Thrips On Monstera

Monstera, are a rare type of evergreen, vine plant that is native to the tropical rainforests of Venezuela and Peru.  Monstera are hardy plants.  They are pest resistant, which make them low maintenance and therefore ideal as houseplants.

Although resistant to many common pests, Monstera can be affected by pests such as thrips.  Thrips can cause damage to the leaves and ultimately destroy the plant. Remedies such as neem oil, insecticide soap, even changing the environment can help a Monstera should it become infected by thrips.

No one appreciates their plants becoming affected with any type of pests.  If you are having a problem with Thrips on your prized Monstera, then this article is what you are looking for.  Read on, for all the information you need should you find Thrips on your Monstera and the best ways to remedy them.

What Are Thrips?

Thrips On Monstera

There are approximately 6000 species of Thrips. Various types of Thrips survive by puncturing into the leaves and draining the life giving sap.  The leaves begin to turn yellow.  Thrips can severely damage Monstera plant while feeding on them. 

Because they are so small, they are difficult to spot at first glance and are normally only detected when damage to the leaves become noticeable. 

What Are The Signs Of Thrips On Monstera?

The adult female Thrip, bites into the leaves of the Monstera plant thereby causing damage.  Their eggs, which are numbered around a hundred at a time, are laid onto the leaves.  When the nymphs hatch, they immediately drain the sap from the plant. 

If the life-giving sap is drained, the Monstera plant loses the ability to distribute nutrients and water to the rest of the plant, rending it lifeless. 

Listed below are a few signs of Thrips infestation:

When your plant starts to droop and look lifeless, it may be a sure sign Thrips are draining the plant of nutrition. 

  • If you notice yellow and brown discoloration on the leaves.
  • If black spotting is seen on the underside of the leaves, this may indicate Thrips damage.
  • If the leaves on the Monstera start to droop, curl or wilt. 
  • You may also use a magnifying glass to spot these nasty buggers crawling on the underside of the leaves.

Users Also Read: Monstera Brown Leaves

How Do I Get Rid Of Thrips On Monstera?

If you are worried about removing the Thrips from your Monstera, then don’t be.  Here are a few effective solutions for you:

1. Bug Traps

Yes, there are traps for bugs! Many insects are attracted to bright colors such as yellow, blue, and white.  You can use these to your advantage by getting colored bug traps and setting them around the Monstera plant. 

The bugs would be drawn to the colored traps and become stuck to it.  In time, all the thrips will fall off, leaving your Monstera insect-free!

You may find these insect traps at any garden store.  However, you can also make your own, by applying either glue or honey to colored paper.

2. Removing Thrips Manually

If you are not the squeamish type, you may remove the thrips manually using a pair of tweezers.  Or, you may also use a lint roller, which has an adhesive on it.  The roller picks up the thrips as it is rolled on the leaves.

3. Using Insecticide To Remove Thrips

Spraying insecticide

Insecticide soaps contain potassium fatty acids, which break down the shell of the thrips on contact. The fatty acids kill off the bud of the thrips by dehydrating it.  The thrips then fall off or can be removed by wiping the plants leaves. 

When using the insecticide soap, you need to ensure that the Monstera is watered before spraying and to spray the plant at night to prevent the mixture from dry off. 

Before attempting to use the insecticide soap, you need to first to a patch test on a small portion of the leaf.  This is to make sure the insecticide soap does not burn or damage the leaves of the Monstera plant.

If you are against the use of insecticides, then perhaps the idea of preparing your own insecticide at home will appeal to you.  For this you need the following:

  • All natural soap
  • A clean, glass spray bottle
  • Tap or distilled water (the type doesn’t affect the solution)

Add about a quart of water into the spray bottle.  Then pour in approximately one tablespoon of natural soap.  Give the bottle a good shake, mixing all the ingredients, and your “natural” insecticide is ready for use. Spray on immediately!

You should spray the leaves for at 4-7 days, until you are assured all the thrips have been removed. 

4. Using Natural Predators Of Thrips

If you are opposed to the idea of using chemical products for the removal of thrips and choose the organic way instead, then perhaps you will appreciate using the thrips’ natural enemies against itself.

Ladybugs are often used as a natural way of removing thrips.  This method may take some time, but just as effective as chemical insecticides. 

The ladybugs won’t damage the Monstera plant in anyway.

5. Trim Damaged Leaves

To ensure a healthy plant, once the thrips have been removed, you can trim all the damaged leaves.  With the removal of damaged leaves, new growth is encouraged.

Can Monstera Recover From Thrips?

Recovery from a thrips infestation is dependent on how much of the plant has been infected. 

1. Recovery From Minimal Damage

When the thrips infestation is detected early, and there is minimal damage to the Monstera plant, then recovery can be fairly quick and easy. 

Once the thrips have been removed, your Monstera will appreciate the water, sunlight, fertilizer, adequate temperatures and humidity.  You will notice the recovery in no time.

2. Recovery From Partial Damage

If only part of the plant has been damaged by thrips, while the rest of the plant is still healthy, then your Monstera may be recovered.  The damaged parts must be removed immediately. 

The healthy part of the plant should be washed, making sure there are no remaining thrips that may cling to the underside of the leaves.  The healthy portion may now be used to propagate a new plant.

3. Recovery from Extensive Damage

In these cases, unfortunately, there is nothing more to be done for the plant.  It is best the plant is discarded, to prevent other household plants from becoming infected. 

Related: How To Prune Monstera

How To Prevent Further Infestation Of Thrips On Monstera

There are certain measures you can take to prevent your Monstera plant from becoming infested by thrips again.  These are discussed below:

Isolating New Plants

To prevent any newly acquired plants from becoming infected, the new plant should be kept away from the existing plant collection for a period of up to 30 days. 

This isolation allows the new plant to adjust to the new environment and allows the owners to monitor whether the plant becomes infected with any pests or disease.

Clean The Leaves Regularly

Clean Monstera leaves regularly

Dusty and dirty leaves are easy targets for thrips and other pests.  Cleaning the leaves at least once a week will prevent these nasty bugs from attacking your Monstera. 

To clean the leaves, use a damp clean cloth and gently wipe off the dust and dirt.

Due to the structure of the Monstera leaves, it is easy to clean.  The dust and dirt are easily wiped off.

Cleansing Monstera With Neem

Neem (Azadirachta indica) found mainly in the South Asian countries and is also known as margosa, in the West.  The oil extracted from the Neem tree is widely used in many products, from wax, to cosmetics, to oil and has myriad benefits. 

Neem oil can be extracted from any part of the tree but the highest concentration of the compound used in insecticides, is contained within the seeds of the tree.

The oil is gaining popularity amongst gardeners, and is being hailed for its antifungal and pesticide properties.  With these natural properties, neem oil is ideal protection against thrips.

To use neem oil on your Monstera, combine 1,5 teaspoons of oil in 1 Liter of warm water with 1 teaspoon of washing liquid, in a spray bottle.  Give the bottle a shake mixing all the ingredients. 

Do a patch test on a small portion of the leaf.  Leave to rest for 24 hours.

If there are no damages, then spray the plant generously.

Place the plant in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight, until the oil dries.

Remove Any Weeds On Soil

Weeds provide an ideal environment for thrips to thrive by having food, shelter and places to hide.  So make it a practice to always check your Monstera for weeds and remove them immediately. 

Once the weeds have been removed, feed your Monstera with a good 20-20 liquid fertilizer.  This will keep your Monstera healthy. 

A healthy plant is the best way to ensure thrips do not make your Monstera their feeding place.


There can never be a foolproof method of protecting your Monstera from pests and insects such as thrips.  However, when you have the knowledge you are aware what to look out for.  Regularly check you Monstera for thrips, maintain good hygiene, keep your plant healthy and you will without doubt have a happy plant.