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!
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
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
Image
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

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