Your beloved Monstera plant is drooping, and you suspect the dreaded root rot. This silent killer lurks below the soil, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting houseplants everywhere. Our guide will arm you with tips to identify, treat, and prevent root rot to save your green friend from an untimely demise.

Discover how to keep roots healthy and plants thriving!

Key Takeaways

  • Look for wilting leaves, yellowing, black spots on foliage, mushy or dark stems, and soggy or smelly roots as signs of Monstera root rot.
  • Prevent root rot by using fungicides, repotting regularly with proper soil and drainage, aerating the soil, and having a correct watering schedule.
  • Treat early root rot by checking and trimming the affected roots carefully. Improve air flow to the soil and consider repotting with fresh mix if necessary.

Signs of Monstera Root Rot

When your Monstera shows early signs of distress, it’s essential to examine its roots, as root rot often reveals itself through wilting leaves that seem perpetually thirsty no matter how much you water.

A closer look may show yellowing leaves and unsightly black spots creeping across the foliage, hinting at a deeper issue within the pot.

If stems feel mushy or appear unnaturally darkened, these are clear alerts signaling trouble below the soil line—where you might find roots turning soggy and emitting a foul odor.

Recognizing these symptoms is crucial in tackling root rot before it advances further into your cherished plant.

The table below concisely summarizes the main points, categorizing the symptoms of Monstera root rot and their causes, and suggests ways to address these issues:


Symptom Description & Causes Recommended Action
Wilting Leaves Leaves droop due to potential root issues like waterlogged soil. Ensure proper drainage and avoid overwatering.
Yellowing Leaves Indicates root distress, often from too much water. Adjust watering schedule, ensure good soil drainage.
Black Spots on Leaves Black marks with yellow rings, signifying root rot from germs. Monitor closely, remove affected parts to prevent spread.
Mushy or Dark Stems Stems become soft and weak, indicating potential root rot. Check for fungal infection and manage watering.
Soggy or Smelly Roots Roots are wet, squishy, and emit a bad odor, showing decay. Inspect and treat roots, ensure healthy soil conditions.


Wilting leaves

Wilting leaves on your Monstera plant are a clear call for help. It is often one of the first signs that something might be wrong with the roots. If you notice the leaves start to droop, it’s time to take action.

This could mean your plant has waterlogged soil, which can lead to soggy roots and eventually root rot.

Taking care of plants means being alert for these changes. Make sure you’re not overwatering and that there’s good drainage in the pot. This will help avoid fungal infection and stop root disease before it harms your plant’s growth.

With careful watching and quick response, you can keep those Monsteras healthy and prevent their leaves from wilting away!

Yellowing leaves

Yellow leaves on your Monstera can set off alarm bells. This often means the plant’s roots are in trouble, usually because of too much water. When leaves go from green to yellow, it’s like a cry for help from your plant buddy.

It’s telling you that its roots might be sitting in soggy soil and they can’t breathe well or get the food they need.


Your Monstera needs you to check on its watering schedule and make sure the soil drains well. Keep a close eye for any leaves turning yellow or pale, and black rings around stems touching the soil – these are big hints that root rot could be setting in.

Take action fast to give your leafy friend the best chance at bouncing back to full health!

Black spots on leaves

Seeing black spots on your Monstera’s leaves is a clear alarm bell. These ugly marks often have yellow rings around them and show that the plant might be sick with root rot. This trouble starts when bad germs and tiny life forms attack the roots.

If these black spots keep showing up or spread out, it means the root rot is getting worse.

You’ll want to keep an eye out for these dark marks because they tell you early on that your plant needs help. And getting rid of those problems fast can save your beloved green friend.

Think of these spots as a secret code; crack it quick, and you can stop root rot before it takes over!

Mushy or dark stems

Mushy or dark stems on your Monstera are a big red flag. Healthy stems should be thick and sturdy. If they feel soft, it’s likely that root rot is setting in. This weakness happens because the plant’s roots have been damaged by too much water or a fungal infection.

Think of strong stems as the backbone of your Monstera; once they start to get squishy, your plant can’t stand up tall and healthy.

Dark spots creeping onto the lower leaves are also bad news for plant health. They signal trouble below the soil where you can’t see—where roots might be drowning in waterlogged soil or under attack from diseases.

Keep an eye out for these changes in your Monstera so you can act fast to save it from further harm. Plant care means being alert to these signs and knowing when to step in with help.

Soggy or smelly roots

Soggy or smelly roots are bad news for your Monstera plant. If the roots feel wet and squishy, like a rotten apple, that’s a sign they’re not healthy. They might also smell really bad, kind of like garbage that’s been left out too long.

This is because the roots are starting to rot away, and when parts of a plant die, they can start to stink.

If you see waterlogged roots or any that look wilted and blackened, it means trouble. The root system needs to be in good shape to help the rest of your Monstera stay strong and grow big leaves.

So it’s important to check on them now and then by gently pulling out the plant from its pot to make sure they’re healthy and don’t have a rancid smell. Fixing root rot early helps your Monstera get back on track!

Prevention and Recovery from Monstera Root Rot

Empowering your Monstera with health starts by wielding the shield of prevention against root rot—apply fungicides judiciously to fend off disease. Embrace the ritual of refreshing the potting mix and optimizing drainage during regular repotting sessions, ensuring that water flows freely without drowning delicate roots.

Cultivate an environment where roots can breathe by gently aerating compacted soil; this cultivates a sanctuary for robust growth. Watering should follow a rhythm in sync with your plant’s needs, avoiding excess while quenching its thirst sufficiently—a balance that guards against the perils of root decay.

When early signs whisper hints of trouble below the surface, act swiftly with corrective care to re-establish harmony and vitality within your verdant companion’s foundation.

💡 Monstera cuttings without a node and axillary bud will not grow and are prone to root rot.

Using fungicides

Using fungicides is a smart move to keep your Monstera healthy. These special helpers stop root rot by killing harmful fungi. You can find many types, but natural options like cinnamon, chamomile tea, and hydrogen peroxide are kind to your plant and the environment.

Mix them with water and apply to the soil around your Monstera.

Make sure you use the right amount because too much can hurt your plant. Fungicides help prevent future outbreaks as well as treat current problems. They act like shields against unwanted fungal growth that causes root rot in Monsteras.

Keep an eye on your green buddy after treatment to make sure it gets back to being strong and lively!

Regularly repotting and improving drainage

Root rot can turn your beautiful Monstera plant into a sad, wilting mess. To keep your plant’s roots healthy and strong, consider these steps for regular repotting and improving drainage.

  • Choose the right pot: Use a pot with enough holes in the bottom. This lets extra water run out so roots don’t sit in wet soil.
  • Pick the correct soil: Mix peat, pine bark, and perlite to make soil that drains well. This kind of mix helps keep your Monstera happy.
  • Know when to repot: Repot your plant every two years or when it looks too big for its pot. New space helps roots grow and keeps them from rotting.
  • Be gentle with roots: When you repot, handle roots with care. Take off any soil that is not sticking to them but don’t pull too hard.
  • Check root health: Look for brown or mushy parts while repotting. Cut these off because they could be signs of rot starting.
  • Clean the pot: Use soap and water to clean pots before putting plants back in. This helps stop diseases from spreading.
  • Watch how much you water: After repotting, let the plant settle before adding more water. Give it time to adjust to its new home.

Aerating soil

Aerating the soil is a key step in helping your Monstera plant stay healthy. It lets air move through the soil and stops too much water from hurting the roots.

  • Poke small holes in the soil: Use a stick or a pencil to create tiny openings. This lets air reach the roots.
  • Loosen topsoil gently: Mix up the top inch of soil with your fingers or a small tool. Be careful not to harm the roots.
  • Add perlite or pumice: These materials help keep the soil light and airy.
  • Choose a well-draining mix: When repotting, select a soil mixture that drains water quickly.
  • Avoid compacting the soil: When you water or work with your plant, try not to press down on the soil too much.
  • Create space between plants: Make sure there’s enough room around each Monstera for air to move freely.

Maintaining a proper watering schedule

Monstera plants love water, but too much can hurt them. To keep your plant healthy, it’s important to find the right balance.

  • Check the soil moisture: Before you water, push your finger into the soil. If the top 2 inches are dry, it’s time to water.
  • Keep a calendar: Mark down each time you water your Monstera. This helps prevent overwatering.
  • Look at your plant: If the leaves droop or look dry, they might need water. But if the leaves are yellow, hold off on watering for a bit.
  • Use pots with holes: Pots with drainage holes help extra water flow out so roots don’t sit in wet soil.
  • Adjust for seasons: Plants drink less in cooler months. Water less often when it’s cold.
  • Test before repotting: If your Monstera needs a new pot, test if the soil is dry first to avoid adding stress to the roots.
  • Light and warmth matter: More light and warmth may mean more water needed. Less light and cooler air means less water.
💡 Ensure your Monstera receive sufficient water for their growth and to avoid drought stress, but avoid over-watering. Specifically, make sure plants do not remain in standing water from drainage. (source)

Catching and treating early signs

Catching and treating the early signs of root rot in your indoor plants can save them from serious harm. Quick action is key to keeping your Monstera plant happy and healthy.

  • Check the roots: Pull your plant gently from its pot every few months. Look for strong white roots. If you see brown or black mushy ones, it might be root rot.
  • Feel the soil: Push your finger into the soil near the plant base. If it’s wet and soggy days after watering, drainage may be poor which can lead to rot.
  • Notice leaf changes: Watch out for yellow leaves or ones with black spots. These are often signs that something is wrong below the soil.
  • Keep an eye on growth: If your plant stops growing or looks sad, take a closer look at its roots and soil.
  • Smell test: If there’s a bad smell coming from the pot, it could mean there’s a problem with too much moisture harming the roots.
  • Act fast: Cut away any dark, soft roots with clean tools. This stops rot from spreading up into healthy parts of the plant.
  • Adjust watering habits: Make sure not to overwater as this can cause more rot. Wait until the top inch of soil is dry before adding more water.
  • Improve air flow: Gently loosen up compacted soil without hurting the roots so they can breathe better.
  • Think about repotting: Sometimes plants need new homes with fresh soil and better pots that let water out easily.


1. What are the signs of root rot in a Monstera plant?

Signs of root rot in a Monstera include black or mushy roots, yellowing leaves, and a bad smell coming from the soil.

2. Can my Monstera recover from root rot?

Yes, your Monstera can recover if you cut away the rotten roots and replant it in fresh soil with proper care.

3. How do I prevent root rot in my Monstera plant?

Prevent root rot by making sure your Monstera is not overwatered and that the pot has good drainage to avoid excess moisture.

4. Should I use fungicide when treating my Monstera for root rot?

Using fungicide can help treat fungal causes of root rot, but make sure to carefully follow directions or seek advice from an expert.

5. Will changing the soil help my Monstera if it has root rot?

Changing the soil can help a lot because fresh, well-draining soil will prevent further water buildup around your Monstera’s roots.

6. What are common indicators of root rot in Monstera plants?

Common indicators include wilting or yellowing leaves, brown spots, and foul-smelling, mushy roots.

7. How can I effectively treat root rot in my Monstera?

To treat root rot, trim the infected roots, repot the plant in fresh soil, and adjust your watering routine to prevent future occurrences.

8. What are the best practices to prevent root rot in Monsteras?

Preventing root rot involves ensuring proper drainage, avoiding overwatering, and regularly checking the health of the roots.

9. Is it necessary to repot my Monstera if I suspect root rot?

Yes, repotting your Monstera in well-draining soil is crucial if you suspect root rot, as it removes rotting roots and provides healthy soil.

10. Can using fungicides help in treating root rot in Monstera plants?

Yes, fungicides can be effective in treating fungal-related root rot in Monsteras, but it’s important to use them as directed for safe and effective treatment.

George Brown

George Brown

I’m George Brown, a keen indoor gardener, passionate about helping beginners grow fresh herbs and indoor plants. My guidance focuses on the essentials of plant growth and the pleasure of cultivating greenery indoors. In my blog posts, I share practical tips on how anyone can transform their home into a thriving space for indoor plants and herbs.

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