Monstera are typically resilient plants that can tolerate most indoor environments. However, they do require proper care to stay healthy. And if left neglected, their health can deteriorate. In this article, I’ll discuss in detail how to revive a dying monstera.
How do you revive a dying Monstera? The most important step is to diagnose the root cause, then fix it. To do so, make sure to only water your Monstera when the top layer of soil is dr.
Keep the plant in bright, indirect light and away from cold temperatures under 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure to regularly check for pests and disease so you can immediately treat them.
Signs Your Monstera Is Dying
The most immediate signs that your Monstera is dying is a weak, sick looking plant. And if you look closely, you’ll notice other symptoms as well.
- Leaf discoloration, usually yellow or brown color
- Wet, soggy soil
- Droopy leaves
- Leaves dropping
- Slow or stunted growth
- No new foliage being produced
- Foul smelling odor near the soil surface
Possible black spots on the leaves or other abnormal patterns
How to Save/Revive a Dying Monstera Plant
To save a dying Monstera plant, it is important to correctly diagnose the problem and quickly apply a solution. Because there are many possible causes with some of them being the opposite of the other, it is important to confirm the diagnosis before taking action to prevent worsening the situation.
Below I’ll go through the steps you can take to save and revive a dying Monstera.
Overwatering is usually the number one cause of houseplant death. That’s because many plant owners tend to be overly generous with moisture thinking that it helps the plant.
Unfortunately, too much moisture puts your Monstera at risk of root rot.
But before that happens, your plant will usually give you some signs that it is struggling. These include
- Yellow leaves
- Pal colored leaves
- Brown leaves
- Foliage dropping
The difficult part is that these symptoms sometimes can mean other things. Therefore, it is important to investigate further.
The best way to confirm overwatering is to check the soil.
To do so, stick your finger into the soil. It is the soil is wet, soggy or mucky, it is a sign of overwatering.
The next thing to figure out is how much damage has been done. To know this, unpot the plant and check the roots. This is very important and will tell you what to do next.
The most serious issue with overwatering is root rot. Therefore, the longer you’ve been overwatering the plant, more larger the chance of root rot. Just as importantly, you need to figure out how many roots have been affected.
- If there is root rot and majority of the roots are black, brown, mushy and smelly, it is very difficult to save the plant and you may be better off throwing it away and growing a new one. You can likewise propagate a healthy cutting and start over.
- If there is root rot but only a minor section of roots is affected, prune the damaged roots. Depending on how many roots are left, you may need to prune part of the plant. Few roots can sustain a smaller plant better giving it a higher chance of survival. Then, repot the plant is fresh, dry soil.
- If there is no root rot, allow the soil to dry before adding more water. Adjust your watering schedule to avoid overwatering in the future.
The best way to avoid overwatering your Monstera is to wait until at least the top 2-3 inches of soil is completely dry before adding more water.
Alternatively, you can likewise wait until the soil is 50% dry before watering again. This reduces the chances of overwatering even more.
The reason why it is important to check the soil to confirm overwatering before adding more water is that lack of water can also cause a Monstera to die.
However, it is less common since Monstera plants can tolerate dry periods. However, there’s a limit to how long they can go without water.
After that, they become dehydrated.
And like all living things when you get overly dehydrated, health deteriorates.
This is what happens when your Monstera goes bone dry and stays that way for prolonged periods of time. Along the way, it will likewise give you signs that it needs water.
The most common signs of underwatering are brown, crispy leaf tips and edges. After a while, the leaves will turn brown.
The plant will also droop and look weak and sad. Meanwhile, growth will slow or even stunt if things get worst.
Fortunately, an underwatered Monstera is much easier to revive compared to an overwatered one. And once you add water, it will quickly recover. Typically, it takes only 24 hours before you see the difference.
The plant will perk up and look much more vibrant within that time span.
When adding water, make sure to saturate the soil. To do so, keep adding water to the soil until it starts dripping from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, then stop.
After that, allow the soil to drain completely.
You can then remove the discolored leaves.
To prevent underwatering in the future, check your plant’s soil every 4-5 days by sticking your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches.
Once the soil at that depth is completely dry, you can add water. Avoid letting the soil get completely dry as this leaves no moisture for the roots to absorb.
Make Sure Humidity is High Enough
Ensuring that humidity is sufficient is another way you can revive a dying Monstera.
Monstera plants come from tropical regions, more specifically rainforests. As such, they are used to warm, humid environments. In fact, the ideal humidity of Monstera plants is 60% to 80%.
However, it will do well as long as you keep humidity at 40% or higher.
Unfortunately, most homes have dry air, especially during winter. In fact, the average home has humidity between 20% and 50% depending on the time of year.
Typically, hot, dry summers and cold winters bring humidity down significantly. Therefore, if you live somewhere with different seasons, it is a good idea to get a hygrometer to track humidity.
This will let you know when air moisture gets too low for your plant.
Similarly, some regions naturally have drier air. Desert or desert-like areas including Nevada and Arizona usually have humidity that stays in the low 30s or even drop to the 20s at certain times of the year.
So, if you notice humidity drop, you can use any of the methods below to help increase it to keep your Monstera healthy and happy.
- Get a humidifier
- Move the plant to the bathroom
- Give it a shower every couple of weeks or so
- Mist is a few times a week
- Place it on a pebble tray
- Group it with other houseplants
Clean Its Leaves
Monstera are known for their large, exotic, beautiful, holed leaves. And like all lovely things, they need maintenance.
As stunning as they are, the leaves also attract quite a bit of dust. As the dust collects, they block light absorption and can even clog the pores.
Both light and water transport are both important functions that help keep the plant healthy. It needs to absorb enough light for photosynthesis. Also, transpiration helps balance the plant’s water levels while helping regulate its internal temperature.
Just as importantly, dust attracts pests which gives your plant another problem if bugs do decide to attack the plant.
Therefore, one way to help save a dying monstera is to clean its leaves. You can do so with a damp cloth. Similarly, you can likewise apply warm soapy water to clean the leaves.
However, avoid commercial products like leaf shine as these can clog the pores of the leaves.
Fix Any Lighting Issues
Light is very important for your Monstera’s health. The plant relies on light for photosynthesis, which is its way of creating energy to sustain itself.
Without sufficient light, the plant will grow slowly, become leggy, and produce few, small leaves.
That said, it is important to understand what kind of lighting the plant needs.
And to do so, we need to go back to its native environment, the tropical rainforests.
There, it lives under the canopy or larger plants and trees. As such, while it does get some light, the brunt of sunlight is blocked by leaves and branches overhead.
Therefore, the plant cannot tolerate direct sunlight or very harsh intense light for long periods. This is why it is important to choose the right location for the plant.
- Indoors this is somewhere with medium to bright, indirect light.
- Outdoors it does best in partial shade.
The difference between light indoors and outdoors is that you have walls and ceilings in your home. Thus, light can only enter through one access point, which is the window. As such, you need to supply more light for the plant indoors since it only receives it from one or maybe two directions.
Outdoors, there is more light as the rays bounce off the walls thanks to the open space. This makes it brighter.
The problem with too much direct sunlight is that the plants’ leaves can get sunburn or bleached. This causes leaf discoloration.
The heat also increases evaporation so you need to make sure to give the plant enough water to avoid dehydration.
On the other hand, lack of light can prevent your Monstera’s leaves from splitting. It can also stunt growth and make your plant leggy.
Just as importantly, low light causes soil to stay wet longer which increases the risk of overwatering.
Therefore, if you notice one or the other, move the plant to a more suitable position with medium to bright, indirect light indoors or partial shade outdoors.
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- Monstera Root Rot Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
- Thrips on Monstera – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Maintain Ideal Temperatures for Your Monstera Plant
Above, I mentioned that Monstera plants are tropical in nature. This means they enjoy warm, balmy weather all year round. in fact, their native environments have sunshine 365 days of the year.
This means that the plant is not accustomed to the cold. It does not experience frost or freezing conditions either. As such, it does not tolerate cold temperature well.
In fact, its ideal temperature range if between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Monsteras also have no problem dealing with 90 degrees temperatures.
However, avoid leaving it in spot where temperature drops under 55 degrees Fahrenheit. There, it will struggle.
And the longer it stays there or the colder it gets, the higher the chance it suffers cold stress, injury or damage.
When this happens, you’ll see it leaf discoloration. They can also pucker and shrivel or become disformed. Brown patches can likewise appear on the surface of foliage.
Then, you’ll see leaves start dropping.
Fortunately, it is easy to revive a Monstera suffering from cold stress. All you need to do is move it to a warmer location.
This is the case if you live anywhere below USDA Hardiness Zone 10. If you bring the plant outside during summer, make sure to take it back indoors once the weather gets colder come autumn.
Get Rid of Any Pests
Pests are another potential cause of plant death. These small critters may not look like much individually. But when they work together, they cause significant damage to plants.
The problem here isn’t induvial bugs. Instead, it is pest infestations.
However, the insects that tend to attack your Monstera plant reproduce quite quickly. So, they grow in number very fast.
What’s worse is that they are sap suckers. These include spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, thrips and scale.
These pests are harmful to your Monstera because they suck on its sap. Therefore, they rob your plant of moisture and nutrients that’s meant for the stems and leaves.
When the pest problem gets large enough, they take away a lot of internal fluids causing lack of water and nutrient deficiency.
This is why you see yellow blotches and holes on leaves. Sometimes, leaves drop as well. just as importantly, the plant’s overall growth slows down.
The longer this goes untreated, the worse it will get as the pest population will keep growing. After a while, they will overcome the plant.
Thus, the best way to help revive or save your Monstera from pests is to eradicate them. This is much easier when there are few pests. But as they grow, it can take weeks to get rid of all of them.
With few pests, the simplest way is just to spray them off with water. Do this a few times and you’ll be able to get them all.
Other options are to use insecticidal soap or neem soil. with the latter, make sure to dilute the concentrated neem oil enough. Otherwise, it can damage the leaves as well.
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent pests. As such, regular inspections is important so you catch the problem early and get rid of the bugs when there are only few of them.
Repot Your Dying Monstera (If All Else Fails)
Sometimes, if you’ve tried every possible solution and nothing seems to help, the repotting the plant to try and “start over” is your best solution to revived your dying Monstera.
This is the case for root rot, overwatering and serious pest infestations.
With root rot, removing the damaged roots and repotting in fresh, dry soil allows the plant to reboot and try to save itself.
This is likewise the case for overwatering as you take it out of an overwatered state into dry soil This allows the roots to recover.
If pests are overrunning the plant or its roots, make sure to wash the out the bugs before repotting. You can soak the root ball in soap or neem oil solution to get rid of the pests first before potting the plant in fresh soil.
Frequently Asked Questions About Saving/Reviving a Dying Monstera Plant
Should I Cut Off Dead Monstera Leaves?
Yes, you should cut off dead Monstera leaves. Dead foliage will not recover. Leaving them on is unhealthy can spread decay and disease later on.
Where Do I Cut Dying Monstera Leaves?
To cut off dead or dying Monstera leaves, trim them off at the base of the stem. Make sure to sterilize your cutting tool before making any cut.
Why are the Leaves on My Monstera Dying?
There are several reasons why the leaves on your Monstera are dying. These include overwatering, lack of humidity, pests, diseases and overfertilizing. While Monsteras are hardy plants, their tolerance and resistance have limits.
Is My Monstera Dead?
Often, it is not your Monstera that is dead. Instead, it may just be the leaves. Monstera leaves can die or turn brown in color and get crispy and brittle. However, with proper care, the plant will grow new leaves again.
Why is My Monstera Struggling?
A struggling Monstera plant can be caused by a number of issues. The most serious problems is root rot. This is dangerous to your plant because you cannot see the roots as they get damaged. Root rot also happens quickly and will spread quite fast. It is caused by overwatering. And when too many roots have rotted, your Monstera cannot survive.
Can Yellow Monstera Leaves Turn Green Again?
Once a leaf turns yellow, it cannot turn back to green again. The plant will continue to expend energy to try to help it recover but in vain. This is why it is a good idea to prune yellow leaves so the plant will focus its energy on new leaves.
Will Monstera Leaves Grow Back?
Whether your Monstera leaves will grow back or not depends on its health. If you can diagnose the problem and fix it to bring your plant back to good health, it will eventually replace the old, damaged leaves with new leaves.
Can I Propagate a Dying Monstera?
Yes, you can propagate a dying Monstera. In fact, this is a good solution if the plant does not seem like it can be saved. To do so, look for healthy stem cuttings with nodes. You can propagate the cuttings in water or in soil to grow a new Monstera plant.
What To Do in Case Your Monstera Plant Is Dying?
If you notice your Monstera plant dying, the first course of action is to try and save it. You’ll need to diagnose the cause and find a solution. Often, watering problems, lighting, humidity, temperature, pests and disease are the main culprits.
Can Propagating or Repotting Save My Monstera Deliciosa?
Propagation and repotting are the two final resort solutions to save a dying Monstera. If you find that you’ve done everything and canny seem to find a solution or stop the deterioration, you can repot the plant in fresh soil or propagate it to grow a new one.