A Monstera plant is one of the most beautiful and exotic plants you can own.
Its leaves are large and leathery, with a wide variety of shapes and patterns. One thing all varieties have in common though is that they will eventually turn yellow.
It’s important to understand why your Monstera plant has lost its green color so you can properly care for it going forward.
Read on to learn more about these three main causes, as well as the other less common causes of yellow leaves for the Monstera plant
Why are my Monstera Leaves Turning Yellow?
Proper watering, temperature stress or root rot could be causing your monstera yellow leaves problem.
Learn how to identify each cause so you know how best to treat it!
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1. Watering Problem
Monstera, even though are from the rainforest, do not like to be overwatered or have soggy soil. They are susceptible to root rot if exposed to too much water for too long.
Similarly, the monstera leaves can turn yellow if they’re underwatered or dried out.
Either of these could cause your Monstera plant to start turning yellow, so it is vital to touch the soil every day before you start watering them.
Let’s look at each of these reasons in detail so you know whether your Monstera yellow leaves are because of overwatering or underwatering.
In most cases, it is due to overwatering that your Monstera starts turning yellow.
In such cases, they will form brown spots on the leaves and eventually, the entire leaf will turn yellow.
The soil of such a monstera will take time to dry out but it also has the risk of developing fungus.
When the soil in the pot is continuously wet (this could be because of frequent watering or water-retentive soil), the chances of your monstera leaves turning yellow are high.
All you have to do is check the soil before you water them every day. If it feels moist or is soggy, let it dry out before you water them again.
A Monstera plant that has been underwatered will exhibit drooping, yellowing, curling, and ultimately light brown and crispy leaves.
Underwatered Monstera leaves will also be dull in color and wrinkled.
Watering them slightly more frequently can help increase their chances of survival. What you can do is to water them until the water drains out from the bottom of the part and a little more time.
This is to ensure that the entire soil mix is hydrated enough. If your monstera soil is underwatered for a long time, the soil tends to become hydrophobic – meaning – it is not easy to make it start absorbing water again.
So it is important to water it frequently until it is normal.
If the soil is still dry, the leaves are still yellow, and the Monstera plant is still drooping, it means that you’re underwatering or you need to repot the plant into a bigger pot with better soil.
2. Temperature Stress
When temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C), Monstera plants will cease to grow and the leaves will begin to yellow or suffer damage.
Why? Because they are rainforest plants and are used to growing under moderate temperatures – not too cold, not too hot.
The usual temperature range for Monstera plants is between 60-85°F (16-29°C). Anything lower than that or higher that will stress your Monstera plant and cause its leaves to yellow.
On the other hand, anything higher than that will damage their delicate leaves.
Make sure your monstera is not dealing with any of this. For example, you need to check if your plant is under direct sunlight or in an extremely cold corner, etc.
3. Repotting Stress
This is a common cause of Monstera yellow leaves.
When you repot your Monstera, it has to deal with the stress of broken roots and changes in the soil.
This usually causes its leaves to turn yellow or brown before they fall off entirely.
Try to maintain the normal circumstances for your plant. The place, watering schedule etc can remain just as before. This will help them cope fast and get adjusted to the new pot.
Give it a few weeks and don’t change anything for the plant.
4. Lighting – too much or too little
Monstera plants do not like direct sunlight or the absence of any light.
Direct harsh sunlight is one of the main reasons why they turn yellow because of too much sun exposure with their leaves drooping, turning pale green or brown.
So, if your Monstera is exposed to direct sunlight, shield it with a curtain or place it under some shade.
The absence of sunlight does not allow the soil to dry out quickly (which can easily resul in overwatering and root rot) and sometimes can also result in fungus formation. This can result in monstera leaves turn yellow.
Therefore, providing your Monstera with some light is extremely important. A bright but indirect sunlight source is recommended.
5. Fungus or Bugs
The fungus can cause your Monstera plant to turn yellow and brown at the tip of its leaves.
If you notice this, check your soil mix immediately for humidity levels because fungus thrives in moist soil conditions.
You can also spray it with neem oil when watering (especially if it’s root rot) to prevent fungus.
If this doesn’t seem to work, you should cut the brown parts off your plant fully.
The following are the three most important nutrients (macronutrients) that all plants require: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
So before you decide it is over-fertilization or under fertilization, let’s understand what these nutrients do.
- Nitrogen – It helps improve photosynthesis and vegetative growth.
With a nitrogen deficiency, leaves will be light green in color with few leaves turning yellow. These will mostly be the older leaves of the plant.
- Phosphorus – Helps in root development, stimulates blooming, fruit-bearing and seed production.
With a phosphorous deficiency, the veins or stems will turn reddish or darken in general. This does not lead to yellow leaves.
- Potassium – Promotes healthy root growth, water uptake and fruit development.
With a potassium deficiency, young leaves are pale in color; older leaves may turn yellow along the edges and stay green in the center. Remember, this will not affect its leaves quickly or dramatically as a nitrogen deficiency does.
If you have been regularly fertilizing your Monstera plant every 1-2 months, then stop doing it immediately.
Overspraying fertilizers could harm the soil. This is because it may lead to
- an imbalance in the nitrogen and phosphorous content of the soil
- accumulation of too many nutrients in the soil which results in pulling water away from the roots
- increase in acidic content of the soil
But, how do you identify over fertilization?
- In case of over-fertilization, the leaves will usually turn yellow and drop off. If it is too much, the whole plant would look weak and sickly.
- Also, notice any burning or scorching of the plant’s leaves. This is an indicator of too much fertilizer.
- You may also notice a white crust of excess fertilizer on top of the soil
- Stunted growth
- Oldest leaves turning yellow
So what do you do?
Take your pot and flush it with water to remove excess fertilizer from the soil. Once done, you can add a new layer of organic compost and mix it with your old soil.
Alternatively, you can also replace your Monstera’s soil entirely if it’s been too long since you replaced it last.
If you haven’t fertilized your monstera in the past few months, it may be time to start again.
A Monstera that is not given proper nutrients will begin to look yellow at the tips of its leaves due to a lack of those micronutrients.
If this is the case, you should fertilize every 3-4 weeks and use organic fertilizer and consider adding fresh soil, organic compost or worm castings.
But, if it is an extreme case of either, you may want to consider replacing the soil entirely.
Remember not to fertilize in the winter months when they are dormant. Also never use chemicals or synthetic fertilizers.
7. Pests and Diseases
If your plant looks sickly all year round, it may be infested with pests or have a disease.
If your Monstera’s leaves are discoloring and turning yellow, the plant may be suffering from one of three diseases: anthracnose, fungal leaf spots, or powdery mildew.
It is the most common Monstera plant disease.
The discoloration happens because anthracnose causes lesions on the leaves, stems and petioles of the plant.
These lesions cause brown spots that look like burn marks which eventually turn black with time. This is more visible on young parts of the plants. Over time these lesions grow to become corky or scaly.
These mostly happen in damp situations (monsoons and winters, mostly). Prune your plant properly to remove all parts of your Monstera that are affected.
Fungal Leaf Spots
Fungal leaf spots are more common on Monstera leaves that grow in shady areas under moist conditions.
The presence of these clustering spots causes yellowing and drooping of the leaves, which leads to premature death. The yellow clustered dots will have a black or brown fungal dot in the middle.
Try not to keep the environment damp in any form. So don’t use a humidifier, keep it under shady conditions, overwater or do anything that gives an environment for the fungus to grow.
Powdery mildew causes similar symptoms as anthracnose but affects the younger parts of the plant.
Any part of the plant that is exposed to direct sunlight or dry conditions can be affected by powdery mildew. Leaves turn yellow and become covered in a white powdery coating
Try using an organic fungicide or just prune off any leaves that have been affected by powdery mildew.
Now, Monstera Yellow Leaves could also be because of pests.
- The first one is scaly insects.
Scaly insects are tiny (with a hard shell) and can be removed with a hand or q-tip.
While you can wash them away, don’t do it EVER. It will result in the egg landing in the soil from where it can affect the soil and the roots.
Even if you remove the scales, the larvae are so small you won’t see them. Treat your monstera plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap to kill this pest.
If you don’t treat it, it will result in your monstera leaves turning yellow and eventually harm the entire plant.
- The second one is spider mites.
These tiny spider-like insects attack your plant and suck the life out of it. You will always find the underside of the plant’s leaf and look like a cluster of brown dots.
Spider mites suck the juice from the stems, producing honeydew, which is a sticky substance that may cover the leaves and prevent light from being absorbed, causing chlorosis.
Again, use neem oil to get rid of them.
- The third kind of pests is Whiteflies and Mealybugs.
They suck the sap from the plant and cause minor damage to your Monstera plant
The only difference between Whiteflies and Mealybugs is that Mealybugs don’t fly but whiteflies do.
You will see these pests around any part of the plant which is yellow or has brown spots, but most likely they are under the leaves.
Use an organic insecticidal soap to get rid of them. This works on both kinds of pests but a q-tip dipped in alcohol can be used to remove mealybugs.
- The fourth kind is Aphids and Ants.
Aphids suck on the sap from plants, excrete honeydew, which in turn attract ants.
Again, you can make use of insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of them.
- The fifth one is fungus gnats.
Fungus gnats feed on the soil and roots.
However, you should know that fungus gnats appear in overly moist soil. So if you are facing moist soil, you should change it immediately.
Treating soil for fungus gnats is simple: add a thick layer of Bacillus thuringiensis (BTI) to it. However, address the moist soil problem first.
8. Repotting or transplant stress
The roots of the Monstera need time to adjust and grow into their new pot after transplanting.
If this is not done properly, the plant will begin to show signs that it is stressed out – one of which is yellow leaves.
You can avoid transplant stress by transplanting your Monstera at the right time of the year (just after it has finished flowering), and by using a pot that is about an inch bigger than your current one.
Like I said before, monstera takes time to adjust to new pots so do not change anything else for the plant (like the location, watering schedule etc) while
9. Old Foilage
Yellow leaves are a typical feature of plant development in Monstera Deliciosa. As it grows, older leaves turn yellow and finally, drop off.
10. Location stress
Yellowing leaves are a sign of a stressed plant.
When you change the location of your monstera or bring it in from the store, the plant will need time to adjust to its condition.
It may take weeks or months for your Monstera to get used to its new environment, so be patient with it!
Should I cut off yellow leaves Monstera?
If your Monstera’s leaves are turning yellow because of anthracnose, fungal leaf spots or powdery mildew, then you need to cut off the yellow leaves.
if not, you can let the leaf die off naturally and fall.
Can Yellow Monstera leaves turn green again?
No, yellow monstera leaves cannot turn green again but that doesn’t mean that you should throw away the yellow leaves. The yellow leaf will fall off naturally and new leaves will grow in its place.
Otherwise, you can always turn the yellow Monstera leaf into a beautiful craft project where your kids would love it too!
Do you have any more questions about how to fix it or what caused your Monstera plant to turn yellow? Then let us know below.
Conclusion: Monstera Yellow Leaves
After reading this article, you should now know the most common causes of yellow leaves for Monstera plants. You can also use these tips to help your plant stay healthy and look beautiful.
If you’re still not sure what is causing your Plant to turn Yellow or if it has turned completely brown, we recommend that you reach out to a professional or take it to a nearby nursery.
They may be able to offer more in-depth advice about how best to care for your Plant-based on its specific needs and type of environment/climate where it lives.
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