Monstera are very popular houseplants because of their gorgeous fenestrated leaves. Additionally, these plants are quite resilient and easy to care for. However, if you neglect them, there’s a possibility that you’ll find your Monstera leaves drooping and wilting. Fortunately, once your fix the underlying cause, they will quickly perk right back up.
Why are your Monstera leaves drooping? If your Monstera leaves are drooping, wilting or look limp, the cause is almost always water-related. In most cases, then it is due to lack of water.
Therefore, if you feel the soil, it will be very dry. but if the soil is soggy and damp, then it is overwatering that’s causing your Monstera leaves to droopy.
Why Are My Monstera Leaves Drooping?
If you notice your Monstera leaves drooping or wilting, it means that is it not happy about something. Thus, take the time to go through your care routine and see if you can fix any possible issues that’s giving your plant problems.
Monsteras are generally resilient plants. Therefore, they can tolerate improper care. Better yet, once you fix the issue, it will quickly recover.
Below is a list of the possible causes for Monstera leaves drooping. For each, I’ll explain why this is happening and how you can fix the problem.
Underwatering is the Most Common Cause of Droopy Monstera Leaves
Watering is usually the most challenging part of caring for Monstera plants. That’s because you need to find the balance between too much and too little watering.
When it comes to droopy Monstera leaves, the common issue is lack of water.
This will result in a sad looking plant, with drooping or wilting leaves.
In order to fix this, you need to make sure that the plant does not dry out. It is important to avoid letting the soil go bone dry. More importantly, avoid letting it stay dry for long periods of time.
The reasons is that Monsteras come from the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. This means that they receive lots of rainfall on a daily basis.
As such, the dry soil is something they are not used to. And when they do experience it, they will start to droop to give you warning sign that something needs fixing.
How to Fix Droopy Monstera Leaves Caused by Underwatering
The quickest way to fix drooping Monstera leaves caused by underwatering is to give it moisture.
Of course, you can do this in many ways. Although some methods are more effective than others.
The most basic way is just to get a hose and add water to the soil. For smaller plants, you can use the sink.
Keep adding water until the soil is completely saturated. You’ll know this when you see liquid start dripping through the drainage holes of the pot. Then stop the water and allow the soil to drain completely.
However, here’s how the experts do it.
- Place the plant into a sink or bathtub. For smaller plants, the sink will work. But if your Monstera is bigger, you’re better off in the tub.
- Fill the sink or tub with about 3 or 4 inches of water. Use room temperature water, not cold, not hot.
- This will submerge a small part of the root ball in water. Doing so will allow the soil to soak in the moisture at its own pace through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot.
- Leave the plant to absorb the water. It can take between 15 to 45 minutes depending on how big your plant is and how dry the soil has gotten.
- Every now and then, check the surface of the soil. Once the top of the soil feels moist, you can take the plant out. The goal is to allow the entire root ball (or soil) to get saturated with water.
- If you want to speed up the process, you can water the plant from above (on the soil) as well. This will saturate the soil sooner.
- Once the soil (root ball) is completely saturate or feels damp, stop the water and drain the sink or tube.
- Then leave the plant to drain any excess water. This usually takes another 15 to 45 minutes depending on how big your plant is.
- When the soil has completely drained, you can put the plant back to its original location.
Another option to using the sink or bathtub is to get a large pail or container that’s big enough to put the entire plant and pot in.
Then fill up that pail, bin or container with water until about a quarter of the way and soak the plant in there following the same instructions above.
Lack of Humidity
Since the plant is hails from tropical regions, it is used to warm, humid weather.
Thus, it is important to make sure that you provide it with sufficient humidity to keep it healthy and happy.
Ideal humidity for Monstera plants is between 60% and 80%. It can likewise tolerate humidity of 40% and above. Therefore, try to keep humidity at least 40% or higher.
Unfortunately, when the plant is stays in low humidity, its transpiration rate will speed up. This means it will lose more moisture through the pores on its leaves.
As a result, it will start to wilt, and its leaves will droop.
Thus, it is important to keep an eye out for indoor humidity levels especially if you live somewhere with dry air. Similarly, hot, dry summers and cold winters can bring down humidity significantly.
How to Correct Low Humidity
While there is no way to change the humidity where you live, you can adjust or modify how much air moisture there is around the plant.
Here are a few ways to increase humidity to keep your Monstera happy.
The most effective way to increase humidity and maintain that level is to use a humidifier. That said, it also costs some money.
Humidifiers vary in price depending on what they can do and the square footage they can cover. As such, you can get an affordable humidifier if you only need to increase humidity for your plants.
The most important features of a humidifier is that it lets you adjust the target humidity levels, set a timer and automatically maintain a specific humidity level of your choosing.
This is something that the other methods don’t give you, control.
Mist the Plant
Misting is by far the simplest way to increase humidity. All you need is a spray bottle and fill it with water. Then spritz the leaves and air around the plant to increase humidity.
The downside is that it can only increase humidity by a little bit. More importantly, its effects are temporary.
Therefore, you need to keep misting the plant a few times a week depending on how low humidity gets in your home.
Pebble trays are more hands-off. That is, you fill a tray with water, place pebbles in the water and put the pot on top of the pebbles.
The pebbles keep the pot above water. And while the water evaporates, it increases humidity around the plant.
More importantly, you don’t need to do anything except fill the tray with water.
The downside is, you don’t how much it can raise humidity. Therefore, it may not be enough and it requires trial and error.
That said, more water around the plant means more evaporation.
Giving your plant a shower is one of the quickest ways to increase humidity. it also cleans the leaves by washing off dust from them.
For small plants, you can use the sink. For larger plants you can use the shower or go outside and spray the plant with a garden hose.
The downside here is that you do need to give the plant a shower once every 2 weeks or so. How often depends on how low humidity gets where you live.
Also, you always need to make sure to let the plant dry off and drain right after to avoid overwatering.
Move the Plant to the Bathroom
Moving the plant to the bathroom is another effective way to increase humidity. The only work you need to do is moving the plant.
This is not a problem for small plants. But it can be a two-person job for larger Monsteras.
While very effective, keeping the plant in the bathroom means no one else can see it unless they go to the bathroom. Also, you need to maker sure there’s enough access to light in the bathroom to keep the plant healthy.
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Speaking of light, it is another factor that can cause droopy Monstera leaves.
Indoors, Monstera need medium to bright, indirect light to flourish. Outdoors, partial shade is best.
It is important to make sure that the plant gets sufficient light because it needs this for photosynthesis. More importantly, too much or too little light are both not ideal for your Monstera.
Too much light, very strong light or exposure to direct sunlight can scorch its beautiful leaves. On the other hand, too little light leads to a sad, slow growing droopy plant with few, small leaves.
When it comes to drooping Monstera leaves, underwatering is the most common issue. However, overwatering can sometimes lead to droopy leaves a well.
This happens as the plant starts get weak. It will look sad and begin to droop. You’ll also notice yellow leaves which begin with bottom foliage. In some cases, you may see brown spots or patches on the leaves.
If overwatering is left untreated, you may soon smell a foul odor coming from the soil.
This is a very bad sign as it means that root rot has set it.
Therefore, while overwatering is less commonly the issue for your Monstera leaves dropping, it is actually a more dangerous problem because it can lead to root rot. If not detected early and treated, this can ultimately destroy your plant.
To avoid overwatering, always check the soil before adding more water. Do this by sticking your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches deep.
If the soil feels wet and soggy, it means the plant is being overwatered. Thus, allow the soil to dry more before watering.
Also make sure that the soil you use is well-draining. Avoid using heavy soils or even regular houseplant potting mix as they tend to hold too much water for your Monstera’s liking.
Finally make sure that the pot you use has drainage holes at the bottom.
When it comes to watering, always way until the top 2 inches of soil is dry before adding more water. You can wait even longer until the soil is dry halfway before watering as the Monstera does not mind.
What to Do If Your Monstera is Overwatered?
If you find that your Monstera is dropping due to overwatering, it is important to take action quickly. That’s because depending on how bad the overwatering has been or how long it has been going on, it can cause root rot.
Here’s what to do if your Monstera is overwatered.
Check for Root Rot
Once you’ve verified that the soil is wet and soggy, it is best to play safe and check for root rot. This requires some work since you need to unpot the plant.
But it is better to be safe than sorry, right?
The goal here is to see whether root rot has set in or not.
- If there is root rot, prune the rotted roots and repot the plant in fresh, dry soil
- If there is no root rot, make the proper adjustments by following the next steps.
Adjust Your Watering Schedule
Make sure that you’re not watering too frequently. This is usually the most common cause of overwatering.
The problem is, being too generous with water does more harm than good.
Therefore, cut back on water.
Only water once the top 2 inches of soil is completely dry. Avoid doing so before that. You can likewise use a moisture meter if you prefer.
Use Well-Draining Potting Mix
Monstera are aroids. Thus, they enjoy moist soil but need well-draining soil that has good aeration. This allows a good balance of water and oxygen to get the roots.
You can use an aroid mix which is designed specifically for Philodendrons and Monsteras. Or your can make your own DIY potting mix.
Make sure that it had sufficient drainage by using perlite, pumice, orchid bark or charcoal.
Check the Size of the Pot
Overpotting is often a hidden problem. Some growers like putting their Monstera in much larger pots so they don’t need to repot often.
While this sounds logical, it is actually very dangerous since overly large pots means excess soil.
So, when you water your plant, there’s a lot of extra moisture around the roots. More water also means it takes much longer for the soil to dry. Therefore, your Monstera’s roots end up sitting in water for long periods of time.
Check for Drainage Issues
Finally, check the pot to make sure it has drainage. Use a container with drainage holes at the bottom so excess water can escape and not pool at the bottom of the pot.
If your pot does not have holes to allow water to get out, moisture that is drained by the soil ends up collecting at the bottom of the pot.
Over time, the soil will reabsorb this liquid which causes overwatering.
Being tropical plants, Monstera are used to warm, sunny weather all year round. Their ideal temperature range is between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
And while they can tolerate warmer conditions that that without any issues, it is not a good idea to leave the plant in a scorching environment.
Leaving under temperatures of 95 degrees and above can eventually dehydrate the plant and cause heat stress.
That said, in most cases you want to look out for the cold.
That’s because Monstera don’t have good tolerate for cold weather. Therefore, avoid temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The longer it stays in the cold, and the lower the temperature gets, the more likely it will experience cold injury and damage.
Drooping can be cause by cold temperature, cold drafts or air conditioning. If this happens, move the plant to warmer location.
Too Much Fertilizer
Fertilizer plays an important role in helping your Monstera grow and stay healthy.
Thus, it is a good idea to apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during its growing period to help it along.
This will ensure that it gets all nutrients it needs to grow big and produce lush foliage.
However, too much fertilizer does more harm than good.
Therefore, avoid applying too much, or doing so too often. Doing so will lead to an accumulation of fertilizer salts in the soil. And past a certain point, the salts become toxic to the plant.
Unfortunately, when there’s enough salt in the soil, it can damage the roots. As a result, the roots cease to function, preventing them from absorbing water and nutrients.
When this happens, your Monstera plant will droop.
Therefore, always check for possible signs of fertilizer salt build up on the soil. This is especially true if you think you apply fertilizer a often.
If so, flush the soil once every month or couple of months. You can do so by running water through the soil for 5 to 10 minutes. Th will help dissolve the salts and wash them out of the soil with other tiny debris in the soil.
Droopy Monstera Leaves After Transplanting/Repotting
Repotting or transplant stress and shock are also possible reasons for droopy leaves on your Monstera. This sometimes happens due to the changes in its environment.
Other times, it can occur if the roots get damaged during the transplanting process. Or if the roots were already weak or damaged beforehand.
Unfortunately, when this occurs, there isn’t a lot you can do except give the plant some time to recover. It usually takes several weeks for it to get back and start growing again.
During this time, you want to support it by giving it proper care. This will help it recover faster and adapt sooner to its new environment.
Lack of Support
In the tropical jungle, Monstera are found climbing up trees to get more light. As such, they are not like other plants that grow upright.
Instead, they need a support or something to cling to and climb upwards.
Giving it a moss pole of similar support structure will prevent drooping. When allowed to climb, the plant also gets bigger and produces more leaves. That’s because it gets more access to light.
Monstera are generally very resilient plants. And they are quite good at resisting pests when healthy.
However, when under stress or shock, they become weak. Pests are able to sense this and that’s when they start attacking the plant.
The most common pests that attack your Monstera are sap sucking insects. These include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids and scale.
The problem with these bugs is that when they suck the sap of your Monstera, they’re effectively stealing its internal fluids which contain water and nutrients.
As the pests grow in number they rob more moisture and nutrients causing the leaves to droop. Eventually, you’ll see holes and yellow or brown patches in the leaves. And the plant will weaken.
Thus, it is very important to regularly check for pests and immediately treat them before they develop into an infestation.