9 Monstera Growing Mistakes Even Expert Indoor Gardeners Make

Are you a Monstera plant enthusiast looking to grow the perfect tropical paradise in your home?

While these stunning plants are known for their air-purifying benefits and stunning large leaves, even expert indoor gardeners can make mistakes when it comes to their care.

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Don’t let common pitfalls like overwatering, improper lighting, or neglectful fertilization hinder your Monstera’s growth and beauty.

In this article, we’ll explore the Monstera growing mistakes that even seasoned indoor gardeners make, so you can avoid them and keep your plant thriving.

So, grab your gardening gloves and get ready to learn how to create a lush, vibrant paradise for your Monstera plant.

1. Overwatering and Underwatering

Watering a Monstera in a pot

One common mistake even seasoned indoor gardeners make when growing Monstera plants is related to watering.

Both overwatering and underwatering can cause problems with your plant’s health.

Symptoms of Overwatering

Overwatering is a more serious issue than underwatering and is often a more frequent problem.

Some signs of an overwatered Monstera are:

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Soft, mushy stems
  • Root rot
  • A moldy or musty smell

Overwatering can be caused by watering too frequently, especially during the plant’s dormant period.

Other factors contributing to this problem include heavy, poorly drained soil, oversized pots, or a lack of drainage.

To prevent overwatering, make sure the pot has drainage holes and that the soil is well-draining.

Monitor your plant’s water needs and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Symptoms of Underwatering

Underwatering is less detrimental to your Monstera plant than overwatering, but it can still harm the plant.

Some indicators of an underwatered Monstera include:

  • Dry, crispy leaves
  • Wilting or drooping foliage
  • Slow or stunted growth
  • Browning leaf tips

Underwatering can occur when there’s not enough water being provided, or when the soil dries out too quickly.

To ensure proper moisture levels for your Monstera, water the plant until water flows out of the drainage holes, and allow the soil to drain fully before emptying the drainage tray.

It’s important to be mindful of your plant’s water needs and adjust your watering schedule based on its requirements.

2. Inadequate Humidity and Temperature

Monstera leaves with water droplets

Monstera plants are native to tropical regions, and they require a certain level of humidity and temperature to thrive.

Ideally, a Monstera’s humidity should be within the 40-60% range, and the temperature should stay between 60 to 85°F.

When these conditions are not met, the plant’s growth might slow down or even halt.

Low humidity may cause the stomata (pores) on the leaves to close, affecting the plant’s ability to undergo photosynthesis.

This can lead to yellow or brown leaves, and the plant may appear wilted or droopy.

On the other hand, excessive humidity can result in mold growth, which can damage the plant.

Providing Optimal Climate

To maintain the optimal climate for your Monstera, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Keep the indoor temperature consistently above 60°F (16ºC), ensuring that your Monstera can grow healthily at all times.
  • Use a humidifier to maintain the recommended humidity range. Alternatively, you can mist your Monstera daily with water to increase humidity around the plant.
  • Place your Monstera near a bright window but avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause the temperature to rise too high. Ensure that there is adequate airflow.
  • Group your Monstera with other plants in your indoor garden to create a more humid microclimate.

By providing the right humidity and temperature conditions, you will create a more comfortable environment for your Monstera.

3. Improper Lighting

monstera in the light

Monstera plants need bright, indirect light to thrive, but too much direct sunlight can lead to problems.

Finding the right spot where your plant receives just the right amount of light will help your Monstera grow without having to change its position and location often.

Too Much Light

Excessive direct sunlight can dehydrate the leaves and even cause them to burn, resulting in yellowed or brown edges, wrinkling, or curling.

When Monstera leaves are exposed to too much heat from direct light, they become stressed, which affects their ability to make the energy needed to stay firm and sturdy.

To avoid this, find a spot in your home with bright, indirect light, or invest in an indoor grow light that allows you to control the amount and intensity of light.

Keep in mind that incandescent bulbs tend to get hotter than LED bulbs, increasing the risk of burning your Monstera, so it’s best to use LED grow lights for better temperature control.

Check out this LORDEM full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

Not Enough Light

On the other hand, inadequate light can also harm your Monstera plant and stunt its growth. It’s important to provide 10 to 12 hours of bright, indirect lighting every day.

When there’s insufficient sunlight during winter or when the room is too dark, grow lights become instrumental in supplying your Monstera plant with the necessary light.

Keep track of your Monstera’s daily light exposure, and adjust your lighting set-up accordingly to ensure its health and growth.

Remember that it’s all about finding a balance between too much and too little light, which can differ depending on the specific conditions in your home.

4. Poor Soil and Drainage

Monstera plant being repotted

Selecting the Right Soil Mix

One common mistake when growing Monstera is using low-quality or poorly amended potting soil.

This can lead to yellowing leaves, weak stems, and droopiness in your plant.

The ideal soil for Monstera should be rich in nutrients and retain moisture without staying waterlogged.

Using a peaty potting soil that retains water but is also well-draining is crucial for maintaining optimal soil conditions.

You can try this custom blend Monstera Potting mix on Amazon.

Improving Drainage

Proper drainage is essential to avoid overwatering, root rot, and leaf damage in your Monstera.

Choose a pot with drainage holes, and ensure that the soil you use allows excess water to escape easily.

Some tactics to improve drainage include:

  • Adding perlite or sand to your soil mix – These materials can help create air pockets within the soil, promoting good drainage and preventing waterlogged conditions.
  • Layering pebbles at the bottom of the pot – Placing a layer of pebbles or coarse gravel below the soil can increase drainage and allow excess water to pool away from the roots.

Remember that Monstera plants typically grow well even in small pots compared to the size of their leaves. They thrive when their roots have enough room to spread out but are still contained.

5. Lack of Nutrition

Providing proper nutrition not only encourages growth but also helps Monstera plants fend off pests and diseases.

Here we’ll discuss the most suitable fertilizers for Monsteras and the appropriate feeding schedules to ensure that your Monstera thrives in both indoor and outdoor environment.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer

Selecting the appropriate fertilizer for your Monstera is essential to ensure healthy growth.

Monstera plants prefer a balanced, slow-release fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

You can opt for an aroid-specific fertilizer or use a balanced 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength.

It’s also beneficial to include trace elements such as magnesium and iron, as these nutrients contribute to the plant’s overall health and vibrant green foliage.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid over-fertilizing, which may lead to salt buildup and potential root burn.

Soil and fertilizer in pots

Frequency of Fertilization

The frequency of fertilization is crucial in maintaining the health of your Monstera.

These plants have a distinct growing season in spring and summer, during which their nutritional needs increase.

During this period, aim to fertilize your Monstera once a month. You can adjust the schedule based on your plant’s growth rate and specific needs.

In the colder months, Monstera plants often enter a dormant phase, which means they need less frequent feedings. During this time, reduce fertilization to once every 2-3 months.

Get this 3-1-2 professional Monstera fertilizer on Amazon.

6. Ignoring Pests and Diseases

To keep your Monstera healthy and thriving, it’s essential to be aware of the common pests and diseases that can affect them, and how prevention and control can be done.

Common Pests

There are several pests that tend to attack Monstera plants, including:

  • Mealybugs
  • Spider mites
  • Thrips
  • Aphids
  • Fungus gnats
  • Scale insects

These pests feed on the nutrient-rich sap of Monstera leaves and stems, causing damage that can sometimes be irreversible.

Pest Prevention

Here are some tips to prevent pests from infesting your Monstera plants:

  • Keep your plants healthy by providing them with the proper amount of light, water, and nutrients. A healthy Monstera is more resistant to pests.
  • Inspect new plants before bringing them home to make sure they are not already infested.
  • Keep the area around your Monstera clean by removing dead leaves and debris to deter pests from the area.
  • Maintain adequate humidity levels to help deter pests like spider mites that prefer dry conditions.

Pest Control

To control pests that may already be infesting your Monstera, follow these steps:

  • Identify the type of pests attacking your plant so you can effectively treat the infestation.
  • Remove any heavily infested leaves or branches to prevent the pests from spreading to other parts of the plant.
  • Treat your plant with a mixture of water and insecticidal soap, which can be effective against most pests when used as instructed on the product label.
  • Regularly monitor your plant for any signs of pests and repeat treatment as needed. It is essential to catch pests early to minimize the damage they can cause to your Monstera.

7. Neglecting Pruning and Support

Hands and garden scissors pruning Monstera  plant

When growing Monstera plants indoors, it’s essential to keep an eye on their growth and provide them with the proper care to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

One common mistake indoor gardeners make is neglecting pruning and providing adequate support. In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of these aspects and how to properly maintain your Monstera.

When and How to Prune

Pruning is necessary to maintain the size and appearance of your Monstera plant. Overgrown plants can get unruly, making them challenging to manage in an indoor setting.

To keep your Monstera in check, it’s recommended to prune during its growing season, which is typically during the warmer months.

When pruning your Monstera, follow these guidelines:

  • Use clean, sharp tools to make clean cuts.
  • Remove dead or damaged leaves and stems.
  • Trim any aerial roots that may be causing issues.
  • Cut back leggy growth to encourage a fuller appearance.

Remember, pruning in the fall or during the plant’s growth cycle can cause stress or stunt growth, so it’s best to avoid these times.

Providing Support to Your Monstera

Monstera plants are natural climbers, and as they grow, they require proper support to keep them from becoming too heavy or unbalanced.

Here are some ways to provide support for your Monstera:

Moss pole

A moss pole is a popular choice for Monstera support. To use it, simply insert the pole into the pot, ensuring it reaches the bottom.

Attach the plant’s aerial roots and stems to the pole using plant ties or soft string.

Trellis

A trellis can be placed in or behind the pot, helping to guide the plant’s growth upward. Secure the stems to the trellis using plant ties or soft string.

Stakes

Wooden or bamboo stakes can be used to prop up individual stems or leaves. Insert the stake into the pot and gently tie the stem or leaf to it using plant ties or soft string.

8. Skipping Root Care

Detailed photo of a Monstera root

To properly care for your Monstera and promote healthy growth, it’s essential to understand their root system and provide the necessary care.

Learning About Monstera Roots

Monstera plants have a complex root system that plays a crucial role in their overall health.

In addition to their primary roots, Monstera deliciosa plants have aerial roots, which help them climb and absorb moisture from the environment.

Ignoring the root care can lead to various problems such as root rot, slowed growth, and weakened stem support.

Root Care Tips

Here are some essential root care tips to help your Monstera thrive:

Ensure proper drainage

Monstera plants prefer moist but not soggy soil. Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes and a well-draining potting mix to prevent root rot caused by excess water.

Peaty potting soil is a good option for Monsteras.

Maintain adequate humidity

Monsteras enjoy higher humidity levels, which help to keep their aerial roots moisturized. Consider placing a humidifier near your plant or using a pebble tray to provide the right humidity levels.

Inspect roots regularly

Pay close attention to your Monstera’s roots when repotting or during routine care. Brown, mushy, or bad-smelling roots are typically signs of root rot.

If you notice any of these symptoms, trim the affected areas with a clean, sharp tool and replace the potting mix.

Provide support

As Monstera plants grow taller and heavier, their aerial roots need extra support to prevent damage.

Use a stake, moss pole or trellis, and gently tie the plant to it with plant ties, ensuring that the aerial roots are in contact with the support.

This way, your Monstera will benefit from additional stability and improved access to moisture.

By focusing on proper root care, you can help your Monstera grow and thrive, avoiding commonly made mistakes.

By educating yourself about their unique root system and applying the above tips, you’ll be well on your way to nurturing a luscious, healthy Monstera plant.

9. Inappropriate Repotting

Inappropriate repotting is one such error that may harm your plant. In this section, we’ll discuss choosing the right pot and the best time for repotting.

Choosing the Right Pot

Selecting the appropriate pot for your Monstera is crucial for its health and growth. Keep in mind:

Material

Pots are commonly made out of plastic, terracotta, or ceramic.

Each has its benefits, with plastic being lightweight and affordable, terracotta providing good drainage, and ceramic adding a decorative appeal.

It’s important to select a pot with drainage holes, as excessive moisture can lead to brown spots on Monstera leaves.

Size

Monstera plants can grow quite large, so your pot should accommodate its size. A pot that’s too small may lead to papery and brown leaf edges.

Choose a pot that’s 2-4 inches larger in diameter than the current one, giving the roots space to grow without causing overcrowding.

Signs of needing a repot

Look for roots growing out of the drainage holes or your Monstera becoming top-heavy, indicating it’s time to repot.

Additionally, if it’s been 12-24 months since the last repotting, a change may be due.

Ideal season

The best time to repot your Monstera is during spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. This allows the plant adequate time to adjust and recover before its dormant period in winter.

By paying attention to pot size and material, as well as timing your repotting appropriately, you can prevent damage to your Monstera plant and help it thrive.

Proper repotting techniques are essential for maintaining a healthy and vibrant indoor garden.

Now that you know the 9 things you should not ignore when it comes to growing a Monstera, you should learn the secret to growing gorgeous leaves here: The Secret Key To Gorgeous Fenestrations in Monstera Leaves

9 Monstera Growing Mistakes Even Expert Indoor Gardeners Make