Houseplants forum: Problems with Monstera Deliciosa

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gempud
Feb 20, 2018 1:35 PM CST
Hello
I am driving myself crazy trying to find out what is wrong with my Monstera Deliciosa. After all the research I've done I still can't find an answer to what the problem might be.

When I got it a couple of months ago it was perfect although maybe a little banged about in the store. I re-potted it into a mixture of soil, spagnum moss, perlite and coconut bark and gave it a support pole.

Slowly there have been brown spots forming. They start from the underside of the leaf, then show on the top side. Initially the brown spot is soft and then crisps up. Some are small, some are huge. There are no obvious bugs or insects. The smaller leaves on the bottom are going yellowy and floppy, but the bigger leaves are turning darker and seem to be taking on a leathery appearance. All leaves are developing the brown spots, and the one large leaf that unfurled since I've got it also had the brown spots.

It's on a humidity tray, grouped with other plants and in my opinion isn't over or under watered. Initially I had it on the landing underneath a high east facing window so light wasn't directly on it. I since moved it when it started showing signs of not being happy and it's now in the middle of a north facing living room.

Any ideas anyone as it's stressing me out!
Thumb of 2018-02-20/gempud/c03b5a


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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 20, 2018 5:57 PM CST
The leaf spots are symptoms of root damage. The most likely cause of the root damage was the repotting. I'm sure you followed what you thought were the best instructions on how to go about doing that. Unfortunately, repotting is not as easy as it seems and many things can go wrong. Those include using a pot that is too large; removing some or all of the original soil and rootball; damaging the tiny root hairs; using a potting mix that doesn't integrate well with the original potting mix; and failing to make appropriate watering adjustments following the repotting. If you do any one of those things incorrectly, the roots get damaged and the results are the symptoms you see. I'm sure you thought your Monstera needed repotting, but I am quite sure it probably did not.

I don't have a remedy for you because I don't know the details of your repotting. If the original rootball is still intact, you can consider undoing the repotting and moving it back to its original pot. Otherwise, you will have to suffer through watching further leaf spotting, as you keep your fingers crossed that the roots have not been severely damaged and will slowly recover.

Try to improve the light by moving it out of the center of the room and close to the north window. Be sure the soil gets quite dry before watering. Fertilizer is not medicine and will not help. The spots are not an indication of a fungus disease or a pest problem.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

gempud
Feb 21, 2018 6:41 AM CST
Thank you so much. I did put it into a slightly bigger pot and removed most of the original soil. I'll pop it back into the original smaller pot. The rootball (to me) looks fine and strong, so fingers crossed it will recover.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 21, 2018 2:18 PM CST
Rootball refers to the roots and the soil that the roots have grown into. It normally consists of soil held together in a ball with roots throughout. You indicated that you removed most of the original soil, so I'm not sure you really have a rootball left at this point - just roots and loose soil that you added.

I hope it recovers, but I am concerned that damage to the roothairs was done when you removed most of the original soil. For future reference, removing and replacing soil is rarely a good idea.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

LaurenKimberly888
Jun 9, 2018 11:16 PM CST
May I ask how your Monstera is now?

I came across your post after repotting mine following Al's gritty mix recipe. It requires removing all the soil, as well. The resemblance is uncanny. I'm hoping I don't lose my plant :(

gempud
Jun 15, 2018 11:45 AM CST
Hello

I followed the advice in this thread and put it back into its original size pot and tried to leave it alone. The brown patches didn't spread any further or appear any more. Then some of the leaves became loose at the soil so I pulled them gently and they came out. I put these in a new small fresh pot in the vain hope they'd root and they did! So now I have the big main plant with a load of manky leaves but a few new unblemished ones have grown, and a smaller plant made up of the leaves that came out that has grown a brand new unblemished leaf too.

I think I'd stressed the plant out...it was bought from a really cheap supermarket so probably wasn't looked after very well in the first place and then I traumatised it even more.

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 15, 2018 12:00 PM CST
I have never understood the need or purpose in replacing potting soil. It is a process that can be done successfully if you are truly experienced with plants, and understand root systems, how they work, and their requirements. Absent that experience and knowledge much can and typically does go wrong when roots are disturbed in that manner. Finally, there is little to be gained by replacing soil.

Gempod - It sounds like the roots of your plant have now recovered from the repotting trauma and the Monstera now has healthy new growth. Unfortunately, lots of leaves were lost along the way. A photo would be helpful, but it sounds like you now have many sparse stems. If so, then pruning some or all of the stems may help it get back in shape. Meanwhile, you have successfully propagated a new plant! Hurray!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

gempud
Jun 16, 2018 3:48 AM CST
Yes thanks very much for your help Will. I actually have left the damaged leaves. Even though they look horrendous I was (maybe mistakenly) thinking that it's still giving the plant some green surface area to do it's stuff. My plan was once I had enough new unblemished leaves, to then cut all the blemished ones off as low down the stem as I could.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 16, 2018 6:25 AM CST
The presence of the damaged leaves is not beneficial to the rest of the plant so they can be trimmed off at any time. It is really a question of improving the overall appearance of the plant.

My suggestion about pruning referred to the vines, not the leaf stems that attach the leaves to the vines. If you posted a photo, I could be more specific. Send it to me privately ([email protected]), if you prefer.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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Hamwild
Jun 16, 2018 8:45 AM CST
WillC said:The presence of the damaged leaves is not beneficial to the rest of the plant so they can be trimmed off at any time. It is really a question of improving the overall appearance of the plant.

My suggestion about pruning referred to the vines, not the leaf stems that attach the leaves to the vines. If you posted a photo, I could be more specific. Send it to me privately ([email protected]), if you prefer.


I've always read that so long as they're green, they are still producing food and it's not beneficial removing them. Is this true?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jun 17, 2018 10:21 AM CST
Hamwild - Theoretically, green leaves still have chlorophyll and are capable of absorbing light and photosynthesizing. However, a green leaf that is mostly discolored, wilted or dying has reached a point where its photosynthetic production is no longer sustainable. If a leaf just has some minor discoloration brown edges, then it is good to leave it in place. However, beyond that, it is best to remove it.

That said, it is quite common to prune off even perfectly healthy plant growth without it having any damaging effect on the rest of the plant. For me, the bottom line is doing what improves the overall appearance of the plant.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Annuals
Foliage Fan Birds Critters Allowed Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
Image
Hamwild
Jun 17, 2018 10:29 AM CST
WillC said:Hamwild - Theoretically, green leaves still have chlorophyll and are capable of absorbing light and photosynthesizing. However, a green leaf that is mostly discolored, wilted or dying has reached a point where its photosynthetic production is no longer sustainable. If a leaf just has some minor discoloration brown edges, then it is good to leave it in place. However, beyond that, it is best to remove it.

That said, it is quite common to prune off even perfectly healthy plant growth without it having any damaging effect on the rest of the plant. For me, the bottom line is doing what improves the overall appearance of the plant.


Thank You!

gempud
Jun 19, 2018 1:21 PM CST
I've taken a photo of the main plant, and one of the accidentally propogated plant.

On the main plant the only unblemished leaf is the new leaf circled in red, that is joined to the stem of a blemished leaf where the smaller red circle is. I'm not sure where you think I should prune any of it?

On the new plant the only unblemished new leaf is the one on the left and it looks like another one is growing off the stem of a blemished leaf.


Thumb of 2018-06-19/gempud/112e9d


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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jun 19, 2018 1:42 PM CST
The plant in the first photo needs more light. It is too far below the window and only the newest leaf is getting adequate light.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

gempud
Jun 19, 2018 1:58 PM CST
WillC said:The plant in the first photo needs more light. It is too far below the window and only the newest leaf is getting adequate light.


Sorry it's a badly lit photo. It was dusk when I took that photo and an odd combination of artificial light. Usually it gets a decent amount of light all day which hits the majority of the plant. It's actually quite a light bright corner.

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jun 19, 2018 2:03 PM CST
The room may be bright, but that location down so low is not. Ther is no way the light can come in at an angle sufficient to provide good light for your plant at any time of the day.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Wkcai
Jun 20, 2018 9:09 AM CST
Hi,

I came across your thread, and am facing a similar problem with my monstera as well. I have bought it about 3 months back, and 1 month in, I reported it to a bigger pot with compost soil.

I was watering it about once every 5 days making sure I don't over water it. Once a month I do give it fertiliser to promote growth. It was growing well with about 4 new shoots since I've gotten it.

However, there has been yellow/brown spots appearing. And initially only 2 or 3 leaves have them. But now, those 2 or 3 leaves have gotten much worse with a few others having small areas with spots.

When wiped, these spots seem to be spores on the underside and comes off rather easily. It however comes back after awhile.

I thought things would be okay as Long as new shoots come out, and I cut the infected ones later in the stage. However, recently the leaves seems to be drying. And the most heartbreaking was that the newest leaf had brown or dark spots that seems like they were burnt. The tips of the leaves too! And this burnt tip is happening to another leaf as well.

I'm hoping I can save the plant but I need help!!

To provide a clearer picture, please see the photos below.

Thumb of 2018-06-20/Wkcai/06ee68
Thumb of 2018-06-20/Wkcai/4f1b90
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Hoping you can assist and save my monstera! Thank you!

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jun 20, 2018 5:33 PM CST
Wkcai - The problem is with the repotting into a larger pot and using what appears to be a very heavy garden compost that is not sterile or porous enough. Given the circumstances, the soil is most likely staying too moist. Try allowing the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry before adding any water. Perhaps that will be sufficient to turn it around without replacing the soil that you used.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

doralinkelly
Jul 20, 2018 9:14 PM CST
I'm having issues with my new monstera plant as well. I got it from a store last weekend and it's already developed these 2 yellowing leaves with spots all over them. The rest of the leaves seem pretty normal otherwise.

I placed it in an area where it gets several hours of indirect late afternoon sunlight and I only water it once a week every time the soil gets dry. I'm not sure what's wrong! :(

Thumb of 2018-07-21/doralinkelly/b09a97

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[Last edited by doralinkelly - Jul 20, 2018 9:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jul 21, 2018 7:24 AM CST
@doralinkelly - how far from the window is it and what direction does the window face?

Was it repotted?

Please post a photo that shows the entire plant including its pot.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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