11 Reasons Behind Yellow Monstera Leaves and How to Fix Them

11 Reasons Behind Yellow Monstera Leaves and How to Fix Them

When it comes to flowers, yellow is seen as a sign of happiness, but the same can’t be said with other plants. When you start seeing yellow leaves on your plant, it means it’s time to start worrying about its health.

For monsteras that are known to be easy to care for, it’s even more worrying since they’re usually hardy and resilient.

In this guide, we’ll help you understand why your monstera leaves are turning yellow and what you can do to save them.

Improper Watering

One common mistake beginners make when growing a monstera is following a fixed watering schedule. Monsteras, even those of the same variety, have different watering needs, so you need to adjust to their specific needs instead of following a schedule.

If you overwater your monstera, you create a favorable environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. When the soil becomes infested with these microorganisms, they attack the roots and cause the monstera’s leaves to turn yellow.

Similarly, if you under-water the plant, you’re depriving it of necessary moisture and hindering its ability to absorb nutrients, causing the leaves to die and turn yellow.

How to Fix Improper Watering

Instead of following a fixed schedule, check the soil’s condition regularly and only water the plant when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. 

The plant will generally need less watering during winter, so following a watering schedule throughout different seasons isn’t really appropriate.

Water the plant thoroughly every watering session to provide it with the right amount of moisture. Continue watering it until you see water dripping down the drainage holes.

Low Humidity

Low Humidity

Although monstera plants are not particularly demanding when it comes to humidity, they can still suffer significant damage if exposed to extremely low humidity for extended periods.

These plants are native to tropical forests, so they’re used to high humidity almost all year long. If you want them to thrive at home, you should keep the humidity level at around 60% to 80%.

Low humidity will affect their ability to perform natural functions and may cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown.

How to Fix Low Humidity

If the humidity level at home is below 60%, mist your monstera plant every now and then to help increase the humidity level around them. Placing the monstera near a humidifier can also be helpful.

Another way you can increase the humidity level around your monstera plant is by placing it on a humidifying tray.

Poor Soil Condition

Soil plays a vital role in providing your monstera plant with essential nutrients, water, and support. That’s why using appropriate soil mix is crucial if you want your monstera to thrive.

Monstera plants grow best in soil that has the ability to retain the moisture it needs and drain excess water to prevent too much moisture from pooling near the root ball.

Water will accumulate if the soil doesn’t drain well, creating a favorable environment for harmful fungi to grow. This fungal growth will lead to root rot, one of the primary causes of yellowing monstera leaves.

How to Fix Poor Soil Condition

Look for or make a soil mix composed of pine bark, perlite, coco coir, and worm casting. These ingredients help create a nutrient-rich, well-draining soil mix that can retain all the necessary moisture the plant will need.

One recipe you can follow is 5 parts pine bark, 4 parts coco coir, 5 parts perlite, and 2 parts worm casting. If you have activated charcoal, you can also add it to the mix to help prevent fungal and pest infestation.

It’s also important that you repot your plant when the soil has become too compacted because it will no longer be able to provide the plant what it needs.

Transplant Shock

Transplant shock happens when the monstera is repotted from its previous container to a new one. The roots are often disturbed during the process and may need some time to adjust to the changes in their soil.

When the roots get damaged during the repotting process, they become less effective in absorbing nutrients and water, leading to weaker plants and yellow leaves.

The sudden change in the quality of soil may also cause stress to the plant. It may redirect its resources to recovering from the stress instead of leaf growth, resulting in yellow leaves.

How to Fix Transplant Shock

If your monstera is suffering from transplant shock, all you really can do is provide it with utmost care. Adjust your watering to the plant’s needs, provide it with adequate lighting, and fertilize when needed.

Avoid pruning in the meantime to let the plant focus on adjusting to its new environment. Pruning may disturb its recovery process, as it may force the plant to focus on growth.

You can also use a root stimulator to encourage root growth if you think the shock is because of root damage.

Improper Sun Exposure

Improper Sun Exposure

Like most rainforest plants, monsteras prefer indirect light over direct sunlight. Excessive exposure to bright, direct sunlight can burn their leaves and turn them yellow or brown.

That said, it’s also not ideal to place them in an extremely low-light area. Although they can tolerate this lighting condition, they may have to sacrifice some leaves to survive.

The best area to place them is where they can receive 6 to 8 hours of bright, indirect light.

How to Fix Improper Sun Exposure

East-facing windows are the best location to place your monstera plants in. They receive bright sunlight in the early mornings that isn’t as hot as the light other windows receive.

If you want to place your monstera on other windows, add a sheer curtain or a screen to filter the light coming in. If you put it in a south-facing window, it’s best to move it temporarily in the afternoon since the light can be too intense for the plant.


While monstera plants are resilient and hardy, it’s important to remember that they are not immune to pest infestation. If they aren’t well cared for, pests will find their way to the plant.

Some common pests you may encounter while growing a monstera are aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnats.

Aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs will feed on the plant’s sap and cause damage to the leaves, leading to stippling, yellowing leaves. On the other hand, fungus gnats usually have larvae that will target the plant’s roots and stress the plant.

How to Fix Pests

If you have other plants in the house, isolate the monstera to prevent the pests from infesting the other plants.

Remove the severely infested leaves, including those that have turned yellow and brown, to reduce the number of pests in the plant. After that, spray neem oil on the plant or apply diatomaceous earth to the soil to eliminate the remaining pests.

Once your plant recovers from the pest infestation, make sure to provide it with the right amount of nutrients, water, and sunlight to avoid another infestation.


Diseases like anthracnose, fungal leaf spots, and powdery mildew are common reasons monstera leaves turn yellow. 

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that manifests through clusters of small, yellow lesions that have dark, concentrated rings in the center. Plants with fungal leaf spots, on the other hand, have brown and yellow spots with no concentrated rings.

Powdery mildew is a lot easier to identify compared to the other two. One noticeable symptom is the white talcum powder-like coating on the leaves, which causes them to curl and turn yellow.

How to Fix Diseases

One of the first things you should do to treat diseases in monstera plants is prune the affected leaves to stop the disease from spreading. You should also check if the roots are rotting so you can repot it if necessary.

After that, provide it with bright, indirect light, regular watering, and nutrient-rich soil. Avoid misting it for the time being, as this can lead to more fungal growth.

Extreme Temperature

Extreme Temperature

Monstera plants thrive when the temperature is around 65°F to 85°F, which is the common temperature inside homes.

Extremely high temperatures can cause heat stress to monstera, which in turn can result in various physiological changes, including a breakdown of chlorophyll. As the chlorophyll level in your monstera decreases, the leaves will start appearing yellow.

Similarly, extremely low temperatures will cause chilling injury to the plant. The symptoms of this injury won’t show immediately, but it can cause significant damage to the plant and lead to yellowing leaves over time.

How to Fix Extreme Temperature

Maintain a stable temperature that’s within the plant’s comfort zone. Don’t place it near areas that receive intense sunlight, as the heat from the sun will significantly increase the temperature around the plant.

It’s best to move it to a slightly shaded area during the hottest time of day, around 3 PM to 4 PM. If the temperature is really high, even in the shaded area of your home, mist the plant every now and then to reduce the heat it’s experiencing.

Move it away from the windows in winter since they’re usually the coldest part of the house.

Improper Fertilization

Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium are essential for chlorophyll production in plants. If the plant doesn’t receive enough nutrients, it won’t be able to perform functions that produce chlorophyll.

This chlorophyll is responsible for the green color of monstera leaves, so without it, the leaves will appear yellow.

Similarly, the roots will suffer from nutrient burn if there are too many nutrients in the soil due to overfertilization. This will impair their ability to absorb moisture and oxygen, leading to yellowing and dying leaves.

How to Fix Lack of Nutrients

Monsteras are not heavy feeders, so fertilizing them once a month during spring and summer should be enough. Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half the recommended strength to provide your monstera with all the necessary nutrients.

Make sure to water the plant a day before you apply the fertilizer to avoid burning the roots from the sudden increase in nutrients.

Don’t fertilize them during the winter because they won’t be actively growing then. The nutrients they had in the previous season should be enough, and applying fertilizer may only lead to excessive nutrients.


Pruning your monstera aggressively, like removing too many leaves or cutting back excessively, can cause shock to the plant. This will disrupt the plant’s growth and vitality, resulting in leaves turning yellow.

Moreover, if you prune the plant when it’s in a period of dormancy, it will have a hard time recovering from the stress caused by the pruning. This can lead to the leaves becoming yellow.

How to Fix Over-Pruning

If the leaves are turning yellow because of over-pruning, stop pruning in the meantime and allow the plant to recover first. Focus on providing adequate care to reduce the stress it’s experiencing.

Whenever you’re pruning your monstera, make sure to do it judiciously. Don’t remove more than ⅓ of the leaves unless the part is severely damaged.

It’s also important to cut above the leaf node and avoid tearing or crushing the leaves during pruning.

Old Age

Old Age

Yellow leaves are often a sign of distress, so it’s completely normal to get worried when we see them. However, sometimes, these yellow leaves are actually just a sign of old age, which is not a problem at all.

It’s natural for the leaves to turn yellow and eventually brown as they grow old. The plant will naturally focus its resources on newer leaves and the production of fresh leaves, so this isn’t an issue at all.

How to Fix Old Age

There’s really nothing you can do if the reason behind your monstera’s yellow leaves is old age. They will turn yellow even if you provide the plant with everything it needs because that’s just really how it is.

Instead of beating yourself over these old leaves, focus on providing care to the plant to help it produce newer and healthier leaves.

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