There are 22 Monstera species, probably many more, but Deliciosa is the most well-known in the Monstera family with unique split patterns on the leaves.
The leaf design of this plant is adored so much that it is now being used in wallpapers, interior decoration, clothing, and jewelry designs. This article addresses an important issue that you hopefully do not encounter, brown leaves on Monstera Deliciosa.
Why Does My Monstera Deliciosa Have Brown Leaves?
Monstera Deliciosa develops brown leaves if it’s not grown in optimal conditions. Brown leaves on a Monstera Deliciosa can be a sign of overwatering or lack of sunlight. Overwatering can be deadly for your Monstera because it can lead to further issues such as root rot. Other reasons behind brown leaves are low humidity, underwatering, or diseases.
Top Reasons for Brown Leaves on Monstera Deliciosa
You have overwatered your Monstera Deliciosa if you notice dark brown spots on the leaves. Most Monstera Deliciosa issues are associated with overwatering because growers have difficulty judging the water requirements of their plant correctly.
The biggest mistake is that they tend to follow a fixed schedule rather than observing their plant and checking on the soil. The required amount of water needed will depend on several environmental factors.
Monstera Deliciosa does not enjoy sitting in soggy soil. Avoid watering too frequently, ensure good drainage using pots with drainage holes and use chunky soil that is airy.
Overwatered plants eventually fall prey to root rot. Your Monstera will not be able to absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil and hence becomes unstable. This dehydrates your plant and leads to brown leaves or edges.
A severe case of root rot can result in the death of your plant. If you water your plant on a weekly basis, but the soil is still wet, you can skip watering.
A simple solution to prevent overwatering is to always check the soil before watering your Deliciosa plant.
Tropical plants like Monstera Deliciosa are not accustomed to direct sunlight exposure. In their native climates, they receive bright but filtered sunlight as they grow in jungles and the jungle canopy prevents direct sunrays for the most part of the day.
If your plant is sitting in a spot with direct sunlight, the leaves might burn and turn brown. Sadly, these scorched leaves will not recover.
A south-facing window is too bright for your Monstera Deliciosa. You should move it to a location with better lighting conditions. You can simply move it about 3ft (1m) away from the window to prevent foliage burns.
Another option is to use window blinds to diffuse the sunlight.
Too much sunlight is a big issue, especially during summer when the sun stays strong for the most part of the day. In winter, your plant can tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight.
Low Air Moisture
Monstera Deliciosa originates from humid areas and loves high humidity. If the leaf edges of your plant haves started browning, your Deliciosa might not be happy with the humidity because your indoor air moisture is very low.
You can easily keep the humidity above average with the following techniques:
- Mist the leaves of Monstera Deliciosa every few days with clean water but ensure they dry
- Set up a pebble tray at the bottom of the pot.
- Put your plant in the bathroom for about 5 minutes and leave your shower on hot.
You should also protect your plant against air drafts from air conditioners and radiators. Because you might have normal air humidity, but your Deliciosa is placed very close to an air conditioner or radiator.
Further, if your budget allows, a humidifier is a great way to increase indoor humidity.
Light brown, crispy edges on your Deliciosa plant mean underwatering. This tropical plant equally dislikes underwatering. It will not thrive in dry soil because the nutrient absorption capacity of the plant is disturbed.
I always recommend allowing the soil to dry a bit before watering again but do not let the soil remain dry for long periods. And do not let all the soil dry out completely.
If you struggle with watering your Monstera Deliciosa, it is best to establish a watering schedule based on the actual soil condition.
Remember that the water requirements will change with the seasons and the environment. You cannot follow a summer schedule during the cold winter months.
Another reason behind too dry soil could be the soil mixture. You might be using a too porous soil although generally, chunky soil is the way to go. If your Monstera Deliciosa is young and small, take it to a sink to water it thoroughly.
Water your plant slowly but deeply to make sure you do not have dry patches on the soil. These dry pockets are problematic for your plant because the roots in this area will die.
But in the end, drain all the water and collect excess water in a tray to dispose of.
Fungus or Disease
Your plant is infected with a fungus if the brown spots on the leaves have yellow halos or rings around them.
Fungus growth is encouraged by wet foliage, so never let the leaves of your Monstera Deliciosa remain wet for too long.
Your plant will also require excellent air circulation to prevent fungus growth. If your plant has fungal brown leaf spots, I would recommend getting rid of the infected leaves as soon as possible. Avoid misting your plant for the next few days.
You should always test the quality of tap water in your area before using it for Monstera Deliociosa or any other houseplant. Often times the fluoride present in tap water can damage your plant and cause brown leaf tips.
If you are using a water softener system or the tap water in your area is classified as hard water, I would recommend using rainwater or distilled water if possible.
Tips to Handle Brown Leaves
- Remove all the brown, dead leaves by trimming them near the base of your Monstera Deliciosa. You should prune the discolored edges because they cannot heal or turn green.
- Treat your plant with water after makings sure the soil is dry. I would also suggest watering your plant a bit more often.
- How much water your plant needs or how fast the soil will dry depends on the potting mix, light, temperature, pot size, and pot type. Instead of focusing on how often you should add water, try to figure out how dry the soil should be before watering it.
- If you suspect your Monstera Deliciosa is overwatered, you should immediately inspect the soil. If necessary, repot your plant in a fresh potting soil mixture.
- When grown outdoors, the leaves scorch and turn brown due to intense sunlight. If your plant receives direct sunlight in its current spot, move it to another location with filtered sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions about Brown Spots on Monstera Deliciosa
My Monstera Deliciosa had developed brown and black leaves even before it unfurled. What could be the reason?
If the new, unfurled leaves on your Monstera Deliciosa are brown or black, your plant is suffering from improper soil moisture. Either you kept the potting soil wet for too long, or you let the soil dry out completely.
Does root bound cause brown leaves on the Deliciosa plant?
If your Deliciosa has become root-bound to such an extent that effective watering is difficult, it can react by developing brown tips. The root system becomes very tight, and the roots have difficulty absorbing water in such a scenario.
Can a lack of nutrients lead to brown leaves on Monstera Deliciosa?
This is the least possible cause, but lack of nutrients can also cause brown leaves on your Monstera Deliciosa.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.