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Why are my Monstera leaves curling? How to Fix them

You’re scratching your head, thinking “why are my monstera leaves curling?” No need to panic, it’s usually just a small hiccup that can be fixed with a few tweaks to your plant’s crib. In this post, we’re gonna walk you through the usual suspects for Monstera leaf curling and share some pro tips to whip your leafy pal back into shape. We’ll chat about common stuff like light and humidity, and even some sneaky issues like mechanical damage or not getting the right minerals. Ready to get your leafy buddy back on track? Let’s dive in!

If your Monstera’s leaves are curling, it’s waving a red flag that something’s up. Usual problems include not watering enough, watering too much, low humidity, roots getting all squished, too much fertilizer, bugs, too much sun, bad pots, or even just new leaves popping up. To pin down what’s going wrong, take a good look at where the curling’s happening – old leaves or new ones – and mix ‘n match methods to find the cause and fix it. Your Monstera will be looking fab in no time!

Monstera leaves curling due to underwatering

Not watering enough is a biggie for why Monstera leaves curl. Signs include dry soil, brown crispy leaf tips, droopy leaves, and a lighter than usual pot. If lack of water is the problem, then it’s time to get your Monstera a drink! Water more often and make sure the top bit of soil is always a bit damp.

To figure out when your plant’s thirsty, just poke your finger into the soil to check for wetness. If the soil feels dry or crumbly, it’s time to water your Monstera. Boosting the pot’s drainage can help dodge under-watering, and a pebble tray can up the humidity.

You might wanna think about popping a moisture sensor in your plant pot so you never forget to water again. By keeping your Monstera nicely watered, you’ll help it thrive and keep its leaves looking lush for ages.

Monstera leaves curling due to underwatering

Monstera leaves curled due to overwatering

When overwatering your Monstera, you gotta know the signs. One big clue is curling leaves, which happens when the soil’s constantly soggy and doesn’t have time to dry out between waterings. This leads to dying roots that can’t suck up water, causing wilting and then curling leaves.

To avoid overwatering, always check the soil before watering – it should be dry at least an inch down – and only water when needed. If you reckon you might’ve watered too much already, let the plant’s soil dry out completely and cut down on watering until the Monstera bounces back.

If you’re still overwatering, look at the drainage holes at the bottom of your Monstera’s pot to make sure they’re not blocked. You might also wanna think about moving your plant into soil that drains better. Doing this can help stop overwatering and make sure your Monstera stays happy and healthy.

If you do not know how much water to water your plant is enough, please refer to the article How often to Water Monstera Plant

Monstera leaf curling due to low humidity

When your Monstera leaves start doing the curl, it’s often a sign they’re not getting enough humidity. This might happen if you plonk your plant somewhere that’s too toasty or near a heater, ’cause these things can really suck the moisture out of the air.

Other signs of not enough humidity include dry leaf tips and brown splotches on the leaves. To up the humidity, try giving your Monstera a regular spritz with water, or move it somewhere humid like a bathroom. Another trick is to set your plant on a pebble tray with some water, this can boost the humidity around your Monstera and stop it from curling.

If you can’t get the humidity up, think about getting a humidifier to give your plant a bit of extra moisture. Putting your plant in a terrarium is another ace way to keep the humidity up, as it makes a sealed space where water slowly evaporates and increases the overall humidity.


When a Monstera gets rootbound, its leaves can start to curl and look a bit peaky. You can spot rootbound plants by the roots poking out the bottom of the pot or winding around the edges. Rootbound Monsteras are likely to sprout fewer new leaves than normal, and the existing leaves might go yellow or droopy. Rootbound Monsteras can also stop growing as fast and not flower as much.

Monstera leaves curled due to rootbound

The main reason a Monstera gets rootbound is when its roots aren’t given enough room to stretch out, which stops them from getting enough nutrients from the soil. This can happen if you cram too many plants in the pot, or the pot’s too small for your Monstera.

To fix this, you gotta repot your rootbound monstera into a bigger pot with fresh soil. Make sure to pick a big enough pot and put lots of drainage holes in the bottom. You might also wanna think about trimming some of the roots if they’re too long or tangled. After repotting, water your Monstera regularly and make sure it’s getting enough sun.

Fertilizer Burn

Fertilizer burn’s a big reason why Monstera leaves curl. Fertilizer burn happens when you give a plant too much fertilizer or too often, leading to a nutrient overload that makes the leaves burn and curl. Fertilizers are supposed to give plants good nutrients, but giving too much or too often can seriously harm the plant. Fertilizer burn’s not just ugly, it can also cause problems like slowed growth or even killing the whole plant.

Monstera leaves drooping and curling due to fertilizer burn

To dodge fertilizer burn, it’s important to go easy with the fertilizer and follow the label recommendations for how often to apply. Also, it’s important to water the plant after putting on fertilizer, as this helps rinse away any extra nutrients that could cause fertilizer burn. Doing these things can help stop Monstera leaves from curling because of fertilizer burn.


Monstera leaf curling’s a common issue that can be down to creepy crawlies. The common Monstera pests that cause leaf curling are aphids, scales, mealybugs, mites and caterpillars. These pests munch on Monstera leaves, making them curl up to try and protect themselves from more damage. In some cases, Monstera leaves might get so badly damaged they drop off the plant.

When your Monstera leaves start to curl, you gotta act fast, ’cause bugs can spread like crazy and do more damage. If you find pests, there are a few things you can do to control the infestation and get Monstera leaves back to normal.

These might include giving the plant a spritz with insecticidal soap or an approved bug killer, removing affected Monstera leaves and chucking them away properly, and bringing in helpful bugs to help control the pests. You can also stop Monstera leaf curling by making your plant’s space less appealing to pests, like not crowding plants and making sure there’s enough air moving around.

Too Much Sunlight

Monstera leaves that have seen too much direct sun , might start to curl to protect themselves. Too much bright light can harm the leaves and make them dry out or get sunburned.

Monstera leaves curled due to too much sunlight

If you see your Monstera’s leaves curling, you gotta act right away. First, move the plant out of direct sunlight and into a bright spot with indirect light. Make sure to turn the pot now and then so all sides of the plant get enough light. You could also try giving the leaves a gentle mist or using a humidifier to up the humidity around your Monstera.

Also, check for any signs of bugs or other damage that might be causing the leaf curling. If you can’t find a fix within 24-48 hours, it’s best to get an expert in to help.

Related: Monstera light requirements: How much does they need

Improper lighting

Monstera leaf curling can be a sign the plant’s not getting the light it needs. Bad lighting is a top reason why Monstera leaves curl, as too little or too much sunlight can stop a plant from getting enough light. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves and make them curl up, while not enough can make the leaves stretch out and then curl. Bad lighting can also make a Monstera’s stems weak and thin, making it hard for the plant to stay upright. By giving enough light, you can keep your Monstera healthy and stop leaf curling.

When you’re picking the right light for your Monstera, make sure to think about how much light the room gets. If there’s not enough natural sunlight coming through windows, you might need to add fluorescent or LED grow lights. The best bet is to give indirect bright light all day, avoiding direct sun during the hottest hours. Depending on how much light your Monstera needs, you might have to tweak how much light it gets.

It is simply a plant grows new leaves

When a Monstera sprouts new leaves, it’s normal for them to be all curled up tight. Over a few days, new leaves will gradually uncurl and take shape as they grow. This shows your plant’s happy and healthy!

Monstera Albo Borsigiana has a new leaf

If new leaves are curlier than usual, or stay curled up for a long time, this could mean something’s up. Usual reasons for new leaf curling include not enough humidity, bugs, and watering wrong. Make sure to keep an eye on your Monstera and deal with any problems ASAP for the best chance of bouncing back.

It’s also key to remember that with new leaves, a bit of curling’s totally normal and nothing to worry about. As new leaves grow, they’ll uncurl and take shape in time! If you see that the new leaves are extra curly or stay curled up, it’s best to have a closer look to figure out what’s causing it.

Conclusion about monstera leaves curling

Monstera leaves curling can be caused by a load of issues, from not watering enough to too much humidity, overwatering, too much sun, bad lighting, fertilizer burn, roots getting cramped, and bugs. If the leaf curling’s happening on new growth it could also be because of a bad pot or the roots being cramped.

The best way to sort the problem is to find and deal with the root cause. If there’s not enough water, water more; if it’s been watered too much, cut down on watering or change the pot size. Check for bugs and adjust the humidity levels or move the plant to somewhere with more or less light, depending on what’s right for your type of plant. If it’s fertilizer burn, ease off on the fertilizer and rinse away any salts from earlier applications that might have built up in the soil. If the plant’s roots are cramped, repot into a bigger pot with fresh soil.

By dealing with each of these issues one by one and taking good care of your Monstera, you’ll answer the question “Why are my Monstera leaves curling”. For more info on looking after Monstera plants, check out the Famiplants blog.

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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