Why is my monstera drooping? Experts reveal 5 common reasons

Worried about your monstera drooping? Discover the most common reasons and learn how to fix them

Monstera plants in close-up
(Image credit: Silvia Foglia/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Have you noticed your monstera drooping? It can be a relatively simple problem to solve. 

A firm favorite with houseplant growers, monstera plants are known for their beautiful perforated leaf pattern, which is what gives them their common name: the Swiss cheese plant.

Monstera plants are generally adaptable to most indoor conditions with bright, indirect light. However, a few common care mistakes can cause them to droop. Here's what they are, according to plant experts, and how to fix them.

5 reasons why your monstera is drooping

Look out for these key problems that could be causing your monstera plant to droop. 

1. It's not getting enough water

This is by far the most common reason for a monstera to droop. 

Camille Cimino, the owner of Los Angeles-based landscape design company Nature Of Things (opens in new tab), reminds monstera owners that these are tropical plants that need a jungle-like environment to thrive. 

'Picture a jungle: there's sun, but not bright direct light like a desert,' she says. 'It never gets really cold. And it's a moist, humid environment. That's what a monstera wants. Drooping leaves are most likely a sign that there's not enough water.'

Diagnosing this problem is very easy: 'if the soil feels dry, that's a sure sign of your problem. Brown, brittle leaf tips are another clue.'

A houseplant moisture meter from Amazon (opens in new tab) can help you tell when it's time to give your monstera a drink.

watering a monstera

Ensure your monstera is regularly watered

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2. It's not getting enough light

A lack of light in your indoor garden is a common reason for drooping monsteras. However, the symptoms of a drooping monstera that isn't getting enough light will be somewhat different from one that isn't getting enough water. 

Camille Cimino advises checking the leaves for yellowing. Also, monsteras that don't get enough light often don't develop the characteristic 'Swiss cheese' pattern to their leaves. 

If the leaves are both solid and yellowing, your monstera almost certainly is suffering from insufficient daylight.

monstera houseplants in pots

Monstera plants need light to thrive

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3. It's overwatered

Overwatering houseplants can be just as problematic as underwatering them.

Monstera plants with leaves that are yellowing but still displaying the characteristic serrated pattern are likely overwatered. Camille Cimino says, 'If the leaves seem yellow but moist, you may also be overwatering. Check the bottom of the pot. If the drip tray is full of standing water, you've got too much.' In most cases, all you need to do in this situation is stop watering your plant for at least two weeks.  

Jen Stearns, Founder of plant shop and clinic Urban Sprouts (opens in new tab), adds that monstera likes to dry out in between waterings. So, resist the temptation to top it up with water too often. 

A tall monstera plant in a living room

Overwatering your monstera can cause it to droop

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4. Your monstera is rootbound

This is an often overlooked reason for a dropping monstera. 

These plants like to have plenty of room to expand their root system. Jen Stearns points out that because monsteras are tree climbers in their native habitat, 'they put really aggressive root systems into the soil that spread along the forest floor looking for something to climb. In the limited environment of a pot, this aggressive root growth can have them outgrowing their pots at an accelerated rate, leaving their roots bound up and struggling to access oxygen, absorb nutrients and receive adequate moisture from the soil.'

So, if your monstera looks otherwise healthy but you see roots coming through at the bottom of your pot, this is the most likely reason it's drooping. The solution? You can repot your plant, or you can give it something to climb up, such as a moss pole.

Jen Stearns explains that by mounting your monstera on a moss pole (available on Amazon) (opens in new tab), 'you’re giving it a “tree” that it can begin to focus its efforts on climbing. The energy that had been going towards growing long soil roots instead turns towards growing aerial roots that will work their way up the mounting structure.'

repotting a monstera

Your monstera may benefit from a larger pot

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5. It's suffering from root rot

This is a less common reason that nonetheless does affect monstera plants. 

Typically the result of consistent overwatering over many weeks or months, root decay will be accompanied by soggy soil, fungus gnats flying around the plant, and drooping leaves. 

To rehabilitate your monstera, you will need to have the decayed roots removed and repot the plant into a pot about one or two inches larger than the root ball at most.

Monstera plants growing on a table in bright light

A healthy monstera will grow strong and upright

(Image credit: Elvira Kashapova/Moment/Getty Images)
Anna Cottrell

Anna writes about real estate, interior design, and gardening. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, and many other publications in the US and the UK. Before embarking on her writing career, Anna taught English at university level and is the author of a book called London Writing of the 1930s. She is an experienced outdoor and indoor gardener and has a passion for growing roses and Japanese maples in her outside space.