Houseplants forum: Help with Monstera Deliciosa

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emilytess
Sep 23, 2017 2:25 PM CST
My Monstera Deliciosa needs some help! The main thing is that it just doesn't seem to be growing. I have 2 different plants, and they both seem to have similar issues (but maybe different?).

Plant #1 (first 3 photos, below) has had no growth at all this summer. The leaves look wilty even though I've been watering. There seems to be a yellowing that starts at the middle vein of the leaf. It just doesn't look vibrant anymore and I'm concerned about the lack of growth.

Plant #2 (last 3 photos, below) doesn't seem to have the yellowing problem, and did make 1 beautiful new leaf this summer, but the rest of the leaves just seem old and tired. They are also wilty and starting to get a bit ripped. I need to work on giving this plant better support so some re-potting may be needed soon. In the photos you can see the vibrance of the new leaf and also the sad old looking leaves.

See the photos for details. I have the plant in a sunroom (no windows on the ceiling, but the south wall is a 1 big window and the larger west-facing side is all windows. No windows on the north side). Lots of bright indirect light all year round, but I live in the PNW, so there are lots of clouds and not much light in the winter. Some direct light when the sun is shining through the windows. Temps get up to 90 degrees in the summer (but good ventilation with breezes blowing through), down to 40s in the winter. I use a soil moisture monitor and water whenever the plant is totally dry.

Any advice?



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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Sep 23, 2017 3:13 PM CST
Welcome ! Hard to say. You have quite the mix of plants side by side which seems odd, IMO. I think it definitely needs more light. Personally I am not a fan of moisture meters. Letting it go completely dry is probably not a good idea. Older leaves will turn yellow and fall off. Gene
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Sep 24, 2017 1:30 PM CST
It is somewhat normal for some older lower leaves to turn yellow and die back as healthy new growth is added at the ends of stems. Improper watering can aggravate this yellowing. Water thoroughly a soon as the top half inch of soil feels dry. Don't rely on the moisture meter. I suspect you are not watering frequently enough.

Monsteras are not plants that naturally grow upright so they tend to grow long and a bit wild. You can use stakes to artificially prop them up, but the props have to get longer and longer. Consider pruning back the longest stems to keep the plant more compact.
Will Creed
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Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Procrastinator
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plantladylin
Sep 26, 2017 12:00 PM CST
Hi emilytess, Welcome!

I'm not sure why it seems odd to gasrocks to have a mix of plants side by side. I group plants all the time which seems to help raise the level of humidity around them. Most homes suffer from a lack of indoor humidity, especially during the winter months when heating systems are in use. With the heat and dry air, plants will dry out very quickly so increasing the humidity around indoor plants is always helpful.

In nature, the Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciosa) tends to sprawl along the ground until it finds a sturdy tree to use as a support; at which time it begins to climb, using the tree for support so an artificial support needs to be sturdy enough to hold the heavy stems and leaves as the plant ages and grows and will probably have to be tied to the support/trellis to keep the leaves in a more upright appearance.

I've never used a moisture meter in the 50+ years that I've been growing houseplants so I can't offer advice on them. I water everything thoroughly until water runs out the bottom of the pots and about a week later, I test the soil dryness by sticking my finger down into the soil to see if it still feels moist but that is difficult to do for plants in deep pots. The top of the soil may be totally dry whereas there could still be sufficient water at root level. I've read where a few members here on site talked about using wooden skewers for testing soil moisture. I use them for grilling (they are sold in packages at grocery stores) but I haven't yet tried them for checking a plants moisture. To check soil moisture, stick a skewer down into the soil and once it's withdrawn if the soil is still fairly moist, the end of the skewer will be damp.

I don't have a lot of experience growing Monstera indoors, I've only kept them inside for maybe a month or two because they get so large and take up a lot of space and here in Florida they can be planted in the ground. Smiling Your lighting sounds fine to me. Monstera doesn't do well in full, direct sun but prefers and thrives in bright, shady locations. Even in your PNW location, I'd think Monstera would do well by a window as long as there are no cold drafts. You can increase the humidity around your plant by sitting it on a tray of moist pebbles.

I'm wondering if the current container you are using is large enough for your Monstera's root system; they do seem to fill pots very quickly. My eyesight isn't the greatest but the yellowing of the leaves doesn't look like a watering issue to me and I wonder if it might possibly be due to a nutrient deficiency?

Hopefully others who have experience growing Monstera deliciosa as an indoor plant will be along soon and be able to offer advice.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Sep 26, 2017 12:11 PM CST
My habit, right or wrong, is to group plants together by light required, water needed. I never have tropical and succulents on the same shelf. Seems to make it easier on my brain if I can water everything on that shelf at the same time. Gene
Name: Lin
East Central Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
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plantladylin
Sep 26, 2017 12:53 PM CST
@gasrocks, your habit is understandable and I didn't mean to give the insinuation that it was wrong. I just didn't know why Emily's plant arrangement seemed odd but that's probably because my habits are eclectic and I group all sorts of plants together ... but then I do have to pay attention to which pot I'm pouring water into. I must admit though, when I was younger I drowned a plant or two that didn't require the same watering schedule as the one next to it. Green Grin!

I think everyone's growing habits and situations are different and what works for one may not work for another so, I apologize if I came off as giving the impression that I thought your method was incorrect.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
Herbs Annuals Hummingbirder Butterflies Garden Photography Cactus and Succulents
Birds Cat Lover Houseplants Garden Sages
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gasrocks
Sep 26, 2017 1:22 PM CST
No problem. Your comments were valid. Just thought I'd explain in more detail. Gene
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 3, 2017 6:30 PM CST
Are you fertilizing? I dont think you have a water issue, and in the foggy PNW you should have the humidity this plant loves, but one new leaf over an entire summer sounds bizare... especially because the plant doesnt look all that unhappy.

When mine doesnt get enough light (like january in a north facing window) it grows smaller leaves with less cuts but i still get at least one a month.

I think slow growth along w pale yellow veins might indicate a nutrient problem.

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