7 Steps To Stop Your Monstera Leaves Going Brown & Curling

November 17, 2020 0 By The Plant Stuff Shop

Nicky K from Dunedin, New Zealand contacted us recently asking or our help with her growing monster - here's our 7 Steps To Stop Your Monstera Leaves Going Brown & Curling.

Here, Michelle gives her advice as to what could be happening.

“I’m having a little trouble with ours. I’m not sure if I’m over watering it or not enough? The leaves are browning around the edges and looking little curved at the edges so naturally u would think it’s not getting enough water, I’ve given it so much regularly and even filled the bath and gave it a good drink letting it soak in there but still doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

There’s a beautiful new leaf in the middle at the back that’s just blossomed but the other leaves are all looking a bit limp. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated”


Firstly Nicky, sometimes you need to be patient. We take a course of action and then panic when it doesn't appear to be working. That said, I am a firm believer in following your gut instincts too but this is what I suggest you do and the steps you take to find out what is making your Monstera feel so sad.

1. Check current drainage

I know it sounds as though we're stating the obvious, but it almost sounds as though your Monstera is being overwatered.

Is there a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot?

Monstera's hate having wet feet as this makes the roots prone to rot.

The type of pot your monstera is planted in could also affect the rate it absorbs water too. For example, a terracotta pot absorbs more water meaning you will have to water more often but it also lets more air in, to allow your rmonstera to breathe

2. How does your soil feel?

How does your soil feel? Dry or wet? Is it coming away from the sides of your pot? Does your pot feel light to pick up?

If it's coming away from teh edges, obviously feels dry when you stick a finger in or the pot feels light, it probably needs more water. As long as you have good drainage in your pot and the right type of soil, give it a good water for an hour or so and then return it to its spot. Do not do this if there is no drainage as we will refer you to point 1 above!

3. What type of soil is your monstera in?

I find that a quick-draining mix with some water retaining ingredients works really well.

I use a 3:3:1:1:1 mixture that provides the best combination of draining and moisture. 

Pop to any good garden centre or Mitre10 or Bunnings and get the following.

You will need:

Potting Mix, any will do
Orchid bark
Sphagnum moss
Agriculture Charcoal (not a biggy if you can't get it)
Bucket - to mix it all in!


Take 3 scoops of potting mix, 3 scoops of orchid bark. Then add one scoop of perlite, sphagnum moss, and charcoal (if you don't add charcoal, then pop in an additional scoop of perlite).

Then mix away 🙂

To check the flow, pop some in a small pot and put some water over it. If it doesn't flow through in about 5-7 seconds, add a little extra orchid bark to the mix

4. spray, spray, spray....did we say spray!

Most of our houseplants originated from warm, tropical climates. They certainly weren't brought up with the centrally heated homes and the low humidity that our modern-day house have.

Curling leaves may also be down to the low humidity in your home so check out this post that we wrote earlier this year that may also help.

5. pests?

Having brought an infestation of scale into my home, I learnt the hard way!
Now, any new plant is effectively in quarantine when it first come home with me. 

I swear by neem, though my family hate the smell. I also mix neem mix into my soil as well as spray the leave switch a neem diluted mix. Make sure that you spray the undersides of the leaves, stems as well as the most obvious visible bits too.

6. let there be light

Don't sit your baby indirect light, but if you do your best to make sure she is in a bright spot with plenty of indirect light, she will reward you with some huge, big fat, slap you round the face leaves.

Not enough light may cause your monster leaves to yellow or brown too

7. don't move me, cause i'm close to the edge..

I'm trying, not to lose my head!

Have you moved your baby lately?

High temperatures or warm drafts can cause your monster leaves to curl. This can happen quite quickly, and is more likely to happen as 'what have you done to me' response to a sudden change in conditions.

Unseasonably hot weather, or moving your baby to a location where it is close to a heat pump for example can cause this problem. The heat and airflow cause much more rapid water loss from the leaves than it is used to, resulting in the leaves curling in a desperate attempt to hold onto some water.

Let us know how you get on Nicky. If you share a video to [email protected], we'll be able to post it here too for you and other readers might also give some advice too