The Monstera deliciosa, nicknamed the Swiss Cheese Plant, is the most famous member of the Araceae family. It’s native to the tropical parts of South America, which explains the temperament and requirements of this plant.
So if you’re wondering why are my Monstera leaves drooping? You might want to check all the environmental factors around it. If you’re providing a care routine that resembles the tropical biome, then your plant will flourish and thrive.
Let’s check your plant’s living conditions point by point, and see how we can bring it back to its vivacious old self.
A tropical biome means warmth, humidity, and moist soil. Monsteras grow in the sheltered parts of the canopy, thriving among a vast wilderness of exotic plants. In their homelands, where the soil is rich with nutrients, they can easily reach a height of 60 feet.
Here are the most common reasons why your Monstera appears droopy.
Many gardening guides warn us about the dire consequences of suffocating our plants with overwatering. This creates a serious hesitancy of watering, even when the plant is bone dry.
Admittedly, there is a real possibility of overwatering, but underwatering wouldn’t do the plant any favors either.
Balance is always good. You need to figure out the watering needs of your plant and try to maintain a regular watering schedule. This would change according to the following factors.
- The humidity
- The temperature
- The type of soil you’re using
- The size of the plant pot
A good rule of thumb is to keep the soil moist but not wet. And wait till the upper layer of the soil is completely dry before rewatering.
You might also want to observe how quickly the water drains out of the plant pot. If it seeps out as soon as you pour it in, then you should slow down, and add the water in small increments.
The excess water also minimizes the roots’ ability to take in nutrients and absorb what it needs from the soil.
Once the soil becomes infected with root rot, the leaves would lose their verve, become yellowish, and eventually fall off.
The best remedy for root rot is taking the plant out, cleaning it with diluted bleach, and leaving it to dry. The infected soil would retain some of the pathogens, so you’d better ditch it, and transplant the Monstera in a new potting mix.
Soil composition is a critical factor in any plant’s health, but it’s particularly critical for large plants like Monsteras.
A soil that’s too loose wouldn’t retain water for too long, and the whole medium would become too dry from top to bottom.
Additionally, the goodness of the soil and a significant amount of the essential nutrients would wash away with the quickly draining water.
Another disadvantage that comes with loose soil is the lack of support. This destabilizing environment doesn’t encourage the plant too much to grow and flourish.
It’s best to choose a potting mix that’s formulated specifically for indoor plants. This often has the right balance of density, water retention, and drainage.
On the extreme end of loose soil lies another problematic situation, which is overly compact soil. This type of soil is also a cause of Monstera’s droopy look.
A compact soil impedes the healthy growth and functioning of roots. Reduced absorption of water and nutrients soon causes the leaves to become pale and sickly.
The extra dense soil generally has poor drainage and eventually gets waterlogged. With consistently high levels of moisture, the roots appear to be poisoned.
You can reduce soil compaction by adding some chunky substances that improve the composition to the desired level. These materials are commercially available at affordable prices, and they’re all beneficial to your plant.
- Orchid bark
- River sand
- Peat moss
You can also poke some holes in the soil with a skewer after watering, which would unclog the compacted dirt. The aeration of the soil is quite healthy for the plant as well.
Monstera plants have several Goldilocks preferences, and the pot size is apparently one of these.
Small pots are too tight for the growing roots, and this usually shows in two things. The leaves become yellow due to a nutrition shortage, and the roots become bound by the limited space.
Repotting the monstera in a much larger container might seem like a good idea, but it’s not. The unused territory eventually becomes compacted, and after a few waterings gets waterlogged.
It’s best then to use a pot that matches the size of the Monstera’s roots. Then, when the Monstera outgrows that size, then a new repotting one size up is in good order.
Monstera plants aren’t too picky when it comes to light. Just stay away from the extremes, and your plant would show its gratitude by looking vivacious and cheerful.
House plants generally need half-light, semi-shade, or filtered light. A spot beside a window is often optimal.
In its native habitat, the Monstera received plenty of filtered light, for a fair amount of hours per day. That’s the optimal lighting for this vigorous plant, and it would intensify the depth of color of the leaves, as well as assist the plant to grow quickly.
Issues occur when the Monstera doesn’t get sufficient amounts of light or has too much direct sunlight. In both cases, the leaves would suffer and look sickly.
Removing the shade plant from the spot where there’s too much direct scorching light is easy. It’s more difficult to add more light when there it’s in short supply, which happens throughout the overcast winter season.
When the days are too short and provide flimsy rays of light, the Monstera would certainly suffer. You can move the potted plant outside on a porch or in the garden to receive more light. provided the temperature isn’t too low or the day is too windy.
As an alternative, you can install grow lights to augment the insufficient natural light around the plant.
These lights are equipped with controllers to set the right intensity and color spectrum for your plant’s needs. Monsteras respond well to low-intensity, low-heat lights.
Most gardeners recommend placing the grow lights around 2 feet away from the plant. That should minimize the harmful effects of generated heat on the plant. Adding a timer would also be useful, as it would limit and regulate the exposure.
Extreme temperatures affect most plants negatively. The tropical Monsteras might be a bit tolerant to warm weather, but they droop and fade during the frosty season.
The optimal temperature for Monstera plants ranges from 64 to 84°F, which is a comfortable temperature for us as well.
Try to move the Monstera to a space that feels nice and warm. If that’s not readily available, then you can add a space warmer in the room to take the bite off the ambient temperature. Make sure to place the warmer reasonably far from the plant.
Additionally, drafty rooms could also distress the Monstera plants. At the very least, put them in a corner as far away as possible from the wind.
Repotting a plant makes it feel destabilized and anxious. It’s quite common to see perfectly healthy plants drooping and wilting after transplanting them into another container.
Plants have advanced sensory capabilities to gauge soil pH, light direction, temperature, humidity, and many other factors. When it senses that many of these factors have suddenly changed, the plant becomes disoriented.
You can handle this situation by taking extra care of your plant during these times. Regular watering, misting, fertilizing the soil, and providing the right kind of light are all good measures.
Monstera plants suffering from repotting distress often recover within a couple of weeks. The wilting and drooping leaves usually regain their vitality once the plant gets used to the new conditions.
Fertilization is a sensitive process, as excessive replenishing might vary the soil composition, while underfeeding leaves the plant gaunt and frail.
Typically, adding good quality fertilizers every other week would make your Monstera happy and thriving. This is a large plant with a voracious appetite for nutrients.
It’s helpful to know the signs of under-fertilization. The absence of the signature Swiss cheese holes in the Monstera leaves is a strong indicator that it can’t find sufficient sustenance in its pot.
Organic fertilizers are the finest options in the market, but if you can’t find these, there are various commercial alternatives formulated for houseplants.
Overly generous fertilization has a similarly damaging effect on the Monstera, as the leaves start yellowing and drooping in this case too. In addition, the tips of the leaves become brown and seem to be burned.
One of the main reasons behind this is the change in the soil pH, together with the increase in salt levels. This affects the vital functions of the plant to the point that it becomes visibly unwell.
To remedy this sad state, you can place the plant along with the pot under running water. Washing off the excess salts often revives the plants within a week or two.
Some pests are infatuated with shade plants like Monstera, Pothos, Dieffenbachia, and Philodendron. They’re filled to the brim with sap, and hiding under their thick leaves is rather easy.
Some of these pests include:
- Spider mites
- Fungus gnats
Once these tiny bugs find their way to the Monstera, they feed viciously on its leaves and stems. They reproduce at an incredible speed and multiply into little colonies within a few days.
Infected Monstera plants start losing their deep green color, the leaves turn yellow, and no matter what you do, they still look droopy.
The best way to eliminate this infestation is by using the right pesticide. There are several broad-range commercial types that work with limited success. Pesticides that operate on specific bug species are often more effective.
You can take some preventive measures to ward off pest infestations, like spraying the leaves with Neem oil or washing them with a mild soap solution. Staying vigilant and inspecting the leaves closely also helps to nip any attack in the bud.
Monstera plants are large and mighty. They give the impression that they’re invincible and hardy, but in fact, they’re rather sensitive.
As tropical plants, they need moist soil, that’s not too wet. They also prefer bright indirect light, which is easy enough if you have a large window with a sheer curtain.
Transplanting and repotting your Monstera would make its leaves yellow and droopy, so take extra care of your plant at these times. Finally, Be careful with extreme temperatures, wrong-sized pots, and unwelcome pests.
That should keep your Monstera thriving, lush, and vivacious.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.