Have you noticed brown spots on the leaves of your Monstera? If yes, then this may be a sign that something is wrong with this plant.
Brown spots on Monstera may be caused by a combination of factors. The most common cause of this issue is exposure to extreme light. If the plant gets too much light, the leaves will start to scorch, which creates brown spots on the leaves.
Another cause may be that the plant is getting too much water. In this case, the leaves will turn brown because of root rot.
Also, leaf spot diseases, pest infestation, extreme temperature, and overfertilizing can contribute to monstera brown spots.
If you are interested in video tutorial about how to fix monstera brown spots, watch the following video:
The following paragraphs will discuss the causes and solutions to monstera brown spots. You will also learn how to prevent this issue from happening again to your Monstera.
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Table of Contents
Why Does My Monstera Have Brown Spots?
If your Monstera has brown spots, this can be caused by various reasons. One is exceptionally light. In fact, when this plant is exposed to excess light, its leaves will start scorching, which will cause them to develop brown spots later.
Another factor that case brown spots in Monstera are overwatering. When this plant receives more water than it needs, its roots start rotting, which causes leaf damage in the form of brown spots.
Additionally, underwatering, overfertilizing, fungal diseases, and pests can also cause leaf spots for this plant.
Let’s go over each factor that causes brown leaf spots for Monstera and explain how it happens and how to fix the problem in each situation.
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When monstera is exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, it will experience what we call leaf scorch. This will cause the leaves to develop brown spots.
Leaf scorch may be caused by various reasons, including fungal diseases and underwatering. But when the leaves of your plant begin to curl upwards and shrivel, the scorch is most probably caused by excessive light exposure.
You should act quickly if you realize that your plant is getting brown spots because of excess light. Otherwise, you may lose your plant. If you leave your plant exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period, the entire foliage may die.
The first thing to do when brown spots are caused by excess light is to move the plant to a shaded area. Then, cut away the affected area from the plant to help prevent further damage.
After cutting the affected leaves, you should water your monstera thoroughly and place it in a location that receives bright indirect sunlight. In this case, a south-facing window or balcony would be the best location for the plant.
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High temperatures can kill plants. Heat stress causes monstera to lack water and dehydrate. As a result, the leaves look dry and start developing brown spots. Additionally, plants that live where heat and drought occur commonly may develop a scorched appearance.
If you live in a hot zone, you should pay close attention to the temperature around your monstera during the summer.
Heat stress can occur at any time of the year, but it is more common during the year’s hottest months. During this time, temperatures frequently exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, higher than the optimal range for monstera. This plant grows best when the temperature is between 70°F and 90°F.
In very hot weather, you should regularly look for signs of heat stress on your monstera. Check if the plant is drooping and the leaf edges are curling and turning brown. In this case, you should take action immediately.
The best way to help your monstera through the summer heat is to move it to a cooler location and provide adequate ventilation. You can place a fan near the plant or move it to an air-conditioned room.
If you don’t have an air conditioning system or a fan, try at least moving the plant to a shady area and keeping it cool by opening windows or shades.
During very hot days, increase the watering frequency for your monstera. Try to check the soil’s moisture level every two to three days. Usually, you will find that the soil dries out in less than a week, meaning you can water the plant weekly or biweekly if you want.
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If you have ever noticed your monstera turning brown or losing its leaves, then there is a good chance you have a pest problem.
A common insect pest that attacks monstera is the white fly. It lays its eggs near the base of the plant, where it is easy for the baby to emerge. As the egg begins to hatch, the baby white fly consumes the plant’s nutrients and uses them to grow and mature into adult. If the adult whitefly survives, it will continue to suck the juice out of your plant’s leaves until they turn brown.
Other insects like mites, spider mites, and aphids can all cause brown spots for your monstera. They can also cause the leaves to wilt, curl up, and eventually die.
When you discover that your plant has been infested by pests, remove them by hand. Then try to spray the leaves with a pest repellent such as lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, or neem oil.
Another option is to use beneficial insects such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings as natural predators.
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Leaf Spot Disease
Leaf spot disease can cause the leaves of monstera to develop brown spots. For example, Fusarium is a common disease that can be quickly brought on by heavy rains and high humidity.
When Fusarium infests your monstera, you may notice discoloration and crumbling leaves with tiny light brown spots. If the disease is not treated quickly, the spots will become more prominent and turn dark brown.
It can be challenging to detect a leaf spot disease at an early stage unless you have a magnifying glass. It looks similar to mildew but is actually a fungus.
The first thing to do is remove all the affected leaves and dispose of them immediately. Getting rid of the diseased leaves is essential before they spread their disease to the rest of the plant.
After removing the affected leaves, apply fungicides or an insecticide according to the instructions on the product label.
If you doubt the soil is also infected by the disease, you should transplant your monstera into a new potting mix. This will increase the probability of healing your plant and the chance of getting rid of the disease.
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Using fertilizers is a common cause of brown leaf spots in monstera. A high-nitrogen fertilizer causes the leaves to turn brown and decay. Also, balanced fertilizer in high quantity or frequency can cause this issue.
Too much fertilizer can also cause the plant to produce many leaves, which may be too heavy for the plant’s structure to support. This can cause the plant to look weak and fall over.
When fertilizing your monstera, it is essential to use a balanced fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. If you are using liquid fertilizer, always dilute it to avoid damaging the plant leaves.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fertilizing. Most fertilizers have a recommended time frame in which to apply them. Do not apply any fertilizer at the wrong time or use it too frequently. In addition, avoid fertilizing your plant when it enters dormancy.
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Bad Water Quality
Inadequate water quality is another prevalent cause of brown leaf spots in monstera. It could be from high mineral content or from the presence of bacteria or parasites.
If you water your plant with water that is high in fluoride and chloride, then the leaves and the leaf edges will start to turn brown. If you keep using this kind of water, you will start seeing big brown spots on the leaves of your monstera.
If the water is discoloring your monstera, you may need to use distilled water, reverse osmosis water, or bottled water to avoid these issues.
You should avoid watering your plants with tap water because it contains heavy metals and other impurities that can harm the plant’s roots.
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Your plants will start to droop after a couple of days of over-watering. Extra water in the soil will cause the leaves to become brown and curl as water seeps into the roots and begins to rot the plant.
This problem happens most frequently during the winter, especially for gardeners who follow a rigid watering schedule for their plants. Generally, a plant like a monstera should be watered less often in winter because the soil dries slowly, and the plant goes through dormancy.
If the brown spots on the leaves of your monstera are caused by overwatering, then you should remove the plant from the pot and check the roots. If the roots are entirely damaged, then there is nothing you can do to save the plant. If there are still some healthy ones, remove the rotted roots and wash the entire plant.
After cleaning the plant, let it dry in a sunny area and prepare a new soil mix. Once the plant is entirely dry, plant it in the unique soil mix.
You can keep using the same old pot or change it to a bigger one if the plant has shown signs of root boundness.
It is always a good idea to check the moisture content in the soil before watering your plant. You can water the plant if the soil feels dry to the touch.
After repotting, You should check the soil regularly and water your plants appropriately.
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Underwatering causes monstera leaves to scorch, which leads to brown spots. In the absence of water, the leaves and stems of a plant will also wither and dry up.
You can tell if the plant is suffering from underwatering by looking at the undersides of the leaves. If the leaves appear dried and shriveled, your plant is underwatered, and you should save it immediately.
You can save an underwatered monstera by giving it more water slowly over time. Add some water, then wait for the soil to drain. Next, add more water, allowing the soil to drain again. Keep repeating this process until the soil feels moist but not soggy.
Underwatering will most likely occur on the hot days of summer. Therefore, you should increase your watering frequency during this season or keep a close eye on the plant to stay aware of its needs.
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Should I Cut Monstera Leaves with Brown Spots?
You should cut monstera leaves with brown spots if the issue is caused by a disease or pest infestation. This will stop the infestation from spreading to the rest of the plant and help keep it healthy.
Removing the leaves is unnecessary if the brown spots are caused by overwatering or excess light. In this case, you can focus only on fixing the cause of the problem and let the plant do its job of getting rid of the brown leaves and growing green ones.
If you do not appreciate seeing brown spots on your plant’s leaves, you can remove them immediately before treating the cause of the problem.
Generally, removing unhealthy leaves is beneficial to any plant. When you get rid of those leaves, the plant will focus its energy on growing new healthy ones.
The best way to remove a brown spot is to use a sharp pair of pruning shears and cut the leaves off the plant. Try to cut above the node to let the plant grow new leaves quickly.
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How Do You Treat Brown Spots on Monstera?
Treating brown spots on monstera depends on the cause of the problem. For example, if the brown spots are caused by a fungal disease, the affected leaves should be removed, and the plant should be transplanted into a new potting mix. On the other hand, if the problem is caused by underwatering, you must give the plant enough water and let it dry in a shady area.
The following table provides all the possible treatments for brown spots in monster, depending on what causes the problem:
|Cause of Monstera Brown Leaf Spot||Treatment|
|Excess Light||Get the plant out of direct sunlight and transfer it to a location where it will receive indirect filtered light.|
|Extreme Temperature||Change the location of the plant and bring it where it will get adequate temperature. Then, water the plant thoroughly because excess heat usually makes plants thirsty.|
|Pest Infestation||Isolate the plant and remove the infested leaves. After that, you have the choice to combat the pests organically or use a pesticide.|
|Bad Water Quality||In this case, you can simply change the water that you use for watering. Try to use distilled water or reverse osmosis water the next time you water your plant.|
|Overwatering||Remove the plant from the pot and let it dry for a few days. If the roots are healthy, then take the plant back to the pot after it dries. If some rots are rotten, then cut them and change the potting mix. After that, replant your monstera into the new potting soil.|
|Underwatering||Try to add water to the plant slowly until the soil starts feeling moist to the touch.|
|Leaf spot disease||Isolate the plant and remove all the brown leaves. Then, remove the plant from the pot and wash it with water. While your plant is drying, disinfect the pot and prepare a fresh potting mix. Repot your plant into the new potting soil, give it enough water, and put it in a location with bright indirect sunlight.|
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How To Prevent Brown Spots on Monstera Leaves?
To prevent brown spots on monstera leaves, you should try to mimic their native habitat as much as you can. This means that you should keep the humidity around 70%, the temperature around 80°F, and put the plant in a spot that guarantees bright indirect sunlight.
Additionally, you should avoid overwatering your monstera. Use a pot made of porous material and a well-draining soil mix.
Here is how you can implement all the actions above and prevent brown spots on monstera leaves:
Keep the Humidity Near 70%
To keep the Humidity around your monstera at this level, you can use a humidifier. This device creates water vapor and increases the Humidity in a room.
Humidifiers are most often used in homes with dry air. If you live in a cold and dry location, a humidifier will help to keep your air fresh and clean, which will be highly beneficial to monstera.
Maintain the Temperature Between 70°F and 80°F
If you live in a cold area, you can use a heating pad to keep the Temperature of your monstera in this interval.
Heating pads are great for your plants during the winter months. They provide warmth to the roots, helping to prevent frost damage.
It is best to use a pad specifically designed for plants, as some of the pads contain chemicals that could harm your plants.
Find a Spot That Provides Bright, Indirect Light
The best area of the house that provides these conditions is a south-facing window or balcony.
Indirect sunlight is the best spot for plants. If you have a window that faces east or south, this will provide plenty of light. On the other hand, if you have a window that faces west or north, you may want to consider putting shade over the window.
Choose a Pot Made out of Porous Material
The best pots for growing monstera are unglazed terracotta and clay. These pots are made from clay, which is a natural product that comes from the earth. It is porous and allows water to drain through the pot quickly. Clay pots also hold in moisture and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Terracotta pots are more porous and durable than clay pots. But they are generally more expensive.
Use a Well Draining Soil
A suitable potting mix for the monstera plant is made by mixing 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, and 4 parts pine barks.
Peat moss is a good choice for monstera because it adds nutrients and drainage to the soil. Pine bark is also an excellent option for this plant because it adds nutrients to the soil and helps retain moisture. Finally, perlite is a lightweight, airy material that can help improve drainage and prevent root rot.
Monstera needs to be fertilized using a slow-release liquid fertilizer with a 5:2:3 NPK ratio.
A balanced fertilizer with a 10:10:10 NPK ratio can also work for monstera. Ensure it’s liquid and diluted enough to prevent any foliage from burning.
Additionally, monstera should be fertilized only during spring and summer. During these seasons, this plant grows fully and requires more nutrients to produce new foliage. Fertilizing plants during these months can help them grow more robust.
On the other hand, winter is a time for plants to rest and conserve energy. They do not require as much nutrition as they do during the warmer seasons. Fertilizing during this time of the year will only disturb the balance of the plant.
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