Is your Monstera plant developing strange brown spots on its leaves?
This is fairly common, and there are a few different causes for this symptom, such as too much light, overwatering or using fertilizers that aren’t tailored for Monstera plants.
Brown spots on Monstera leaves can also be a sign of fungal/bacterial infections.
But that’s not all. Sit tight to discover more possible causes, how to troubleshoot Monstera problems, and DIY remedies for browning.
Why Are There Brown Spots on Monstera?
Low humidity can be one of the main causes of brown spots on Monsteras. When the air is dry, it can cause water to evaporate from the plant’s leaves quicker than it normally would. This leads to small patches of brown discoloration, as these areas are more prone to dehydration and lack essential moisture needed for healthy growth.
Why Does My Monstera Have Brown Spots?
Too much sunlight is the most common cause of brown spots on monstera. Excess sunlight can cause the tips of the leaves to fry.
Other factors e.g., poor drainage, root rot, underwatering, or nutrient deficiency, may also cause browning.
Underwatering can cause the leaves to droop and the tips to turn brown, whereas nutrient deficiencies can lead to brown spots appearing on the leaves.
But brown spots on Monstera leaves can also be triggered by other issues, e.g., infections, a pest infestation, or excess fertilizer, so it’s best to assess the situation carefully before applying any solution.
Causes of Brown Spots on Monstera Leaves
- Too much water
- Direct sunlight
- Fungal Infections
- Too little water
- Bacterial Infections
- Chlorinated/treated water
- Low humidity
- Lack of Nutrients
- Too much or too little fertilizer
- Lack of Light
- Pests and insects
Brown Spots on Monstera Leaves: 13 Causes & Remedies
1. Too much water/ soggy soil
A plant pot that’s constantly wet can cause browning in Monstera leaves. This usually means the plant is getting too much water.
Overwatering can also cause dark spots on the leaves if the excess moisture triggers root rot.
To determine the cause of the brown spots, you need to look at the plant’s environment. If the soil is excessively wet, it’s possible that too much moisture is causing root rot.
Take these measures if your plant develop brown spots due to root rot:
- Start by reducing the frequency of watering
- Improve your soil’s drainage properties with perlite
- Reduce the amount of water to avoid soggy soil
- Cut back on the frequency of water in winter
- Use pots with drainage holes to avoid root rot
Alternatively, you can opt for self-watering planters. These planters improve drainage reducing the chances of rotting.
2. Direct sunlight
Direct sunlight can also cause dark brown spots on Monstera, as the leaves aren’t designed to withstand extra strong light.
Monstera plants are more prone to scorching or burning than most houseplants.
Luckily, it’s easy to tell if this is the case, as the leaves will have a bleached appearance and may even be starting curling.
You can also check the plant’s placement or position; is it exposed to direct sunlight? If yes, then too much sunlight is causing the browning.
Here are some ways to treat dark brown spots caused by sunlight:
- Move the plant to a spot with indirect light
- Protect the plant with a sheer fabric to provide some shade
You could also try using sunscreen to protect your Monstera plants from harsh sun rays.
3. Fungal Infections
Apart from direct sunlight, brown spots can also be caused by fungal infections. This happens when there’s too much moisture in the soil, leading to a build-up of fungi in the roots of the plant.
This can then cause browning on the leaves, usually on the edges and in circular patterns.
If you think that fungal diseases might be the culprit, you can check for fungus gnats and other pests around the plant.
Another tell-tale sign is a white powdery substance around the leaves or at soil level—this is a sign that there’s a fungus present.
Follow these steps to prevent further infection:
- Reduce watering and increase air circulation around your Monstera
- Make sure that your wet soil drains well
- Use an insecticide or fungicide to treat fungal diseases
4. Too little water
Are you giving your Monstera too little water?
Depriving your plants of water or forgetting to water can cause Monstera to develop brown spots. Since this is a sign of stress, you need to focus on providing enough water.
Looking at the soil’s condition is one way to tell if inadequate water is the cause. If it looks dry and feels dry underneath, it’s probably time for a watering session.
On the other hand, wet soil could be a sign that you’re over-watering your plant.
Here’s what to do if inadequate water is causing brown spots on Monstera deliciosa leaves:
- An easy solution would be to water it regularly with lukewarm water until the soil feels a bit moist but not soggy.
- Additionally, you can mist your Monstera plants every few days.
Taking these steps ensures your Monstera stays happy and healthy for years.
5. Bacterial Infections
If you see lots of brown patches, or just one or two, it could be a sign of a bacterial leaf spot infection.
Bacterial infections are usually caused by soil bacteria, and they can cause discoloration in Monstera leaves.
To tell if the infection is bacterial, check for any discoloration on the back or underside of the leaf.
This discoloration usually appears as dark spots, streaks or blotches that are brown to black in color.
Try the following remedies to treat brown spots if you think bacteria are responsible.
- First, reduce the amount of water you give to your plant so that it has time to recover from any excess moisture.
- Second, make sure that the soil is well-drained and aerated to prevent further infections.
- You can also remove infected leaves to avoid prevent disease spread.
Finally, if all else fails, apply an antibacterial product specifically designed for plants.
6. Chlorinated/Treated Water
Do you use treated water on your Monstera? One common cause of brown spots on the leaves is when chlorinated water comes into contact with the leaves.
Chlorinated water can cause damage to the cells of the leaf and may lead to discolored patches.
You can tell if chlorinated or treated water is causing a problem as it will leave white deposits on your Monstera’s leaves. These deposits are caused by the chemicals in the water.
Luckily, there are some ways to treat brown spots due to treated or chlorinated water.
- If you have access to rainwater or filtered water, you can use this instead of tap water.
- Alternatively, you can let your tap water sit out overnight so that the chlorine evaporates before using it on your Monstera.
For extra protection, you can add a few drops of liquid fertilizer to the potting soil before using any treated or chlorinated water.
7. Low humidity
Low humidity levels is also a common cause of Monstera brown spots.
Monsteras like a humid environment and are prone to drying out if the average humidity is too low or if their soil is allowed to stay dry for too long.
To tell if your Monstera’s brown spots are caused by low humidity, look out for signs of dryness, such as yellowing leaves or brittle monstera stem.
Also, check your plant’s soil – if it feels dry and crumbly, that’s a sign of low humidity too.
If your Monstera is showing signs of low humidity, the best solution is to give it more moisture.
- Mist your plant with water time and again.
- Increase watering frequency.
- Make sure your soil retains moisture for longer by adding some peat moss or potting mix with added perlite.
You could also place the pot on a pebble tray full of water and decorative stones – just be sure to keep the pot at least 0.5 inch above the surface of the water!
8. Lack of Nutrients
Have you considered that your Monstera’s brown spots might be due to a lack of nutrients?
If your Monstera plants are displaying brown spots, it could be due to a lack of certain essential nutrients.
There are three specific nutrients that Monsteras need: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
So how can you tell if a nutrient deficiency is causing the brown spots? Typically, you’ll see yellowing occur between the veins of the leaf.
This is a result of not enough nitrogen in the soil. If this is the case, you’ll need to amend your soil with fertilizer.
As for calcium and magnesium deficiency, these will cause yellowing at the tips and margins of leaves.
The good news is that once you’ve identified the root problem, there are plenty of solutions out there.
- First, you can amend your soil with fertilizer
- Apply nitrogen-rich fertilizer
- Use liquid fertilizers like fish emulsion to give your Monstera plants the nutrients they need.
So don’t worry—your Monstera might just need a little extra care.
9. Too much or too little fertilizer
When it comes to brown spots caused by fertilizer, the cause can be either too much or too little.
If you’ve been over-fertilizing your Monstera—giving it more than it needs— brown spots may form on the leaves.
On the other hand, not giving your Monstera enough fertilizer can also lead to brown spots.
How can you tell which one is the culprit? If the brown spots are small, often clustered together, and have a yellow rings around them, then it’s likely you’ve been over-fertilizing.
However, if the spots are larger and more spread out, with no yellow rings, then it’s likely due to under-fertilization.
If you’re dealing with over-fertilization:
- Reduce the frequency and amount of fertilizer applied
- Avoid giving your Monstera high nitrogen fertilizer as this can promote excess growth, result in nutrient deficiencies, and cause brown patches.
On the other hand, if you’re experiencing under-fertilization and brown spots:
- Increase fertilizing frequency
- Use a balanced organic fertilizer for best results
Moderation is the key when it comes to fertilization– you want to add just the right amount– not too much, not too little.
10. Insufficient/Lack of light
Without sunlight, your Monstera’s leaves won’t be able to produce enough chlorophyll to stay green and healthy.
When this happens, the leaves start to turn brown around the edges and up the stem.
Check the amount of light that your plant is getting to tell if the lack of light is the cause of the brown spots on Monstera plant.
Monstera plants need about 4-6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day to thrive, so look for a spot near a window with some shade and see if this helps.
If the leaves are still turning brown after you’ve moved the plant to a better location, it could be a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough light.
So, how can you treat brown spotting caused by lack of light?
- The best solution is to move your plant to an area with more light.
- If that’s not an option, you can try using a grow light to supplement the light your plant is getting.
You could also take out your pots and let your Monstera plants enjoy a few hours of sunlight.
11. Pests & Insects
Pests and insects can also cause brown spots on your Monstera deliciosa leaves.
If you notice small dots or raised bumps on the underside of the leaf, they are usually signs of bugs such as aphids. If you notice webs, it’s likely you have spider mites.
To identify if pests and insects are causing the browning, take a closer look at the leaves. If you notice small black spots with white stripes (which look like flies), they are likely fungus gnats.
And if you see orange-yellow eggs, then it’s possible your Monstera is being attacked by mealybugs.
Here’s what to do if pests and insects are causing Monstera browning:
- Try to locate the spider mites and remove them with insecticides.
- You can also try natural solutions like neem oil or vinegar spray.
Lastly, isolate the affected plant from healthy ones while applying neem oil until it cures completely.
Another possibility is that the brown spots could be due to normal aging. How old is your Monstera plant?
Remember to factor in the time it spent at the seedling store before purchase to determine if age is catching up with your Monstera deliciosa.
As Monstera deliciosa gets older, it develops small clustered spots on its leaves. These spots are usually quite dark in color, and they will eventually spread across the entire leaf surface.
While there is no cure for this condition, it is not usually harmful and will not affect the plant’s overall health.
Acclimation is the process of adjusting plant growth to a new environment. This can take place over a period of time or all at once.
For example, if you move your Monstera plant from one pot to another (or repot it), the leaf will begin to brown and curl as it tries to adjust to the new environment.
If you leave the plant in direct sunlight for too long, the leaves will burn and fall off.
The most common sign of this problem is the rapid browning of plant’s leaves soon after repotting or shifting to a new environment. In most cases, the leaves turn brown rapidly and die out faster.
You can treat this problem by keeping your plant in a room that is neither too hot nor too cold. You can also be sure that it has enough indirect light but not too much light.
The best temperature for a houseplant would be about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), with about 60 percent average humidity and intermittent misting every few days if you live in a dry climate.
What to Look at When Troubleshooting Browning in Monstera
When troubleshooting for problems causing brown spots on Monstera plant, it’s important to focus on the following features:
- Accompanying symptoms
Size, Number, & Distribution
The size of the spots can be indicative of a certain disease or pest problem, and the number can provide clues to the type of problem as well.
Their distribution can also tell you whether the problem is spread evenly across the plant or if it is concentrated in certain areas like leaves.
For instance, small brown spots with bumps under the leaves may indicate a pest attack.
The color of the spots can tell you a lot too, because different problems may cause different colors.
For example, if the brown spots are small, often clustered together and have a yellowish halo around them, then it’s likely you’ve been over-fertilizing.
The spots’ location also gives you an idea of what might be causing the problem.
For instance, problems like excess sunlight will more likely affect the leaf surface than the hidden leaf parts.
Another factor to consider when troubleshooting brown spots on Monstera leaves is whether there are any accompanying symptoms– such as stunted growth or wilting.
These secondary symptoms can help you narrow down the causes of the brown spots and can a better understanding of the plant’s health.
Ultimately, it’s important to examine all of the features to determine the cause of the problem and provide proper care.
With a thorough understanding of the above properties and symptoms, you will be better equipped to solve whatever is troubling your Monstera plants.
Diagnosing Other Monstera Plant Problems
Understanding the issues with your Monstera can help you tackle them and keep your plant healthy.
Let’s look at the most common monstera plant problems and their possible causes.
Drooping leaves usually means your Monstera deliciosa plants need more water. The root system may be dry and not absorbing enough moisture.
To fix this, check the soil moisture and give your Monstera plant a deep drink.
Leaves not splitting
If your Monstera leaves aren’t splitting or don’t have a “split” look, it could indicate insufficient lighting.
The split look is a typical feature of a Monstera, so make sure your plant is getting enough bright, indirect light.
Black leaves could be a sign of disease or fungi or too much direct sunlight. Make sure your Monstera is not in direct sunlight, and your potting mix has good drainage.
Yellow leaves are likely caused by insufficient water, poor drainage, or too much sun. Excess fertilizer may also cause tiny clustered brown spots with a yellow ring.
Quick remedies include correcting the moisture level and keeping your Monstera away from too much bright sunlight.
Curling/wrinkling leaves are typically caused by too little water or too much fertilizer. Make sure you’re providing enough moisture and not overfeeding with fertilizer.
Pests & Bugs
Insects and pests can also attack your Monstera, causing damage, yellowing, and curling of the leaves. Check your plant for signs of insects and use appropriate treatments to get rid of them.
By understanding these issues and their causes, you can take the necessary steps to keep your Monstera healthy and thriving.
Tips to Grow Healthy Monstera Plants
Growing Monstera deliciosa at home can be hectic if you’re new to indoor farming.
Here are some helpful tips you can use to cultivate lush and vibrant Monstera plants:
- Provide adequate light and water: Monstera plants love bright, indirect sunlight, so make sure they get at least four to six hours of light each day. They also require regular watering—try to water them deeply once a week.
- Be sure to repot your Monstera every 2 years: The best time to repot is in the early spring, as this ensures all its growing needs are met for the growing season.
- Give your Monstera plant lots of room to grow: Monstera roots need enough space. Make sure you choose a pot that is large enough for it to spread out in the long term.
- Fertilize your Monstera regularly: Add Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium fertilizer at a 3-1-2 N-P-K ratio. A good rule of thumb is to apply once a month during the growing season.
- Prune your Monstera deliciosa regularly: As the plants grow, trim off yellowing or damaged leaves and monstera stem, as well as any dead/dying foliage. This will not promote healthy growth and esthetically pleasing growth patterns.
There you have it—follow these guidelines to give your vibrant Monstera plants the best growth conditions.
Brown Spots on Monstera Plant: Should I Remove Affected Leaves?
The decision to remove affected leaves or not depends on the cause and extent of the browning. If the entire leaf or half of it is browning, it’s advisable to remove the whole leaf.
But it’s okay to cut off only the affected part if the browning is on the tip or affects a small part of the leaf.
Alternatively, you can leave the leaf and monitor it after addressing causes such as underwatering/underwatering or light issues.
If there are any signs of bacterial infection, such as black spots and white fungal growths, you may want to consider removing all affected leaves from your plant to prevent further damage.
Will Monstera Leaves Grow Again if I Cut Them Off?
Monstera leaves will grow again if you cut them off, but it will take some time and care for them to do so.
The reason for this is that the plant needs a lot of energy to grow new leaves and stems, which means that it needs to produce more energy than it consumes.
This can only happen if the plant has access to more light and water than it currently has.
In order to achieve these things, you need to prune your plant, which will allow its growth hormone levels to rise.
If you want your monstera plant to continue growing, then all you need to do is keep feeding it with nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus every few weeks until new growth begins occurring again on the plant itself. Once this happens, new monstera leaves will appear.
What is the most common reason for brown spots on Monstera plant?
The most common reason for Monstera brown spots is over-watering. It is very important to keep your plant well-drained and never allow it to sit in water. As with other plants, over-watering can cause root rot and rot Monstera leaves.
Which nutrients does the Monstera plant need?
Monstera needs nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, plus micronutrients such as magnesium and manganese, to achieve healthy roots and leaves. A complete fertilizer should contain all three major nutrients. The best fertilizers for Monstera have a 3-1-2 N-P-K ratio. Always follow the directions on your product labels carefully when applying it to ensure balanced nutrition for your Monsteras.
How often should I repot my Monstera deliciosa?
Because monstera plants are sensitive to environmental changes, it’s advisable to repot only after 2 to 3 years. To repot your Monstera plant, simply remove any old soil from around the roots and add new soil to fill up the pot.
Brown spots on Monstera leaves can be caused by a variety of environmental and cultural factors.
While the spots are not harmful, they can be unsightly and impact the aesthetic appeal of the plant.
Proper care and maintenance can help to minimize the appearance of brown spots.