The Monstera Deliciosa, also named Swiss Cheese Plant, is one of the most admired houseplant species. The giant-leafed plant belongs to the Araceae family of flowering plants and is native to the South American tropics. Over the years, it has been introduced to various other tropical areas where it has thrived.
Other than the humid forests, Monstera Deliciosa has found its way into our homes too, a place where they can thrive equally well (with the proper care). With giant leaves looking like green faces hanging over upright stems, the magnificent plant gives an animated vibe and adds character to your home and garden.
Why is My Monstera Deliciosa Drooping?
If your Monstera Deliciosa is looking sad and limp, the answer is almost always related to watering. Check the top layer of the potting medium with a sharp object. If there are no signs of moisture, the problem is underwatering. On the other hand, if you notice that the soil is damp and the plant is still drooping, trouble may lie in overwatering or a lack of natural light.
Understanding the Anatomy of Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera Deliciosa belongs to the order of Water Plantains. An indicator of the fact that water has to play a crucial role in a Monstera’s life.
Well, yes, all plants need water. But if there’s a plant that can shout out loud when it needs water, it’s a Monstera. That’s because you’ll notice a very significant droop when the plant needs water.
The Importance of ‘Adequate’ Water
While these plants love water, they can also suffer in excess water. One very commonly held but the highly fatal misconception is that Monsteras are OK with a lot of water.
Inexperienced plant parents mindlessly dump loads of water in the pot, especially when they’re watering a plant that’s known to be aquatic.
People think it acceptable for Monsteras to be drowning in the water when planted in soil. Monstera leaves are put in water bottles for propagation and aesthetic reasons, nothing more.
The Importance of Light
In the world of plants, there’s a general rule that the smaller the leaves of a plant, the more light it needs. The same is true on the contrary.
The giant flat leaves tell that a plant has got more than enough chlorophyll to make food. In the same way, giant Monstera Deliciosa leaves indicate that the plant is used to a low light setting, that is, under the forest canopy.
However, novice plant owners often take this too seriously and consider it okay to place their Monstera Deliciosa in a relatively darker place indoors.
You must ensure that your plant is not suffering because of low light. Try placing it in partial sunlight for a week, and if there’s an improvement, you’ve diagnosed the problem.
What Do I Do if My Monstera Deliciosa Is Underwatered?
If you’ve concluded the diagnosis as severe underwatering, you need to proceed to the treatment phase as soon as possible.
When it comes to treating an underwatered plant, there’s an expert way, and there’s the novice way. The latter involves dumping a jug of water into the pot. The former is a bit more intricate but extremely efficient.
The expert way involves treating your plant with a thorough soak.
- Get your pot in an open but shaded space.
- Get a wide tub or a large and wide container and fill it with water three inches high.
- Check if the drainage holes in your pot are unblocked.
- Place the pot in the water, let it stay for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Feel the soil at the top. If it has become evenly damp, take the pot out.
- Let the pot dry and then take it to its usual place.
A light misting afterward will surely cheer the green guy up.
Soaking the plant is only the first step. More importantly, you need to make sure that you water the plant on time in the future.
What Do I Do if My Monstera Deliciosa Is Overwatered?
The plant drooping due to overwatering is a way bigger problem than underwatering. Because now, it’s not just lack of water. It’s excess water, rotting roots, and a sick plant.
The problem lies at the bottom of the pot, so the first thing to do is check the drainage hole status. Check if the pot has a drainage hole or not. If not, then take the plant out.
But even when a drainage hole is present, water can’t drain out due to a blockage inside the pot, compacted soil, or the flat bottom of the pot not letting the water escape.
There is a smarter method to deal with root rot, but it depends on the time of the year.
This method includes repotting and excessive root teasing and can only be initiated in the warmer months. Trying to repot a tropical plant in the winter months to help it recover from root rot will only make it die earlier.
If it is springtime or early summer, you can take the plant out, gently rake the roots and try to remove the infected roots. After root cleaning, pot the plant in a pot with good drainage and a well-draining soil mixture.
If repotting is not possible due to the wrong time of the year, we still have a way of going about things. First of all, take your plant out of direct sunlight. It will only make it wilt quicker. Next step is to try and remove the soil from the base of the pot.
Because of damaged roots, the plant will not get enough nitrogen to grow. So apply mild nitrogenous fertilizer to stimulate growth.
Keeping Humidity in Check
Plants from tropical forests like two things: heat and humidity. Both in moderation, of course
Low humidity levels (40% or lower) for Monstera Deliciosa can lead to excessive transpiration and will leave the foliage of your plant looking sad and thirsty. This is not something to worry about a lot in the summers.
But in winters, you need to be extra careful. Although typical room humidity is adequate, you might need to get a humidifier for the plants if the air goes too dry.
Why is the Size of the Pot Important?
If nothing seems to help you diagnose the problem, then your last resort can be careful repotting. If you observe that the pot your Monstera is living in is getting too small for the many giant leaves, you should know that the green guy needs a bigger home to live in.
Monsteras are famously known to grow “wide and wild.” And while the stems and leaves need space, the roots do too.
A repotting like this can be easily done regardless of the season because the initial root ball of your plant is going to remain intact as you place it in a bigger container. Just make sure to eliminate all air pockets when you add soil to the empty edges of the new pot.
Frequently Asked Questions about Monstera Deliciosa Drooping
What is the ideal temperature for Monstera Deliciosa?
Temperature is critical, so make sure your Monstera is not living at a temperature lower than 64°F (18°C). If the plant goes through prolonged episodes of extreme cold, it will most certainly start to wilt and die. The ideal temperature range for Monstera Deliciosa is 68–86°F (20 –30 °C).
How do I water my Monstera Deliciosa if it has root rot?
Stop watering the plant immediately. Even though when it looks like the soil is completely dry, the roots may still be rotting in water. Use the soaking method mentioned above, just for 3 minutes, and only when you’re sure the plant needs water.
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.