Why Are My Monstera Leaves Curling? (11 Causes & Solutions)

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The Monstera plant is a tropical perennial that has large and showy leaves.

The Monstera, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, can be grown in most climates if given the proper care.

One common issue that monstera owners face is curling leaves.

This can be caused by several different factors, including underwatering, temperature stress, and pest infestation, among others.

By understanding the causes of curling leaves, you can take the necessary steps to fix the problem and keep your Monstera plant healthy.

Here are some common reasons why your Monstera leaves might be curling and what you can do to fix the problem.

Reasons of Monstera Leaves Curling (And How To Fix Them)

One of the most common problems Monstera owners face is Monstera leaves curling downward or upward.

There are several reasons why this may happen, but the good news is that it is usually not a severe problem and can be fixed with a little bit of effort.

Here are some of the most common reasons for Monstera leaves curling and what you can do about them.

1. Underwatering

One of the most common problems indoor gardeners face is Monstera leaves curling.

This problem is most often caused by underwatering, which can cause the leaves to lose moisture and become crispy.

When monstera plants don’t receive enough water, their leaves will start to wilt and curl to prevent further water loss.

There are a few reasons why this happens.

First, Monsteras are native to tropical climates where they receive a lot of rainfall.

As such, they are accustomed to high humidity levels and need a lot of water to thrive.

Second, Monstera leaves are large and have a high surface area, meaning they lose moisture quickly.

To prevent Monstera leaves from curling, it is essential to water your plant regularly and deeply.

Water Monsteras when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

In general, Monsteras should be watered about once a week, but this may vary depending on the climate and the size of the plant.

How To Fix It

If your Monstera is showing signs of underwatering, the best course of action is to water it deeply and allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

Monstera plants need a lot of water, so make sure to water yours deeply and regularly to prevent the leaves from curling.

It is also good to increase the humidity around your Monstera by placing it on a pebble tray or using a humidifier.

2. Overwatering

When a Monstera is overwatered, the roots are susceptible to rotting, which in turn will cause the leaves to start curling upwards.

This is because the plant cannot take up water and nutrients from the soil, causing the leaves to wilt and curl.

An overwatered Monstera will have soggy, yellow, or brown leaves that are wilting.

The leaves may also fall off easily, and the stem may start to rot.

To prevent overwatering, make sure to water your Monstera only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

It is also good to use well-draining potting soil and water Monsteras with distilled or filtered water.

How To Fix It

If your Monstera is showing signs of overwatering, the best course of action is to stop watering immediately and allow the soil to dry out completely.

Then, start watering again only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

Monstera plants need to be watered deeply, but only when the soil is dry.

If you think your plant has been overwatered, it is also a good idea to repot it in fresh, well-draining potting soil.

3. Temperature Stress

The Monstera plant is native to tropical regions and prefers warm, humid conditions.

They thrive in temperatures between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the Monstera is exposed to cold temperatures, the monstera leaves will curl to protect the plant from the cold air.

The monstera leaf curl is a defense mechanism that prevents the plant from losing moisture and exposure to drafts.

On the other hand, when exposed to consistently high temperatures, Monstera leaves will start to curl to prevent water loss.

Curling also helps reduce the surface area exposed to direct sunlight, further protecting the plant from heat stress.

How To Fix It

If your Monstera is curling due to temperature stress, the best course of action is to move it to an ideal location for its growth.

Monstera plants prefer warm, humid conditions and should be kept in 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures.

When temperatures drop, protect your Monstera from drafts by moving it away from windows and doors.

In the summer, put your Monstera in a spot with bright indirect light, and out of direct sunlight to prevent heat stress.

4. Low Humidity

Low humidity is one of the most common reasons Monstera leaves start to curl.

When the air is too dry, the plant can’t get enough moisture from the atmosphere and starts to draw water out of its leaves.

This causes the leaves to shrink and eventually start to curl up at the edges.

If left unchecked, low humidity can cause severe damage to Monstera plants and even kill them.

How To Fix It

If your Monstera is curling due to low humidity, the best course of action is to increase the humidity around the plant.

This can be done by placing the pot on a pebble tray, using a humidifier, or misting the plant with water.

You should also make sure that your Monstera is not placed in direct sun, as this can further dry out the air around the plant.

5. Pest Infestation

Pests are another common reason for Monstera leaves to start curling.

Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale are all common pests that can infest Monstera plants and cause the leaves to curl.

Pests feed on the plant’s sap, causing the Monstera leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually start to curl.

Pests can also cause the plant to become stunted and produce fewer leaves.

How To Fix It

If your Monstera is infested with pests, the best course of action is to treat the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

You can also try to remove the pests by hand using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Make sure to check your Monstera regularly for signs of pests and take action as soon as you see them.

6. Fungal Infection

Fungal infections are another common reason for Monstera leaves to start curling.

Common fungal infections that affect Monstera plants include powdery mildew and leaf spot.

Fungal infections are caused by microscopic fungi that invade plant tissue and feed on the host plant’s cells.

This feeding damages plant tissue, causing it to die and ultimately leading to curling or distorting leaves.

While there are several ways to prevent or treat fungal infections, the best way to avoid them is to water your monstera plants from below, using a drip system or a watering can with a long spout.

This will help keep the leaves dry, which will help prevent fungal infections from taking hold.

How To Fix It

If your Monstera is already infected with a fungus, you can treat it with a fungicide.

There are many different types of fungicides available, so be sure to read the label carefully and choose one specifically designed for use on Monstera plants.

Remove any infected leaves and dispose of them to prevent the fungus from spreading.

You should also water your Monstera from below to help prevent future infections.

7. Soil Issues

Soil that is too dense or too dry can cause Monstera leaves to start curling.

If the soil is too dense, it can restrict the plant’s roots and prevent them from getting the water and nutrients they need.

This will cause the Monstera leaves to turn yellow or brown and eventually start to curl.

If the soil is too dry, the plant will start to draw water out of its leaves in an attempt to compensate.

This will also cause the Monstera leaves to curl.

How To Fix It

You will need to amend the soil with some organic matter such as peat moss or compost to fix this issue.

This will help to loosen the soil and make it more porous, which will allow the roots to better access water and nutrients.

You should also repot your Monstera every two to three years to ensure that the plant has fresh, nutrient-rich soil.

8. The Plant is Rootbound

Monstera leaves tend to curl when they are rootbound.

Rootbound means that the plant’s roots have become so tightly packed that they can no longer properly absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

This can happen if the pot is too small or if the plant is not getting enough water.

When the roots are unable to absorb moisture, the leaves will start to curl as a way to conserve water.

How To Fix It

To fix this issue, carefully remove the plant from its pot and check the roots. If they are wrapped tightly around the bottom of the pot, it is time to repot in a larger container with fresh soil.

When removing the plant from its pot, check for any black or mushy roots. This is a sign of root rot, which must be treated before the plant can be repotted.

Be careful not to damage any healthy roots while you are repotting.

Damaged roots will not be able to properly absorb water and nutrients, which will cause the leaves to curl.

9. Overfertilization

When the plant receives too much fertilizer, the nutrients can build up in the soil and cause the leaves to become distorted.

In some cases, the leaves may even turn brown and fall off.

In addition to causing curled leaves, overfertilization can also stunt the growth of monstera plants and make them more susceptible to disease.

As a result, it is essential to fertilize monstera plants only when necessary and use a light hand when applying fertilizer.

How To Fix It

The best way to fix this issue is to flush the soil with water.

This will help to remove any excess fertilizer from the soil and prevent it from causing further damage to the plant.

After flushing the soil, only fertilize Monstera plants when they are actively growing (usually in the spring and summer).

Avoid fertilizing Monstera plants during the fall and winter. Monsteras are dormant during this time and do not need additional nutrients.

10. Tap Water

Tap water often contains high chlorine levels and other chemicals that can be harmful to Monstera plants.

Over time, these chemicals can build up in the soil and cause the leaves to become distorted.

In some cases, the leaves may even turn brown and fall off.

It is essential to use filtered or distilled water when watering Monstera plants to prevent this from happening

How To Fix It

If the leaves on your Monstera plant are already curled, you can try to reverse the damage by switching to filtered or distilled water.

Water the plant with filtered or distilled water for a few weeks and see if the leaves start to uncurl.

If the leaves do not improve, you may need to repot the plant in fresh soil.

11. Natural Curl

Monstera leaves are naturally curved, which is not a cause for concern.

The leaves of Monstera adansonii, for example, are deeply lobed and have natural curls.

Monstera deliciosa leaves are also known to curl when they are young.

As the leaves mature, they will uncurl and become more flattened.

A Monstera’s new leaf will generally be more curled than older leaves.

This is normal and not a cause for concern.

How Long Does It Take for a Monstera Leaf to Uncurl?

A Monstera leaf typically takes about two weeks to uncurl.

However, this can vary depending on the size of the leaf, the type of Monstera plant, and the growing conditions.

Monstera leaves can also take longer to uncurl if they are damaged or if the plant is under stress.

So, if you see a Monstera leaf starting to curl, don’t worry!

Give it some time, and it will uncurl on its own.

Final Thoughts

Monstera leaves curling is a common problem that can be caused by several different factors.

However, it is often due to environmental stressors such as too much or too little water or low humidity.

Monsteras are tough plants and can usually bounce back from leaves curling with a little bit of extra TLC.

Be sure to monitor your plant closely and adjust its care routine as needed.

With a little bit of patience, your Monstera will be looking healthy and lush in no time!