Monstera Leaves Turning Yellow

As a plant lover, your plants are more than just attractive décor – they’re your most prized possessions. You water them, nurture them, and make sure to shield them from harmful elements. So naturally, it can be distressing to find that your Monstera’s once-emerald leaves are starting to yellow. But what causes this change?

Monstera leaves can turn yellow due to several factors. These include natural aging, moisture, improper lighting, pest infestations, and diseases. There are a few steps that you can take to offset the effects of these factors and restore your plant.

If you’re looking to restore your Monstera to its former beauty, our handy guide on why your Monstera’s leaves are turning yellow can help you get to the root of the problem.

What Yellow Leaves Mean

Yellow Monstera

Of course, there are a few reasons why your Monstera’s leaves are turning yellow. But, before you panic, it’s important to remember that some yellowing is natural as your plant ages.

In some instances, a yellow leaf is nothing to worry about. As your plant grows, older leaves will begin to turn yellow. This may be especially true if the leaf is at the bottom of the plant, and it’s because your Monstera is getting ready to shed its old leaves and make room for new growth.

After all, it’s pointless to keep working on a small, old leaf that doesn’t photosynthesize as well as a young one. But before the old leaf falls off your Monstera completely, the plant will reclaim any nutrients it may need from the leaf, resulting in chlorosis.

So, if you find a yellowed leaf or two at the bottom of your plant, you may just be witnessing the natural growth of your Monstera.

If your plant exhibits more than a few yellow leaves that are spread over the entirety of its leaves, you may want to investigate the cause further.

Yellowing Caused By Moisture

When it comes to water, Monsteras can be picky. They are generally classified as tropical plants, making them more susceptible to heat and drying out. However, if they are exposed to too much water for too long, they may develop problems like root rot.


If your Monstera has become too dry, its leaves will begin to turn yellow and may even droop, curl, or turn brown and brittle. The easiest way to test whether your Monstera has adequate water is to feel the top inch of its soil. If it feels dry, your Monstera may be thirsty!

If this is the case, you may need to begin a more thorough watering regimen. By checking the moisture of the top of the soil every day, you can determine how much water to give your plant.

If the soil is dry, you can water your plant until the soil is damp all the way through. But if the soil is still damp, you may want to wait to water your Monstera to avoid overwatering.


Much like underwatering your Monstera, overwatering may be the cause of yellowing leaves. To determine if your plant has been overwatered, you should use your finger to feel the top layer of its soil. If it is wet, soggy, or has an odor, you may have overwatered your plant.

Overwatering can quickly lead to root rot in Monsteras, causing the leaves to droop and develop yellow or brown spots. The spots may also be wet and have a rotting smell to them.

If you see the signs of overwatering early enough, wait until the soil has dried up before watering your plant again. You should also make sure it’s in a container or pot with proper drainage. This can help to keep root rot at bay. If moisture is a persistent issue, you can repot your plant in a soil and pot with improved drainage.

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Yellowing Caused By Improper Light

Monsteras thrive in bright, indirect sunlight, making them more susceptible to problems resulting from too little light or too much direct sunlight.

Too Little Light

A common tell-tale sign of a Monstera that isn’t receiving enough light is slowed growth. Because your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight, its growth will slow down considerably, and it won’t need much watering.

Still, many plant owners tend to stick to the same watering regime, regardless of where their plant is placed. Therefore, a Monstera with poor lighting is often overwatered. As mentioned in the tips before, you should check for overwatering by feeling the top of the soil.

Another way to offset the effects of inadequate light is to move your Monstera in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight.

Too Much Direct Sunlight

Monstera in direct sunlight

While Monsteras love the warmth of sunlight, placing them directly in the sun can cause what is commonly known as leaf burn.

Leaf burn is a direct result of direct sunlight on your plant’s leaves and will cause the burnt part of the leaf to turn dark brown or black. The areas around the burn will also begin to turn yellow.

To remedy this problem, you should prune your plant and remove any burnt or dead leaves. You should also make sure to move it to an area that is free from direct sunlight, but that is bright enough to allow your Monstera to thrive.

Yellowing Caused By Pest Infestations

A Monstera that is weak or stressed is more vulnerable to pest infestations. Spider mites and other sap-sucking insects can seriously dehydrate your plant, causing yellowing leaves and stems.

Some of the most common indoor pests are scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. These little bugs grow and travel all along the frond sections into the nooks and crannies of your plant if they are not removed early on.

They can also deplete your plant and worsen yellowing, especially if your Monstera is already sickly due to inadequate lighting, nutrient deficiencies, or insufficient soil moisture.

Read more: Monstera New Leaf Growth

Yellowing Caused By Disease

If your Monstera’s leaves are yellowing, it may be suffering from anthracnose, fungal leaf spots, or powdery mildew. Each of these diseases has distinct tell-tale signs and symptoms to watch out for that can help you diagnose them correctly.


Anthracnose is a fungus that causes yellow or brown patches on the leaves of your Monstera. The yellow patches tend to turn brown as the condition worsens and can eventually spread over the entirety of the plant.

If you are looking for anthracnose in your Monstera, pay close attention to the stem, and be sure to note any brown lesions that you may find. This is one of the most obvious symptoms.

Brown Monstera Leaves

It’s important to note that anthracnose spreads more quickly in humid settings, so you should avoid over-misting your Monstera and be sure to shield it from rain. Without proper intervention, the illness will continue to spread.

You should be sure to remove all of the afflicted leaves and stems with a pair of sharp pruning shears and dip your shears in rubbing alcohol or peroxide between cuts to disinfect them.

After cutting away the sick parts, be sure to treat your Monstera with a copper-based fungicide just in case you missed leaves that have not yet started displaying symptoms.

Fungal Leaf Spots

A fungal leaf spot occurs when a fungus attacks the leaf from the outside, which can lead to the appearance of yellowing dots on the leaf. There are usually dark brown fungal dots in the center of the yellowing ring, making a fungal spot easy to identify.

Holding a leaf with fungal spots up to the light, the plant tissue surrounding the spots may appear wet or soggy because the fungus has already begun to devour that area of the leaf.

To prevent additional infection, you should remove any affected tissue as soon as you notice the spots. Then, if any excess fungus is still present, use a copper-based fungicide to kill it.

Once you have rid your Monstera of the fungus, it should begin to sprout more leaves under the proper growing conditions.


Mildew is one of the most easily identifiable diseases because the fungus leaves a white, powdery coating on the leaf. By leaving the mildew on your plant untreated, it can cause the leaves to dry out and become yellow.

This condition is treated in the same way as other diseases. You should remove and discard affected sections of the plant. After removing infected leaves, be sure to use a fungicide to ensure that they won’t return. To ensure that infection does not spread to your other houseplants, you should be sure to isolate the infected plant.


If you’ve noticed your Monstera’s leaves are turning yellow, you should act quickly to reduce the risk of your plant dying. By using our guide to the most common reasons for your plant’s leaves turning yellow, you can ensure the longevity of your precious houseplant.