Why does my Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma) have brown leaves?

There is something really special about the Mini Monstera as they allow anyone, no matter how small their space is, to own their own Monstera

There is something really special about the Mini Monstera as they allow anyone, no matter how small their space is, to own their own Monstera. Luckily for us, they aren’t the most sensitive or difficult plant out there but this doesn’t mean that you won’t come across any issues with them as they are still very susceptible to the common problems, most notably brown leaves. If you do find that your Mini Monstera is suffering from brown leaves, whether that is brown spots, brown tips, brown patches or entire leaves turning brown, this is an indication that your plant is suffering and something needs to change. 

There are a few factors that can lead to brown leaves developing on Mini Monstera plants, some are to do with the environment in which your plant is living and some are a consequence of incorrect care. Below we will be going through each of the causes of brown leaves to help you establish what is wrong with your plant. We will also be going through how to treat the issue and prevent it from causing any more brown leaves on your Mini Monstera in future.

Not enough sunlight 

Although Mini Monstera can adjust to some lower light levels, if your plant isn’t getting enough then this can begin to cause brown leaves. Ideally, you need to find a spot in your home that gets ample bright but indirect sunlight. You might be tempted to place your Mini Monstera somewhere with direct sunlight to compensate for the lack of it but this can actually just cause more problems.

Low humidity levels

Humidity is often forgotten when it comes to caring for your plants as it’s not as obvious as a lack of water or sunlight. However, it can be a common reason why Mini Monstera plants develop brown leaves. This problem can get worse in autumn and winter as the heating and lack of ventilation really dries out the air. Luckily, there are loads of really simple methods you can do to increase the humidity in your home and avoid more brown leaves:

  • 1

    Mist the leaves of your Mini Monstera

    One of the easiest methods for increasing humidity and avoiding more brown leaves is misting with a spray bottle. We recommend you do this a couple of times a week. Misting also gets rid of any dust on the leaves which is an added bonus.

    Our top tip when it comes to misting is to never do it in the evenings. This doesn’t leave enough time for the water to evaporate before it gets dark. The cooler temperatures at night leave wet leaves susceptible to rotting which will only worsen the problem of brown leaves.

  • 2

    Give your Mini Monstera a shower

    Another super-easy way to instantly raise the humidity for your Mini Monstera is to give it a wash down. Just pop your plant in the sink (or shower if it’s too big) and give the leaves a good soaking. You want to keep the water lukewarm so you don’t shock or damage the leaves of your Mini Monstera. We also recommend keeping the water pressure fairly low so you don’t accidentally damage the plant.

    Showering your plant is also a great way to get rid of any pests that might be secretly living on your Mini Monstera. So it’s a great thing to do every once in a while, brown leaves or not.

  • 3

    Buy a humidifier

    These are a real game-changer when it comes to increasing the humidity for your plants and avoiding brown leaves as well as other common problems. They are portable and affordable devices that keep a consistent humidity level in your home.

    We recommend this humidifier from Amazon. We’ve been using it for several years and our plants love it!.

Underwatering 

A consistent lack of water is another common cause of brown leaves on a Mini Monstera plant. Whilst they will forgive you if you forget to water them every once in a while, Mini Monstera plants don’t like to have super dry soil for weeks and weeks so consistent underwatering will harm your plant.

When underwatered, the leaves on your Mini Monstera will not only turn brown but will be dry to touch and will droop down. To check whether underwatering is the cause of the brown leaves on your Mini Monstera, take the plant out of its pot and inspect the soil. If the potting mix is very dry (and almost like powder) then this is definitely the problem.

Your initial thought might be to drown the plant in water immediately to compensate for the lack of it. However, this can cause quite a bit of stress for your plant which can actually make the problem worse, rather than fixing it. Instead, you want to slowly reintroduce regular watering by giving your Mini Monstera some water once or twice a day for a week. This will slowly add moisture to the soil to stop any more brown leaves from developing but avoid any shock or root rot.

Overwatering 

If you notice that the patches on your Mini Monstera are quite dark brown in colour, rather than light brown then it may be caused by too much water. Mini Monstera plants hate being sat in waterlogged soil so you need to ensure that there is good drainage in the pot (ensure there are drainage holes and that they are not clogged and adding in some perlite can help with drainage too). You also want to make sure that you aren’t giving your Mini Monstera too much water each time as you do want the potting mix to dry out between waterings.

Overwatering can very quickly lead to root rot which is not only very harmful to your plant but it also will only cause damage to the leaves once the issue has gone on for a while. This makes it every plant parents nightmare. Alongside browning leaves, it can also cause your Mini Monstera to become unstable which means it’ll droop down and the stems won’t be able to support themselves well. If you think you might have overwatered your Mini Monstera it’s important to check the soil right away and change it out completely if necessary.

If you aren’t really sure about how to know if your Mini Monstera needs watering, we recommend picking up a moisture meter. They are super affordable and tell you how much moisture is in the soil.

Those are the main causes of brown leaves on Mini Monstera plants. It’s important that you act quickly once you have determined the reason behind the brown foliage as things like low light levels and particularly overwatering can very quickly harm your plant. The sooner you spot the problem and take the right steps to fix it, the easier it will be to bring your plant back to full health. We get a lot of questions about whether or not it is a good idea to trim away the brown leaves on your Mini Monstera. We always recommend carefully removing the worst affected areas as this will mean your plant can focus all its energy on growing new leaves, rather than wasting energy trying to revive dying sections. 

Take a look through our Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma) care guide for more information on how to best care for your beloved plant!


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