Monstera deliciosa smaller leaves yellowing – House Plant Journal

Monstera deliciosa smaller leaves yellowing

Plant: Philodendron Monstera (call it *Monstera deliciosa* as it is not a Philodendron and will cause you confusion when you start collecting Philodendrons)

How long have you had the plant? 1-6 months


Several weeks ago I noticed a couple of the smaller leaves turning yellow. After a few weeks, when it didn’t seem to improve, I checked and saw that the roots were growing out of the bottom of the pot.

Two weeks ago I moved it into a bigger pot, and have been very careful not to overwater it, but now even larger leaves seem to be turning yellow. Please help!

Light Situation:

In front of this window, the sun doesn’t shine directly on the plant – only indirect light.

How do you determine WHEN to water? I wait for the soil to become slightly dry before watering.

Describe HOW you water: I fully soak the soil, letting excess drain away.

Fertilizer? I’ve never used fertilizer.


Darryl: the soil appears to be coco coir with bark chips.

Darryl’s Analysis

The current location where you have it is suitable in terms of light: as close to the window as possible is great.

You are fixated on the false idea that overwatering causes yellowed leaves.  Older leaves yellowing will eventually happen – the reality is that leaves have a limited lifespan – they don’t last forever.  This means that WHEN (no if) a leaf turns yellow, it’s not always indicative of something that needs correcting – and once a leaf starts yellowing, in most cases, it cannot be reversed.

You can lessen the occurrence of leaves yellowing by using fertilizer (again, you can never completely prevent it) – more info on fertilizers here.

Correct watering: (determining WHEN to water a Monstera) whenever the soil is about halfway dry.  HOW to water: fully soak the soil, letting excess drain away (which you are doing).

You can repot your Monstera into a pot that has roughly the same diameter as your largest leaf.  So I think your plant can go into a larger pot than this.

Older leaves yellowing is inevitable.  Ensure your environmental conditions are good for growth – most notably the light situation.  Make that growth possible by watering/fertilizing/repotting accordingly.  Then let Nature take its course – your plant can still grow as older leaves die.

When I removed this pup, it only had Leaf 1 and 2.  About a year later, as many new leaves have grown, the time has come for Leaf 2 to retire.

If you want to learn a healthy, balanced approach to houseplant care, check out my online course or my book.

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

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