One of the trendiest houseplants today is the Monstera Deliciosa, commonly referred to as the swiss cheese plant because of its broad, perforated heart-shaped leaves. Because of its tropical origin, the monstera plant is very forgiving when it comes to water and sunlight requirements, making it an ideal addition to any indoor garden. However, there are some things to take into account before adding this beautiful plant to your collection.
If your monstera plant is bending, drooping, or curling, you likely have an issue with watering, the type of sunlight the plant is getting, or an issue with the soil. Monstera plants require a moderate amount of water, indirect sunlight, and well-draining soil in order to thrive indoors.
The rest of this article will dive deeper into the characteristics of monstera plants, what causes them to bend, droop, or curl, and what you can do to fix it.
Monstera Plant Characteristics
Monstera plants hail from the tropical forests of Mexico and South America, and they prefer hot, humid environments. These areas are the perfect breeding ground for monstera because they provide the moist, aerated soil that these plants crave, and the canopies that they grow under protect them from direct sunlight.
Monstera roots are a combination of underground and aerial, meaning that some of their roots grow above the ground. While the underground roots are responsible for receiving the nutrients the plant needs to stay healthy, the aerial roots provide the plant with a method to climb as monstera plants are climbers by nature. These aerated roots will rot if there is too much moisture in the soil, which is why monstera plants prefer aerated, well-draining soil.
Why Monstera Stems Bend
If your monstera stem is bending, there are a few things that could be irritating the plant: improper pot size, overwatering, or soil that is so dense it can’t drain properly.
Improper Pot Size
Monstera plants need room to spread their roots, and they prefer growing up rather than out. If you have a pot that is too small to accommodate the root ball that forms underneath the soil, the plant’s growth will slow significantly and can cause the stalks and leaves to bend down, rather than up. Because of their climbing nature, having nothing to attach their aerial roots to will also cause the plant to bend.
Upon bringing your monstera plant home, you should immediately re-pot into a larger vessel to stimulate growth. You should continue to re-pot your monstera every two years until it reaches a pot of 8 inches (20.3 cm) in diameter. Once your plant is in a pot that size, you should not need to re-pot again. Instead, top off the top layer of soil in the pot with fresh potting mix.
Adding a trellis or mossy climbing stake near the center of your monstera plant will allow it to climb adequately. To install the pole, follow these steps:
- Choose a location close to the center of the pot and as central to all stems as possible without disturbing the root ball.
- Push the stakes of the moss pole or trellis down until the base rests firmly on top of the soil.
- Use greening pins, clips, twine, or floral fabric to loosely attach nearby stems to the stake, carefully not to force any as they could snap.
Another possible cause of bending in your monstera plant is overwatering. While they do prefer moderately moist soil, overwatering your monstera can cause root rot and serious wilting. Overwatering can drown the roots, especially if proper draining protocols aren’t put in place.
You can check to see if you’ve overwatered your monstera plant by placing your fingers 1-2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) down into the soil. If the soil is moist, move the pot into bright indirect light and avoid watering until the top layer of soil dries out. Make sure the pot you’ve planted your monstera in has drainage holes to allow the water to flow out of the pot to avoid the excess from pooling at the bottom.
Poor Soil Conditions
Monstera plants need well-draining, aerated soil to thrive in your indoor garden. Soil that is too dense can cause the roots to suffocate and prevent water from draining out properly.
When potting your monstera, add a layer of gravel or sand at the bottom of the pot before adding your potting mix. A mixture of 50-75% standard indoor potting soil, mixed with 25-50% peat moss, is the best solution for well-draining soil. Be sure you choose a pot with plenty of drainage holes at the bottom and a catch basin to collect excess water.
Monstera Leaves Drooping or Droopy
When your monstera is drooping or looks droopy, the most culpable reason is water retention. However, unlike bending in a monstera plant, drooping can result from too much or too little water.
If you’ve checked your monstera plant and found that the soil is very moist, place the pot in an eastern facing window where it can receive plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Leave the plant there until the top 1-2 inches are dried out before watering again. If an eastern facing window isn’t an option for you, try a grow light like the EZORKAS 80 Watt Dimmable Grow Light for Indoor Plants.
Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on August 2, 2020.
Monstera Leaves Curling
Monstera plants curl when under-watered or when their leaves cannot obtain enough moisture from the air in their environment. Although they are hardy plants and can survive in a variety of growing conditions, they prefer moist, humid environments the best because of their origins in the rainforests of South America.
Underwatering your monstera causes undue stress on the plant’s entire infrastructure. Chronic underwatering will shock the plant’s system, causing it to conserve the most water in the root system, stunting the growth of the rest of the plant. If the plant goes too long without adequate water, even the roots will begin to suffer, and the leaves will begin to curl and die.
Humidity and air quality play a big factor in this as well, as the broad leaves of the monstera leaves collect moisture there.
If you suspect your monstera is not receiving enough water:
- Take the plant and the root ball out of the pot and drench it in the sink until the water is fully draining from the base of the plant.
- Allow the soil to continue to drain in the sink for 1-2 hours, then put the plant back into its pot.
- Place the pot in indirect sun and don’t water it again until the top 1-2 inches are dry.
To ensure your monstera’s leaves can collect adequate moisture, clean them off with a damp cloth to remove any dust or film that may have collected naturally. Spraying them with a fine mist of water when you water the base of the plant, about once a week, is also going to help the leaves photosynthesize properly.
ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 2, 2020.
The three main reasons your monstera may be bending, drooping, or curling are inadequate water supply, incorrect amounts of sunlight, and improper soil drainage. One or more of these issues can cause major damage to your plant over time but can be resolved quite easily if you know what to look for. To ensure your monstera plant can thrive, follow these suggestions:
- Provide ample amounts of indirect sunlight. Eastern facing windows work well for this type of light.
- Pot soil with a 75% indoor potting mix, and 25% peat moss. This allows the soil to drain properly.
- Water approximately once a week or when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry.
- Plant it in a pot with plenty of drainage holes so water does not collect at the base of the pot.
- Use a moss stake to allow the plant to grow vertically.