak water through drainage holes.
Check the soil after some time if it is moist or not. If not, water slightly from the top to allow the soil to absorb moisture. You can keep the plant in water for about an hour.
Now, allow the plant to drain excess water entirely by taking it out of the tray. Place your plant back in its position.
If you want an easy and fast method, you can simply water your plant thoroughly from the top, keep watering till the soil is moist, and then let the excess water drain out completely through the drainage holes.
You can also direct the grown aerial roots to the soil to get ample water.
Overwatering: Being epiphytes, monsteras are intolerant to overwatering as compared to under-watering.
In this case, your plant needs time to soak in the excess water it is drowned in already. Let the soil dry out properly till the next time you water it. If the plants still don’t show any improvements, repot the plant.
Always poke your finger to check the soil moisture before watering them to avoid overwatering or watering when the soil is drowning already.
Aerate the soil (you can use soil sleuth) before watering to improve air circulation in the soil.
Your plant is exposed to intense sunlight, most likely. It happens when you are trying to introduce light to your plant and impatient to see massive leaves.
It’s the droopy leaves that you get in return. Direct sun to a tropical plant is terrible for them. If you are watering right, it’s probably light that is causing you pain.
Direct sun or any artificial light source with high intensity is a big no if you want your plant healthy and grow massive lustrous leaves.
It will evaporate the moisture from the soil very fast, leaving it dry most of the time.
Low light is also not recommended either. They need enough light to create chlorophyll to maintain the leaf’s color and luster.
If the leaves are growing in one direction, that means they are looking for a light, indicating low light levels.
Fix: Bright indirect light, learn by heart, if you follow this, your plant never suffers due to lighting issues. They will also do fine in low, medium sunlight.
If your plant is exposed to scorching light for long hours, that might be the cause. They will also appreciate fluorescent light. Move your plant near an indirect light source and let it soak in the sunshine!
Keeping near a window or balcony where they can get bright morning sun and late afternoon sun is perfect. Keep a few feet away from direct sunlight to reduce the intensity of reaching your plant.
Poorly drained soil
Well-draining soil is of utmost importance if you want your plant to thrive forever. As you know by now, they are tropical plants and need good circulation in the soil and roots.
So if your soil is poorly drained, it won’t allow water to flow easily and drain out through drainage holes, leaving the soil and roots soggy.
Draining away the excess water is required to keep your plant healthy, which is easily facilitated by well-draining soil. Otherwise, poorly draining soil will give you a hard time.
This will further lead to bad aeration in the soil and roots, making it harder for the roots to absorb nutrients and water.
You will be rewarded with not just droopy leaves but also various other issues such as root rot, yellow leaves, bacterial growth, white molds on the soil.
Ensure a proper drainage system.
Fix: Change the soil mix if it makes the roots and plants suffer due to lack of water absorption quality and pushing out the air completely.
Soil mix that retains water is light and breathable is easy to make. You can use the following combination.
- 50% Garden soil
- 30% Cocopeat/Peat moss
- 10% perlite/Coco chips
- 10% compost
If you find the pests have attacked your plant and it’s showing its effects through droopy and curled leaves, then you need to get rid of them.
They are the real horrors, insects suck on the leaves, sucking their shine and growth, and even killing them.
They inhibit the plant from absorbing required moisture, and if you keep providing cultural conditions without controlling them, a lot of problems will come on the surface like droopy leaves, deformed leaves, and may also lead to plant death.
Overwatering during this time will further worsen the situation.
Fix: Don’t worry, you don’t need a degree in botany. Just open your eyes to know the possible solutions.
Droopy leaves are one of the first signs of pests attack. There are many ways to control them. Being an organic freak, we would suggest the safest methods that are effective and non-toxic for your plants.
Wash the plant with a strong stream of cold water, thoroughly making sure no excess water sits on the plant leaves and soil. This will mostly help to get rid of the pests and honeydew they secrete.
Neem oil best for organic gardening, will not harm your plant. They will penetrate the insects’ circulatory system and kill them.
Dilute one tablespoon neem oil with 2 cups of water and spray all over the plant. Repeat every few days until completely treated.
Other ways include:
- Insecticidal soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Horticulture oil
- Hydrogen peroxide
Use anything you feel like but be persistent in getting them in control.
Persistence is the key!
Chemical pesticides are also available, but we don’t want them at your home because they are harmful to your plant. But if you still use them, follow the instructions given.
Change in temperature
Your plant leaves will not be able to tolerate temperature stress. If your temperature level is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will start showing its side effects through droopy leaves, brown leaves, stagnant growth.
The reason being dry air, low light, they will not let the plant function properly, the soil will hold moisture for a very long time, and the low-temperature level will add on to droopy and curl leaves.
They are sensitive to cold weather, so make sure to protect it.
Fix: Usually, freezing weather is one of the worst situations for your plant to thrive. Cooler than 50 degrees Fahrenheit don’t greet them well, and if that’s the case, you need to make them feel home by providing them their home environment conditions.
Keep them near the furnace or wooden stove to increase the temperature level around them.
The plant will also need more water in this condition because the wind desiccates the foliage and uses a lot more moisture at that point in time.
Keeping your plant in a relatively warm environment will keep them flourishing.
Loving your plants is excellent, but love in the form of overfeeding is not suitable for them. Over-fertilization can lead to excess salt killing the potential microorganisms in the soil that are healthy for the plant.
Overfertilization will push the growth of the monstera but lack the nutrients and water it needs.
Feeding more only leads to attracting more problems like curl leaves, brown tips, brown blotches, root rot, fungal growth, etc.
Fix: A healthy dose of fertilizer is appreciable but overfeeding, then will instead become a threat to your plant growth.
Your monsters are vigorous growers, so they can be fertilized two weeks to once every month in the summer (growing season) to nurture them with proper nutrients required to boost their growth.
Dilute the fertilizer with water and use. Prefer the organic fertilizer of your choice.
Slow down or no fertilizing during winters.
Low humidity level
Tropical plants are used to high humidity in their environment, so if they don’t get high humidity levels, they don’t feel home. The luster and glow will lack in your plants’ foliage due to lack or low humidity level.
Monsteras don’t react well to sudden humidity changes, and if you are keeping then near vents, fireplaces, or drafty windows by any chance, you are adding to the low humidity levels.
Fix: Keep a humidifier by your side to maintain humidity levels if your plant is giving you signs. If you are doing everything right, but your plant is still not flourishing, humidity could be the culprit.
For drier months, especially, use a humidifier.
You can keep your plant with a bunch of houseplants so they will share humidity.
Misting will also help to an extent, but it’s not always possible to maintain the humidity through misting. Mist once a week is good enough.
Size of pot
The pot’s size may cause droopy leaves to some extent if the plant is not provided with proper care accordingly.
Plant owners usually just follow thumb rules given to grow a plant, neglecting some factors that every grower has different growing conditions and different pots size.
- If your pot size is small, its soil will dry quickly. So, watering once a week is recommended to maintain the moisture in the soil.
- If your container size is big, they need watering in more intervals as the soil will hold on to the water for a long time. Usually, watering once every two weeks.
Before following any prescribed rule, check the soil moisture, water only if they need it.
And if you are not following this, then there are chances that your plant leaves are drooping due to this.
Few tips on growing a healthy monstera
Monstera is an excellent plant for a plant lover like us. You want those huge lush leaves, so the first thing you want to make sure is the root system.
When you buy your plant, check the root system if it needs a bigger pot or comfortable in the existing pot to reside in.
Suppose the roots are giant, then planting in a bigger container and help the roots grow bigger, giving you bigger lustrous leaves. As the root system grows, change the pot size accordingly.
Ceramic pots, terracotta pots, and wooden pots are all great options to keep the soil moist the way your monstera thrives.
Bottom watering will help you to give your plant proper moisture. So try it!
Now keep your plant in a spot where it will get a lot of light but no direct sunlight, keep the humidity and temperature levels high, keep a check on the water needs and fertilize during summers.
Clean the leaves from time to time to let the plant photosynthesis easily and maintain its glow.
Periodically rotating your plant will help even growth and prevent legginess.
Just in case you are very sensitive about your monstera, use filtered water or let water sit overnight.
Keep pruning whenever you feel your plant is going too bushy to handle and will also decrease the burden on the soil to maintain healthy foliage.
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Don’t overdo anything that will stress your plant, making it harder for them to thrive.
They are precious as they not only are easy to care for but also purify the air of your space.
Follow simple rules and also use your wisdom regarding what and how much they need.
If you compliment them with their cultural and other requirements, they will bring you lots of compliments in return.
Sources: Monstera deliciosa, Developmental changes in Monstera, Chemical influence of monstera.