Common Monstera Problems and Solutions: A Comprehensive Guide

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Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a popular houseplant known for its large, glossy leaves and unique leaf fenestrations.

While this plant can bring a touch of tropical beauty to any indoor space, it is not without its challenges.

From brown spots on leaves to wilting and pest problems, Monstera owners often encounter various issues that can hinder the plant’s growth and overall health.

In this comprehensive guide, we will address the most common problems faced by Monstera owners and provide effective solutions to help your plant thrive.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced plant enthusiast, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and techniques necessary to overcome these challenges and ensure the well-being of your Monstera.

Now, let’s dive into each of these problems and find the best solutions to keep your Monstera healthy and thriving.

1. Can Monstera deliciosa live in water?

Many plant enthusiasts wonder if Monstera deliciosa can be grown hydroponically, without the use of soil. While it is possible to grow any plant hydroponically, simply providing water is not sufficient for the plant’s nutritional needs.

To successfully grow Monstera deliciosa in water, you need to supplement it with a complete fertilizer like Dyna-Gro Grow. This fertilizer can be used for hydroponics, as well as for watering your soil and foliar feeding.

The recommended dosage for hydroponic growing is 1 teaspoon of Dyna-Gro Grow per gallon of water for non-recirculating systems, and 2-3 teaspoons per gallon for circulating systems.

2. Does Monstera need a lot of light?

Light plays a crucial role in the growth and development of Monstera deliciosa. While these plants can tolerate some shade, they thrive best in bright, indirect light.

Ideally, place your Monstera near a window with a large exposure to maximize its light intake. Proximity to a window is key, as the light intensity drops significantly even just a few feet away.

Eastern or western exposure windows are suitable, providing filtered light throughout the day. However, be cautious of placing your Monstera in full sun, as this may cause leaf burn.

If your window faces south, consider using blinds or curtains to diffuse the sunlight. Remember to keep your plant as close to the window as possible without touching it for optimal light absorption.

3. How can I make Monstera grow faster?

If your Monstera is not growing as quickly as you’d like, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, ensure that your plant is receiving adequate light.

As mentioned earlier, placing it near a window with ample exposure is crucial for optimal growth. Additionally, maintain warm temperatures and provide a well-drained potting medium.

A premium fertilizer like Dyna-Gro Grow can also supercharge growth. It is highly recommended for tropical plants, including Monstera deliciosa.

For detailed care instructions and a potting soil recipe to support growth, refer to our Monstera deliciosa care post.

4. Can you cut Monstera air roots off?

Monstera deliciosa naturally produces aerial roots, which it uses to climb trees in its natural habitat. These roots are a normal part of the plant’s growth and should generally be left untouched.

However, if the aerial roots become obstructive or bothersome, you can carefully trim them. Alternatively, you can redirect them to encourage growth into the soil.

It’s important to note that aerial roots may not appear until the plant reaches a certain age. For more information on aerial roots and common questions answered, refer to our Monstera Aerial Roots post.

5. Why are my Monstera’s leaves turning brown?

Brown spots on Monstera leaves can be caused by various factors. One common cause is inconsistent soil moisture. If the tips of your leaves are turning brown, it may indicate that the soil has dried out excessively or that watering has been inconsistent.

To avoid this, ensure that the soil is never allowed to completely dry out and water thoroughly to prevent any dry patches. Another possible cause of brown spots is fungal infections.

If you notice brown spots surrounded by a yellow “halo,” your plant may be affected by a fungus. This can be caused by excessively wet conditions and poor air circulation.

If fungal leaf spots are present, it’s best to remove any infected leaves and keep the foliage dry for a while. For a more comprehensive understanding of brown spots and their causes, refer to our Monstera Brown Tips post.

6. How often should I water Monstera deliciosa?

Watering frequency for Monstera deliciosa depends on various factors, such as light, pot size, potting mix, and temperature. Instead of relying on a moisture meter, it’s best to use your finger to assess soil moisture.

Feel the top inch or two of the soil, and water when it has dried out to an appropriate level. Always ensure that your pot has a drainage hole to allow excess water to escape.

When watering, make sure to water thoroughly, soaking the soil and allowing all the water to drain out. Overwatering is often misunderstood, so it’s important to dispel the fear associated with it.

For more information on watering practices and common misconceptions, refer to our Overwatering post.

7. How can I grow a monstrous size Monstera?

Growing a large, impressive Monstera deliciosa requires patience and consistent care. Ensure that you provide all the necessary conditions outlined in our Monstera deliciosa care post.

There are no shortcuts to achieving a monstrous size, and it’s important to have the right amount of light, a well-draining potting mix, and a reliable fertilizer like Dyna-Gro Grow.

Following these guidelines and providing proper support for your plant will contribute to its growth and overall size.

8. Why are my Monstera’s new leaves brown or black before it unfurls?

If your Monstera’s new leaves are turning brown or black before unfurling, it indicates a soil moisture imbalance. This can occur when the soil becomes excessively dry or overly wet.

Proper watering techniques, as discussed earlier, are essential to maintain the ideal soil moisture balance. It’s important to refer to our blog post on underwatering and overwatering to understand how to water your Monstera correctly.

9. Can I put my Monstera outside in summer?

Yes, you can definitely put your Monstera outside during the warm summer months, and it can thrive in an outdoor environment.

However, it’s crucial to follow the process of hardening your plants off before exposing them to direct sunlight. Hardening off gradually acclimates your plants to outdoor conditions and helps prevent leaf burn.

Additionally, before bringing your plant back indoors, check for any pests that may have been attracted to it while it was outside.

10. Why is my Monstera deliciosa wilting?

Monstera deliciosa wilting can be attributed to two main causes: extremely dry soil or root rot due to excessively wet conditions. When you notice your plant wilting, assess the soil moisture immediately.

If the soil is bone dry, water it thoroughly to revive the plant. On the other hand, if the soil is very wet and your Monstera appears wilted, root rot may be the issue.

In this case, it’s important to remove the plant from its pot, clean up any dead roots, and repot it in fresh soil. Proper drainage is crucial in preventing root rot, so ensure that your pot has a drainage hole.

11. Why are my Monstera’s leaves turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves on Monstera deliciosa can indicate various issues, but the most common reason is dry soil. When the soil becomes too dry, especially the older leaves will turn yellow first.

It’s important to water your plant appropriately and ensure that the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged.

For a more comprehensive understanding of yellowing leaves and other potential causes, refer to our blog post on houseplant leaves turning yellow.

12. What are the best Monstera support ideas?

Supporting your Monstera’s growth is essential, especially as it develops larger leaves and vines. There are various support ideas to consider. For plants with one or two vines, a moss pole can be an effective support system.

You can create your own moss pole using our DIY Moss Post tutorial, which provides a cost-effective and efficient option.

However, if you have several vines in one pot, a bamboo tripod can be a sturdy and practical solution. Insert three sturdy bamboo stakes into the pot and tie them together on top to provide ample support.

Choose the support system that suits your plant’s growth and aesthetic preferences.

13. Why are my variegated Monstera leaves turning brown?

If you have a variegated Monstera and notice brown spots on the leaves, there are several reasons why this may occur. For a detailed explanation and potential solutions, refer to our blog post on variegated Monstera deliciosa.

This post delves into the specific challenges faced by variegated Monstera owners and provides insights on maintaining the plant’s health and appearance.

14. Do I have a Monstera deliciosa or a Monstera borsigiana?

Distinguishing between Monstera deliciosa and Monstera borsigiana can be a topic of debate among plant enthusiasts. For a comprehensive explanation and clarification, refer to our Monstera deliciosa vs. borsigiana post.

This post explores the key differences between the two species and provides insights to help you identify your plant accurately.

15. Why does my Monstera have black spots all over the leaves?

Black spots all over the leaves of your Monstera can indicate cold damage. Exposure to extremely cold temperatures can cause multiple black splotches on the leaves.

Unfortunately, cold-damaged leaves cannot be reversed, and the affected leaves can be trimmed if desired. However, if the plant itself remains healthy, new growth should appear normal.

It’s crucial to protect your Monstera from cold temperatures and ensure it is not exposed to drastic temperature drops.

16. Why did my Monstera get sunburn?

Sunburn on Monstera leaves can occur when the plant is not acclimated to direct sunlight. If you move your plant from an indoor environment to direct sunlight without a gradual transition, the leaves can quickly burn.

To prevent sunburn, gradually acclimate your Monstera to increasing amounts of sunlight by placing it in full shade initially. This process allows the plant to adjust to the intensity of sunlight and minimizes the risk of leaf burn.

17. What are those little flies all around my Monstera?

The presence of tiny flies around your Monstera is likely due to fungus gnats. These insects are attracted to excessively wet potting mix.

To eliminate fungus gnats, it’s essential to address the underlying issue of overwatering and ensure proper drainage in your pots.

For detailed instructions on controlling fungus gnats and preventing future infestations, refer to our blog post on killing fungus gnats in houseplants.

18. Why do my Monstera leaves not have any holes or splits?

The distinctive holes and splits, known as fenestrations, in Monstera leaves develop as the plant matures. Juvenile leaves are solid and do not have fenestrations.

As your Monstera grows and reaches a certain age, fenestrations will begin to appear on the leaves. Patience is key, and with time, your Monstera leaves will develop the characteristic holes and splits.

19. Why did my Monstera develop root rot?

Root rot occurs when the roots of your Monstera are exposed to excessively wet conditions for prolonged periods. This can be caused by overwatering and poor drainage.

To prevent root rot, it’s important to provide proper light conditions, use a well-draining potting mix, and ensure your pots have drainage holes.

Additionally, wait until the top inch or two of the potting mix has dried out before watering again.

20. What are the little tiny bumps on my Monstera?

If you notice tiny bumps on your Monstera, it is likely a scale insect infestation. These insects appear as small domes and can be easily removed by gently scraping them off with your finger.

Scale can be an annoying pest and can spread quickly, so it’s important to treat for scale immediately. For comprehensive instructions on controlling scale and preventing its recurrence, refer to our blog post on scale on houseplants.

21. What are the fine webs on my Monstera?

Fine webs on your Monstera indicate a spider mite infestation. These pests create webs and cause discoloration on the foliage. When you notice signs of spider mites, it’s crucial to treat for them promptly to prevent further damage.

For detailed instructions on controlling spider mites, refer to our blog post on stopping spider mites in houseplants.


By addressing these common problems and implementing the recommended solutions, you can ensure the health and vitality of your Monstera deliciosa.

Remember to provide adequate light, water appropriately, maintain proper drainage, and address any pest issues promptly.

With the knowledge and techniques outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any challenges and enjoy a thriving Monstera in your indoor space.

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