I remember the early days of purchasing one of my first Monstera plants. To tell you the truth, I found the perfect place for it in my home and I literally couldn’t stop staring at it. Whilst I was admiring its form and beautiful glossy leaves, I noticed that my monstera looked like it was crying or dripping water. I was really worried at first because thought I was doing something wrong. After doing some research I found the answer – let’s find out why your Monstera leaves are dripping:
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Monstera leaves dripping water
So this is actually a pretty common occurrence with this type of plant and it is down to something referred to as guttation. Guttation is when xylem sap droplets are secreted from the pores or stomata on the underside of a plant leaf. It usually occurs in higher humidity conditions or if the plant has been watered excessively. Whilst it may look like your plant is crying, this process is actually beneficial as it helps to release any excess water or nutrients that the plant doesn’t need.
Why do Monstera leaves drip water?
So as I mentioned above, Monstera plants in particular sweat or look like they are dripping water because of guttation. This occurs because of high amounts of humidity. I’ve seen in my experience that people have their monstera plants in places like bathrooms or kitchens where, of course, there is a lot of moisture in the air. If you have your plant in an environment like this, you might want to consider moving it somewhere with less humidity.
The water droplets you see forced out of your Monstera’s leaves are due to transpiration. Transpiration is the process of water vapor leaving the stomata, or pores, on the underside of the leaf. So really, it is a very natural process.
Now the thing about transpiration is that it doesn’t usually occur at night because, as there is no sunlight, it can’t photosynthesise. If the plant can’t carry out photosynthesis then it will not have enough energy to open its stomata. And what does this mean? As the stomata can’t be opened, the excess water needs to leave the plant somehow and this is when the water is forced out of its pores because of, you guessed it, guttation!
Guttation pores are tiny openings on the margins of leaves that allow water to pass freely from the plant without causing too much moisture loss.
Is Guttation Bad for Monsteras?
The simple answer is no, guttation is not bad for your Monstera plant. In fact, it is actually quite beneficial. This process helps to release any excess water or nutrients that the plant doesn’t need. So if you see water droplets on your plant, don’t worry, your plant is just getting rid of what it doesn’t need.
Of course, too much of anything is never a good thing and this also applies to guttation. If you notice that your plant is losing an abnormal amount of water then this could be a sign that something is wrong. Maybe the humidity in its environment is too high or you are watering it too often. If this is the case, you might want to consider moving your plant to a drier location or cutting back on its watering schedule.
If the droplets that result from guttation leave white, ink-blot-type marks, it might be an indication that you are overfertilizing. It’s critical to note that excessive fertilization can be harmful. Excess fertilizer trapped in the xylem can sometimes cause leaf burn.
Is Guttation the Same as Dew?
No, guttation is not the same as dew. Dew is water that condenses on plant leaves during the night. This usually happens in environments with high humidity. The water droplets you see on your plant in the morning are when humidity mixes with moisture and settles on colder surfaces such as your Monstera plant. Dew is perfectly normal and beneficial for plants as it helps to keep them hydrated. In fact, many farmers will often water their crops at night so that the dew can help to keep the crops moist throughout the day.
Guttation is when the sap is forced out of the plant due to transpiration. This usually occurs during the day when the plant is photosynthesising.
How do you stop Monstera from sweating?
Reduce the amount of water you give your Monstera
Guttation is caused by overwatering, therefore decreasing watering is the most effective solution. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and make sure there’s enough drainage in its container. Another technique for reducing the amount of water applied to your Monstera is to use a lesser quantity each time you water it. This will help prevent root damage from excessive moisture intake which induces guttation.
Maintain a constant temperature and humidity
If the temperature or humidity in your home fluctuates often, it might be difficult to stop your Monstera from carrying out guttation. Try to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level by using a humidifier or dehumidifier if necessary. You can also place your plant in a room that doesn’t experience drastic changes in temperature.
Fertilize your Monstera on a regular basis
Fertilizing your Monstera regularly will help to prevent it from losing too much water through guttation. Use a balanced fertilizer that contains both nitrogen and potassium. Apply the fertilizer according to the package instructions and be sure not to overdo it as this can actually lead to more guttation.
Every one to two years, repot your Monstera
If you notice that your Monstera is sweating more often than usual, it might be time to repot it. This will help to aerate the roots and allow them to breathe better. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and don’t water your plant too often after repotting.
It’s time to give your Monstera a little TLC via pruning
If you see yellow or brown leaves, it’s time to prune your Monstera. This will help to encourage new growth and reduce the amount of water lost through guttation. Use sharp, sterilized pruning scissors and cut back the affected leaves to just above a node.
The best time to water your Monstera plant is early in the day
Water your Monstera early in the day so that the leaves have time to dry before night falls. This will help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Change the soil
If you’ve tried all of the above methods and your Monstera is still sweating, it might be time to change the soil. Use a well-draining potting mix that contains perlite or vermiculite. These materials will help to improve drainage and aeration in the soil.
Increase the light for your Monstera
Most tropical plants, including Monstera plants, prefer diffused light. However, too much “diffused” light can cause water retention and make the leaves sweat or cry. Place your Monstera in a spot where it will get bright indirect light instead. If there’s not enough natural light in your home for your plant, you can use grow lights as a supplement.
Eliminate any sources of moisture
If you live in a humid climate, it might be necessary to take additional measures to prevent your Monstera from sweating. Use a dehumidifier in the room where your plant is kept and make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. If possible, move your plant to a drier location such as an air-conditioned room.
Remove your Monstera from the vicinity of other plants
When plants are placed very close together, they develop a humid atmosphere. This may be beneficial for plants that require more moisture, but it’s not ideal for those that are prone to Guttation.
To improve drainage and aeration in the potting mix, add vermiculite or perlite
If your Monstera is still sweating excessively, try adding vermiculite or perlite to the potting mix. These materials will help to improve drainage and aeration in the soil.
Sometimes, plant pests will leave behind a sticky secretion that can be easy to mistake for guttation. Be careful not to confuse the two, as pests can cause significant damage and should be removed promptly.
The term “honeydew” applies to the clear, sticky substance that pests leave behind when they feed on plants. This sap is composed of sugars and other plant nutrients that the pests take in and then excrete. Honeydew usually indicates that mealybugs, mites, or scale insects are infesting your plant.
Honeydew itself is not poisonous, but the pests consuming it are gradually weakening and destroying the plant. The secretion is produced by the insect and attracts additional bugs that can damage the plant.
If you see a sticky residue on the leaves, stems, or any other part of your Monstera plant, give it a close look. If you identify any pests, take immediate action to remove them from your plant.
If you’re experiencing problems with your Monstera plant such as sweating, it’s important to take corrective action. In this article, we’ve outlined a variety of methods that you can use to stop your plant from sweating and if you should be concerned about it. Let’s sum up everything we’ve learnt:
- Your Monstera sweating is usually down to a process called guttation
- Guttation is the secretion of xylem sap droplets from pores or stomata on the underside of a plant leaf
- Common in humid environments
- The process can be beneficial
- You can water your Monstera less frequently to limit guttation
- Guttation is not the same as dew
- You can prevent guttation by stabilising the temperature, fertilizing, repotting it every 2 years, pruning, watering early in the day, changing the soil and eliminating sources of moisture