Monstera adansonii leaves turning yellow is always concerning because of how valuable and beautiful the plant is.
It also raises some flags telling you that you need to adjust something in your plant care routine to keep your monstera adansonii happy.
That said, don’t panic just yet.
That’s because yellow leaves in monstera adansonii can be fixed.
But before you can do so, you’ll need to diagnose and identify the root cause of the yellowing.
Why are my monstera adansonii leaves turning yellow? Overwatering and nutrient deficiency are common reasons for a monstera adansonii yellowing leaves.
Although, it can also be caused by lack of light, highly mineralized tap water, low humidity, pests and diseases.
Causes of Monstera Adansonii Leaves Turning Yellowing
Natural Aging / Natural Causes
I’ll start off with something that’s good.
Sometimes, monstera adansonii leaves turning yellow is a good thing. That’s because it is a sign that the plant it growing naturally and it is pushing out new leaves.
If you see a few leaves, usually the older ones at the bottom of the plant, turning yellow while the new growth is coming out, be happy for your plant.
It means that your monstera is redirecting more energy to the new leaves which is why the older leaves are now turning yellow.
This is part of its natural aging cycle where older leaves turn yellow and will later fall off.
They do so to give way and space for new leaves to emerge.
So, in this case, there’s no problem and thus, nothing to fix.
Watering issue is usually the first thing I will check when I see my monstera adansonii leaves turning yellow.
As with most houseplants, watering is always a priority especially because of the risks that come with overwatering.
But the problem here is that both underwatering and overwatering will cause monstera adansonii yellowing leaves.
Usually, overwatering is associated with yellowing leaves.
That’s because when there is too much water in the soil, it suffocates the roots by drowning them in lots of water. This prevents them from functioning at 100%.
So, despite all the excess water, the roots are not able to absorb its usual amount of moisture and nutrients.
That lack of water and nutrients are what cause your monstera adansonii leaves to tur yellow.
On the other hand, underwatering and dehydration can also cause yellow leaves in monstera adansonii.
Water is what transports nutrients from the roots all the way to different parts of the plant including the leaves. So, when the plant is short on water, the leaves won’t get the moisture and nutrients they need.
This results in your monstera developing curled and yellow leaves.
So, how can you tell the difference between overwatering and underwatering?
Because the two cause problems and require different solutions, it is important to distinguish one from the other before you start any treatment.
Here, I like to use a combination of two methods.
Feel the leaves then feel the soil. The combination of the two make it easy to confirm whether your monstera is overwatered or underwatered.
If the leaves feel very dry or crispy and the soil is likewise very dry (usually all the way down or nearly all the way down), then your monstera is underwatered.
On the other hand, if the yellow leaves feel soft, mushy or a bit wet and the soil is soggy and mucky, it means your monstera is overwatered.
In general, the monstera adansonii likes moist soil. It hates wet, soggy soil and it does not like soil drying out completely.
So, it is best to keep the plant somewhere in between.
The best way to do this is to regularly check the soil.
Once the top 2-3 inches of soil dries out, it is time to water the plant. Avoid doing so before then as it increases the risk of overwatering.
You can also be more conservative and wait until the top half of the soil is dry between waterings.
This gives you a larger “safety zone” to prevent overwatering.
On the other hand, if the plant is already overwatered or underwatered, then immediate action is needed.
If your monstera adansonii’s yellow leaves is due to overwatering,
Check the soil to verify that it is indeed overwatering. The soil will be wet and mucky.
If so, take the plant out of the pot and drain any excess moisture in the pot if there is any. Also, if you keep a dish under the pot to catch any moisture, throw away any water that has collected in the saucer.
From here, dry the roots.
You can remove the soil and let the roots dry. It usually takes a few hours.
After that, repot the plant. You can use fresh, dry soil or the same soil after they’ve dried a bit.
Alternatively, you poke holes in the soil or turn it over to aerate it.
Aerating the soil will allow air to get in between the soil particles. In doing so, it helps speed up the drying process.
In case there is root rot, you’ll need to prune the rotten roots and repot the plant in freshy, dry well-draining soil.
On the other hand, if your monstera adansonii’s yellow leaves are due to underwatering, you’ll see the leaves become very dry. The soil will also be very dry.
In many cases, the soil will be bone dry all the way down to the bottom of the root ball.
Here, the best solution is to soak your monstera plant.
You can also water it from above.
If you do, make sure to water thoroughly. And don’t wet the leaves. Instead, water directly onto the soil.
I prefer to use bottom water.
You can put the in a large sink or bathtub then fill the water until around nearly halfway up the pot.
This will allow the soil to absorb the moisture through the holes at the bottom of the container.
Whichever method you use, make sure to allow the plant to completely drain afterwards to avoid letting the roots sit in water.
Lack of Humidity
Monstera adansonii yellowing leaves can also be caused by low humidity.
As with other monstera plants, the adansonii is a tropical plant. This means it prefers moderate to warm weather. And it likes high humidity.
Ideally, it does best when humidity is at 50% and above.
That said, it can tolerate humidity of around 40%. However, if you leave it somewhere with consistently low humidity that’s between the 20s or low 30s, you’ll see its leaves turn brown.
This usually begins in the edges and tips of the leaves.
But the browning will make its way towards the middle of the leaves as well.
If low humidity persists, you’ll later see your monstera adansonii leaves turn yellow as well.
Humidity may or may not be a problem depending on where you live.
If you live in tropical, subtropical or Mediterranean climate, then you will never need to worry or even bother about humidity.
These locations have higher humidity.
However, some cities have lower humidity.
And this can be worsened if you experience very hot, dry summers and cold winters.
The former will cause humidity to drop even lower. And winter weather is well-known for making air very dry.
As such, you want to watch out for the changes as the seasons change.
The best way to stay ahead of this is to have a hygrometer.
This allows you to know that the humidity is in any give space in your home just by looking at he device.
Thus, you can take action if needed.
If you notice your monstera adansonii’s leaves start turning brown on the edges and tips or humidity dropping below 35% or so, here are a few things you can do.
A humidifier is the most straightforward solution.
That said, some people prefer to mist the plant, which I’m not a huge fan of.
While misting works, you need to make sure you do it regularly because the effects are very temporary.
So, if you have a busy schedule or lifestyle, making sure to mist every 2-3 days or so can be an extra hassle. Or you can sometimes forget.
Also, there’s the risk of over misting and wetting the leaves too much.
This can lead to fungal leaf infections.
Thus, I prefer to use a pebble try or humidity tray. These work the same way but they are build differently.
So, you can make your own depending on what’s easier to build at home.
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Water quality refers to what’s in the water you use for your monstera plant.
In most cases, tap water is fine.
However, some cities or municipalities add more chemicals to the top to make it safe for people to drink.
When the level of the salts, chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals are too high, it can cause side effects to your monstera adansonii.
Note that the symptoms are not immediate.
Instead, they’ll slowly show up over time.
So, if you happen to see brown lines or yellow streaks on the leaves of your monstera adansonii, check your tap water quality.
This is a sign of necrosis.
And you monstera adansonii’s yellowing leaves will look differently from the yellowing it will develop in overwatering or other issues.
Unfortunately, the yellowing of your monstera plant is not your biggest problem.
The excess chemicals will interfere with how the plant’s root system functions. And this reduce their ability to absorb moisture and nutrients.
Sadly, you have no control as to how much your city’s water system works.
But you do have control of what happens to the water when it comes out of the sink.
If you notice that your monstera adansonii leaves turning yellow is due to highly mineralized tap water or hard water, you have a few options.
One is to filter the tap.
You can also use distilled water instead for your plants. Although, I don’t like this solution because it will get expensive rather quick especially if you have a large monstera plant.
If you have regular rain in your area, you can collect rainwater and use that.
Otherwise, the best option is to collect tap water then let it sit overnight at room temperature.
This will allow the excess chemicals to evaporate by morning. So, you can use the water safely for your monstera adansonii then without risk of yellow leaves or affecting the roots.
Light is a very important factor when keeping your monstera adansonii healthy. It is essential for growth because photosynthesis relies on light to work.
In turn, photosynthesis is where the plant produces the energy to push out new growth, be it shoots or leaves. Similarly, this energy is what maintains its leaves and lets them grow bigger and develop fenestrations.
That said, light can be tricky.
In general, the monstera adansonii thrives on medium light.
But you have to understand what that means. Medium light refers to:
- Medium to bright indirect or filtered light indoors.
- Partial shade or semi-shade outdoors.
Always keep in mind that indoor light is less than outdoor light because there are walls and ceilings in your home.
Therefore, the natural light from the sun can only enter through openings like windows and doors.
On the other hand, light outside can bounce against walls.
The problem with lighting usually comes when there is too much or too little light.
Both are bad for your monstera adansonii.
Excess light, too much intense light or exposure to direct sunlight for long periods at a time will damage the leaves.
You’ll see the leaves get dry, spots appearing and browning.
If the exposure is intense, your monstera adansonii’s leaves will experience sunburn as well.
On the other hand, too little light is likewise bad.
When there is lack of light, your monstera adansonii’s leaves will turn yellow instead of green. This is due to the lack of chlorophyll that’s produced due to reduced photosynthesis.
The plant will grow slower, droop, produce fewer and smaller leaves as well.
The good news is lighting issues is easy to fix.
But before you can do so, it is important to figure out what the problem is.
If your monstera adansonii is getting lots of direct sunlight exposure, move it away from the sun’s rays.
Ideally, find a spot near a window that gets plenty of light indoors. But keep the plant far enough so that the sun’s rays never touch the plant at any time of the day.
If you want to be more specific, an east facing window is ideal since monstera plants can tolerate the gentle morning sun.
So, some direct sunlight exposure from this side is fine.
But if you want to keep the plant near a south facing window, make sure to distance it away from the sun’s rays.
The south receives the strongest light of the four directions.
And the sunlight that comes in from this side of your home is that during noon to mid-afternoon when the sun is most intense.
Thus, keep the plant away from that.
On the other hand, if your monstera adansonii leaves are turning yellow due to lack of light, move it away from dark corners or areas with little light.
Instead, keep it somewhere with medium to bright indirect light.
If you don’t get enough natural sunshine into your home, you can sue artificial lights as well.
You can use grow lights to supplement whatever sunlight you get. Or you can use the grow lights on their own.
However, when using LED grow lights, make sure to distance the plant enough from the bulbs.
The bulbs also emit heat which can burn your monstera adansonii’s leaves.