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Its pointed, large leaves are presented in a lush green, convince with the deeply incised shape and transform any living space into an urban jungle in no time. At the same time, she impresses with her frugal character. For this reason, the Monstera, also known as window leaf, is one of the welcome roommates. If yellow leaves suddenly appear on the monumental beauty, it is usually the fault of care mistakes that cause problems for the plant.

Yellow leaves

As long as only a single yellow leaf forms at the bottom of the Monstera, it is a completely normal growth and aging process. However, if this damage appears more often in the foliage, there can be various reasons for this.


Many hobby gardeners love to swing the watering can to spoil their plants. But what is well-intentioned often has the opposite result, because the Monstera does not like wet feet. The plant can still cope with a few slips when watering. But if you water too much, the roots in the soil will start to rot. And soon the leaves are visibly withering. In fact, waterlogging is by far the most common cause of yellow Monstera leaves.


Carefully remove the monstera from the pot and then leave the root ball to dry in a warm, partially shaded place for a few hours. In any case, check whether the roots are already beginning to rot or become moldy. If you detect a musty odor or soggy roots, remove all of the soil and generously trim away any damaged tissue. Then plant the plant in fresh substrate.

  • Substrate: permeable (potting soil with sand, gravel or expanded clay)
  • alternatively: high-quality potting soil
  • Planter with drainage holes
  • create drainage

Tip: If the roots are already severely attacked, the window leaf can usually no longer be saved. You may be able to grow head or trunk cuttings from parts that are still intact.

lack of water

Dryness is a less common cause of yellow leaves than waterlogging. Nevertheless, watering too sparingly is also one of the most common care mistakes. The plant also suffers from a lack of water when the humidity is very low and there is only little soil left because the pot has become too small for the Monstera, which is growing considerably.


Water the plant generously and discard excess water after about ten minutes. From now on, the window leaf should be watered regularly, but not excessively. Before the next watering, simply check with your finger whether the soil is still moist enough. If the climbing plant is near the heater in winter, you should also occasionally spray its leaves with water.


When caring for the plant, it can quickly happen that you unintentionally overdo it with fertilizing. A clear indication of this is a salt crust on the earth. In this case, the plant begins to release water to the substrate to compensate for the high salt content. The Monstera gets yellow leaves and dries up, even though it has been watered enough.

First aid

Even professionals can accidentally apply too much fertilizer. If you have used the liquid fertilizer too generously or even undiluted, you must rinse the substrate with plenty of water to flush out the excess nutrients.

  • Dip the bales in a tub of water several times
  • drain in between
  • change water with every dive
  • only water again after a few days

Tip: If this procedure does not help, it is called repotting. Replace as much salty substrate as possible with fresh ones.

nutrient deficiency

Forest & Kim Starr, Starr 070306-5202 Monstera deliciosa, crop from Plantopedia, CC BY 3.0

Problems can arise from over-fertilization, but also from insufficient nutrients. If you have regularly supplied your Monstera with liquid fertilizer or fertilizer sticks, a pH value that is too high can also be the cause of a deficiency. This often happens with indoor plants if you water them with normal tap water instead of rainwater with a low lime content. The high pH prevents certain nutrients, such as iron, from being absorbed. The causes of nutrient deficiencies are:

  • not fertilized for a long time
  • not repotted regularly
  • too small vessel
  • calcareous irrigation water


As with many other causes, repotting helps here. Remove as much old soil from the roots as possible and fill in with fresh soil. A larger pot may be necessary.


If the window leaf has gotten the full midday sun, its leaves can burn. If sunburn is the cause, this is initially reflected in silvery-grey areas on the side facing the light. Later the leaves turn yellow.


In this case, the solution to the problem is obvious. The windowsill needs better site conditions. If no other location is possible, provide shade in the midday hours.

cold temperatures

The large-leaved plant originally comes from the forests of Central and South America. In the tropical regions, temperatures are around 25 degrees all year round. If the plant gets yellow leaves, you should therefore also consider the temperatures in the room as a cause. Even a tilted window or a drafty hallway can be responsible.

  • optimum temperature: 20 to 25 degrees all year round
  • in winter: minimum 16 to 18 degrees


If the tropical plant has been damaged by cold or draughts, there is not much you can do about it. It is important to wait and remove dead leaves if necessary.


Scale insects (Coccoidea). Source: Amada44, Coccoidea - 8670, crop from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Occasionally, the Monstera suffers from the infestation of scale insects or spider mites. However, this rarely happens with the robust plant. The pests are often not recognizable at first glance, since they mainly settle on the undersides of the leaves.

First aid

The earlier you recognize an infestation, the easier it is to combat the pests. First remove larger nests manually and, if possible, spray the plant under the shower. Then spray the leaves, especially the undersides, with a solution of water and alcohol with a squirt of dish soap.

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