House Plants/Monstera



I came to you with a repotting question about a month or two ago when I purchased a new Monstera plant.  Well since I've had the plant, some of the leaves (medium sized ones/not fully mature) are turning a yellow-green and the leaf edges are turning brown and becoming shriveled.  What does this mean? It is in a very bright room with a south facing window but not receiving direct sunlight.  I am watering weekly but wondering maybe if I'm not giving enough water when I do water.  Some of the more mature leaves, are very dark green and seem to be looking good but these light greenish ones are concerning me. Do I need to remove them? Can you help?

ANSWER: Hi Courtney,

A photo of your plant would be very helpful. Are these new leaves that are pale green? If so, that is normal as the leaves become a deeper shade of green as they age.

Likewise, it is not uncommon for older, lower leaves to develop some brown tips. However, brown tips on newer leaves are an indication of a root problem. Root problems are usually related to improper watering and could be either over or under watering. Using hard tap water can also cause brown leaf tipping.

I could be more helpful if I knew if you decided to repot and just what your watering routine has been. Also, how far from the south-facing window is your Monstera? Is that window partially covered during the day?

I look forward to receiving a photo and/or additional information so I can better help you.

Best regards,

~Will Creed

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your reply. I have attached an image. I did not repot the plant and have been watering weekly with distilled water. If anything I think I have probably under watered rather than over watered since I've had it, which has been less than 2 months.  The plant has been about 12 ft from a partially covered south window.  I'm guessing maybe not receiving enough light? Thank you for your help!

ANSWER: Hi Courtney,

Thanks for the photo. It is the newer leaves that are a lighter shade of green and that is normal. They will darken as they age. I see minimal brown tips - not enough to be concerned.

However, the size of the new leaves tells me that it is not getting enough light. If the window is partially covered, then your Monstera should be as close to the window as possible. If the window is completely uncovered, it could be as far as 6 feet away, but no more than that.

The pot is plenty big enough. Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry in between thorough waterings. It may start to gradually use more water after you move it into better light. If you are not able to improve the light, it will survive, but new growth will be weak and proper watering will be difficult.

Best regards,

~Will Creed

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for all of the helpful information.  I'm fairly new to having indoor house plants, so just trying to keep things alive and well.

Do I leave the leaves with the brown edges as is or remove them?  Will the brown go away?

I will definitely increase the light that it is receiving.  Is a south facing window best or will any direction window do?

Thank you again!

Hi Courtney,

If brown edges are unsightly, they can be trimmed off with sharp scissors. Once plant tissue becomes brown it never gets green again. Trimming it off is an aesthetic issue, not a horticultural issue. Do whatever it takes to make it look nice to you.

South windows get more light than north windows. If you keep it by a north window, then it will have to be directly in front of and close to the window and the window will have to be completely uncovered. East and west windows are in between north and south.


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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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