12 Reasons Why Your Monstera’s Leaves Are Curling: Unveiling Common Culprits

Is your Monstera’s majestic splendor waning with curling leaves? You’re not alone in this predicament.

If you’ve been noticing those once vibrant leaves starting to curl, it’s a clear sign your plant is in distress.

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A variety of factors could be causing this issue, and understanding these factors is crucial to maintain the health and beauty of your plant.

Fear not, we’ll walk you through the most common reasons for this unfortunate phenomenon and provide solutions to help your Monstera regain its former glory.

12 Reasons Why Your Monstera’s Leaves Are Curling: Unveiling Common Culprits

1. It’s Starved For Water

Monstera leaf drooping

Your Monstera’s leaves may be curling due to underwatering.

When you don’t provide sufficient water, the plant cannot maintain proper cell pressure, causing the leaves to curl as a result.

To avoid underwatering, check the top few inches of soil and water your Monstera when the soil feels dry.

It is also helpful to lift the potted plant to gauge its weight; if it feels light, the soil is likely dry, whereas a heavier plant indicates moist soil.

Remember to water thoroughly, ensuring the root zone is well saturated.

Always ensure your Monstera’s soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged.

Consider using a moisture meter to help manage watering more effectively.

Check out this XLUX soil moisture meter on Amazon.

2. Roots Are Drowning

Overwatering can also cause your Monstera’s leaves to curl.

Excess moisture may lead to lower and inner leaves wilting or yellowing, and if the issue persists, it may cause other symptoms resembling drought stress, such as leaf drop or plant death.

Monstera roots in water

To prevent overwatering, follow these recommendations:

  • Allow the soil to dry between watering to avoid water logged conditions.
  • Use well-draining soil to ensure excess water can easily escape.
  • Be mindful of your plant’s water requirements, taking into account factors such as room temperature and humidity.
  • Make sure to use a container with drainage holes.

Maintaining a proper watering schedule will help you avoid both underwatering and overwatering, ultimately preventing leaf curling in your Monstera.

Always pay close attention to the plant’s appearance and the soil’s moisture level, making necessary adjustments when needed.

3. It’s In A Poorly Lit Area

One possible cause of your Monstera’s leaves curling could be inadequate lighting.

Monstera in darker light

Monstera plants typically thrive in medium light conditions, which means they need a good amount of indirect sunlight to help them grow and develop.

If your Monstera is placed in a poorly lit area, its leaves may curl as a response to the lack of light exposure.

To ensure your Monstera receives enough light, place it near an east-facing or west-facing window, but out of direct sunlight.

Doing so will ensure that the plant gets just the right amount of light needed for proper growth.

4. It’s Under Scorching Heat

Conversely, too much direct sunlight can lead to excessive exposure to the sun’s harsh rays, which can also cause your Monstera’s leaves to curl.

monstera in scorching light

This is especially true if the exposure is not evenly distributed across the plant, causing some leaves to be more affected than others.

To avoid these issues, make sure to place your Monstera in a spot where it receives indirect sunlight or filtered sunlight through sheer curtains and not directly exposed to the sun.

This will protect your plant from sunburn and maintain its overall health, ultimately preventing leaf curling.

5. Exposure to Cold Drafts

Exposure to cold drafts can have a negative impact on your Monstera’s leaves, causing them to curl.

monstera exposed to cold

When temperatures drop significantly or fluctuate frequently, your plant becomes stressed and tries to protect itself by curling its leaves.

To prevent this issue, make sure to place your Monstera away from doors, windows, and air vents where cold drafts may occur.

If necessary, consider adding a small space heater to maintain a consistent temperature for your plant.

Read more here: 5 Key Ways Humidity Boosts Your Monstera’s Health

6. High Temperature Stress

Just as cold temperatures can stress your Monstera, high temperatures can also cause its leaves to curl.

monstera in intense heat

Monsteras prefer a consistent temperature range of 68-86°F (20-30°C).

When exposed to higher temperatures, your plant may react by curling its leaves as a way to reduce the surface area exposed to the heat.

To prevent this, keep an eye on the room temperature, and adjust as needed.

Be sure to also provide adequate shade during direct sunlight hours and ensure proper transpiration by giving the plant enough water to maintain its hydration levels.

Additionally, creating a humid environment around your Monstera can help counteract the effects of high temperature stress.

7. The Roots Can’t Breathe

Compacted soil can be one of the reasons why your Monstera’s leaves are curling.

rootbound monstera

Overly compacted soil prevents proper air circulation and limits the space for roots to grow, which may cause the plant to become stressed.

To address this issue, you can gently loosen the soil around your plant without damaging its roots.

Adding organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, can also improve soil structure and help reduce compaction.

8. It Has Poor Drainage

Another factor that may contribute to curling leaves on your Monstera is poor drainage.

Monsteras require well-draining soil to prevent root rot and ensure proper nutrient uptake.

monstera being repotted

If the soil remains consistently wet or waterlogged, it may lead to root damage, which can cause leaf curling.

To improve the drainage of your soil, consider adding amendments like perlite or sand.

Additionally, you can use a well-draining potting mix specifically designed for houseplants.

Check out this Monstera potting mix on Amazon.

When repotting your Monstera, make sure to choose a pot with sufficient drainage holes to prevent excess water buildup, and avoid over-watering.

Monitoring the moisture level in the soil and adjusting your watering schedule accordingly can also help prevent drainage-related issues with your plant.

Learn about soil amendments here: 5 Soil Amendments to Keep Your Monstera Thriving

9. Lack of Key Nutrients

Your Monstera may struggle if it doesn’t get the essential nutrients it needs to grow.

monstera rootball being inspected

Common deficiencies in plants include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).

Symptoms of nutrient deficiencies can vary, but you might notice yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or poor root development.

To help your Monstera get the nutrients it needs, consider the following:

  • Test your soil to determine which nutrients are lacking and adjust your fertilizing accordingly.
  • Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer that provides the essential nutrients your Monstera needs.
  • Ensure a consistent watering routine, as irregular watering can lead to nutrient imbalances.

10. It’s Overfed with Fertilizers

monstera with soil being added to pot

On the other hand, giving your Monstera too much fertilizer can lead to nutrient toxicity, which can cause the leaves to curl or develop salt burn symptoms.

Over-fertilized plants may also exhibit marginal browning of leaves or a yellowing area between the green leaf tissue and the brown, dead parts.

To prevent over-fertilization, follow these guidelines:

  • Pay close attention to any instructions on your fertilizer’s packaging to make sure you’re using the correct amount.
  • Choose a slow-release fertilizer to reduce the chance of overloading your Monstera with nutrients.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of nutrient toxicity in your plant, such as stunted growth, brown leaf tips, or yellowing between the veins of the leaves.

11. It’s a Host to Pests

Pests can cause your Monstera’s leaves to curl and become damaged. Some of the most common pests that can affect Monsteras include:

close up of spider mites
  • Spider mites: These tiny pests can cause leaves to curl and have a dry, dusty appearance. Check for fine webbing on the undersides of leaves.
  • Aphids: Look for small, soft-bodied insects that suck plant sap and can cause leaves to curl and become discolored.
  • Mealybugs: They are white, cottony insects that can cause curling and stunted growth in Monstera leaves.

To control these pests, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil on affected leaves, and be sure to isolate the plant from other houseplants to prevent the spread of pests.

Read more here: The Ultimate Guide to Monstera Pests: Prevention and Treatment Hacks

12. Fungal and Bacterial Infections

Fungal and bacterial infections can also lead to curling and other symptoms in Monstera leaves.

monstera with fungal disease

A common culprit is leaf spot diseases. These are caused by various fungi or bacteria, and can lead to discolored and curled leaves.

Make sure your plant has good air circulation and avoid getting the leaves wet when watering to minimize the chances of infection.

Let’s Straighten Those Curls

curled monstera albo leaf

By understanding the potential issues your Monstera is facing, you can nurse it back to health and enjoy the sight of its vibrant, uncurled leaves once more.

Don’t be discouraged if your Monstera doesn’t respond immediately to changes in care.

Like all living things, it needs time to adjust and heal. Patience, coupled with the right care, can make all the difference in reviving your Monstera’s health.