Monstera Deliciosa Sweating

Monsteras and many other houseplants tend to develop small drops of water on the tips of their leaves. You usually notice them first thing in the morning. This is no cause for concern. It is completely normal for plants to drip water from their leaves.

Monstera deliciosa plants “sweat” due to a natural process called guttation. Xylem sap is forced through water glands on the leaf margins when plants are not transpiring, but water is still being absorbed by the roots. Guttation usually happens at night when a plants stomata are shut.

You may be reading this explanation and feeling more confused than you did to begin with. Xylem sap? Transpiration? Guttation? These botanical terms cause even the most experienced plant parents to scratch their heads. In this article, we explain in simple terms what exactly is happening that is causing your delicious monster to sweat.

Why Is My Monstera Deliciosa Sweating?

To understand what is causing the drops of water to form on the tips of your delicious monster’s leaves, we first need to look at three key processes that occur within plants: photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration.

Photosynthesis

Plants make their own food by the process of photosynthesis. They take up water, carbon dioxide and sunlight and produce glucose (sugar) and oxygen.

During the day, plants take up water through their roots and carbon dioxide from the air using specialized cells on their leaves called stomata.

Photosynthesis happens in the leaves, so plants must transport water from their roots all the way up the plant against gravity. In a plant’s stem, there are cells, called xylem, that act as a water pipe.

Water is drawn up the xylem by capillary action because the cells are so narrow. Water moves up the xylem, as xylem sap, into the leaves and is stored in the plant cells.

Root pressure, caused by the osmotic flow of water into the roots, also forces xylem sap up the plant against gravity.

Monstera Deliciosa Sweating the plant 3

Respiration

Cellular respiration is a process that happens in plants and animals. Respiration is how plants use the glucose they make through photosynthesis and turn it into energy.

In the process of respiration, oxygen and glucose are the inputs, and carbon dioxide and water are the products.

Carbon dioxide and water vapor move out of the plant via the stomata on the underside of leaves.

Respiration happens during the day and at night, while photosynthesis only happens during the day because it requires sunlight.

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Transpiration

So, from what we have covered so far, we know that plants take in water via their roots and release water via their leaves. Transpiration is the process of water loss through the stomata on the leaves.

If plants had no control over transpiration, they would quickly lose too much water, wither and die. But plants are able to control their rate of transpiration by opening and closing the stomata on their leaves.

They open their stomata during the day so that they can take up carbon dioxide from the air. With the stomata open, water can transpire from the leaves.

Transpiration creates a flow of water through the plant, from the roots to the leaves. The force that drives the water through the plant against gravity is called transpirational pull.

Guttation In Plants

Guttation happens at night when the plant’s stomata are closed, but the roots are still taking up water. As water accumulates in the plant, it has to go somewhere.

As the root pressure builds, water is forced out of the leaves through specialized cells called hydathodes. Water droplets form on the edges of leaves and roll down the leaf margin, forming a drop on the tip.

This is how a plant “sweats” through the process of guttation.

Guttation Fluid

The drops of liquid we see on the tips of leaves are not just water. The fluid produced by guttation is, in fact, xylem sap.

Xylem sap contains mostly water as well as dissolved sugars and nutrients, like potassium.

Does Guttation Happen Due To Overwatering?

Sweating Monstera Deliciosa

You might have heard people say that if a Monstera deliciosa sweats, it is due to overwatering. This is somewhat true but also partly false.

The conditions that cause guttation are high soil moisture and high relative humidity. When the air is very humid, less moisture transpires from the leaves, but the same amount of water is still taken up via the roots.

The resulting pressure pushes moisture inside the leaves out.

Guttation is a natural process that happens in plants under certain conditions, even when they are not overwatered.

However, overwatered plants with excess soil moisture are more likely to experience guttation. So, guttation can be a sign that you are watering your Monstera too frequently.

Is Guttation Bad?

Guttation is a natural phenomenon that does not harm the plant in any way. In fact, it is a mechanism by which plants keep themselves healthy.

If plants did not have the ability to excrete excess water from their hydathodes, the cells would burst from the amount of pressure.

Also Check: Monstera Leaves Turning Yellow

How To Stop Guttation

While guttation definitely does not harm the plant, the same cannot be said for the surfaces the drops fall onto. You may be worried about water dripping onto your furniture or wooden floors.

Preventing plants from pushing xylem sap out of their leaves at night is pretty simple: just water them less. If there is no excess water in the root zone, your plant will have no reason for guttation.

Getting your watering cycle right is key to preventing guttation. Plants need varying amounts of water at different times of the year, depending on the climate.

During spring and summer, the air is hotter, so plants need more water than during the fall and winter. When the air is humid, plants require slightly less water.

You need to develop a feel for when and how much to water your plants. Let the plants guide you, rather than sticking to a hand and fast watering regime.

If you are having trouble with plants exuding water from their leaves at night, try to cut the watering in half and keep an eye on the effect that this has.

Feel the soil moisture with your finger each time before you water. If the top few inches of soil are still moist, wait a few more days before you water. Try to let the soil dry out in between watering.

Monstera Deliciosa Sweating the plant 4

Guttation Or Dew?

Many people’s first assumption is that any water drops they see on a plant’s foliage in the morning must be dew. Dew forms when water vapor in the air condenses on a leaf or any other surface.

However, indoor plants will almost never have dew on them. Dew normally forms outside because the ground cools overnight as temperatures drop.

Plants That Commonly Sweat

Monstera deliciosa is not the only plant that is prone to guttation. It is common for plants in the Aroid family to have drops of water on the tips of their leaves in the morning.

These plants are particularly prone to guttation:

  • Aglaonema
  • Alocasia
  • Anthurium
  • Colocasia
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Philodendron
  • Pothos
  • Zantedeschia

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand why your delicious monster, or any other houseplant, is sweating. It is a perfectly natural process that does not harm the plant in any way, it is merely getting rid of excess moisture in the leaves.

If you are worried about your plants’ guttation and getting drops of water all over your floors and furniture, simply adjust your watering schedule. Water less frequently so that there is less excess soil moisture.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylem#Transpirational_pull

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guttation

https://www.thespruce.com/why-do-houseplant-leaves-drip-1402999

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/hpgen/guttation-in-plants.htm