Why Are Your Monstera Leaves Facing Down?

Owning a Monstera plant is already an accomplishment, and taking proper care of it is even more so. Therefore, when you notice your favorite plant begin to exhibit odd behaviors, it can make you wonder what’s going on. So, why are your Monstera leaves facing down?

Your Monstera leaves are facing down because:

  1. Your Monstera lacks water.
  2. Your plant needs structural support.
  3. Your plant has insufficient sunlight exposure.
  4. There’s too much sunlight.
  5. The monstera is stressed.
  6. There are pest problems.

The rest of this article will discuss the possible reasons why your Monstera leaves are facing down, whether or not it’s normal for them to droop, and how to get your Monstera leaves to stand up. So, read on!

Common Causes of Monstera Leaf Drooping

Because there are so many reasons that could cause your Monstera leaves to face down, it’s essential to go over them and the additional signs or symptoms for each. Knowing the reasons will help you spot which one applies to your Monstera plant and understand how to fix it.

Your Monstera leaves facing down could be because of one of the following reasons:

Your Monstera is Underwatered

The lack of water is the most common reason Monstera leaves begin to droop and face down. Monsteras thrive in slightly damp soil, so underwatering the plant causes it to dry out too much. Therefore, the leaves will begin to face down or droop.

Some other signs and symptoms of underwatering a Monstera include:

Brown Spots Form on the Leaves

Brown spots in the middle of the leaves or around the edges are an obvious sign of underwatering. Unfortunately, cutting the Monstera plant’s brown leaves is necessary as they won’t be able to recover. Cutting them will allow the plant to allot the resources to the healthier leaves.

Crispy or Discolored Leaves

Due to dehydration (or a lack of water), the leaves of a Monstera plant will commonly become dry and crisp. The lack of water can cause the leaves of your Monstera to change to a lighter brown or yellow color.

Dry Soil

If your Monstera’s soil is becoming dry too quickly, you’re most likely not giving it enough water, which is a clear indicator it needs more hydration.

Your Plant Needs Structural Support

Don’t automatically assume the worst when your Monstera plant’s leaves face down. Sometimes, they’re facing downward because they lack the support they need to face up.

If your Monstera plant is on the larger side, gravity begins to take over and cause it to grow sideways, leaving your plant with leaves downturned and, sometimes, stems trailing on the floor.

So, if this is the case for your plant, the best thing to do is choose a support method for the plant, such as a moss pole or trellis. Both methods work wonderfully to hold a Monstera plant upright and allow its leaves to flourish.

Along with leaves facing down, some other signs of a Monstera lacking support include the following:

The Plant Is Growing Sideways

As mentioned, a sideways-growing Monstera is common to see, especially for larger-sized plants. So, when your plant grows sideways, the leaves might automatically begin facing down.

Aerial Roots Forming

Aerial roots may also appear at the base of the plant. Although one expects to see aerial roots in Monsteras, the lack of support for the plant can cause them to appear more than usual.

Stems and Leaves Going in Every Direction

A plant without support won’t stand straight, especially a climbing plant like a Monstera. So, it’s common to see a Monstera plant’s stems and leaves going in every direction, including facing down.

Your Plant Has Insufficient Sunlight Exposure

While the lack of water is a significant factor in downturned Monstera leaves, the lack of sunlight is just as important. Giving Monstera plants bright, indirect sunlight for around 5 hours a day is essential.

Because bright, indirect sunlight is a bit more challenging to achieve, especially for five hours a day, many indoor Monstera plants don’t receive the sunlight needed daily. It’s important to note that Monstera can survive in low light conditions but won’t do as well.

Some other signs of insufficient sunlight for a Monstera plant may include:

  • Leaf discoloration, specifically brown or yellow leaves
  • Leaves that don’t split, as is normal for the species
  • Excessively moist soil

Moving the Monstera to a brightly lit area in your home is essential if your indoor Monstera plant’s leaves are facing down due to insufficient sunlight. The best location for an indoor Monstera plant is at an east-facing or near a south-facing window. Both of these areas are ideal sunlight conditions for your plant.

There’s Too Much Sunlight

While too little sunlight isn’t great for your plant, too much sunlight is just as harmful. As I’ve already mentioned, Monstera plants crave bright, indirect sunlight. Therefore, too much direct sunlight on the plant can cause problems, including leaves facing down.

Some other common signs of too much sunlight on your Monstera plant include:

  • Black or burnt leaves
  • A bleached tint on the leaves
  • Soil that becomes dry too quickly

If this is the case for your plant, you must move it away from the direct sunlight.

The Monstera Is Stressed

Just like humans, plants can be stressed for various reasons. Stress-inducing problems for plants can be from the temperature, or the roots can be damaged (commonly because of repotting the plant). And stressed roots can cause a lot of additional problems for the plant.

Whatever the reason, if your Monstera plant is stressed, it will commonly show it through downturned leaves, as well as a variety of other ways. 

Some other symptoms that a stressed-out Monstera plant may show include:

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Visible roots, most likely meaning the plant is root-bound, leading to stress on the roots
  • Curling leaves

There Are Pest Problems

Lastly, if your Monstera plant has a pest problem, it’s likely to cause the leaves to face down. However, several different pests could be causing Monstera plant problems, and each will come with its own symptoms for the plant. Despite this, any insect harming the plant will cause it stress, which, as we know, can make the leaves downturned.

Other vital symptoms that indicate a pest problem in a Monstera plant include:

  • Leaves with holes (and not a Monstera’s typical holes)
  • Leaves with brown or yellowing spots
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Leaves with a sticky residue
  • Possible webbing

Even though your Monstera plant may not show any other signs of a pest problem, you must watch the plant closely just in case. If there are pest problems, you must take care of them as soon as possible. Otherwise, the health of your plant is in jeopardy.

How to Perk Up Your Monstera Plant’s Leaves

If you’re new to owning a Monstera plant, you probably don’t know exactly how a healthy plant is supposed to look or act. So, if you notice the leaves drooping, you may wonder if you’re doing something wrong.

Monstera leaves aren’t supposed to droop. If your Monstera is drooping significantly, it’s most likely due to the lack of water. However, a slightly drooping Monstera plant is typical, especially if a moss pole or stake is not supporting it.

Figuring out the cause for drooping Monstera leaves may take trial and error. Still, it’s vital to get your plant to look happy and lively again.

If your Monstera plant is drooping for reasons other than more severe health problems, there are easy ways to get the plant’s leaves to stand up.

Use a stake, moss pole, or trellis to get your Monstera leaves to stand up. The added support to cling to will give your plant the extra help it needs for the stems and leaves to grow strong and stand up.

It’s also essential to provide your plant with all of the necessary aspects it needs to thrive, including:

  • Bright, indirect sunlight for several hours a day
  • Slightly damp soil with adequate draining (and a pot with drainage holes)
  • The right amount of water (not too much or too little)

Final Thoughts

Monstera leaves facing down can be a bit startling.

While most of the time this is due to underwatering the plant, there are other possible reasons, including:

  • The lack of structural support
  • Insufficient sunlight
  • Too much sunlight
  • Stress on the Monstera plant
  • Problems with pests

Luckily, there are easy ways to fix many of these problems, so you can have your Monstera leaves back up in no time.

Dr. Moritz Picot

Dr. Moritz Picot is a horticulture enthusiast and the founder of TheGrowingLeaf.com, where he serves as the lead content writer. He established the website in 2022 as a valuable resource for both gardening aficionados and beginners, compiling all the gardening tips he has accumulated over the past 25 years. Alex has a passion for nurturing plants, transforming backyards into inviting spaces, and sharing his knowledge with the world.

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