Monstera is a tropical plant that loves wet and humid conditions. Although wild Monsteras often tolerate heavy rain, it’s not the case for indoor plants.
Overwatering a Monstera is a serious and common problem among plant owners, especially beginners. That said, it’s critical to find the balance between providing your plant with consistent water and avoiding overwatering.
On the bright side, Monsteras show clear signs when they’re overwatered or underwatered. That’s why it’s essential to monitor your plant to detect any watering issues.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about an overwatered Monstera. We’ll tell you what signs to look for if you suspect your plant is overwatered. We’ll also explain how to avoid having an overwatered Monstera.
Monstera’s Water Requirements
It’s no secret that Monsteras require a decent amount of water and moisture. Even though they’re resilient, Monsteras are prone to overwatering issues. This further leads to more serious problems like root rot.
To keep your plant healthy and thriving, you need to water it at a moderate rate, usually around once every one or two weeks. The pot should have a proper drainage tray to collect the excess water after every watering session.
Signs of an Overwatered Monstera
If your Monstera is starting to lose its vibrant green color, or the leaves are starting to wilt, you might be dealing with a waterlogged Monstera.
Besides, root rot is a clear sign of overwatering. It’s a fungal infection that occurs when the roots are moist for extended periods. Moist conditions are ideal for bacteria and fungi to thrive, which can eventually kill the plant.
Therefore, you need to inspect your Monstera for any signs of overwatering. Let’s see how you can detect an overwatered Monstera.
1 – Root Rot
Root rot is a serious disease that affects the roots when they get overwatered. Soil fungi, such as Phytophthora, Pythium, and Fusarium, invade the roots in moist conditions. After that, the infection can spread to other plant parts, such as leaves and stems.
It’s normal for soil to be moist after watering. However, if it’s still wet for long periods after watering, then there’s a problem.
If you smell a foul odor coming from the roots, then it’s probably infected because of overwatering. In addition, if you see shades of white, yellow, or green on the soil, then it’s likely that bacteria and fungi have infected the roots.
2 – Dark Spots on Leaves
When you overwater your plant, the soil becomes anaerobic. This further leads to suffocation as the roots can’t suck enough oxygen. As a result, leaves start to wilt, and brown spots with yellow margins appear on their surfaces.
3 – Yellow Leaves
Yellowing of leaves is another obvious sign of overwatering. It happens when your plant doesn’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, such as iron and manganese. These micronutrients are essential for photosynthesis, and they come from the soil.
When the soil becomes waterlogged, it prohibits the roots from getting these essential nutrients.
4 – Soil Takes Forever to Dry
In general, Monsteras need water every 7-10 days. That’s when the soil has little to no moisture and is ready for the water. If the soil is still damp for 7-10 days after watering, it’s not normal.
This means you were too generous the last time you watered your Monstera. It might also mean that the plant isn’t getting enough sunlight. Accordingly, the water doesn’t evaporate fast enough.
5 – Water Drops on the Leaves
When Monsteras get overwatered, they try to get rid of excess water. That’s why you might notice some water droplets on the foliage that looks like the plant is sweating. These droplets are a clear sign of overwatering.
6 – Wilting Leaves
Many think that wilting leaves are a sign of a thirsty plant. However, this isn’t always the case. To explain more, wilting leaves indicate the plant isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients.
Even though dry soil can cause the leaves to wilt and die, too-wet soil can also do the same. How?
When you overwater the soil, water saturates the soil layers and replaces oxygen in pores and gaps, cutting off the oxygen supply and suffocating the roots. Consequently, roots can’t carry oxygen and nutrients to the leaves, leading to wilting and yellowed leaves.
How to Avoid Overwatering Your Monstera
One of the reasons Monsteras are popular is that they’re easy to care for. This is evident in overwatering issues.
The plant does a great job of telling you if it’s overwatered. The problem is also easy to fix.
Detecting the cause of an overwatered Monstera is essential for successful recovery. That said, frequent waterings aren’t the only reason for a waterlogged Monstera.
Let’s see how to avoid overwatering your plant.
1 – Check the Soil
We don’t recommend sticking to a strict schedule when watering your Monstera. Watering once each week or two without checking the soil condition may leave the soil too wet.
For that reason, you need to check the soil every two or three days to see if it needs watering.
So how to prevent the soil from getting too wet?
- Tilt the pot after watering to ensure water distributes evenly and drains properly
- Ensure the pot has proper drainage for excess water to flow
- Place your Monstera in a well-ventilated room, this helps with water evaporation
- Give your plant enough indirect sunlight for more efficient water uptake
2 – Empty the Saucer Under the Pot
Not emptying the basin under the plant pot is a common mistake you might be making. The basin collects excess water from the roots to prevent overwatering.
That’s why you should empty it after each watering session. If you don’t, your plant will sit in water for a few days, leading to overwatering issues such as root rot.
3 – Ensure You’re Using the Right Pot Size
Using a suitable pot size is essential for almost any houseplant. Monsteras are famous for being huge and can grow up to 10 feet tall. However, this doesn’t mean you have to plant them in a large pot. Why?
Large pots hold too much soil for one plant. That means roots won’t be able to absorb water and nutrients fast enough. This leaves your plant submerged in water, which further leads to overwatering issues.
If you’re using a large pot for your Monstera, consider repotting in a smaller pot. Repotting makes moisture checking much easier for you.
4 – Use a Suitable Soil Mix
Monsteras need high-quality and well-drained soil mix to flourish. Some soil mixes are too heavy for Monsteras and don’t provide enough drainage.
To check your soil mix, flush the pot with water and see how long it takes until the water drains. Healthy soil should drain water quickly, leaving all the required moisture in the soil.
If the soil takes forever to drain water, you might consider repotting in a new soil mix before you end up with a waterlogged plant.
How to Fix an Overwatered Monstera
If you’ve overwatered your Monstera, don’t panic. There’s still room for your plant to recover and grow even better than before.
What you need to do is transplant your Monstera in a new pot with fresh new soil. Here’s how.
1 – Use a New Pot
To save your overwatered Monstera, you need to replant it in a pot suitable for its size. Choose a pot big enough to allow space for the root system to grow.
After that, you should fill the pot with fresh new soil mix. Make sure the pot has good drainage to prevent excess water from ruining your plant.
You should also prevent drainage holes from getting clogged. You can do this by filling the bottom of the pot with perlite or pebbles.
2 – Prepare Your Monstera
To prepare your Monstera for repotting, you need to clean it first. Cut down any affected roots or brown leaves from the plant.
Use sterilized pruning shears to prune back the leaves. It’s essential for providing your plant with energy for recovery.
If your plant is infested with pests or fungus, you’ll need to use neem oil or a fungicidal solution to prevent re-infestation.
3 – Transplant Your Monstera
After you prepare your new pot and plant, it’s time to transplant your Monstera.
Start by digging a hole in the new pot for your Monstera. Then, place the plant in the hole and fill it with fresh soil.
Water your Monstera and then wait for a few days for the soil to dry before you re-water.
4 – Find a Suitable Spot for Your Monstera
Finding a perfect spot to place your plant is essential for its recovery.
That said, Monsteras grow the best under indirect sunlight. Therefore, you should place your plant in a shady spot inside your home to avoid direct sunlight.
Overwatering is a serious problem that can eventually lead to plant death. Still, if you detect the reason behind overwatering, you can easily solve the issue.
There are many reasons for an overwatered Monstera. Frequent watering, improper drainage, large pots, and compact soil can all lead to a waterlogged plant.
If your Monstera is overwatered, you need to take the plant out of the pot, trim the affected roots and leaves, then replant it in a new pot. After transplanting, ensure you place your plant in indirect sunlight and monitor your plant closely to see how it’s recovering.
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.