Should You Always Cut off Brown Monstera Leaves?

Monstera plants, also known as Monstera Deliciosa, are known for their beautiful, large, green leaves. So, when you see the leaves turning brown, you might assume they’re dead or dying and want to cut them off. However, should you always cut off brown Monstera leaves?

You should always cut off brown Monstera leaves, especially if they’re completely brown and dead. However, Monstera leaves showing the beginning signs of browning can be saved with proper care. Despite this, cutting off the brown leaves is best, as they no longer benefit the plant.

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss how you can fix brown Monstera leaves, possible reasons for browning leaves, and how to cut off the brown leaves. I’ll also go over various tips for preventing the leaves from browning.

Can You Fix Brown Monstera Leaves?

Before you resort to cutting your Monstera leaves off, it’s essential to know whether you can do anything to make the browning leaves green again. Luckily, there are ways you can fix it, but it’s dependent upon how brown the leaves are.

You can fix brown Monstera leaves, as long as they’re not severely damaged or brown due to a fungus or bacterial infection. In cases where the brown spots are on the outer edges of the leaf, you can fix this by carefully trimming off the brown spots with a cutting tool.

While this is possible, it’s not ideal, as you can still accidentally damage your plant. It’s best to cut off the affected leaf to prevent any damage to the plant.

Reasons Why Your Monstera Leaves Are Turning Brown 

Unfortunately, like with many plants, there are several reasons why your Monstera plant’s leaves are browning. Most of the time, these problems are easily fixed. However, others are not as noticeable and therefore more challenging to fix. In the sections below, I’ll go over the various reasons why your Monstera leaves are browning and the best ways to fix each one.

Your Monstera Plant is Stressed

Brown spots on your Monstera plant’s leaves are a sign of stress. Like humans, when plants are stressed, they begin to shut down or show signs of weakness. There are many reasons why your plant may be stressed, but two of the most common reasons are that the plant’s roots have rotted or the plant is root bound.

Luckily, there are a few ways to fix a root rot or root bound issue.

How To Fix

If your Monstera plant is browning due to root rot, it’s because you’re overwatering it or the pot has poor drainage. Either way, the plant has been sitting in water for too long, so root rot has occurred. To fix this, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the plant from the pot and repot it. With root rot, it’s essential to repot your plant before any more damage can occur.
  2. Cut off the browning leaves. Any leaves that are browning due to root rot should be removed, as they’re no longer helpful to the plant.
  3. Give the plant adequate sunlight. This includes bright, indirect sunlight.
  4. Keep the plant away from other plants. Unfortunately, root rot can move from plant to plant, so it’s best to keep it away from others for a while.
  5. Wait to water the plant again. Give your plant minimal water for a few weeks.

Fixing a Monstera plant that’s root bound is slightly more manageable. A root-bound plant indicates that the pot is too small, as the roots are trying to grow but don’t have room. Simply repot your Monstera into a bigger pot to fix this. However, be careful not to damage the roots!

Your Monstera Plant Needs More Water

When you notice a plant is turning a different color, your first instinct is probably to give it more water. While sometimes that’s the opposite of what a plant needs (which I’ll get into later), other times, you’re exactly right. 

Browning leaves and leaves that are facing down are both clear indications that your Monstera plant is lacking water.

How To Fix

While the obvious fix for a Monstera plant lacking water is to give it water, there’s more to it than that. A Monstera leaf that’s already beginning to brown won’t offer any value to the plant, so while you should definitely water the plant, you should also cut off the affected leaves.

Additionally, consider making a watering schedule for your plants or downloading an app such as Planta to help you keep track of when to water.

Your Monstera Plant is Overwatered

A confusing, unfortunate aspect of browning leaves is that they can turn brown due to both under-watering and overwatering. Therefore, if your plant isn’t under-watered, overwatering may be the reason for the browning leaves.

How To Fix

The best way to fix an overwatered Monstera plant is to cease watering and repot it. Repotting the plant in a container with better drainage is ideal. In addition, you should always check for root rot as you change the container.

Just like with under-watering, it’s best to keep a watering sclahedule, so you don’t accidentally overwater your plant.

Your Monstera Plant Needs More Sunlight

If watering or stress isn’t the issue for your plant, the leaves could be turning brown due to inadequate sunlight.

Monstera plants do best in bright, indirect sunlight most of the time. However, during the winter months, more direct sunlight is necessary. Therefore, if your plant isn’t receiving the sunlight it needs, it can cause brown spots to form on the leaves.

How To Fix

The best way to fix a Monstera plant with browning leaves due to inadequate sunlight is to put it in an area in your home with ideal sunlight conditions.

While bright light is necessary, direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing them to brown.

Therefore, I recommend placing your Monstera plant near a window with adequate lighting, preferably an east-facing window.

Your Monstera Plant Needs More Nutrients

Lastly, if your Monstera leaves are browning, they may lack essential nutrients. This could be due to inefficient soil or a lack of fertilization. Because Monstera plants grow so fast, they can quickly become depleted of nutrients. Therefore, adequate soil and frequent fertilization are necessary.

How To Fix

If your Monstera plant needs more nutrients, it’s best to change the soil to something with excellent drainage, preferably made of peat moss.

Additionally, it’s best to fertilize your Monstera plant during the growing season (spring and summer) once a month so you would never have to worry about leaves browning due to depleted nutrients.

How To Cut Off Brown Monstera Leaves

If your Monstera leaves are past the point of fixing, it’s essential to know how to properly cut the dead or damaged leaves off so the rest of your plant can thrive (and hopefully grow more leaves).

Here’s how to cut off brown Monstera leaves properly:

  1. Use a sharp tool, such as pruning shears or scissors. It’s essential to have a clean cut when pruning leaves.
  2. Find the brown Monstera leaf and cut it at the base of the stem. It’s essential to get as close to the base as possible.
  3. Ensure you don’t damage the main stem with the shears. Being very careful with the pruning shears when cutting off the brown monstera leaves is key, as any damage to the main stem can cause more problems.
  4. Discard the cut-off leaf. Since the leaf is brown, you can’t use it to propagate a new plant. Therefore, you need to throw it away.

Tips for Preventing Brown Monstera Leaves

Unfortunately, Monstera leaves turning brown indicates something is wrong with your plant. Things can go wrong even when you feel you’re doing everything right. Shara Nyein expresses this same concern in her YouTube video on Monstera plant care, which I suggest checking out if you’re having troubles with your Monstera plant:

Here are the essential tips to keep in mind that may help prevent Monstera leaves from turning brown in the future:

  • Give your plant just the right amount of water.
  • Ensure sunlight conditions are ideal.
  • Be very careful with the plant’s roots, as any damage or stress will result in poor health.
  • Fertilize the Monstera plant regularly.

Final Thoughts

Although big and durable, Monstera plants often have problems that result in brown leaves. While this can be distressing for any plant parent, there are some things you can do to fix it, such as trimming off the brown sections.

It would be best to cut off the brown Monstera leaves most of the time. If the leaves are browning, they’re no longer benefiting your plant. Therefore, it’s best to cut them off and encourage your plant to grow healthier than to try to save the unhealthy leaves.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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