Overwatered Monstera Care Tips: Signs & guide to save it

Got a Monstera deliciosa (or Swiss cheese plant) that’s looking sad and droopy? Does it smell like rotting leaves? And those iconic holes, are they turning yellow or brown while the edges are getting thick and hard like cardboard? Sounds like you might be dealing with a overwatered Monstera – a common houseplant owner mistake. But don’t panic just yet! We’ll show you in this post how to spot the signs of overwatering your Swiss cheese plant and how to rescue it.

Signs of an Overwatered Monstera

Spotting a waterlogged Monstera isn’t always easy, and you might miss the signs until the damage has already been done. Look for: yellowing leaves, wilted leaves, brown spots on the leaves, a squishy stem, root rot, and that bad smell.

Yellowing leaves

Think your Monstera’s turning yellow from too much water? First, check out its soil. Too much water means not enough oxygen for the roots, and that’s when leaves start to yellow. Touch the soil to see if it’s wet and only water if the top few inches are dry. Also, check that the pot’s drainage holes aren’t blocked.

If your Monstera leaves turning yellow, cut back on the watering or increase the drainage. If you can, repot the plant with fresh soil and good drainage to make sure the roots can breathe.

Monstera overwatered leads to yellowing leaves

Wilting leaves

Wilting leaves on monstera are another sign of overwatering. Too much water in the soil can suffocate the roots, causing the leaves to droop.

If your Monstera’s leaves are starting to droop, check the soil. If it’s wet, give it a few days before watering again. If it’s still wet after a few days, think about moving the plant to a pot with better drainage and a dryer soil mix. You might need to change your watering routine or water less.

Monstera overwatered makes wilting leaves

Brown Spots on Leaves

Brown spots on Monstera leaves mean too much water. These spots can range from light to dark brown and might look like small circles, blotches, or odd shapes.

Monstera overwatered makes appear brown spots on leaves

First, figure out what’s going wrong and start watering your plant less. Monsteras need less water in the winter, so aim for once a month. In the warmer months, make a habit of checking the soil before watering. If it’s still moist, wait another week before watering again.

If you can, keep your Monstera in a sunny spot. Sunlight helps the plant absorb more moisture and can speed up its recovery from overwatering.

Lastly, if your Monstera’s already waterlogged and has brown spots on its leaves, try trimming off the damaged leaves. Pruning helps the plant focus on growing new, healthy leaves and should help it bounce back.

Root rot

Overwatering can cause a pretty serious problem called root rot. This can seriously harm or even kill your Monstera if you don’t deal with it. Here’s what root rot looks like:

  • Roots that are mushy and brown, meaning they’ve been in too much water for too long.
  • Roots that are black and slimy, which shows the rot’s pretty bad.
  • Roots that stink, which means there’s probably bacteria or fungus growing.
  • Leaves that are wilting, showing the roots aren’t absorbing enough water and nutrients.
  • Leaves turning yellow, which is a common sign of both overwatering and root rot.
  • Stunted growth, because the plant’s energy is going towards fighting the rot.

If you think your Monstera’s been overwatered and has root rot, you need to act fast. Here’s how to repot your Monstera and limit the damage:

  • Take the Plant Out: Carefully get the plant out of its pot. Try not to damage the roots too much.
  • Clean the Roots: Rinse the roots gently under running water to get rid of extra soil and check out the roots.
  • Check and Cut the Roots: Look for signs of rot like mushiness, blackness, or a bad smell. Use a clean, sharp knife to cut off any rotten roots. Don’t forget to clean your tools before and after to stop diseases from spreading.
  • Repot the Plant: Put the plant in a pot that’s one size bigger than the last one to give the roots more room. Make sure the new pot drains well to stop overwatering in the future.
  • Choose the Right Soil: Use soil made for tropical plants like Monstera. This kind of soil usually has perlite or orchid bark to help with draining and aeration.
  • Water, then Wait: After you’ve repotted, water the plant well, then wait till the soil’s totally dry before watering again. This helps stop root rot from coming back.

By dealing with root rot quickly and giving your Monstera a fresh, healthy environment, you can help it bounce back from overwatering and grow strong and bright.

Monstera overwatering cause root rot

Soft or mushy stem

If your Monstera’s stem is soft or mushy, you’ve probably overwatered it. Too much water makes the cells in the stem swell up and get weak, causing the leaves or stem to wilt and feel soft.

Check your soil to make sure it’s not soggy, and change your watering schedule if you need to. If it’s still a problem, you might want to increase drainage or move your Monstera to a pot with better draining soil.

Monstera overwatering cause soft or mushy stem

Bad Smell

A bad smell from your Monstera usually means you’ve overwatered the soil. Overwatering pushes oxygen out of the soil, causing conditions where there’s no air and a bad smell. No oxygen means good bacteria and fungi can’t break down organic stuff in the soil, leading to a build-up of rotting organic matter and a stinky smell.

To fix this, cut down on how much you water your Monstera. Always check if the top inch of soil is dry before watering again and switch to a potting mix that drains well.

Related: How often to Water Monstera Plant for Optimal Growth

Step-by-step Guide to Saving a monstera overwatering

Lucky for you, overwatering a Monstera isn’t the end of the world. Here’s how to save your overwatered plant:

  1. Hold off on watering for a few weeks: This gives your plant some time to bounce back and get rid of any extra water. Make sure the soil stays a bit damp but not soaked.
  2. Trim the leaves and stems if you need to: Overwatered plants might have yellow, brown, or wilted leaves. If this is happening, cutting back these damaged parts can help it recover faster by getting rid of any infections or rot.
  3. Move your Monstera: After letting your plant dry out for a few weeks, it’s time to repot. Use a well-draining potting soil and put it in a pot that’s the right size.
  4. Check the roots: The roots of an overwatered Monstera should be getting better by now. If not, it could be root rot. If this happens, you might need to cut back any rotten roots and repot with fresh soil.
  5. Watch your plant: After repotting, keep an eye on your Monstera to see if it’s getting better or if there are more problems. You might want to add a few drops of liquid fertilizer or fish emulsion to help it recover.
  6. Get the humidity right: Monsteras need warm, damp environments. Use a hygrometer to check your home’s humidity levels and keep them between 40–60%. This will help your plant recover faster.
  7. Water the right way: Don’t make the same mistake twice. Only water when the top inch of soil is dry, and never let your Monstera sit in water.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to rescue your overwatered Monstera and get it back to being healthy.

Frequently asked questions about overwatered Monstera

How do I repot an overwatered Monstera?

If your Monstera’s overwatered, you need to repot it ASAP. Here’s what you do:

  1. Carefully get the Monstera out of its old pot and put it on a flat surface.
  2. Check the plant’s roots for any signs of root rot. Get rid of any rotten or damaged roots.
  3. Put the plant in a new pot that’s one size bigger than the last one, and fill it with fresh, well-draining soil.
  4. Water your Monstera gently, making sure the soil’s evenly damp but not soggy.
  5. Put the plant somewhere with bright, indirect light and don’t overwater it in the future.

Can a Monstera recover from overwatering

Usually, yes. The most important thing is to act fast and repot the Monstera as soon as you notice it’s overwatered. Doing this can limit the damage from too much water and help your plant recover.

What is the difference between Overwatered vs underwatered Monstera?

The main difference between an overwatered and underwatered Monstera is how the leaves look. Overwatered Monsteras usually have wilted or yellow leaves, while underwatered Monsteras have dry, curled edges. Overwatering can also cause root rot from too much water, while underwatering can stress out your Monstera and slow its growth.

So, there you go, an easy guide on how to rescue your overwatered Monstera! With this guide from Famiplants on spotting and fixing overwatering, you’ll know just how to look after your Monstera. In no time at all, you’ll have a green, lush plant!

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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