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8 Reasons of Black Spots on Monstera (Why And How to Solve)

Plants like monstera can be tough one, but if someday it feels unhappy then it will show all different signs of its leaves. Black spots on monstera have been a problem for decades and there are various reasons why it happens on this plant.

Black and brown spots on monstera are common signs of stress that a plant gets due to its climatic conditions. The good news is these plants are hard to kill and they can manage to grow back again. There are many reasons that lead to why your monster leaves have black spots & how to fix it to resolve the problem.

Black Spots on Monstera
Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Black Spots on Monstera Due to Over Fertilizing

Most Common Reason of Black spots in monstera leaves can be caused due to over fertilizing. Sometimes we want the plant to produce more large and healthy leaves so it requires nutrients. Putting too much fertilizer in your monstera plant would lead to black spots appearing on its leaves.

Fertilizer or plant food should be given once every month when they are growing activity from spring to summer. If the problem occurs due to over fertilizing then stop it for the time being and let see what happens next.

Overwatering

Overwatering can be a common cause that leads to black spots on monstera leaves. People who are new to gardening may get excited and pour too much water and this starts the slow process of root decaying. But not to worry more as it can be solved after following some steps.

There are few signs you may notice if your monstera is overwatered.

  • Yellow leaves
  • Browning of leaf tips
  • Dried, Soft leaves
  • Sogginess in soil

How to Solve

If your monstera is heavily overwatered then just remove the plant from the pot first. Then clean the soil that is intact in the roots. After gently cleaning roots system you can prune it with pruners. Before that, sterilize the cutting tool so it doesn’t infect monstera roots. Cut all the roots that are dark, brown and black it shows that they are too soggy and infected. These rotted roots cannot progress any growth rather they infect other healthy roots.

Now clean your pot with your hands and dust cloth. After cleaning the dirt from. Place it in the balcony where it can get sunlight so it dries all, this way the fungus or any bacterial growth would be wiped out with natural sunlight.

After 3-4 hours in the sun the pot can be reused for the plant. But you don’t need to wait, just use a fresh pot for your monstera and also a new soil mix. The pot should have a drainage hole so all the excess water can go out. 

Now also cut off all the dead leaves that are there in your monstera plant. Keep this plant in a partial light area and let it grow back with the same strength again.

To avoid this overwatering : You need to check the soil before watering it. Always check the 2-3 inches of topsoil to see if it is moist or not. If it’s dried then water your plant fully. This is the solution that works in most plants.

Root rot

Excess watering has various signs and one of them is root rot. Monstera can be affected by the root rot easily if it stays in damp soil for too long. Sometimes we think that we can only give the water just like we did 1 month earlier. But the temperature and the climate changes makes it difficult everytime. There can be hot sun on one day and on other days it is cold. You need to give water only if the soil is dry. 

Black spots on Monstera deliciosa can show few signs like yellow or brown tips when something is wrong with their rooting system. If your plant leaves are completely turned to black then it cannot be reversible that your plant can be saved.

Only if 2-3 leaves are damaged then the problem is still half way. You can check the roots and see with your own eyes how much is the damage.

How to solve

First take out the plant from the pot, Check the root if its turned black or brown. Healthy leaves may have white or gray in color. If it’s dark then just cut off those roots. Also clean the pruner before doing cuttings. also cut down all the infected leaves that are discolored and lost pigmentation.

Now if your soil is too dripped in water or soggy then remove that soil and change your potting soil and discard the old soil. Lastly, after putting monstera in the new soil, water it. You may see in a few days that it starts growing again. 

Temperature Stress

As you know, temperature balance is important for every plant in its growing phase. When they get optimum temperature as per their needs they grow better and produce much more bright leaves.

Plants like monstera are tropical in nature and with the warm temperature it gets in partial shade to indirect light area it gets strength to grow properly. It also avoids black spots that generally occur due to temperature change like sometimes it is cold or other times it is harsh light that burns the leaves.

Cold Temperature

For a colder climate area, your monstera needs a minimum 55 degree F and anything less than that may create problems. I know many people take stress over extreme heat but the cold is also something that needs to be fixed. The colder temperature makes the plant freeze and if they do get affected by low temperature it won’t get energy to run itself in such a freezing cold. frost damage can make your plant leaves turn black, soggy and die if the plant doesn’t get a proper supply of nutrients from the roots to the top.

It also damages new branches, slower growth and darkish area appears everywhere there is a sign of pruning. Fungal infection rapidly grows in this type of temperature which impacts the plants root system and may result in plants dying from infections.

How to Solve Cold temperature

Keeping your monstera plant indoors where you turn on heater in winters. You also don’t need a heater as well because the room temperature is sufficient to make the plant survive for some time. Room temperature normalizes once you close the doors and windows where the cold winds came in. The temperature you need indoors is 65- 75 degree F for your plant or just make your room temperature at most 50 degree F and not below that, your plant will survive for sure.

Hot Temperature

In the initial days of gardening, many don’t know that these plants don’t like direct sunlight still they placed it in hot temperature where sunlight is coming directly the plant. after that your plant may feel sunburn which is common mistake. Many others who heard about growing it indoors they placed the monstera in front of the window or in the balcony which received direct sunlight. They make the leaves crispy, dry and sometimes few black spots appear which makes it hard for the plant to grow further. 

few other people who put them outdoors in gardens with flowering plants thinking it will grow and look good with these lovely plants. But what happens is your monstera feels dry, some of the starts to wilt and droopy. Once you see some of the black tips, spots which happen due to extreme sunlight.

How to Solve

Solution is simple: you should place it indoors near the south facing window. It should get morning sunlight for 2-3 hours then all shade which is indirect light all day. This will help the plant to grow properly and the indoors provides all the warmth that it needs. If you ever change the location then you must place it in a bright indirect light area.

Dehydrated Soil

Every plant gets this type of problem that makes your plant die slowly and it takes time. You may notice some signs and in the process your plant may look lifeless with this issue. In case of overwatering you can see monstera leaves become thick, yellow while when the plant is dehydrated it means there is very less water left on the plant to keep it growing.

Most people ask why my monstera leaves become crisp with black spots appearing on them. In low water your plant may not look good and it feels like it is in stress over no watering or underwatering. A common sign of your mostrea is being neglected and shows signs like black leaves, crispy edges and few of the leaves may droopy. The leaves that are growing below or near the bottom stem may not get this problem, but those leaves that are growing far from the main stem may look like wilting and dying.

How to Solve

If your mostera looks wilted, has black spots or crispy leaves then it means they want water immediately. Whenever this happens to my plant I make sure they get all the water till the water drains out from the bottom pot hole. You can also water fully to the top soil so wherever the roots it gets water to absorb. This way your plant will be able to supply water and nutrients to other parts of the plants. 

If you have put your plant in a partial light source, it can dry out often so the monstera needs water every now and then whenever the soil feels dry. You can also change the soil mix if it is not draining out the water. You can also repot monstera into another container so it gets space and water clearly. People who were growing them in indirect light doesn’t get this problem as your plant will take time to dry out the soil in low light.

Insufficient Sunlight

The above reasons are linked together with each other like overwatering, root rot, temperature stress and hydrated soil. Because of the low sunlight your plant doesn’t make proper food through photosynthesis which leads to various problems.

Signs of insufficient sunlight can make your monstera leaves yellow, soggy, dark spots may form at the center of foliage. As you may have studied, the green color is produced by chlorophylls but without sunlight this is not possible which makes the leaves discolored or looks like leaves turning to dark. 

How to solve

First step is to change the location to a partial light area. Natural light received in the early morning can do wonders to your monstera’s health. It doesn’t like too harsh, direct sunlight so do not place it for more than 3 hours. Otherwise leaf scorch on all foliage can be possible in a few days. Always moisturize your plant in direct sun to save them but it works in other sun tolerable plants.

Pest Infestation

Pest can be annoying and may create issues in your indoor as well as outdoor growing plants. In case of monstera that is resistant to some pests. But what if their is a army ready to bite the plant leaves? The plant may lose one leaf every other day until it lose all foliage. I am talking about thrips & spider mites which bites the leaf and take out all juice and make it dry. These are little nasty insects which has six legs but can take out all the sap from a healthy leaf. 

You can still protect your plants from these insects by following my solution. But before that let me tell you about these 2 pests so you know what those are.

Thrips

Thrips are tiny insects basically flies that suck all the water from the leaf making monstera dry. They are responsible for the pigmentation loss. They turn the leaf into dark and sometimes you see black spots appearing  and turning leaf lifeless.

Spider mites

Spider-like pests that have multiple legs are basically not a true insect. They are leaf-sucking pests that feed on the plant sap. Whenever they take out the juice the area of the leaf becomes dark black, yellow or sometimes brown due to the damage it causes on the cell wall of the leaves.

That’s how the monstera leaves may get few black dots and in the end you need to cut off those leaves which are infected by these 2 pests.

How to solve

For Spider mites I may just use water force to take them down. You can also use soap solution which works in some cases to get rid of them. If you have monstera growing indoors then spider mites may have made silk webs. That’s why using forceful water for this type of insect works.

For thrips using a neem oil works, just spray every other day to your plant leaves. Also the totally damaged leaves should be pruned so the infection doesn’t spread quickly. 

A pesticide is another option to solve the thrips and spider mites problem.

Dark Spots Due to Diseases

Diseases that contribute leaf spots on monstera are fungal and bacterial. It is caused by a fungus called colletotrichum sp. which creates round, oval, notoriety pieces on the top layer of the leaf tissue. It makes your plant leaves brown and yellow and some leaves may curl up while others may drop on the ground. Once the fungus takes charge of leaf tissue it absorbs all the nutrients and water molecules that are left in the leaf making it dried and soft. Once the leaf has nothing left it starts to discolor and turns dark. The fungus also creates black oval shaped spots on the leaf. It can spread to your other plants as well if not prevented. 

Once the fungus takes over the whole foliage it can spread to other outdoor and indoor plants so make sure you notice these signs to prevent it before it’s too late.

How to Solve

To fix this disease problem, you need to cut off all the damaged leaves. Use clear sterilized pruners for this purpose. Remove all the pale, discolored, dried, brown, yellow and black, darkish leaves first. Take a look at more neighboring plants to find the sign of infection and cut them off if you find any. This will stop the spread of fungus as well as bacterial disease. 

monstera leaf turning black

Another tip I would like to share with you is never spray or let the water drops stay on the monstera leaves. Never mist your plant from the top, always pour water on the soil. If your plant leaves have water left on it, just clean it and it will help the plant to avoid any disease. 

Should I Remove Leaves That Have Black Spots?

you should remove leaves with black spots only if this happened due to pests, disease or fungal infection. It is because you can stop the growth from spreading to all leaves and stems. 

if the reasons is overwatering, extreme light, humidity and temperature then I suggest you wait the plant will recover after following the solution. Yes at the end time you have to remove those leaves as it gives ugly look to your plant that you don’t want anyone to see. Removing it not only encourages growth, saves nutrients but also avoids any future disease from spreading.

Guide for Monstera Care

I know it is hard to see your monstera having so many brown and black spots. It won’t turn green again that is a harsh truth. I have this issue and I deal with it with proper care by cutting off those infected leaves and preventing this. Trimming brown and black leaves may avoid this situation at first but knowing how to prevent it will basically help to deal with similar problems in future.

Sometimes the spots appear to be tiny due to pests, in that situation once you get rid of pests it will help the plant to get food through photosynthesis so don’t trim off those leaves.

If you fulfill all the needs of your monster plant then you can easily prevent any black and brown spots. Below I surmised a table which has some of the important factors I need to keep in mind.

Sunlight They prefer Indirect light, Avoid Direct Sunlight
Water Once in a week(Check soil conditions before watering)
Fertilizer   Once in a month During Summer and Spring
Humidity They like moderate humid conditions( Do not pour any water spray on the leaves)
Temperature 60 to 85 degree °F (16 – 30 °C), Temperature should not in below 50 °F(14 degree °C)

 

Final Conclusion

Here are the top 8 reasons of black & brown spots on monstera leaves

 

  1. Over Fertilizing
  2. Overwatering
  3. Root rot
  4. Temperature Stress
  5. Dehydrated Soil
  6. Insufficient sunlight
  7. Pests
  8. Diseases

 

If you notice any signs then I suggest immediately working on it and solving it. I hope you find various causes of monsters turning black, and knowing all the reasons and learning about them will help you to tackle these problems in future. This experience also helps to solve issues in other plants and then you know what to do with that. Also once you familiar with the plant over the years you may know how it grow and can avoid any problems.

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