One of the most common and frustrating signs of health problems in monstera plants is yellowing leaves. Luckily, this is also an early sign of issues, so when you notice your monstera leaves turning yellow, you still have time to make some changes to save your plant!

The problem is, yellow leaves can have many different causes, so sometimes it’s tricky to determine why your monstera leaves are slowly yellowing.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the various potential causes of yellowing leaves so you can locate the problem quickly and fix it!

6 Reasons Monstera Leaves Turn Yellow

Here are some of the most common reasons why your monstera leaves might be turning yellow, and what to do about them.

1. Monstera Leaves Yellowing After Repotting

This isn’t uncommon, but it’s something to watch out for after repotting your monstera. Monsteras don’t typically yellow from shock (drooping is a much more common effect of shock), so the issue is often with the drainage, soil, or your watering routine after repotting.

Make sure your pot and soil drain well and that they aren’t holding on to too much water. Sometimes when we repot, we resume our usual watering routine even though the drainage or soil composition may have changed. This can lead to overwatering!

Conversely, if your new pot and soil drain quicker than the old setup, you can accidentally underwater your monstera after repotting!

It’s a good idea to use a moisture meter to keep close tabs on the moisture level of your soil so you can water appropriately. You can also stick your finger in the soil to get an idea of whether your plant is ready for water, but a meter is the best way to measure what’s going on deeper in the pot and in the root ball.

Your leaves can also turn yellow if the pH of your new soil is off. Monsteras do best in slightly alkaline soil with a pH of 5.5-7. (We suggest using a pH meter to test whether the pH of your soil is off. The moisture meter we just mentioned also measures pH!) If the pH isn’t right, you’ll be better off repotting your plant again into a more appropriate soil.

Remember, any dramatic change to a monstera’s environment can cause shock, whether it’s moving to a new location or new home, repotting, or a sudden change in its light or care routine. But if leaves are yellowing, the problem is almost always something in the soil. Check there first!

2. Overwatering Monstera

A very common cause of monstera leaves turning yellow is overwatering. 

When a monstera is getting too much water, the lower leaves will start to yellow first and even develop brown or black spots if the issue is left untreated for too long.

To determine whether overwatering is your issue, check the moisture level of the soil. If it feels wet or even soggy just below the surface (or on the surface), or if a moisture meter reads 5 or higher more than a week after you watered, you might have overwatered your plant. 

If that seems to be the case, you may need to repot your plant into fresh soil before root rot sets in. You can try waiting a few days for the soil to dry out (and then water with a lighter hand next time). 

It’s tempting to start watering your monstera less after dealing with an overwatering problem, but be careful! Often, the problem is not that you’re giving your plant too much water, but that the pot and soil don’t drain well enough, that you’re watering too often and not giving the soil a chance to dry out between waterings, or that your plant isn’t getting enough light and therefore can’t use water efficiently. Take these other factors into account rather than just giving your monstera less water.

Note: Another way to prevent overwatering, especially if you’re a habitual overwaterer, is to bottom water rather than watering the soil from the top. Here’s how to do this with monstera plants.

Moving forward, always check your monstera’s soil before watering to determine whether it actually wants a drink. Water when the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry to the touch or when a moisture meter reads 3-4. If you find that it takes longer than 2 weeks for your monstera’s soil to dry out, you might need to repot into a pot and potting mix that drain better.

(Try our Premium Monstera Potting Mix for the perfect balance of drainage and water retention to help monstera plants thrive!)

3. Underwatering Monstera

Frustratingly enough, underwatering is also a common cause of yellow monstera leaves. When underwatering is the culprit, you’ll notice leaves yellowing all over the plant and possibly developing light-brown dry spots, whereas overwatering will have the lower leaves discoloring first.

If the soil feels dry or if a moisture meter reads less than 3-4, your monstera may be underwatered and you should give it a drink!

If habitual underwatering is an issue for you, there are a few things you can do:

First, make sure your soil isn’t draining TOO quickly. Some grower’s pots (especially those from big home improvement stores) are designed to keep your monstera’s roots very dry to allow for daily watering in the nursery, but this can be a problem when you get it home. 

Also, if you’ve just been giving your monstera sips of water, you may want to try watering more deeply. You should be watering until the pot just starts to drain, so if no water comes out the bottom of the pot when you water, you may be watering too lightly.

Finally, try checking your monstera plant’s soil more often, because you might be going too long between waterings. Once the top 2-3 inches are dry or your moisture meter reads 3-4, it’s time to water. Don’t wait longer, or you may wind up with yellow or even dry, crispy leaves!

When you notice your monstera leaves turning yellow, you have time to make some changes to save your plant!

4. Nutrient Deficiency

Monstera plants can also develop yellow leaves if they’re lacking in nutrients. If your plant’s leaves are turning yellow and watering doesn’t seem to be the issue, think about the last time you fertilized or repotted. 

If your plant has been in its current soil for more than a couple of months and if you haven’t fertilized for a few months, your plant may have absorbed all the nutrients present in the potting mix and need a supplement. 

Try incorporating Monstera Plant Food into your regular watering routine to give your plant a boost of minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, along with a variety of micronutrients like copper. This should help your monstera grow new, beautiful leaves!

5. Insufficient Light

If you’re completely stumped as to why your monstera leaves are yellowing, check your plant’s lighting conditions. Is it getting lots of bright, indirect sunlight? (If you’re not sure, you can use a light meter to check.)

You should be giving your monstera as much sunlight as possible without allowing the rays to shine directly on the leaves (though a little direct morning sun is okay). If you aren’t able to provide enough sunlight, you might want to supplement with a grow light.

Side Note: Poor lighting conditions can also exacerbate overwatering issues, so you may also want to consider adjusting your plant’s lighting situation if you realize your monstera is yellowing due to too much water.

6. Old Leaves Yellowing 

Sometimes your plant’s conditions may be perfect, but you might still notice a yellowing older leaf every once in a while. Don’t sweat it! This is normal. Sometimes the lower/older leaves will simply discolor and fall off when the plant is done with them. This allows your monstera to redirect the growth toward new, healthy leaves.

How to Fix Yellow Leaves on Monstera

Yellowing Leaves

If you notice yellow leaves, the first thing to do is determine whether they’re yellowing all over the plant or just at the bottom.

Then you should check the moisture level of the soil. 


  • Lower yellow leaves + wet soil = overwatered (and possibly insufficient sunlight as well)
  • Yellow leaves all over + dry soil = underwatering
  • Yellow leaves in random places + normal soil = insufficient light (check lighting conditions) or nutrient deficiency (Have you fertilized lately? You should!)
  • Random yellowing lower leaf every once in a while = Don’t worry, your plant’s shedding an old leaf.

Yellow Leaves With Black Spots

If your monstera leaves are turning yellow and developing black spots, act fast! Your monstera most likely has root rot, which can quickly kill your plant if you don’t nip it in the bud.

To treat root rot, repot your monstera into fresh soil and a clean pot. Get as much of the soil out of the root ball as possible and prune away any rotting roots. Make sure the new pot and soil drain well!

Once your plant is repotted, place it in a spot with lots of bright, indirect sunlight and go a little lighter on the watering than usual. When you do water, use our Root Supplement to support the roots’ healing process and prevent further infection.

Yellow Leaves With Brown Spots

What if your leaves are turning yellow and have brown spots? The color and texture make a big difference here.

When the spots are light brown and dry or crispy, your plant is probably underwatered and you should see if the soil is dry. 

If the spots are dark brown and soft, root rot might be setting in and you should repot your plant using the steps above—pronto.

Spots that are more medium brown and on the dry side, you could possibly have a bacterial infection, though this is rare. Still, something to consider! If you rule out dryness and root rot, try carefully removing the affected leaves with clean hands and tools and repotting the plant like you would for root rot. That should stem the spread of the infection (no pun intended).

Yellow Leaves With Brown Edges

If your monstera’s leaves are yellow with crispy, brown edges, you could possibly have a nutrient deficiency. Another possibility is chemical burn from too much fertilizer. The best way to tell the difference is to determine the last time you fertilized. If you notice a white crust on the top of the soil, that can also mean you’ve overfertilized and those minerals are building up in the soil. Here’s how to reverse overfertilization in monsteras.

The plant could also be underwatered, so be sure to check the moisture in the soil.

Should I Cut Yellow Leaves Off Monstera?

Yup! Once a leaf has turned yellow, it’s more of a drain than a boon to your plant, and your monstera will be better off without it. Go ahead and remove any yellow leaves you see with clean shears, but make sure to check your plant’s conditions to determine whether you have a problem to fix or if this is just normal, healthy leaf drop.

Can Yellow Monstera Leaves Turn Green Again?

In general, no. Once a leaf has started to turn yellow, it will most likely yellow completely and fall off eventually.

Sometimes if a leaf yellows just a little due to nutrient deficiency, it can turn green again with immediate correction. (But don’t get your hopes up.)

Yellow Monstera Leaves = Distress Signals 

Yellow monstera leaves typically signal the beginning of a very fixable problem, so it’s important to pay close attention to these valuable signals from your plant!

More Monstera Resources 

Monstera plant care is quite simple once you get the hang of it, but there is a bit of a learning curve. It helps to have the right informational resources, the right support system, and the right products to make your monstera growing experience the best it can be!

Check out these indispensable resources, products, and articles!

The Monstera Resource Facebook Group

Monstera Care Webinar

More Monstera Care Articles: 

The Ultimate Guide to Monstera Varieties

The Best Fertilizer for Monstera Deliciosa

How Much Light Does a Monstera Need?

The Ultimate Guide to Monstera Leaf Care