If you’re like me, you love your Monstera plant. But what do you do if you get a bit too enthusiastic in moving it towards that nice, bright window and it suddenly starts to get a sunburn? Never fear, I’m here to help!
In this article, I will teach you how to treat a sunburnt Monstera and make sure it recovers quickly. I’ll also share some tips on how to prevent sunburns from happening in the first place.
So read on and learn everything you need to know about caring for your beloved Monstera when it’s gotten a bit too much sun.
How do you fix a sunburnt Monstera?
In order to fix a sunburnt Monstera, you will need to take some immediate action. Move your plant out of the direct sunlight. If possible, put it in a shady spot or indoors. Once you relocate your plant, check the leaves to assess the damage.
It will take some time for your Monstera to recover from sunburn, but with some TLC it will be back to its old self in no time. Be patient and observant, so that you can identify any additional problems with your plant.
Here are some other important tips to keep in mind:
1. Take your Monstera out of the direct sun
As mentioned above, the first step in treating a sunburnt Monstera is to take it out of the direct sunlight. Your plant is vulnerable to sunburns when the leaves are exposed to too much sunlight. This can happen if you leave your Monstera outside for extended periods of time or if it’s placed in a spot that gets direct sunlight for most of the day.
Monstera likes lighting environments that are bright but indirect. There is indirect light available in rooms with east-facing windows. You can also place your Monstera in a sunny interior room that has a south- or west-facing window.
2. Control lighting conditions with grow lights
One way to take control of your Monstera’s lighting conditions is by using grow lights. Grow lights are a type of artificial light that imitates the sunlight that plants need for photosynthesis.
You can use grow lights to create a custom lighting environment for your Monstera. This is especially helpful if you live in an apartment or home where there is little natural light available. Grow lights come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and intensities.
Check out my top pick for the best grow light for Monstera.
3. Make sure your Monstera is getting enough water
A sunburnt plant is usually dehydrated from being in the sun for too long. Make sure to water your Monstera more frequently than usual until the leaves start to recover. Check the soil so that it’s moist but not soggy.
Water your plant once every week and if possible, use filtered water. Let the water sit out for 24 hours so that the chlorine has a chance to evaporate. This will help your Monstera stay healthy and prevent further damage to the leaves.
4. Check for any other damage to the plant
Other issues that burnt Monstera leaves may have include underwatering and overwatering, as well as pests or diseases on your Monstera. Since the plant is already vulnerable due to sunburn, it is important to take extra care of your Monstera during this time.
Look for small dots on the leaves, which could be an indication of pests. Mold will also appear as a discoloration on the leaves. These problems should be treated immediately in order to prevent them from getting worse.
5. Prune off the damaged leaves
If the leaves are severely damaged, you may need to prune them off. This will help the plant focus its energy on new growth to help your Monstera leaves grow back. Pruning also allows more air and light to reach the center of the plant.
To prune your Monstera, use sharp scissors or a knife to cut off the damaged leaves at the base of the plant. Be sure to sterilize your scissors or knife before you begin. This will help prevent the spread of disease.
6. Provide your plant with a comfortable temperature
Monstera plants like to grow in warm environments. The ideal temperature for a Monstera is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the temperature drops below 50 degrees, your plant may go into shock. If it’s too hot, it will further stress your sunburnt Monstera. Set your home’s thermostat to a comfortable temperature and make sure your plant is not placed near any drafts.
7. Fertilize your plant
A sunburnt Monstera will benefit from being fertilized. Use a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. This will help promote new growth on your plant.
You can find fertilizer for your Monstera at your local nursery or garden center. Follow the instructions on the package so that you do not over-fertilize your plant.
Best fertilizer for Monsteras
Jack’s Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer
A great fertilizer with the perfect balance for your Monstera. Simply dissolve in water and feed your plant to watch it thrive.
Be careful not to place your plant in direct sunlight at this time. The new growth will be especially sensitive to the sun. Monitor your plant for any signs of new growth and once the leaves start to recover, you can slowly introduce your Monstera to more light.
What do you do with sunburned Monstera leaves?
Sunburnt Monstera leaves need additional care because they are vulnerable to further damage. This means that you’ll have to get the plant out of the sun and into a shady spot. Your first objective is to salvage the health of the plant and the second one is to promote new growth.
New growth will help to cover up the burnt Monstera leaves and eventually replace them. By refining your plant care know-how, you can help your Monstera to get stronger, healthier, and more beautiful with each passing year.
Providing conditions as close to the natural habitat as possible will also be very beneficial for the plant. By paying attention to your plant and giving it the care it needs, you’ll be rewarded with a Monstera that thrives for years to come.
Should I cut sunburned leaves off my Monstera?
It’s common to cut off leaves on a Monstera with sunburn. The sunburned leaves will not recover and will eventually turn brown and die. If the sunburn is severe, it can affect the entire plant. It’s best to remove the affected leaves to prevent the spread of sunburn.
Try to only prune those leaves on your Monstera that are affected and avoid pruning the entire plant. If you must prune the entire plant, be sure to leave at least two leaves on each stem.
This way your Monstera plant can direct energy to healthy parts of the plant and promote new growth.
Can Monstera recover from being sunburned?
Your Monstera plant can live a healthy life after getting sunburnt. However, the damaged leaves will not heal. They are already dead and will eventually turn brown and fall off the plant. The rate of recovery depends on how damaged your Monstera was in the first place.
The good news is that a Monstera will grow new leaves to replace the sunburned ones. With proper care and a bit of pruning, your plant will likely make a full recovery.
If the sunburn only affects one half or less of the leaf, you can support it by pruning off any brown or yellow leaves on your Monstera. This will help the plant to focus its energy on the healthier leaves.
However, if more than half of the leaf is brown, go ahead and remove the whole leaf and a bit of the stem. Be mindful not to remove too much of the healthy stem, as this will shock your plant.
What does sunburn on Monstera look like?
If the leaves are wilted, dry, or brown, they are probably sunburnt. Gently press on the leaves to see if they feel crispy. If they do, then your Monstera has likely been sunburnt. It’s easy to mistake sunburn for other problems, so be sure to check for other signs of distress.
Here are some additional signs that your Monstera plant has been sunburnt:
Bleaching occurs when the leaves lose their green color and turn white or pale. This is an early response to sun damage and can happen quickly. It will eventually lead to the Monstera’s leaves turning brown and crispy.
2. Wilting leaves
Wilting is when the leaves droop or sag. This happens when the plant is stressed by the heat of the sun. So if your plant is in a small hot room with direct sunlight, it’s likely to wilt.
Blistering happens when the leaves develop raised bumps that are filled with fluid. The fluid within the leaf is beginning to dry out and this will eventually lead to cell death in this area of the Monstera plant.
4. Yellow and brown leaves
If there are yellow and brown spots on your Monstera’s leaves, this is a possible sign of scorching. Scorching usually happens when the plant has been in direct sunlight for too long.
The cell walls of the leaves are damaged, which causes the fluid to leak out. This can lead to the leaves turning a darker color and losing the chlorophyll that gives them their green color.
5. Black and brown spots
You’ll see extremely dark spots on a Monstera with sunburn, especially when it has experienced extreme sunburn and hasn’t been removed from the sun. These spots are dead and will eventually fall off the plant.
Find out more: Why Does My Monstera Have Black Spots?
6. Dried out edges on leaves
The tips and edges of Monstera leaves are often the first sections to get sunburnt. This is because they are the furthest away from the main stem of the plant and are the most vulnerable to the sun’s rays.
You’ll see the edges of the leaves turn yellow or brown and eventually become crispy. The Monstera leaf will then start to curl in on itself as it dries out. If the plant is not removed from the sun, this will eventually lead to more surface area on the leaf drying up and dying.
7. Crumbly crispy leaves
If your Monstera leaves are dry and crumbly, this is a sure sign of sunburn. The leaves will feel papery to the touch and will easily break apart. These leaves are beyond repair and will eventually fall off the plant.
These crispy sections can be a variety of colors and may also vary in size. They are incredibly easy to remove because they are so delicate.
8. Leaf fall
If dried out leaves are left on a plant long enough, they’ll eventually fall off – and the same is true when dealing with sunburnt Monstera leaves.
The symptoms outlined above will appear first but if you have… sort of… forgotten about your plant for a while and you notice one day that dried out leaves have fallen off it, there’s a chance it could be due to sunburn.
How to avoid a Monstera getting sunburn
The best way to avoid sunburn on your Monstera is to get it out of the sun! If you have a Monstera that is in a pot, you can move it to a shadier spot. This will immediately relieve stress on the plant and prevent future damage.
Here are some additional tips to avoid sunburn on your Monstera:
1. Place your Monstera in an east-facing window
As mentioned above, the best way to avoid sunburn is to move your plant out of direct sunlight. A good rule of thumb is to find a window that is east-facing.
This is because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. So an east-facing window will get morning sunlight, which is not as intense as the afternoon sun.
Related: How Much Light Does Monstera Need?
2. Use a sheer curtain or blind to filter the sunlight
Many of us can’t control the directionality of our windows, but we can control how much light comes in by using a sheer curtain or blind. You can find these at most home goods stores or order them online.
Just make sure that the fabric is sheer enough that it will still allow some light to come through. This way, your Monstera can still get the sunlight it needs without being exposed to too much intense light.
3. Get UV protective film for your windows
UV is the cause of sunburn, so by blocking UV rays, you can prevent sunburn. You can find this film online or at some home goods stores.
These specialty films can be purchased in different strengths. They can also be custom cut to fit windows of all sizes and shapes. This is a great option for those who want a clean minimal solution for diffusing light.
4. Slowly adjust your Monstera to more light
If you want your Monstera plant to become more resilient, it’s important to gradually get it used to more light. Start by placing it in an area that gets indirect sunlight.
Then, over the course of a few weeks, you can slowly move your plant a few inches every few days towards a brighter light. This will help your Monstera develop a thicker cuticle, which will protect it from sunburn.
5. Place a fan near your Monstera plant
Another way to make your Monstera plant more resilient is by placing a fan near it. The moving air will help to circulate the plant and prevent hot spots from developing.
You should also make sure that the fan is not blowing directly on the plant, as this can cause the leaves to dry out. Try an oscillating fan or a desk fan set on low.
6. Monitor the temperature
When it’s hot outside, the temperatures inside can rise quickly. This is especially true if your Monstera is near a window that gets direct sunlight.
To prevent this, you can use a thermometer to monitor the temperature near your plant. If it gets too hot, you can use a fan or air conditioner to cool the area down.
7. Mist your Monstera
You can also mist your Monstera with water to help it stay cool although, similar to when you do this to help increase your Monstera’s humidity levels, it’s only a temporary effect. Just be sure not to overdo it, as too much water can cause the leaves to rot or attract pests.
You should also make sure not to place your plant in direct light after misting it. This could actually lead to burning the plant since water can concentrate the light.