Before we delve deeper into the topic, we must at first understand what these Monstera leaves are. Monstera Deliciosa, as the scientific name goes, is a tropical plant that is popularly used for in-house gardening.
It is originally found in the tropical forests in the southern part of Mexico. It is widely grown in temperate zones across the world. The glossy, heart-shaped leaves are famous for decorating the interior.
As you start planting, you get to know that the very appearances of the leaves are an indicator of whether you are nurturing the plan properly or not.
The leaves getting curled is a genuine problem, but you can fix it by sticking to a good nurturing routine.
By following a few tricks, you can give a new and fresh life to your favorite leaves and enhance the ambiance of your interior.
Why do Monstera leaves curl?
It is perfectly normal for the budding leaves to appear a bit curled, but as the leaves grow towards maturity, even a bit of malnourishment of Monstera leaves results in curling.
It is because of the watering issues. You either overwater or underwater the leaves. Getting better at plant nurturing is the only way to solve the problem.
Generally, the leaves start unfurling as soon as you start maintaining a healthy watering routine.
Apart from this, the other contributors to curling are pests, heat, low relative humidity, and the improper shape or size of the pot.
Here are seven reasons why Monstera leaves are curling:
1. An improper watering routine
If you are in search of what is contributing to the curling of the decorative leaves, go and check the soil minutely.
Most probably, you will find that the plant is overwatered. Another indicator of an overwatered plant is that it will turn yellow.
If left unattended, it will surely lead to the rotting of the roots. In case you have underwatered the plant, the soil will look dry.
As the root does not get enough water, it compensates by shrinking the surface area and by transpiration.
This automatically results in the curling of the leaves. Symptoms may also include tattered tips of the leaves, leaves turning yellowish-brown, extremely dry soil, etc.
2. Humidity level
After watering issues, humidity is one of the major contributors to curling. If the leaves turn brownish, it requires more humidity.
If the moisture in the atmosphere is too high, it will affect the health of the plant as well as the leaves.
Insufficient air circulation around the plant increases the possibility of fungal infection that directly results in the curling of leaves.
3. Fresh new growth
No need to worry if you find new leaves sprouting. At first, they appear curled. As the leaves start growing, they gradually unfurl.
4. The heat factor
Monstera is a houseplant meant to enhance the beauty of your interior. This Swiss plant has a natural aversion to extreme heat.
Too much heat directly contributes to the curling of leaves. The plant reacts to temperature by shrinking its leaves.
This generally occurs during the changes of seasons. As the summer scorches start heating the atmosphere, the sudden increase in temperature affects plant health.
5. Improper potting
When you seem to be tired of trying to find the root cause of this phenomenon as all the other factors are working perfectly, check the pot you cultivated your favorite plant in.
Maybe the pot has inadequate space. As a result, the soil is unable to retain the moisture, and hence the plant becomes root-bound. As a consequence, the water issues come up and hence curling of leaves.
6. The pest attack
Being infected with certain perilous pests, like spider mites, mealy bugs, etc., may cause serious damage to the glossy Monstera leaves.
As plant juice is what these pests feast upon, the essential minerals of the leaves are sucked, leaving the foliages dry and lifeless. The regular watering and maintenance of soil are not sufficient for keeping their liveliness intact.
7. Too much fertilization
Plant lovers and gardeners around the world often suffer from this dilemma whether excessive fertilization leads to better growth of their favorite plant or they just cause more harm than good.
Due to over-fertilization, the excess salts damage the microorganisms. It also destroys the beautiful appearance of the leaves.
What to do when Monstera leaves are curling?
It’s disheartening to see those large impressive foliages curl and lose their luster each passing day. Fret not. We are here to explore a genuine solution to all those factors causing Monstera leaves to lose their gorgeousness.
Here are seven tips to restore your favorite leaves:
1. Water it properly
Improper watering damages those leaves. So follow a strict watering routine to keep the planted hydrated.
- Water the soil for a few minutes and let it settle a bit. Drain the excess water.
- Do not follow a watering routine blindly. Water whenever the soil feels dry. Pour the water gently until it drains out of the holes.
- Instead of soaking the leaves, pour the water directly onto the soil.
- Poke a stick up to 3 inches to check whether it comes out dry or wet. In case it comes out dry, water immediately.
- If you are smart and love to splurge on gardening, go for a moisture meter to avoid the unnecessary guessing game.
- To fix the over-water problem, you may loosen the soil and then add compost, sand, or mulch to ensure that the water travels in all directions, making it proportionately hydrated.
2. Use the correct amount of fertilizer
Know the quantity first. The correct doses of fertilizer are the way to a greener and healthier version of these gorgeous leaves.
When you purchase a particular fertilizer, the recommended doses are also mentioned on the flip side of the package.
Adhering to the recommended doses can save you from the premature curling of the leaves.
If the user doesn’t believe in following rules, you may go for a balanced fertilizer after a certain gap of days. A few points will make it easier for you to address the over-fertilizing issue.
- An unfamiliar crusty build-up on the soil surface or the edges of the container is an alarming sign of over-fertilizing your favorite plant. Stop overfeeding immediately.
- Consider replacing the pot with a new one. Pour freshly prepared soil for better growth of the impressive plant.
- Under-fertilize the plant if you still have doubts.
3) Fix the temperature stress
The ideal room temperature for this houseplant to flourish ranges between 650F to 850F.
Being a tropical plant, a temperature below 600F will cause temperature stress. A couple of tips to follow:
- Keep the trees away from the air conditioner or fireplaces.
- To avoid curling and drying Monstera leaves, you should keep the plants away from direct exposure to sunlight.
4) A root rotting remedy
The fungus often comes to have a feast upon the fertilized soil full of nutrients. It results in a rotten root problem. Here how you can fix it:
- After taking out the plant from its container, place it under running water and rinse thoroughly.
- Segregate the rotten part very carefully with a disinfected cutting tool.
- Keep the plant drying for a day.
- Now, prepare a new container with soil and plant it again.
5) Get rid of the perilous insects
Go for an organic method to eliminate the perils on the leaves of this house plant. Some home remedy works wonder for removing the insects.
Liquid soap used for dishwashing is preferable. Apart from this, neem oil and alcohol are also effective against infection-causing insects. In case there is a heavy infection, you have to choose the chemical option.
6) Get the correct level of humidity
There are numerous ways to increase the level of humidity in the air surrounding the Monstera plant. Following are considered most effective:
- Use a humidifier.
- Place all the plants together to enhance the collective humidity in the air. As the leaves release vapor, the humidity also increases.
- Misting is a good way to enhance the humidity around the plants. Too much misting may cause the fungus to grow on the leaves.
7) Invest in a suitable pot:
You might be just struggling to find the reason behind the curling of Monstera leaves as all the other factors are seemingly perfect for the plants as well as the leaves.
But, the culprit, in this case, is the pot. If the tree has matured and is still inside the same pot, you must get a large bucket as the water supplied in the small tub is inadequate for the leaves to look lustrous and impressive.
Re-potting will save the plant from being root-bound, and inside the large pot, the plant will be able to meet the water requirements.
When you want the interior of your house to look naturally impressive, placing a few Monstera plants becomes an easy and viable option as the glossy leaves enhance the beauty of your house.
But as you choose to live with house plants, you must also be extra careful in nurturing those plants along with their leaves. With the tips mentioned above, you will be able to maintain the health of your favorite leaves.