Monstera with yellow leaves: what is the problem and how do I solve it?

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One of the hardest parts about owning house plants is knowing what to do when something goes wrong. The Monstera is a pretty easy plant to look after, and luckily for you it is a houseplant that will tell you exactly when something is wrong with it. One of the most common symptoms that something is wrong with your Monstera is when the leaves turn yellow. In this guide we will take you through everything you need to know about what yellow leaves on a Monstera could mean. 

Underwatering

The most common cause of yellowing leaves on a Monstera is underwatering. These plants are fast growing and use up a lot of water during their growing period. The most common cause for underwatering is getting stuck into a set watering routine and not adapting to the natural fluctuations you come across when the weather changes. Make sure you are always watering your plant based on how dry the soil is. Test this by putting your finger into the soil to see how dry it is. You will need to water your Monstera when the top two inches of the soil is dry. When you water your plant make sure you do so only until the water begins to seep out of the drainage holes. 

Low Humidity

The Monstera is a species of plant that takes a large amount of its moisture in from its leaves and aerial roots. This means that you have to have your plant in a humid environment for the plant to take in all the moisture it needs. Misting the leaves of your Monstera regularly will help with this, but if you want a more hands-off approach, put your plant on a pebble tray or near a humidifier. 

Too Much Light

Whilst your Monstera needs more light than most other houseplants there is a limit to how much it can take. Direct, bright light will burn the foliage and cause it to yellow and blister. When this happens the leaves will stop producing any energy for your plant and it will eventually die. 

Make sure that your plant is kept out of direct light if possible, and if not you should cover the window with a ablind or sticker that helps to filter the light. If you move your plant into a darker space it may take some time to readjust, stopping the plant from growing for a few days. 

Pests 

Monstera are susceptible to some pests like spider mites or whitefly. These pests tend to suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to lose energy and turn yellow. If not stopped early, the infestation will grow and make the situation worse. When you first suspect a pest infestation, check the underside of the leaves for eggs and nesting bugs. At this point you should apply a safe insecticide or horticultural soap until the infestation is gone.

Natural Leaf Yellowing

When your Monstera enters a new growing period in the spring it will spend more energy on producing new foliage. When this happens, older growth will lose moisture and energy causing them to droop and go yellow. This is a natural part of your plant's life cycle and you can help your plant by removing these leaves and redirecting its energy to new growth.   

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