How do you know if your Monstera is unhappy?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

As an expert in plant care, I can provide you with a detailed answer on how to determine if your Monstera plant is unhappy. Monstera plants, also known as Swiss cheese plants, are popular for their large, lush leaves and unique leaf patterns. However, like any other plant, they can experience issues that may indicate their unhappiness.

1. Wilting: One of the first signs of an unhappy Monstera plant is wilting leaves. If the leaves appear droopy and lack their usual turgidity, it could be a sign of underwatering or overwatering. Check the moisture level of the soil and adjust your watering routine accordingly.

2. Curling at the edges: Another common sign of plant distress is when the edges of the Monstera leaves begin to curl. This can be an indication of underwatering, low humidity levels, or even nutrient deficiencies. Consider increasing humidity levels around the plant and ensuring it receives adequate water and nutrients.

3. Yellowing leaves: Yellowing leaves can be a sign of various issues. If only the older, lower leaves are turning yellow, it may be normal aging. However, if the younger leaves are yellowing, it could indicate nutrient deficiencies, overwatering, or root problems. Assess the plant’s watering and feeding routine and make necessary adjustments.

4. Crispy and brown edges: When the edges of Monstera leaves turn crispy and brown, it is often a sign of underwatering or low humidity. The lack of moisture causes the leaf edges to dry out, resulting in browning. Increase the frequency of watering and consider using a humidifier or placing a water tray near the plant to improve humidity levels.

5. Leaf discoloration: Apart from yellowing, other leaf discolorations such as brown or black spots can indicate issues like fungal or bacterial infections. If you notice any unusual spots or discoloration, remove the affected leaves and adjust the plant’s environment to prevent further spread of the infection.

6. Stunted growth: If your Monstera plant is not showing signs of healthy growth, it may be an indication of inadequate light, nutrient deficiencies, or root-bound conditions. Assess the plant’s lighting conditions, ensure it receives suitable fertilization, and consider repotting if the roots are overcrowded.

7. Pest infestations: Unwanted pests like spider mites, mealybugs, or aphids can also cause your Monstera plant to become unhappy. Look for signs of pests, such as webs, tiny insects, or sticky residue on the leaves. If you spot any pests, treat the plant with appropriate insecticides or try natural pest control methods.

In addition to these signs, it is essential to observe your Monstera plant closely and consider any recent changes in its environment or care routine. Factors like temperature fluctuations, improper lighting, overfertilization, or even repotting stress can also contribute to its unhappiness. By paying attention to these signs and making the necessary adjustments, you can help your Monstera plant thrive and maintain its health and beauty.