Monstera plants, with their stunning foliage and tropical vibes, have become a popular choice among houseplant enthusiasts. However, one common issue that many Monstera owners face is the leaves turning yellow. If you're experiencing this problem with your Monstera, don't worry! In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the various causes behind Monstera leaves turning yellow and provide effective solutions to help you restore your plant's health. Let's dive in!

Why Are Monstera Leaves Turning Yellow?

Yellowing leaves in Monstera plants can be attributed to several factors, including:

  1. Improper watering
  2. Nutritional deficiencies
  3. Pest infestations
  4. Root problems
  5. Environmental conditions
  6. Age-related changes

Understanding the underlying causes is crucial in order to implement the appropriate remedies and prevent further leaf yellowing. Let's examine each factor in detail.

Improper Watering: A Common Culprit

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, wilting, root rot

One of the leading causes of Monstera leaves turning yellow is improper watering practices. Overwatering or underwatering can both lead to leaf discoloration. It's important to find the right balance to keep your Monstera healthy.

Overwatering: Drowning Your Monstera

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, soft and mushy roots, soil that remains wet for prolonged periods

Overwatering suffocates the roots, leading to oxygen deprivation and root rot. This prevents the roots from absorbing necessary nutrients, causing the leaves to turn yellow. Here are some tips to combat overwatering:

  • Watering Frequency: Check the moisture level in the soil before watering. Stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil, and if it feels dry, it's time to water your plant. If it's still moist, hold off on watering.
  • Drainage: Ensure your Monstera's pot has proper drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can exacerbate root problems.
  • Potting Mix: Use a well-draining potting mix that allows water to flow through easily. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark works well for Monstera plants.

Underwatering: Thirsty Monstera Leaves

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, drooping, dry and brittle soil

On the other hand, underwatering can also cause Monstera leaves to turn yellow. When a plant doesn't receive sufficient water, it starts to conserve resources by shedding older leaves. Here's how you can address underwatering issues:

  • Watering Routine: Establish a regular watering schedule, ensuring the soil is evenly moist during watering sessions. However, avoid saturating the soil excessively.
  • Humidity: Monstera plants thrive in humid environments. Increase humidity levels by misting the leaves regularly or using a humidifier. This helps prevent moisture loss through transpiration.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Feeding Your Monstera Right

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, pale or faded leaf color, stunted growth

Monstera plants require essential nutrients to maintain vibrant foliage. Nutritional deficiencies can manifest through yellowing leaves, signaling that your plant is not receiving adequate nourishment. Consider the following factors when addressing this issue:

Lack of Nitrogen: Greening Up Your Monstera

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves with green veins, overall pale appearance

Nitrogen is a vital nutrient for promoting leaf development and vibrant coloration. A lack of nitrogen can result in chlorosis, where the leaves turn yellow while the veins remain green. To address nitrogen deficiency:

  1. Fertilization: Apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate dosage and frequency.
  2. Organic Alternatives: Incorporate organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure into the soil. This enriches the nutrient content and helps prevent deficiencies.

Lack of Iron: Reviving Your Monstera's Leaves

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves with distinct dark green veins, interveinal chlorosis

Iron plays a crucial role in chlorophyll production, and a deficiency can cause yellowing leaves with green veins. Treating iron deficiency includes:

  • Iron Chelates: Apply iron chelate supplements to the soil or as a foliar spray. These formulations ensure efficient iron absorption by the plant.
  • pH Adjustment: Check the soil pH and make sure it falls within the optimal range for iron availability. Most Monstera plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.

Pest Infestations: Banishing Unwanted Visitors

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, tiny webs, visible pests (e.g., spider mites, mealybugs)

Pests can cause significant damage to Monstera plants, leading to yellowing leaves and overall decline. Common pests that affect Monstera plants include spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale insects. Here's how you can combat these intruders:

Spider Mites: Tiny Plant Vampires

Symptoms: Yellow stippling on leaves, fine webbing on leaves and stems

Spider mites are minuscule pests that suck the sap out of Monstera leaves, resulting in yellowing and stippling. To eliminate spider mites:

  1. Spray with Water: Use a strong jet of water to dislodge spider mites from the leaves. Repeat this process regularly to prevent reinfestation.
  2. Insecticidal Soap: Apply an insecticidal soap solution to the affected areas. Be sure to cover both sides of the leaves, as spider mites are adept at hiding.

Mealybugs: Cottony Plant Invaders

Symptoms: White cottony clusters on leaves, yellowing and wilting

Mealybugs are notorious for their cottony white clusters, which they use to protect themselves while they feast on plant sap. Here's how you can eradicate mealybugs:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol: Dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and gently dab it on the mealybugs to kill them. Ensure you reach all the hidden crevices where they may be hiding.
  • Neem Oil: Dilute neem oil according to the manufacturer's instructions and spray it on the affected areas. Neem oil acts as both a pesticide and a fungicide.

Root Problems: Nurturing a Healthy Foundation

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, root rot, stunted growth

Issues with the root system can have a direct impact on the health of Monstera leaves. Root rot, caused by overwatering or poor drainage, is a common problem. To address root-related issues:

  • Root Inspection: Gently remove your Monstera from its pot and inspect the roots for any signs of rot or damage. Healthy roots should be firm, white, and have a pleasant earthy smell. Trim away any diseased or mushy roots before repotting the plant.
  • Repotting: Choose a pot that allows for proper drainage and is slightly larger than the previous one. Fill it with a well-draining potting mix and carefully transplant your Monstera, ensuring the roots are adequately covered.

Environmental Conditions: Providing Optimal Growth Conditions

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, leaf curling, wilting

Monstera plants thrive in specific environmental conditions, and deviations from their preferred settings can cause stress and leaf yellowing. Consider the following factors to create an ideal environment for your Monstera:

Lighting: Finding the Goldilocks Zone

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, leggy growth, burnt or scorched leaves

Monstera plants require bright, indirect light to thrive. Insufficient light can lead to pale leaves, while excessive light can scorch and yellow the leaves. Achieve the right balance:

  1. Indirect Light: Place your Monstera near a window with filtered light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause leaf burn.
  2. Rotate the Plant: Regularly rotate your Monstera to ensure all sides receive adequate light. This promotes even growth and prevents one-sided yellowing.

Temperature and Humidity: A Tropical Delight

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves, wilting, brown leaf tips

Monstera plants prefer warm and humid environments, mimicking their natural tropical habitats. Unsuitable temperatures and low humidity can cause stress and leaf yellowing. Take the following steps to create an optimal environment:

  • Temperature Range: Monstera plants thrive in temperatures between 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C). Avoid exposing them to drafts or extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Humidity Boost: Increase humidity levels by placing your Monstera on a pebble tray filled with water or by using a humidifier. Grouping plants together can also create a microclimate with higher humidity.

Age-Related Changes: Embracing Natural Progression

Symptoms: Yellowing leaves starting from the bottom, leaf drop

As Monstera plants mature, it's natural for older leaves to yellow and eventually drop off. This is a normal part of the plant's growth cycle. However, if the yellowing occurs on new or healthy leaves, it may indicate an underlying issue.

To differentiate between age-related yellowing and other causes, observe the pattern of yellowing. If it starts from the bottom and progresses upward, it's likely a natural aging process. However, if it affects random leaves or occurs on new growth, investigate other potential causes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: How often should I water my Monstera?

    • A: Water your Monstera when the top inch of soil feels dry. Adjust the frequency based on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity.
  2. Q: Can I use tap water to water my Monstera?

    • A: Tap water is generally fine, but if your water is heavily chlorinated or has a high mineral content, it's best to use filtered or distilled water.
  3. Q: Are Monstera plants toxic to pets?

    • A: Yes, Monstera leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can be toxic to pets if ingested. Keep your Monstera out of their reach.
  4. Q: How can I increase humidity for my Monstera?

    • A: You can increase humidity by misting the leaves, using a humidifier, placing the plant on a pebble tray, or grouping it with other plants.
  5. Q: Can I propagate a Monstera with yellow leaves?

    • A: It's best to propagate from healthy green stems, as yellow leaves may indicate an underlying issue. Focus on revitalizing the parent plant first.
  6. Q: How long does it take for yellow Monstera leaves to turn green again?

    • A: Once the underlying issue is addressed, it can take a few weeks to a couple of months for new growth to emerge and for the plant to regain its green color.


Seeing your beloved Monstera leaves turn yellow can be concerning, but armed with the knowledge of the various causes and solutions, you can nurse your plant back to health. Remember to pay attention to watering practices, provide adequate nutrition, prevent pest infestations, address root issues, create optimal environmental conditions, and understand the natural aging process.

By implementing the right strategies, you can restore the vibrancy of your Monstera's foliage and enjoy its lush greenery once again. Happy gardening!

By Raied Muheisen 0 comment


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