Monstera Lower Leaves Yellowing – House Plant Journal

Monstera Lower Leaves Yellowing

Plant: Monstera deliciosa

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


I’ve noticed the older leaves becoming yellow, which I assume is part of the life and death process of an old leaf. However, when multiple old leaves started turning yellow, I noticed that a couple of aerial roots had started to rot. (I repotted the plant about 4 months ago due to roots growing).

To inspect further, I checked how the roots were doing, and they are none existent, all mushy and falling off. However, my new leaves are green, healthy and not dropping. But I have noticed it is slow at putting out new growth (even for this season).

I’m worried my plant is dying.

Light Situation:

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

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

What fertilizer (if any) do you use? I recently started using fertilizer – Fiddle leaf fig plant food (recommend on your website)

Soil situation:

Darryl’s Analysis

That’s an excellent spot for your Monstera in terms of light!

In terms of the WHEN to water, you don’t have to wait for the soil to become completely dry – just beyond halfway dry is when I’d water a monstera.  In terms of the HOW to water – soaking and letting excess drain away is great.

The reason you are seeing multiple yellowing leaves is because you have multiple vines in the pot – I think I see 4 separate vines.  This isn’t a major problem but with such great light, your plants are likely growing quickly and crowded in this pot.  My single Monstera vine has outgrown its 6″ pot in a matter of a year so I can only imagine that your 4 vines are quite crowded and competing for resources.  You can go up in pot size to roughly the same size as your largest leaf – but for multiple vines, I’d go up one size more from that (so if I’m just eyeballing your situation – maybe go up to a 12-14″ pot).

Your plant is doing fine from what I can see.  The lower leave are always the first to die off.  Just cut them off once they are fully yellowed – you can probably just gently pull them off when they’re ready.  It is not a signal that there’s anything wrong because your light is excellent and you are watering/fertilizing accordingly.

Leaves have a limited lifespan, which is why you shouldn’t judge plant health SOLELY on leaves dying.  The more sensible thing to do would be to understand what are the best possible growing conditions and care efforts you can realistically do, and, beyond that, accept what Nature has in store.

Learn this approach to plant care and you’ll be less worried and more satisfied with plants – learn from my course.

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

2 responses to “Monstera Lower Leaves Yellowing”

  1. Please help?! I grew my monstera from a very small plant to what she’s become today: a very tall and proud BIG monstera!
    I think you’ll be able to appreciate how attached I’ve become to this plant and how upsetting it’s been to see my monstera’s health very slowly wane over the past couple of months, so much so that I’ve even repotted it twice so that I could check its root health …. twice?’ I’m completely flummoxed; the roots are healthy, the soil is fresh and new after repotting, but the oldest mostly lower, more mature leaves are turning yellow and clearly dying? (I assume they’re dying if they’re turning yellow?) Why is this happening? The only thing I did that was wrong was to over fertilize it a few months ago, but I flushed it through as soon as I learned about the damage that could occur from over fertilization, however a good few weeks had passed before I ultimately flushed it through so it had been sitting in over fertilized soil for about 3-4 weeks. I also repotted it using fresh, new soil, but even though i took these steps the bottom older, more mature lower leaves are still turning yellow?
    When I repotted it I took the opportunity to examine the roots and they all looked healthy and certainly didn’t look damaged or look like there was any root rot going on so I’m completely confused and also very concerned that my monstera is perhaps slowly dying because of over fertilizing or some other process? Please can you help?

    • Please visit to submit your care details and photos – but as you have read in the article – the lower leaves will die at some point. The lower leaves (being the oldest) will retire, a process where the plant salvages the mobile nutrients (mostly nitrogen) – what’s left are the yellow/orange pigments called carotenoids. This means the yellow that you see is not some disease or decay – it’s just what’s left of the leaf after the nitrogen has been sucked out (to be used by newer leaves on the plant). Leaves will not stay green forever if you give the plant “proper care”

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