What Cause Monstera Leaves Curling and How to Fix?

Monstera plants are popular houseplants, known for their large and beautiful leaves. But what happens when these leaves begin to curl? Understanding the cause of Monstera leaf curling is essential for properly caring for these plants.

Botanists have identified several key factors that can result in Monstera leaf curling. The most common issues involve overwatering or underwatering, exposure to temperatures outside of an ideal range, low humidity levels, inadequate soil drainage, light intensity or duration, fertilizer application errors, and pests like spider mites. Each one of these potential causes has unique effects on the plant and must be addressed with appropriate solutions.

Monstera Leaves Curling

The consequences of not addressing curved leaves quickly can include stunted growth and eventual death if left untreated long enough. If you notice your Monstera’s leaves starting to curl up abnormally then it’s best to take action right away by examining each potential cause and taking steps to remedy them as soon as possible.

Under Or Over Watering

Monstera plants are an increasingly popular choice among houseplant enthusiasts. In fact, according to the National Gardening Association, Monstera is one of the top five most purchased indoor plants in 2020 in the United States. When cared for properly, these showy plants can thrive and produce large glossy leaves. However, if watered too often or not enough it can cause several problems including curling of the leaves.

Underwatering results when a plant does not receive enough water to meet its needs. This causes the tips of older leaves to curl inward as they become dry and brittle from lack of moisture. The leaf edges will turn brown and may develop small cracks due to dehydration. A telltale sign that your Monstera is underwatered is droopy foliage which indicates a need for more frequent irrigation.

Overwatering occurs when too much water is applied at once or if the soil remains wet for extended periods between waterings. Symptoms include yellowed lower leaves and wilting with curled-up margins on both new and old growth indicating root rot caused by soggy conditions around the roots. If this happens, drainage must immediately be improved so excess water can escape quickly from the pot otherwise serious damage may ensue resulting in the death of the entire plant.

Improper Humidity

Monstera plants require an environment with moderate humidity levels in order to thrive. If the air is too dry, the leaves may curl and become crispy. This will eventually lead to brown edges on the foliage which is a sign of dehydration or air that is too dry. To avoid this problem it’s important to mist the plant regularly and keep humidity levels around 40-60% if possible. Additionally, you can use additional methods such as using a humidifier or placing your Monstera near other houseplants that release moisture into the air when watered.

When caring for Monsteras it’s essential that proper humidity levels are maintained along with adequate amounts of light and balanced watering practices; all these factors are integral components of creating a healthy environment for growth and development. By keeping track of these details and adjusting them accordingly, you’ll have beautiful Monsteras that show off their unique split leaves proudly.

Over Fertilization

Plants require nutrients for their growth and development. However, providing too many of these essential elements can be detrimental to a plant’s health. When it comes to Monstera leaves curling, over-fertilization is one possible cause.

The first symptom of an over-fertilized Monstera will often be yellowing or pale discoloration on the edges of the leaves. If left unchecked, this condition may progress into leaf curling due to a lack of chlorophyll production in extreme cases. This occurs when nitrogen levels become toxic as a result of excessive fertilizer application. As photosynthesis slows down significantly, other symptoms such as wilting or stunted growth may appear before the leaf eventually curls up completely.

It is important to note that while over-fertilization can lead to curled leaves, it does not necessarily mean that your Monstera is suffering from a nutrient deficiency if its foliage has started to curl up.

Soil Is Devoid Of Nutrients

Nutrient deficiency is another possible cause of Monstera leaves curling. Inadequate or low nutrient content in the soil can lead to curled, twisted, and distorted foliage due to a lack of essential minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. To avoid this issue, it is important for gardeners to ensure that the soil used has an appropriate level of nutrients. Furthermore, if necessary add organic matter like compost or manure which are rich in macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients.

Common signs of nutrient deficiencies include yellowing leaf edges, discoloration on older leaves, and stunted growth. If any of these symptoms appear it may be beneficial to check the pH levels within the soil too because certain elements become unavailable at specific pH ranges.

Accidental Herbicide Damage

Accidental herbicide damage is one of the primary causes of Monstera leaves curling. Most often, this type of damage occurs when a homeowner inadvertently applies an herbicide to their garden beds or lawns that then drifts onto nearby plants.

Herbicides contain chemicals that can cause severe adverse reactions in Monstera if not handled carefully and according to directions. Symptoms of accidental herbicide damage range from leaf curling, yellowing, browning, wilting, and death. The intensity of these symptoms depends on how long the plant was exposed to the chemical and what concentration it was exposed to.

The best way to avoid this type of damage is by reading labels closely and following all instructions before applying any kind of pesticide or herbicide product near your Monstera plants. If you suspect that your Monstera has been affected by accidental herbicide exposure, contact a professional horticulturalist immediately so they can assess the situation and determine the best course of action for treating the problem. With proper care and attention, most Monsteras affected by accidental herbicide damage will recover over time with minimal visible signs remaining.

In order to prevent future occurrences of such problems, it is important to take proactive measures like avoiding the application of any products near sensitive plants whenever possible, regularly inspecting neighboring areas for drift patterns after applications have taken place, wearing protective clothing when handling pesticides/herbicides and properly disposing of used containers once finished using them.

Pests And Diseases

One of the possible causes for a Monstera’s leaves curling is pests and diseases. While it may not be immediately apparent, some plant enemies can disrupt normal growth patterns in plants such as the Monstera. For instance, spider mites are tiny arachnids capable of causing considerable damage to plants if left unchecked.

These pests feed on fluids from inside the leaf cells, which results in discolored spots or patches along with curled edges. Other common culprits include mealybugs, thrips, aphids, and whiteflies. Each pest has different characteristics and effects that can easily affect individual leaves or entire plant health over time.

In addition to these external threats, certain fungal infections can cause similar symptoms to those seen with pests and diseases. Fungal organisms reproduce rapidly when exposed to wet conditions and high humidity levels. Common examples include powdery mildew, anthracnose, root rot, and leaf spot disease.

All of these fungi produce spores that may attach themselves to the surface of a plant’s foliage resulting in distorted shapes in its leaves and stems due to abnormal cell development. Prevention methods should always be taken into account by gardeners when attempting to protect their Monsteras from potential harm caused by any parasites present within their environment.

These issues tend to arise from poor environmental conditions but could also occur through contact with nearby infected plants as well. Thankfully, there are numerous control measures available for both types of problems; however early identification is key for successful treatment solutions before any permanent damage occurs to your beloved houseplants.

Getting Too Much Sunlight

It is possible for a Monstera plant to be exposed to too much sunlight, which can cause its leaves to curl. Prolonged exposure of the leaves to direct sunlight will burn them and turn them yellow or brown in color. This can lead to leaf-curl due to damage caused by intense heat from the sun’s rays. The curling of Monstera leaves may also be an indicator that the soil has dried out due to excessive evaporation during hot weather conditions.

Furthermore, if the light intensity is too high, it is recommended that you provide some shade for your Monstera plant in order to protect against overexposure. If these measures are not taken, then there could be long-term consequences such as stunted growth or severe leaf damage from sunburns resulting in permanent leaf curls.

Root Bound Pot

It is estimated that up to 80% of houseplants in homes and offices are root bound, which can cause Monstera leaves to curl. Root binding occurs when the roots of a plant outgrow their pot size or become entangled with one another. This can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Yellowing and wilting of leaves
  • Slow growth
  • Stunted development
  • Cracks on the surface of the soil

Root binding inhibits a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients from its environment, leading to nutrient deficiencies and an unhealthy overall appearance. When left unchecked, this issue can cause irreversible damage to your Monstera plant. To prevent root binding it is vital to re-pot your Monstera every two years using fresh soil mix.

The new soil should be light enough for the roots to easily penetrate and absorb water and nutrients efficiently. It is also important not to forget about drainage holes at the bottom; these allow excess water to escape preventing over-watering.

Make sure you use pots with proper depth so that there is adequate room for healthy root growth without becoming overcrowded.

Too Much Pruning

Monstera plants are vulnerable to leaf curling due to pruning. Pruning is a necessary practice for the maintenance of healthy growth and development, but it must be done with caution. If too much foliage or branches are cut away from the plant at one time, its ability to photosynthesize can be compromised, leading to weakened stems and wilting leaves.

In addition, if the pruned areas don’t receive sufficient water after being cut back, dehydration may occur in the remaining parts of the plant. This will cause leaves to curl inward as an effort by the Monstera to conserve moisture. As such, when pruning Monsteras care should be taken not to remove more than 30% of their total mass at once; instead trimming should be done gradually over multiple sessions so as not to shock or stress the plant excessively.

It’s important that proper hydration techniques are followed while pruning, including thorough waterings both before and after cutting back any sections of the Monstera. By taking these steps into account during regular maintenance practices full-grown Monsteras can continue thriving without experiencing problems related to excessive pruning.

Transplant Shock

After examining the potential of too much pruning as a cause for curled Monstera leaves, it is essential to consider another possibility- transplant shock. Could this be what has caused your plant’s distress? How can we tell if our beloved Monstera is in fact going through an ordeal like transplant shock?

The first warning sign of transplant shock may be drooping or wilted foliage shortly after planting. In addition, you may notice that new growth appears stunted and may not even grow at all. It should be noted that these symptoms are more commonly seen when plants do not receive enough water; however, overwatering can also lead to similar signs. If you believe your plant is experiencing some type of stress due to relocation, there are ways to help alleviate any issues.

One way to reduce the severity of transplant shock is by using a root stimulator or fertilizer solution on the soil around the roots during replanting or repotting. This will provide additional nutrients which will assist with its recovery process. Furthermore, make sure that you remove any damaged roots while also lightly trimming back healthy ones before replanting as this will encourage better root development and ultimately promote healthier growth.

Watering deeply but less frequently than usual can provide optimal hydration without causing further damage. Remember to always monitor moisture levels closely so that over-watering does not occur again.

By following these steps, hopefully, your Monstera will soon start showing positive signs of recovery from its traumatic experience and begin displaying lush green foliage once again.


In conclusion, the cause of Monstera leaves curling can be attributed to a number of different factors. It is important for those caring for this particular plant species to understand what these causes are in order to ensure proper care and prevent any further damage from occurring.

The most common causes include under or over-watering, improper humidity levels, over-fertilization, soil that lacks essential nutrients, accidental herbicide damage, getting too much sunlight exposure, root-bound potting mix, as well as excessive pruning and transplant shock.

Each factor must be taken into consideration when attempting to diagnose why Monstera’s leaves are curling so that an appropriate solution can be implemented. Through careful observation and understanding of the needs of this unique specimen, one can create a healthy environment where the Monstera will thrive and its beautiful foliage remain intact.