What on earth is monstera guttation? You might be wondering this, but chances are, you’ve seen it on your monstera before!
Have you ever found mysterious droplets of liquid on the tips of your monstera plant’s leaves, especially in the morning? You might have assumed it was some kind of dew or wondered if you recently misted the plant and just forgot about it, or you might think it looks like your plant is crying or sweating!
This is actually a very natural phenomenon in many plants, including monsteras. This common occurrence is called guttation, and it’s nothing to worry about! It’s a really cool process though, so it’s worth learning about so you can better understand your monstera and troubleshoot any potential issues.
What is monstera guttation?
Guttation is a process where droplets of xylem sap form on a plant’s leaves. Your monstera will actually secrete this sap from pores in its leaves called hydathodes. When there’s a lot of moisture in the soil and pressure builds inside the roots, sap then rises through the plant and may be pushed out through the pores, kind of like squeezing toothpaste from a tube!
Guttation is a result of transpiration, which is how plants carry water and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant’s leaves and stems. Sap moves through the plant at higher rates throughout the day and reaches its highest point of pressure during the night, so this is when guttation tends to occur, and why you’ll most likely notice these droplets in the morning.
Is monstera guttation a bad thing?
It’s completely natural for plant parents to have a minor meltdown when they notice their plants doing something weird. But don’t worry! Monstera guttation usually isn’t a sign that there’s anything wrong with your plant, especially if it doesn’t happen very often.
No matter how carefully you regulate your plant’s environment, it will still change from day to day, and sometimes guttation is simply a way for your plant to manage slight variations in its growing conditions.
If you notice that your monstera is guttating often, you might be giving it just a little too much water, because it may be attempting to get rid of the excess. If your monstera is sweating bullets, try giving it just a little less water, checking your drainage, or watering in the morning instead of later in the day so the soil has a chance to dry out before it gets darker and cooler at night.
But as long as you don’t see brown spots, mushy stems, or other signs of overwatering and root rot, your monstera is probably fine! If you’re worried though, you may want to consider investing in a moisture meter to ensure that you’re watering your monstera correctly.
What if these droplets leave white marks?
Sometimes, those little drops of xylem sap will leave behind round white marks after they dry up. This may be caused by an excess of minerals in the soil (and therefore the sap), which can be caused by overfertilizing.
Overfertilizing can cause serious issues for your monstera, so make sure that you’re diluting your liquid fertilizer properly and that you’re not giving it too much. You may want to consider cutting back, especially if you’re still fertilizing during the fall and winter when your monstera may not be actively growing.
Also, be aware that even healthy sap contains some minerals (it’s a mixture of minerals and water, after all), so it may leave behind a white crust after it dries. I know, that can get confusing!
If you’re really sure that you aren’t overfertilizing your monstera, don’t worry about that white crust. But it’s not a bad idea to give your monstera’s leaves a gentle wipe down every once in a while to remove dust, debris, and any gunk left behind by guttation so your plant can continue to carry out photosynthesis and respiration at optimal levels. (Our Leaf Armor is great for cleaning and nourishing your monstera’s leaves!)
More facts about monstera guttation
- Xylem sap won’t hurt your floors or furniture, and it’s completely non-toxic.
- Guttation and dew aren’t the same things! They can look similar, but dew is caused by condensation on a plant’s surface and usually occurs on outdoor plants in the morning. Guttation is actually caused by a plant excreting sap. Totally different natural processes!
- These droplets can look and feel similar to the sticky substance left behind by certain pests like mealybugs. (This sticky stuff is called honeydew.) Guttation occurs most often on the tips of leaves while honeydew tends to show up on the tops of the leaves. If you notice a clear, sticky substance on top of the leaves, thoroughly check your monstera for mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. Here’s what to do if you find insects on your monstera.
At the end of the day, guttation is normal, harmless, and definitely not a cause for alarm. As long as you’re taking the best possible care of your monstera, watering properly, giving it plenty of light, and providing the right amount of fertilizer, you should have nothing to worry about!