Dying Monstera Deliciosa Mass Curling/ sudden lower yellowing

Discussion in 'Araceae' started by emandeli, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. emandeli

    emandeli Member

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    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    Have had around a year and it was doing very well until the last month. Humidity levels are consistently around 55-65% . Forced air heating and unfortunately is a little near one area due to being near the window. (Other monsteras near another window/heating vent are doing well). Was sprayed with insecticidal soap early fall when adjacent plants showed aphids. Consistent issue with fungus gnats, been using mosquito dunks and have reduced quite a bit.

    Soil isn’t how I’d like due to availability of supplies/location right now but did recently repot due to the curling (no yellow) and compaction of the original soil and not drying out (wet concrete-like). Did have trouble with the root system /access for clearing some of the compact soil. I didn’t want to stress it anymore....but perhaps I did the worst thing to do? Now it’s sort of a mix of pro-mix premium and perlite with a few charcoal/bark pieces that had left and was only watered a bit once. Trouble drying out the bottom and suspect too many (fine?) peat that is clumping and not drying out. I have tried to loosen it up a little to help dry out but still damp below the surface. Could this be what is killing it??

    Suddenly, it’s going yellow and it’s happening very very fast. Has never had yellowing before nor curling. I have cut off a few dying leaves to have a look at it and with pocket microscope I can see little fine silk threads on leaf here and there and brown rotting dots/looking spots on another leaf. No pests I could see on the leaves except when checking near the base of the stem where it exited the soil, there were microscopic (very clear, no colour-tinge at all little bugs crawling around. I’m not sure what it was but looked like a mite??? )

    The questions I have are:
    1) Should I take it out of this soil? Do I look at roots? How to look at middle roots?
    2) Should I try to get a picture of the clear bug or the silky strand things I can see (with my phone camera through the eyepiece of the pocket scope lol)
    3) Is there any way to save this, and it was a fairly large plant for my house and I loved it. The first pic doesn’t look nice and full but it used to be. I’m sad!
    4) Likely happening due to stress from watering/heat/humidity/pests?

    And if it helps any, I did propogate a stem in the fall and it grew a beautiful new leaf. Except the older leaf now is also drooping. (Not the new one).....I feel like a failure at this and wish I knew more on how to *not* ruin them.

    Many thanks for all your help.

  2. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Marysville, WA USA
    Hi Emandeli. :) We're at the very hardest time of the year right now with low light & cool night temps combine to make overwatering problems worse than they would be otherwise. That's a very nice basket, but it seems that pot is too heavy & basket too tight to lift it out every time you water. Without an open drainage tray and a pot with plenty of good drainage holes, then you don't know if water is building up down there or not. You need good drainage, that's the first problem. It does look like it's getting a little direct sun, but these like several hours a day of full direct sun (I know the internet says "bright indirect"; it's a myth). Your leaves look like they were developed in low light. Once you get it more light, every other problem, like overwatering, becomes much less severe. The soil is fine for this plant (if it were in a correct size pot), although the pot is a little big. Your soil is nearly the same as what my Monstera is thriving in, but to keep it with this soil overpotted like this you need to be sure that it drying down several inches before you water. These definitely don't need the "free draining" soil the internet says they do, as long as you get enough light. The bugs sound like spider mites. You get rid of them by consistently rinsing the leaves, especially the undersides, on a regular basis over time. Don't use oils, soaps, or poisons. They're not as effective as simple warm water spray on a regular basis (frequently until the bugs are gone then maybe a couple/few times a year).

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