There’s no question that a thriving Monstera is often the showpiece of any room. And it’s for exactly this reason that, if you’ve noticed your Monstera drooping, it’s good to address it right away.
While there are several reasons for why your Monstera leaves may be drooping and curling, most of them are, fortunately, very easy to fix. With a few tweaks to how you look after your beloved playent, you’ll have a thriving, healthy Monstera in no time.
Why is my Monstera drooping?
In ideal growing conditions, Monsteras produce lush green (or variegated) foliage with dramatic, lacy holes and splits. But when growing conditions are not to their liking they can react by producing droopy leaves and stems.
The cause of Monstera leaves drooping ranges from improper watering, poor lighting or the wrong potting soil mix to changes in the temperature and low humidity levels. Determining the exact cause of drooping leaves on your Monstera plant requires a little sleuthing on your part.
Here are the most common reasons:
1. Improper watering
Monsteras prefer evenly moist soil that dries out slightly between waterings. Soil that is allowed to dry out completely cannot provide your Monstera with the water it needs to maintain rigid leaves and stems. Soil that is too dry can result in drooping (or wilting) leaves and stems.
Give your droopy Monstera plant a good drink to saturate the soil until water runs through the bottom of the pot. Then, check it frequently to monitor the moisture level in the soil. A common question is how often to water your Monstera, and the aim is that you should aim to do so when the top inch or two of the soil feels dry to the touch, but the soil in the bottom of the pot is still slightly moist.
But it isn’t just overly dry soil that can cause the problem. Soil that is too wet, leading to your Monstera becoming overwatered can cause drooping, too. Because the water fills the air holes in the soil there is no room for oxygen in soggy soil. When your Monstera plant’s roots cannot get oxygen they cannot perform the important task of uptaking water and nutrients. This causes the leaves and stems to be weak and droopy and even, eventually, for your Monstera’s leaves to turn brown.
To solve problems caused by waterlogged soil, allow the top inch or two of soil to dry before you water your Monstera again. If it’s a repeated problem, you may want to check if your houseplant’s pot is the right size. If it’s too small for the plant, not only can this cause water-related issues, but you may be facing a root bound Monstera, which could be why your Monstera is drooping.
2. Poor drainage
Monsteras prefer loose, friable soil that drains well, and they will suffer if they are grown in dense soil. When water is not able to drain freely through the soil, the roots will likely be left sitting in soggy soil. A drainage problem can also occur if your plant pot does not have adequate drainage holes or if the drainage holes are clogged.
If you suspect poor drainage is the cause of waterlogged soil in your Monstera’s plant pot, check the drainage holes first. Lift the pot and visually inspect the holes for any clogs. If the holes are clear, the issue is likely poor potting mixture.
Repot the plant with fresh soil designed for aroids. This is one of the best soil types for Monsteras as it’s loose enough to create proper drainage while providing good aeration for the roots. Avoid all-purpose potting soil as it is too dense for tropical plants like Monsteras.
3. Too much light
Monstera plants need several hours of bright, indirect light each day, but will suffer and droop if they are subjected to too much light. Direct rays from the sun are too harsh for these tropical plants and may cause the water in the soil to evaporate before the plant can use it.
In addition, Monstera plants grown in too much light may give off more moisture during transpiration leaving them starved for moisture. Monsteras exposed to too much sunlight can wilt quickly and result in drooping, wilting or floppy leaves and stems.
If too much sun is the cause for your Monstera leaves drooping, moving it to a location that receives less light will restore your plant to health. This can also be a great solution to perk up your plant and fix other issues, like if you’ve been wondering when your Monstera leaves will split properly.
4. Low humidity levels
Monsteras like humidity, much like other tropical plants. In fact, tropical plants typically grow in areas where the relative humidity remains between 60 and 90 percent. That means the relative humidity in your home is likely too dry for your Monstera plants.
Plants transport water and nutrients from the roots up through the stems and foliage where any excess moisture is released into the air in a process called transpiration. If humidity levels are low, your Monstera plant will lose a lot of moisture to transpiration.
This can cause leaves and stems to droop as well as other issues, like black spots appearing on your Monstera. High humidity levels in the air around the plants slow down the transpiration process, meaning the plants will lose less moisture in the air.
To solve issues with droopy leaves caused by low humidity levels, take steps to raise the relative humidity in your home or around your plants.
5. Temperature changes
Monsteras are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and prefer ambient air temperatures that remain between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (around 15 to 26 degrees Celsius). They will suffer and may show their displeasure with droopy leaves if the temperature drops below or goes above this range.
Grow your Monstera in a location that is free of either hot or cold drafts and do not let the temperature drop below 60 or go above 80 degrees. Avoid placing your Monstera near heating or AC vents. Likewise, look out for drafts around windows and doors, especially in the winter.
6. Lack of support
Monstera plants are climbing plants and need a moss or jute-covered totem or pole for support. Without a support to climb (and for your Monstera’s aerial roots to hold on to), the stems and leaves may droop or sag downward.
If your Monstera is drooping because of lack of support adding a totem or tying your Monstera to a moss pole will bring immediate results.
How do you fix a droopy Monstera?
Once you have identified the cause of your Monstera’s droopy leaves, correcting it is relatively easy.
1. Develop a routine for watering
The amount of water your Monstera needs changes with the seasons as well as the growth of the plant.
Monsteras need more water in the summer and when they are actively growing, but are less demanding in the winter. This makes it difficult to establish a set watering schedule. However, you can develop a regular routine of checking the soil in your Monstera plant’s pot and watering it appropriately.
Water your Monstera plant when the soil feels dry to the touch one to two inches below the surface. Water it until the soil is saturated and water runs freely through the bottom of the pot. Empty any excess water from the saucer.
Do not water your plant again until the soil has dried an inch or two below the surface. You should also keep in mind that, during the winter, your Monstera may go a week or two before it dries out, while it may need water twice a week in the summer.
2. Give your Monstera proper lighting
As a rule, Monstera plants thrive in bright, indirect light but can survive in low light. Some types of Monstera, like the Variegated Monstera Deliciosa and the Monstera Thai Constellation, need a bit more light to maintain their beautiful coloration.
To assess the amount of light your Monstera receives, hold your hand, with your fingers spread apart, about 12 inches from the plant so that your hand is between the plant and the light source. If your hand casts a dense shadow with well-defined edges your Monstera is in bright or direct light and will likely do better in lower light.
If your hand casts a very faint shadow (or none at all) your Monstera is growing in low light and will likely perform better in more light. Aim for a shadow that is light gray and has fuzzy edges.
Find our more about your Monstera’s light requirements here.
3. Maintain consistent temperatures
Monsteras are sensitive to changes in the temperature and suffer if they are exposed to hot or cold drafts.
This is why it’s a good idea to maintain temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to keep your Monstera plants healthy and avoid droopy leaves caused by changes in temperature.
4. Raise the humidity
Like other tropical plants, Monsteras thrive in humid conditions and suffer in dry air. Take measures to raise and maintain high humidity levels near your Monstera plants. A humidifier can be invaluable for raising and maintaining the humidity level in the winter, but using pebble trays and grouping plants together works well, too.
Should I cut off drooping Monstera leaves?
Drooping Monstera leaves need your attention, but they do not need to be cut off the plant. Under most circumstances, identifying the cause of the drooping Monstera leaves and taking corrective action is all that is needed to revive the plant and restore the leaves.
How long does it take for a Monstera to perk up?
If your droopy or wilting leaves are from lack of watering or exposure to the hot sun, watering the plant and moving it to a cooler, darker area often perks the plant up within an hour or two. Likewise, providing a totem for stems that are drooping due to lack of support will take care of the problem immediately.
However, if the reason for your Monstera leaves drooping or wilting leaves is more complex, like poorly draining soil or waterlogged soil, it may take anywhere from a couple of days or to up to a week for the soil to dry sufficiently and for your Monstera plant’s leaves to perk up and your plant to return to its usual appearance.
Do new Monstera leaves droop?
New Monstera leaves can droop for the same reasons mature leaves do, whether that’s due to improper watering, too much light, humidity or temperature issues or a lack of support. If you notice new Monstera leaves drooping, approach the issue similar to how you would with more mature leaves.
By keeping the same set of guidelines in mind, you will likely uncover the cause of your Monstera leaves drooping when they are young.
Why is my Monstera plant curling?
Curled Monstera leaves generally signal a lack of water in the plant tissues. This can be the result of either over or under watering or growing your Monstera in a hot, dry location. At the same time, it’s normal for new leaves to curl before unfurling.
If it looks like the issue with your Monstera is lack of water, make sure you’re keeping the soil evenly moist allowing the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil to dry before watering your Monstera plant. You should also check that your plant is not near a heating vent or in an area that receives too much light from the hot afternoon sun.
Find out more: 10 Causes of Monstera Leaves Curling (and How to Fix It)
What if my Monstera leaves are curling upwards?
Like other houseplants, Monstera leaves curling upwards can be due to insect pests on the leaves. To confirm this, examine the leaves (and stems) of your Monstera plant for any signs of insects so you can take action accordingly.
If you don’t see any insects, hold a piece of light-colored paper under the leaves and shake the leaves lightly. This will dislodge tiny insects that can be seen when they drop onto the paper.
Treat pests on your Monstera with insecticidal soap or with neem oil. From there, make sure you monitor your plants closely for any further signs of insects.
How long does it take for a Monstera leaf to uncurl?
It can take up to seven weeks for a leaf to unfurl completely. Keep in mind that it’s normal for new leaves to be curled. They unfurl naturally over the course of days or weeks depending on their size, the growth rate of the plant, its growing conditions and the plant’s overall health.
Curled leaves due to improper watering generally uncurl as soon as you remedy the problem and regular watering is established. It may take them a day or two to uncurl completely, but unless your Monstera leaves are turning yellow or have dried out, curled leaves respond well to your interventions.
Why is my Monstera drooping after repotting?
Repotting your Monstera plant can cause stress to the plant, especially if its roots are damaged or you transplant it during the fall or winter when it is not actively growing. This can result in drooping leaves.
The reason for your Monstera’s leaves reacting in this way is generally because root damage or roots that do not adjust quickly to the new soil are less able to transport water from the soil to the plant tissues. That said, the plant should revive on its own within a day or two.
It’s also possible that your Monstera is drooping after you repot it if you were interrupted or took too long to repot it. Tender young roots dry out quickly when they are exposed to the air. If your Monstera plant sat with its roots exposed for more than a few minutes, it may take it longer to recover from the stress and may show its discomfort with drooping leaves or stems.
Another reason for drooping when repotting your Monstera plant is not providing it with the correct amount of water. The new soil should be evenly moist but not soggy, so check the moisture level in the soil and adjust it as necessary. Try also moving the plant into an area with less light for a day or two until it adjusts to the new soil and pot.
While no one wants a case of Monstera transplant shock on their hands, with a bit of TLC and leaving them alone for a while, they often pull through all on their own.
Why is my Monstera drooping after watering?
If your Monstera droops after you water it, it is likely that the soil is too soggy for the plant to get oxygen. There are a number of reasons this can happen after watering your plant.
1. Failure to empty the saucer or catch basin
Check the saucer or catch basin under your plant pot to see if it is filled with water. Water left in the saucer will be absorbed by the soil in the pot keeping the soil soggy.
If your plant pot has a saucer attached to the bottom of the pot, remove it or tip your plant sideways to see if water is pooling in it. If water pours out when you tip the pot, hold it over the sink and let it drain completely.
2. Water in pebble trays is too high
If your Monstera’s pot is sitting on a pebble tray filled with water to raise the humidity for your plants, the water level may be too high. The water in the pebble tray should not touch the bottom of the pot as this will prevent the soil from draining. Adjust the level of the water so that it is below the pot.
3. Drainage holes in the plant pot are clogged
The drainage holes in the bottom of your plant pot may be clogged. Lift the pot and visually check the drainage holes to be sure they are free. If you added small stones to the bottom of the pot to promote good drainage, they may have shifted and blocked the drainage hole.
If you see roots growing through the drainage hole, your Monstera plant is root bound and needs to be repotted. Choose a new pot that is 1 to 2 inches larger than the current pot and repot your Monstera plant with fresh potting mix.
4. Improper soil mix
If you used all-purpose potting soil for your Monstera plant, it could be preventing it from draining properly. In terms of the best soil for Monsteras, they tend to prefer a good aroid potting soil mix. These soil mixes contain peat moss, bark, perlite and a small amount of soil to mimic the soil in tropical forests where Monsteras and other aroids grow.
If the soil in your pot stays soggy and doesn’t drain well, repot the Monstera in a new pot with fresh aroid soil.
5. Not enough water
Sometimes a less obvious reason for drooping leaves after watering your Monstera is because water ran through the pot and didn’t moisten the soil. This can happen if the plant is root bound or if the soil is severely dry and compacted.
Compacted soil can cause the water to run off between the sides of the pot and the soil. Even though the surface of the soil may look moistened the soil underneath may still be dry.
If you suspect that your Monstera plant is drooping after watering it because the soil is still dry beneath the surface, there is an easy way to find out.
- Fill a large pot or bucket with water. The sink will do if your Monstera pot is small. Otherwise, choose a container about twice the height of the plant pot.
- Insert the plant pot into the water so that the water covers the top of the soil.
- Observe for air bubbles in the water. If your soil is compacted and severely dry, water will enter the air pockets in the soil and force air bubbles out into the water. Air bubbles may continue to rise for half an hour or more if your soil is severely dry.
- Remove the plant pot from the water when the bubbles cease and allow it to drain thoroughly.