Monstera are among the most popular houseplants due to their green foliage . However, if yellow leaves are visible, you need to know the causes in order to be able to take appropriate measures.

lack of water

As tropical plants, Monstera depend on sufficient moisture to be able to care for the large leaves. For this reason, the following symptoms quickly show whether the plant is too dry:

  • yellow leaves
  • Leaf tips dried up
  • Leaf edges dried
  • soil very dry
  • Substrate thickens

The causes of this condition are numerous, because a lack of water is not only caused by watering too infrequently. In addition to rooms that are too dry, the pots are too small and do not offer enough space for the Monstera’s roots. If this is the case, carefully remove the plant from its tub and submerge the entire root ball in a container of water. Leave the window leaf in this for 15 to 20 minutes or until no more bubbles appear. Then you can repot the plant in a new bucket that is at least five centimeters larger in diameter. The plants are always watered as needed:

  • Check the substrate daily with a thumb test
  • water as soon as the top layer has dried
  • water thoroughly

After a period of ten minutes, discard excess water, otherwise it can quickly become too wet for the plant. The window leaf should recover with these measures, which can be recognized by green leaves.

Note: Yellow leaves can also appear if you use too hard water for watering. Rely on low-calcium variants such as rainwater, filter water or stale tap water to water the window leaf.

waterlogging

Waterlogging is one of Monstera’s biggest enemies, as it not only causes yellow leaves. Too much moisture ensures that the substrate in the bucket can no longer dry and the roots are permanently under water. This condition is not triggered by excessive watering alone. The following factors also affect it:

  • compacted substrate
  • lack of drainage
  • too cool temperatures

Above all, a substrate that is too heavy and a lack of repotting ensure that compaction occurs, which makes it difficult for the water to drain off. Fortunately, waterlogging is not only recognizable by the yellowed leaves. The following symptoms indicate whether this is the dangerous cause:

  • Substrate smells rotten
  • Substrate surface covered with mold
  • affected foliage shows weakening stems
  • Substrate very moist

It becomes particularly dangerous for the Monstera when the trunk is no longer hard but slightly soft. In this case, rot fungi have formed and penetrated into the plant. So that the window leaf does not die, you need to act quickly. One of the most important measures is repotting the plants:

  • Remove plant from pot
  • remove excess substrate
  • check roots
  • remove rotten, dried up and dead roots
  • use clean and sharp scissors for this
  • cut roots generously if necessary
  • Keep the plant warm
  • Root ball needs to dry a bit
  • do not use artificial heat for this (e.g. heating)
  • Drying time: 8 to 12 hours
  • create drainage in the pot
  • Drainage material: potsherds, gravel, expanded clay
  • Pot must have drainage hole
  • Substrate: permeable, loose, nutritious
  • pH: 5.8 to 6.3
  • Put the plant in fresh substrate

Do not water excessively afterwards to avoid waterlogging again.

nutrient deficiency

Monstera depend on sufficient nutrients to support the formation of new leaves. Yellow leaves can be caused by the following issues:

  • lack of fertilization
  • wrong fertilizer used
  • irregular fertilization
  • high pH
  • wrong bucket size

To fix the problem, repot the plant at the beginning so that it has enough space and fresh substrate. This counteracts an excessively high pH value, which severely limits the vitality of the plant. After repotting, you should not fertilize for four to six weeks. Then fertilize with liquid fertilizer, which is especially suitable for indoor plants:

  • April to August: one to two weeks
  • Late August to late March: four to six weeks

Do not put the fertilizer pure on the substrate, but add it to the irrigation water beforehand. This makes it easier for the nutrients to be absorbed.

Tip: If you don’t want to use liquid fertilizer, you can use fertilizer sticks or an N long-term fertilizer.

excess of nutrients

Just as a lack of nutrients is bad for Monstera, an excess can lead to yellow leaves. The reason for this is the salts in the fertilizer, which settle in the substrate and put the plant under pressure. The deposits drastically increase the salt content and the window leaf dries out over time as more moisture is released into the substrate, which the plant actually needs for itself. A nutrient surplus can be seen in salty deposits on the substrate, which, depending on the intensity, can even form a crust. There are two actions you can take to fix the problem:

  • repot
  • Rinse the substrate

The Monstera is repotted in the same way as described in the “Waterlogging” section. Flushing, on the other hand, is explained to you with the following steps:

  • Remove the plant from the pot
  • Fill bucket with water
  • Submerge the root ball completely
  • make multiple dives
  • Drain root balls between dives

You can then place the plant back in the pot. Do not water over the next few days. Use the thumb test to check when you need to water the substrate again.

location

One of the most important measures when cultivating a Monstera is adapting the location. If this does not have the necessary properties, the leaves will yellow over a longer period of time until they fall off completely, which has a negative effect on the vitality of the plant. The location for the tropical plants should be as follows:

  • Light requirement: bright
  • Evening and morning sun preferred
  • Half shade and shade are tolerated
  • enough space
  • Spring and summer temperature: around 21°C
  • Autumn and winter temperature: 16°C to 18°C

If your Monstera doesn’t have such a location available, adapt it. When changing location, it is also important that the window leaves are not permanently exposed to the midday sun, otherwise they will get sunburned. Yellowing always occurs from the sunny side and can spread throughout the leaf if you don’t provide the plant with sun protection. To be on the safe side, you can immediately choose a place that does not allow direct sun to reach the plant at midday.

spider mites

Compared to the causes already mentioned, pests are rarely found on the plants. Yellow leaves are mainly caused by spider mites (Tetranychidae), which have an easy job if the drought persists. The pests can be recognized by the following characteristics:

  • leaf yellowed
  • bright spots are formed
  • white webs visible
  • Spider mites visible on underside of leaf
  • plant weakens

As soon as you have discovered the pests, you should rely on one of the numerous measures to combat them. The use of a soap solution, with which the mites are simply washed off, has become particularly well established with tropical plants. Curd or soft soap is suitable for this, which is mixed and used as follows:

  • Mixing ratio: 4 parts water and 1 part soap
  • use warm water
  • Soap dissolves better
  • mix well together in bowl
  • pour into spray bottle
  • let cool down

Once you have the mixture available, simply spray the entire plant from top to bottom. Don’t forget the undersides of the foliage, as that’s where most spider mites hide. Apply the soapy solution over a period of seven to 10 days to get any mites out. Spraying takes place every 48 hours.

Note: In addition to spider mites, scale insects can also appear on the window leaf. Once you spot the infestation, use the same remedy you used for spider mites to control the insects.

frequently asked Questions

Monstera will have yellow leaves over the course of their lives, which will be shed due to the formation of new foliage. As a result, important nutrients are stored, which are necessary for the supply of the fresh shoots. If it’s only up to three sheets, don’t worry. If the rest of the foliage also changes color, you need to look for the causes.

Yes, the yellowed foliage should be cut off as thoroughly as possible. In this way you protect the Monstera from irregular nutrient use, which can lead to tons of stress for the plant. When removing the leaves, wear gloves and use sanitized, sharp scissors so as not to injure the window leaf.

Monstera cannot stand dry room air and react in this case with yellowing of the leaves. To fix this problem, don’t forget to water as previously described. You can also use an air humidifier or regularly spray the leaves with low-lime water so that the humidity does not decrease too much. This step is particularly important in winter because of the heating air.

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