Monstera Doesn’t Have that Lively Shine – House Plant Journal

Monstera Doesn’t Have that Lively Shine

Plant: Monstera deliciosa

How long have you had the plant? 6 months to 1 year


So I got this monstera about 6-8 months ago. I made the mistake of not repotting it until the last couple weeks.

Ever since I bought it, it’s always been pretty sad and droopy looking and doesn’t have that lively shine that monsteras usually have.

When I went to repot it, it was soooo root bound. It was so bad that the roots were growing in circles around the pot and plant. It was so hard to repot because these roots were huge and thick. I had to cut so many off and rip apart the rootball and tear a bunch off each other. I had never handled a root bound plant like that so I didn’t know exactly how to handle the roots and how much to cut off, etc. Anyways, I finally got it in its new larger pot and watered the soil thoroughly until it drained.

Ever since I repotted it, the droopiness has not gone away at all, and the leaves have started to turn yellow one by one. I have already cut off about 5 leaves that fully turned yellow. I held up one of the leaves in the photo that I had cut off yesterday. The leaf next to it is turning yellow and I can tell other ones are starting to as well.

Do you think my monstera is dying from all the shock?? Please help! I don’t want to kill it but i have no idea what to do!!

Light Situation:

Plant Parent: Window is east facing, I get some good sun on sunny days but not too much. There is a tree that the sun goes through outside the window. The grow light is Juhefa Plant Grow Light 3500K White with Red Blue and is on for 8-12 hours per day (distance shown in image).

How do you determine WHEN to water: I wait for the soil to become about halfway dry.

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

What fertilizer do you use? I recently started using Miracle Gro.

When was the last time you repotted? Less than 6 months ago.


Thanks for sending the photos and sharing your care details.

Environment: I’m all about measuring light and this is a perfect example of why – this whole time you’ve had the Monstera, it has been receiving insufficient light.  You’re a few feet away from a window where, even if you put the blinds up, there are lots of obstructions and a large roof overhang – so I would estimate your indirect light to be 50-100 FC only in the brightest parts of the day and well under 50 FC when the sun is elsewhere in the sky.  As for the grow lights – in their current orientation and distance from the plant, here are some estimates based on my own measurements and using similar grow lights.

Your setup – 2 heads pointed at the plant roughly 2 feet away measures about 60 FC:

I would suggest using all 4 heads at no farther than 1 foot away, which gives you 300 FC (and keep it on for at least 12 hours per day)

If you want your plants to grow well in the long run, they must have good light – you will never be sure if your light is good enough if you don’t measure it.  I created the LTH Meter because I’m certain that having a clear understanding of your light will have the biggest impact in improving your plant care game.

And here’s a helpful table of common houseplants and guidelines on light levels.

Effort: your watering strategy sounds fine (WHEN: partially dry; HOW: fully soak all parts of the soil, letting excess drain away).

A Monstera (a single vine) can go into a pot that is roughly the same size as its largest leaf.  Your plant appears to have 3 separate vines so I think you’ll be able to go into a bigger pot as soon as the roots take hold in this new pot.  In the future, you should try to loosen rootbound roots rather than cut them.

Expectations: your overall plant looks fine even considering it had been starving for light for several months.  If you improve the light, your plant will send out nicer leaves than the ones currently on the plant (and unfortunately, changing the light won’t really do much in terms of the look of the current leaves).  Lower leaves on the plant will eventually turn yellow and die off but I’d say the rapid decline of multiple leave in this case is from the shock of root pruning.  Once the plant establishes new roots, you should see more new growth than older leaves dying off.  Just to be clear, older leaves WILL still die off but having good light and care practices means you will keep getting new leaves even as older ones die off.

If you want to develop strong fundamentals in plant care, my book and online course will guide you in the right direction – instead of random tips and tricks (that may or may not work!)

• ASK ME about one plant
• 30-Minute Consultation (for lots of plants)

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