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Upside Down Monstera Leaf – What It Means & How To Fix It

Monsteras are beloved for the tropical aesthetics they bring to a room and their ability to support air circulation indoors. They have large, holey leaves, which has led to them being nicknamed swiss cheese plants. They can grow significantly tall in the wild and even indoors, monsteras can grow up to 8 feet in sufficiently sized containers. Monstera deliciosa are some of the easiest house plants to care for, so what some monstera growers may be wondering is why a monstera plant’s leaf is upside down.  

Although monstera deliciosa plants are relatively low maintenance, a sign of distress can be the plant’s leaves flipping upside down. This can signify issues with under or overwatering, temperature stressors, too much fertilizer, or pests. If you live in a climate that accommodates you growing your monstera outdoors, upside-down leaves may also signify an incoming cold front.  

Read on to learn more about care for monstera deliciosa and similar plants.

Common Causes Of Upside Down Monstera Leaf Problems

Succulents like monstera plants are generally easy to handle. However, their leaves can give you a clear indication something is wrong. Particularly when the leaf turns upside down, it can mean a few things. Below are two main causes that might cause the leaves of a Monstera plant to droop, turn upside down, curl; you name it.

Size Of The Succulent Pot

Succulents (or plants in containers of any kind) need plenty of room to grow. For Monstera, this is especially important. They can grow to be pretty tall, sometimes in that 8-foot range.

So naturally, they need a good bit of growing room in their pot. Without that, the aerial roots have their oxygen supply cut off. This means nutrients can’t easily travel, and it messes with the entire makeup of the plant.

Not only will the leaves droop, curl and turn upside down, but the stems will start to bend. So, you are likely to see a combination of things happening all at once.

If you started your Monstera in a small pot and it’s outgrown it; something as simple as an upgrade in container size will solve your leaf problem.

Overall Moisture In The Environment

Monstera plants thrive best when they are in an environment that has a lot of moisture in the air. When they can’t get that, the leaves will usually react negatively.

The more humid the growing conditions are, the better your Monstera will do. Sometimes it’s a good idea to remove the plant from direct sunlight to allow more moisture to remain in the soil. Likewise, if it’s being overwatered, you may want to remove the rootball and allow that soil to dry. Then replant it and check the moisture levels after.

Monstera Deliciosa Care Tips

Although Monstera deliciosa plants are relatively simple to care for, there are some care steps to follow to avoid negatively affecting your monstera’s health. The possible causes of monstera leaf curling or flipping upside down can easily be controlled to keep your plant happy and healthy.

Watering

The frequency at which your monstera plant prefers to be watered will vary depending on light and humidity, but the best rule of thumb is to water the plant when the soil is close to dry but not fully dried out. Typically this is every one to two weeks.

If a monstera plant is over or under-watered, its leaves may curl, flipping, or bend in response. When this happens, ensure that the plant’s container has appropriate drainage without being too dry, and consider adapting your watering schedule.  

Temperature & Humidity

Due to their origins in the tropical rainforest, monstera deliciosa plants prefer warm, humid environments. Typically, average indoor temperatures and humidity will suffice. However, if an environment, indoors or outdoors, is too cold or too dry, this could lead to monstera leaves curling or flipping.

Monstera deliciosa will usually show no adverse effects in relation to these conditions as long as temperatures remain between 65 and 85 degrees and humidity levels above 40%.

Soil & Nutrients

Monstera deliciosa plants need well-draining soil and will thrive in mixes that include perlite, peat moss, or other pebbly, airy elements. These components help to move moisture more easily around the soil, keeping plants appropriately hydrated.

If soil is not arid enough, monstera leaves may curl or flip because the soil consistency isn’t allowing water or nutrients to flow with enough ease.  

Most of the time, monstera deliciosa will thrive without regular fertilizing. Over-fertilizing can lead to leaves curling or flipping. If you choose to fertilize your monstera deliciosa, an all-purpose indoor plant fertilizer is ideal. It is best to only fertilize monsteras monthly during their growing season, that is, from spring to summer and alternating months in fall and winter.  

Pests

Monstera deliciosa plants are fairly pest resistant, especially when grown indoors. However, the pests that monsters are more susceptible to are often so small that they go unnoticed until they’ve become an issue. Spider mites and mealybugs are among the most common indoor pests affecting monsteras.

An infestation of these pests can cause flipping or curling of the monstera’s leaves because they will absorb the water and nutrients from the plant and its soil, causing dehydration and malnutrition.

Regularly checking plants for signs of pests is best practice. If the pests themselves are not visible, they may leave weblike residues, spots, or calluses where they have negatively affected the plant. Frequently spraying plants with diluted neem oil is a nontoxic method to help prevent pest infestations. Existing infestations can be mitigated by wiping the plant’s leaves and stems with a diluted alcohol/water mixture. 

Benefits of Monstera Deliciosa

In addition to the tropical aesthetics, monstera plants add to a room or home garden; monstera deliciosas are known for their high levels of oxygen production and indoor air circulation. It is speculated that the large size of monstera plant leaves aids the plant in quality air purification.

When grown outdoors, monsteras produce a tasty fruit similar to corn on the cob and in taste to pineapples. Remember that while ripened monstera fruit is edible and delicious, the plant itself and its unripened fruit can be toxic to humans and animals.   

Plants Similar To Monstera Deliciosa

Suppose you already love growing monstera deliciosa or consider incorporating it into your plant family. In that case, there may be some other plants that grow similarly to monstera also to include. The following table lists some plants that have commonalities to monstera plants in aesthetics, as well as care needs and/or benefits.  

PlantAestheticsCommonalities with Monstera 
PothosA vining plant that grows well in a hanging container and requires pruning from time to time.  A high oxygen producing plant that requires minimal watering and indirect light.  
Cast-IronA leafy plant with short stems.  Its leaves are dark green, long and oval with a pointed tip.  These plants can grow quite large if transplanted and thrive in rooms with indirect light and minimal watering.  
Snake PlantLong thin pointed leaves grow up and over its container, mimicking the legs of a spider.  A high oxygen producing plant that prefers indirect light and minimal watering.  
PhilodendrinFlowering plants with waxy leaves. The peace lily is the most common.Oxygen producing plants that prefer indirect light and infrequent watering.  

Final Tips For Indoor Plant Care

Monstera deliciosa and other indoor plants discussed in this article are all hardy plant varieties that require minimal care. Maintaining appropriate light, water, temperature, and soil conditions will usually result in happy and healthy indoor plants. When negative effects such as leaf curling become noticeable o