Why are my Monstera Deliciosa leaves drooping?
Swiss Cheese Plants, also often known by their Latin name Monstera, are one of the most popular houseplants at the moment. Their striking split leaves really do make them something special. However, it can be frustrating if your luscious plant starts to droop and you don’t know why!
The main causes of monstera leaves and stems drooping are: underwatering, low humidity and drainage issues. Drooping leaves are fixable and if you deal with the issue sooner rather than later, your monstera should return to full health.
Underwatering can cause drooping Monstera leaves
Too little water can harm your Monstera in more ways that one. It can cause dry leaves, lack of growth and nutrient deficiency. But one of the earlier signs of underwatering is drooping leaves. If you find that the stems and leaves look a little lifeless, it could be because the soil has been dry for too long. Stick a finger in the top few centimetres of the soil to check the moisture. You can also try lifting your monstera if your plant is not that mature to see how light the pot feels.
However, be careful with this as if your monstera is a few metres tall this can severely hurt your back. One way to know for sure whether your Monstera needs watering is by using a moisture meter. You just pop them into the soil and it’ll tell you how damp or dry the potting mix is. We recommend this one from Amazon.
If you find that your monstera feels very dry, water it a little every other day for a week. Your first instinct might be to give it loads of water straight away but this can actually be harmful to your monstera if the soil goes from one extreme to the other. Instead, you want to reintroduce frequent watering for a week or two and this should stop your Monstera from drooping so much!
If you find yourself often forgetting to water your Monstera, then a self-watering pot might be the thing for you. It will water your Monstera for you and avoid any risk of under or overwatering and consequent drooping leaves. We have found this one from Amazon to work really well!
Drooping leaves can also indicate drainage issues
Drooping leaves on your Monstera can also be caused by drainage issues in your pot. Although you could be watering the correct amount, if your pot isn’t draining the water in the right way, it could cause the soil to become waterlogged. You can very easily increase the amount of drainage in your soil by mixing in a small amount of perlite, this will make it far easier for water to flow through and out of the drainage holes of your pots (you should also check to make sure your pots have drainage holes).
Another easy step is to add a few small stones or pebbles to the bottom of your pots, this helps in making sure that the drainage holes are never blocked by soil or any loose debris.
If your Monstera is in a plastic pot, we also recommend switching this out to a terracotta or clay pot. These allow some of the excess water to evaporate out of the sides of the pot which helps avoid drooping leaves caused by root rot. We love these terracotta pots from Amazon.
Low humidity can also cause your Monstera to droop
If the soil isn’t particularly dry, it could be a lack of humidity that is causing your monstera’s leaves to droop. Swiss Cheese Plants like quite humid environments and can struggle in homes with dry air. This can be especially damaging in winter months when we often have the heating on for several hours a day. A lack of humidity in the air can cause the leaves to be a little limp and droop down. There are several ways you can increase the humidity for your monstera:
Misting the leaves
One of the simplest ways to increase the humidity for your Monstera and prevent drooping stems is to mist it with a spray bottle a couple of times a week. We love these amber glass bottles from Amazon.
Place your Monstera over a tray of pebbles with fresh water over the top. Over the day water from the tray will evaporate giving your plant above exactly what it’s looking for.
Give your Monstera a shower
To quickly raise the humidity and wash down your monstera of any long-standing dust, you can always give them a quick shower. Simply pop them in the shower and wash them down with lukewarm water, this will clean off the leaves and give the soil a good soaking.
Move your Monstera to the bathroom
If you’re lucky enough to have great lighting in your bathroom you can move your monstera in there to increase the humidity. The running water from your showers means your bathroom is probably one of the most humid in your home. This can go a long way to preventing drooping leaves without having to do anything on a regular basis!
Buy a humidifier
They’re relatively affordable little devices and they make keeping a consistent humidity level so much easier. Most will allow you to place them on a timer so they run on a fixed schedule, and some will even have a built-in monitor so they automatically turn on and off to keep the humidity exactly where you want it.
Want to know more about how to raise the humidity for your monstera and other houseplants? We have written a detailed guide on this.
Lack of Proper Lighting
When Monsteras grow and develop new leaves, they stretch out towards their light source. If your Monstera is in a position where it isn’t getting enough natural light then it will likely develop longer and longer stems to try and reach for more.
As you can imagine this then leads to longer, thinner, more top heavy stems that are much more likely to droop down. If you find that the last few new leaves from your Monstera are looking a little bit leggy and long, try moving it into a position where it will get more natural light throughout the day.
If more natural light isn’t an option for you at them moment then you can also consider some artificial options like LED grow lights, these are great for those of us who don’t have a lot of large windows or have particularly long dark winters.
Stability Issues + Training
Most of the time when you buy a young Monstera plant it won’t come with anyway to support it as it grows and matures. With Monsteras growing quite quickly sometimes, the additional height and weight of the new leaves and stems can cause the plant to droop or slump over.
This is where we find that it’s really important to arrange a good way to provide support for the new growth, this will also help you keep your Monstera under control as it matures. Our favourite, and probably the most common method is by using a moss pole.
These are simply a pole/stick (normally covered in coconut husk or dried moss) that you bury into your Monsteras pot. You can then tie your Monstera’s leaves and stems to the pole and train it to stop it from drooping.
Monstera’s can be, and mostly are some of the more forgiving houseplants to keep. But just like any other houseplant big changes in the environment can cause significant stress on the system.
If you’ve recently moved, repotted or propagated your plant you need not worry as this stress is expected and your Monstera should return to it’s normal non-drooping self in no time.
However, if you haven’t made any drastic changes it could be worth looking at the less obvious issues of humidity or changes in temperature (sometimes caused by drafts or AC units!) as these can have a big effect on your plants.
The absolute worst case scenario for your Monstera is root rot, if you’ve been consistently over watering or over fertilising the root system may have garnered quite a bit of damage. As you can imagine any damage caused by root rot will degrade the ability of the roots to keep your Monstera stable and standing upright.
Unfortunately root rot isn’t the easiest problem to solve in any houseplant as it’s irreversible and often hard to catch before it’s too late. Our first step would be to just let the soil completely dry out, in mild cases this can stop the rot from spreading.
If you think your Monstera has a worse case of root rot then we highly recommend repotting your plant as soon as you can, making sure to trim back the infected and damaged roots whilst you do so.
Check out our complete guide to preventing, diagnosing and fixing root rot here!
Those are the main reasons why your monstera might have drooping leaves. It tends to be a solvable problem if caught early so I wouldn’t worry too much. Keep an eye on how the leaves are changing once you have changed the location or care of your monstera to check that it is starting to look a little healthier.
To find out more about how to care for your plant, check out our Monstera care guide. There you will find everything you need to know to keep your Swiss Cheese Plant healthy and thriving as well as tips and tricks around propagation, fertilisation and repotting.