Despite being relatively easy to plant and care for, Monstera plants are not resistant to growth issues. The plant keepers often complain that their plants suffer from brown patches, leaf-spot disease, and root rot, even though they have provided proper maintenance. So, it is inevitable that the culprits are Monstera pests and diseases.
Considering these matters, we would love to share how to prevent these Monstera health issues. But first, you must know how to identify Monstera problems. You can do this by checking on the symptoms before we can further determine what treatment is best. Don’t worry; we will cover that too! Read this article to the end to get all the essential information for your Monstera.
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Common Monstera Plant Pests and Diseases
Monstera tends to be vulnerable to various pests and diseases. Especially if you plant it outdoors, like on patios or gardens. Nonetheless, indoor Monstera plants can also face this problem. Moreover, it will worsen and be prone to these problems if you don’t give them the care they need.
Below, we have summarized the Monstera pests and diseases that became one of the main problems during its growth.
1. Common Monstera Pests
Before you try to eradicate them, you must learn to identify Monstera pests first. It is crucial since they have different treatments. So, what pests usually invade Monstera plants? Find them all below!
Depending on the species, aphids have white, brown, black, yellow, or green bodies. Instead of feeding on the old leaves and stems, aphids love to suck on new growth. Because they are tender, these Monstera pests can easily chew on them.
If your Monstera has aphids, you will notice crinkling young stems and leaves. They will also prefer to hang around those areas, so you may see clusters of aphids. In addition, they will make your young Monstera plants stunt as they feed on their nutrition. As the infection progresses, your plant will drop its foliage.
Luckily, there are several effective ways to get rid of aphids. One of the most popular is spraying neem oil. It can repel aphids and prevent further invasion. And most importantly, this oil is safe! Mix one and a half neem oil and one teaspoon of mild liquid soap into a liter of water. Pour it into the mister and shake it well.
Another easy method is using alcohol. Instead of misting it, you can rub the alcohol with cotton buds on the infected area. For natural prevention, you can also release ladybugs as natural predators of aphids.
Notice small, black bugs flying around your plants? Well, you must be concerned as they are fungus gnats. They generally feed on organic matter in potting soil. Besides, they can also inhabit and eat the roots, especially when you leave your Monstera soil constantly wet. Consequently, your Monstera will gradually weaken. In addition, these Monstera pests also lay their eggs on soggy ground.
The best way to chase away the fungus gnats is to move your plants to another pot, as they mostly live on the soil. But first, remove the plant and clean the roots to anticipate the presence of pests on the bases. Then, transfer the plant to a new container.
Alternatively, you can also remove the top layer of the soil and replace it with a fresh one. Avoid overflowing the pot with water because soggy soil is a favorite place for these pests.
For those keeping indoor plants, you may be familiar with mealybugs. It is one of the most common pests that make Monstera lovers get into trouble. The most striking characteristic of this insect is the white, waxy, oval-shaped body that produces bundles of white eggs under the leaves, especially in the crevices and grooves.
They suck the sap, thus inhibiting the growth of your monstera and leaving yellow and brown marks on the leaves. Late handling of Monstera may kill the plant.
So, how to repel mealybugs on Monstera? You can use rubbing alcohol and gently remove the pests from your plant parts. This method is effective in killing them quickly. Ensure you isolate the infected parts first so the bugs don’t spread to healthy plant parts. However, they love to hide in other parts of Monstera. Thus, you must spray neem oil as a natural agent to eradicate mealybugs thoroughly.
The next pest on the list of the most common Monstera pests and diseases is scale. They usually attack houseplants, leaving stunt growth and yellow leaves. In some cases, your Monstera will start dropping their leaves due to severe infection. Moreover, you can see the scales on the leaves and stems surface, showing tiny brownish dots.
To get rid of the scale, mix a teaspoon of detergent-free dish soap and four cups of water. Then, pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray it on the affected parts and wipe it with microfiber. You can replace it with vinegar as an alternative.
In addition, some people use rubbing alcohol. However, you must remove the leaves with a highly invested scale to prevent spread.
There are several reasons why your Monstera leaves turn yellow. One of them is the spider mites invasion. These pests feed on their chlorophyll. Thus the green foliage will slowly fade away.
Unlike other pests, you cannot see spider mites with your eyes. Instead, you can observe their presence through white fiber webs on the leaves and stems. They use the nets to move from one part to another. Also, you may see white dots on the leaves’ surface.
Fortunately, these troubles are easy to handle. You can reduce their population by putting them under the shower and letting the water wash off the pests. If you’re worried they might come back, wipe the leaves with rubbing alcohol.
Horticultural soap or neem oil is also effective in getting rid of these troubling pests. Just mix them with water, pour them into a spray bottle, and mist them with Monstera leaves and stems.
Similar to spider mites, thrips are difficult to see due to their tiny sizes. They have brown bodies and small wings. But it depends on the species. Usually, they inhabit the veins of Monstera leaves. Moreover, these insects are a severe problem for Monstera because they feed on sap, so your plant can grow stunted. In addition, this plant will experience discoloration if the invasion of thrips is left untreated.
The most popular method to kill thrips is to use a lint roller. First, spot on the thrips invasion, gently rolling the lint onto it. The pests will stick to the roller surface, and you can discard them.
Also, thanks to the glue, you can place a sticky trap where the thrips will be trapped on it. Insecticidal soap is also a favorite to kill instantly. However, natural agents are preferable because it is safe for the environment.
Some Monstera pests inhibit growth because they sip their sap. And whiteflies are one of these pests. As the name suggests, they have a small, white body and fly around your plant. What makes them troublemakers is their ability to reproduce quickly and spread disease between plants. In addition, it triggers fungal growth and Monstera diseases as they can defecate on your plant.
Methods of eradicating whiteflies are similar to other pests. You can use neem oil and insecticidal soap to effectively remove the insects. If you have a vacuum cleaner, use it to eliminate adult flies. But be careful not to damage the plants.
In addition, spraying with water is a more accessible alternative. However, make sure your plant is sturdy enough to handle the spray.
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2. Common Monstera Diseases
Although the types of diseases are less than pests, you can’t underestimate Monstera diseases. Why so? Because they can kill your plants instantly if you ignore the symptoms.
Monstera is a tropical plant that likes humidity. However, high humidity can also lead to another problem, like anthracnose. Anthracnose is a fungal disease that infects Monstera leaves. They will turn tan to dark brown, while the stems will be wounded. Even worse, this disease can spread to other parts and plants through water droplets.
To avoid massive spread, you can immediately discard the infected leaves once you notice it. You can also spray it with a copper-based fungicide in the earlier infection. However, the fungicide may reduce the growth of soil microbes and earthworms, so you must be careful when using it so that it is not toxic.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
As its name suggests, bacterial leaf spot is one of the most common types of disease that becomes a troublemaker during Monstera growth. It is characterized by yellow or dark brown spots on the leaves. In addition, you may notice a sticky substance on the leaf surface. Furthermore, the bacteria spread in the water and are stimulated by high moisture on the leaf surface.
Due to this, it is better to cut off the infected leaves as they can spread quickly to other parts. Especially if pests can hop from one plant to another, spreading the infection further. But make sure you prepare a sterilized pruner or knife to cut them off.
Suppose your Monstera has an early infection. In that case, you may spray with bactericide.
Stem and Root Rot
Like anthracnose, stem and root rot disease is caused by too high humidity. It usually happens when your Monstera soil is too wet. Symptoms of this disease include wilted plants, delicate and mushy stems, and an unpleasant odor. Other signs are the emergence of brown or black marks on the roots.
You can immediately transfer your Monstera to a new pot in the early contamination. But first, remove the infected roots, wash them, and bother them with high-quality soil mix.
Make sure to choose a container with holes to ensure good drainage. However, if the disease has spread to the stems, it is almost impossible to save your plant.
How To Prevent Pests and Diseases on Monstera?
The key to keeping your Monstera healthy is to take good care of it. Provide them with what they need. This tropical plant loves bright indirect sunlight with moist soil. It also prefers moderate watering. So, setting a watering schedule is necessary to prevent dehydration.
To cover all the essential information, this section will give you quick tips to avoid pests and diseases on Monstera. Check them out!
- Provide good drainage. If you plant Monstera in pots, make sure they have drainage holes to avoid water sitting in the soil for too long. Wet soil triggers Monstera diseases, like anthracnose and stem and rot diseases. It also invites fungus gnats, as these pests love moist soil.
- Avoid overwatering. Closely related to the previous point, too much water will lead to soggy soil. And that’s not a good case. Such soil can cause bacterial and fungal infections. Pests, like fungus gnats, also love high humidity.
- Don’t hurt the leaves! Damaged leaves make your Monstera prone to diseases due to open tissues easily infected by bacteria. In addition, pests are also easy to feed on the plants in these conditions.
- Clean off the leaves. It can help clean up dust and dirt that may inhibit photosynthesis as the stomata are blocked. Also, it will make it easier for you to detect the presence of pests or diseases early, so you can immediately treat your Monstera.
- Fertilize your Monstera. Pests and diseases will unlikely infect healthy and well-maintained plants. By fertilizing, you introduce additional nutrients that help your plant thrive best.
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How To Stop Pests and Diseases on Monstera?
At this point, we assume you already know how to identify pests and diseases of Monstera. Such knowledge will help you determine what treatment is needed for each problem your Monstera deals with. It also includes preventive measures against those issues.
In addition to preventative measures, treatment for already infected Monstera is also necessary. It helps to prevent further infections that can kill your plant.
Some of the methods or materials commonly used are:
1. Physical Methods
These practices are the easiest ways to get rid of Monstera pests and diseases. In addition, they are an option for plant keepers or gardeners because they are accessible and inexpensive. Besides, they also have less harmful effects compared to chemical methods.
Some examples of physical methods to remove pests on your Monstera are sticky traps, vacuum cleaning, and hand-picking. Sticky traps use glue to trap insects, while a vacuum cleaner is used to remove adult whiteflies. In addition, you can use hand-picking for almost all pests except for spider mites which are very small in size.
2. Biological Methods
Similar to physical, biological methods also have a much less negative impact on your plants. They are more eco-friendly, thus you don’t have to worry about environmental effects that chemical methods usually shade.
This practice relies on natural predators, such as ladybugs, to eliminate pests on Monstera. Usually, they are released to eat aphids and mealybugs, which is pretty compelling. You just need to plant flowers that produce nectars and pollen to keep these bugs in your garden longer.
3. Chemical Methods
For those who want to eradicate pests and cure Monstera from diseases quickly, chemical methods are the best bet. People usually use insecticidal soap, fungicide, and/or bactericide that is sprayed onto infected plant parts.
A copper-based fungicide is one example of a chemical method to cure Monstera disease. You can use it to treat anthracnose. However, our experts only recommend that these methods of typing physical and biological ones, do not work due to their adverse effects on your plants and environment. Several types of chemical agents (like cooper) can interfere with the growth of soil microbes which are beneficial to supply nitrogen for your plants.
The best way to prevent Monstera pests and diseases is to provide for their growing requirements. As for the treatment, you must know how to identify the issues first. Moreover, spotting the problem as early as possible is better to prevent further damage. We recommend using physical or biological methods as they have less negative impacts for your plants and environment.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Should I cut off Monstera leaves with brown spots?
Brown spots on Monstera leaves generally appear due to dehydration. Some can be saved by watering regularly. However, it only applies if only the edges crunch. In case the brown patches have already spread, you better cut them off, as they can’t perform photosynthesis anymore. Cutting them also stimulates new growth.
Why does my Monstera have brown patches?
If your Monstera has leaves with brown spots, it may be a sign of dehydration. Usually, it will start with brown edges before spreading over the leaf. After that, your leaves will wither and fall over. Besides dehydration, overwatering can also cause dark brown patches on the leaves. The leaves alert you that the roots are drowning and may start to rot. However, if the leaves are initially yellowish and then turn brown, your Monstera is overexposed to the sun.
How to use pesticides and insecticides on Monstera?
You can simply use both pesticides and insecticides on Monstera using a sprayer. Generally, you need to dilute it first according to the instructions for use on the packaging. Then, spray it on the part where pests invade and diseases infect. Do it every few days for optimal results. Remember to spray the underside of the leaves, as pests like to stay in that area.
How can you tell if your Monstera has spider mites?
Notice clusters of brown dots on your Monstera leaves and the undersides? It can be a symptom of spider mites invasion. After that, they will also start making silky webs between the leaves’ ends and the stems. But don’t worry! You can get rid of them using a mixture of water (30 oz) and alcohol (a cup). Then, spray it on the affected area.
What do you spray on Monstera leaves?
Spraying your Monstera leaves helps clean them of dust and debris. You can make a mixture of distilled water and detergent-free soap, preventing pests on your plant. After that, spray it on the leaves and leave it for around five minutes. Then, wipe it with microfiber so as not to hurt the surface. In addition, neem oil also works great for your Monstera leaves. It can get rid of pests and prevent them from invading.