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Why Are My Monstera Leaves Wrinkled? (Solved!)

Monstera deliciosa takes the cake when it comes to stunning houseplants. The large, dark green, waxy leaves with Swiss cheese-like perforations immediately evoke images of a tropical paradise.

Because of this, it can be a little unnerving to see your monstera’s leaves wrinkling. What may be the problem here?

Monstera leaves typically become wrinkled as a result of improper watering, including both under- and over-watering. To get back to normal, fix the watering issue first. Lack of humidity, temperature stress, nutrient deficiencies, cold injuries, insufficient light, and pest infestations can all cause the leaves to curl and wrinkle.

If your monstera has wrinkled leaves, what should you do? Relax; I’ll walk you through each possible cause step by step.

Monstera Leaves Wrinkled
Monstera Leaves Wrinkled

[1] Wrinkled Monstera Leaves Are A Sign Of Improper Watering

The leaves of a plant will show the first signs of inconsistency or improper watering. Curling, wrinkling, wilting, and drooping are all examples of this.

If the leaves are wrinkled, you should first inspect the soil. Both underwatering and overwatering will cause the leaves to become wrinkled.

How Can You Tell Them Apart?

Underwatering is the likely cause of the dried-out potting mix. Because of the extreme lack of moisture in the foliage, the leaves become wrinkled, distorted, or curled up.

It will also appear wilted because of the loss of turgor pressure in your monstera plant. Since leaves lose more water than they take in from the roots, this is the reason why it becomes dry. 

  • Check your monstera for other signs of underwatering, including:
  • Drooping – Monsteras are known to droop or go limp when they are overly thirsty.
  • Curled up leaves – The foliage is curling due to a lack of moisture in the leaf tissue.
  • Brown leaf margins – This is one of the most common symptoms of severe dehydration. Leaf tips and edges will turn brown more quickly if your monstera is placed in a bright area or near a heating vent.
  • Brown spots on monstera leaves – If you notice light crunchy brown spots on your plant’s leaves, it’s time to water it.
  • Yellowing of the leaves – The leaves will turn yellow or have yellow spots. It’s not uncommon to see brown spots on the leaf’s surface and brown tips.
  • Bone-dry soil and wilting leaves.
Monstera Leaves Wrinkling Because of underwatering
Monstera Leaves Wrinkling Because of Underwatering

Wrinkled monstera leaves are more likely to be caused by overwatering than underwatering. The reason for this is that monsteras don’t like to stand in waterlogged or soggy conditions.

Overwatering a monstera can lead to root rot, which is even more devastating. The wrinkling and curling of the leaves will be accelerated by the root damage.

Unfortunately, symptoms of overwatering can be mistaken for those of underwatering. Checking the soil for moisture is a surefire method. Your monstera is getting too much water if the potting mix is sludged and soggy.

  • Other symptoms of a monstera deliciosa that has been overwatered are:
  • Beginning with the leaves closest to the ground, they begin to turn yellow.
  • Due to edema, water-soaked brown spots appear on the undersides of leaves.
  • Dropping or collapsing of leaves is frequently followed by leaf wilting.
  • Brown or black, mushy roots and a rotten-egg odor are signs of root rot.
  • Mold or mildew grows on the surface of the soil because the potting mix is too wet.

How to Correct Improper Watering

You must ensure that you water your plants on a regular basis. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to watering monsteras because of their unique needs.

  • During the spring and summer, you should water your monstera at least once every two weeks.
  • During the winter and fall, you should only water your monstera a few times a week.

Whatever the season, allow the top ¼ to ⅓ of the potting mix to dry out between irrigations. Use the finger test to check soil moisture before the next irrigation.

The wrinkling of an underwatered monstera can be reversed by deep watering. But keep in mind that, possibly irreversible damage to leaves may prevent them from regaining their original shape.

A monstera that has been overwatered and shows signs of root rot must be re-potted, however.

[2] Root Rot Causes Food and Water Supply Disruption

Root rot is the worst thing that can happen to your monstera plant. Overwatering or low light can cause your monstera to sit in an overly-wet medium.

Roots can become infected with fungal rot diseases if there is too much water in the soil.

When your monstera’s roots are damaged, it is unable to absorb water and nutrients properly. Due to a lack of moisture in the leaf tissue, it will wrinkle.

Wilting helps the plant retain more moisture by reducing the amount of water evaporation into the surrounding air.

When you remove the root ball, you’ll find a mess of smelly, brown roots. In addition, they may be soft, mushy, and prone to disintegration when touched.

Solution

There is a chance that all the roots have been damaged by root rot. It’s impossible to save a plant if its entire root system has been destroyed.

Monstera must be repotted if it is to survive. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove the rotten roots so that only the white and firm healthy ones remain.
  2. Dip the root ball into a fungicide solution to treat it.
  3. Repot your monstera in a new pot with peaty potting soil
  4. It should be placed in a well-lit area to ensure even moisture levels.

[3] Lack of Humidity

Monstera deliciosa is a tropical rainforest plant that thrives in humid, warm conditions under the canopy of the canopy.

However, your home is less humid and the air is drier, especially in the winter months when the central heating is on full blast.

Your monstera is a water-loving plant, and it can’t thrive in a dry environment like your home. Consequently, the leaves will begin to wilt, curl, and wrinkle.

How to Improve Humidity Levels for your Monstera

Your wrinkled monstera leaves will resurge once you boost the levels of your humidity to over 40% RH(Relative Humidity). Here’s how:

  • Spray mist your monstera regularly using rainwater, distilled, or demineralized water.
  • Group other houseplants around your monstera to generate a humid microclimate
  • Use  a humidifier (Check the latest price on Amazon here)
  • Sit your monstera on top of a humidity tray with pebbles

[4] Temperature Stress

Hot air and high temperatures can cause monstera leaves to wilt, curl, and wrinkle.

You can be sure that your monstera will react quickly and aggressively to sudden temperature changes. For example, if you leave it outside in direct sunlight or move it near radiators, heating vents, or drafty windows, it may become damaged.

In the winter, the same is true of icy winds blowing through the house. When your monstera is injured by the cold, it will curl its leaves inwards in response. This gives the leaves a wrinkly appearance.

Temperature-Stressed Monstera: How to Treat It

You need to keep your monstera safe from sudden temperature changes. Keep a close eye on the weather to make sure the temperature doesn’t fall below 65-85°F (18-30°C).

Never let the temperature fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or 7 degrees Celsius.

It is important to keep your monstera away from sources of heat such as radiators, drafty windows/doors, fireplaces, heating ductwork and so on.

The best location for your monstera is an east-facing window. During a heatwave, move it 3 to 4 feet away from the window to avoid overheating.

[5] Pest Infestation

Monstera Leaves Wrinkling Because of Pests
Monstera Leaves Wrinkling Because of Pests

Despite the fact that monstera is generally free of pests, infestations do occur. Sucking bugs such as mealybug aphid spider mites scale insects and aphids are able to feed on the foliage of monstera and suck vital juices from the leaves.

When leaves are infested with insects, they wrinkle due to the loss of water through sap-sucking and tissue damage.

Insects will eat away at your monstera’s nutrients and moisture, causing it to wilt, wrinkle, and yellow its leaves.

How to Get Rid of Monstera Bugs

Closely inspect your monstera from time to time for pests. Make sure to check the undersides of leaves since that’s the ideal hideout for most bugs.

  • Start by hand-picking the larger and visible bugs
  • Squish or dub some of the insects like mealybugs using a cloth or cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol
  • There are a range of chemical controls you can use, including neem oil, insecticidal soap, pesticides, and horticultural oils.
  • You can also use natural predators like lacewings, beetles, and ladybugs
  • Creating a diatomaceous earth barrier can also deter some of the infestations.

This article goes into greater depth about how to get rid of bugs on monstera.

[6] Using Tap Water Can Cause Monstera Leaves to Wrinkle

Most city tap water contains chlorine, fluorides, and other mineral deposits. Using this water to irrigate your monstera will result in the buildup of harmful salts in the soil.

In addition to killing beneficial soil microbes, the salts will inflict severe damage on the plant roots. As a result, the root function of your monstera leaves will be affected, causing them to dehydrate and wrinkle.

How to Fix Wrinkled Leaves due to Chlorinate Tap Water

You must stop irrigating your monstera using tap water immediately.

  • To eliminate the salt build-up, irrigate heavily and thoroughly from above to drain away from the salts from the soil
  • You can also repot your monstera if there’s too much salt build up in the medium

For future irrigation, use only distilled, rainwater, or filtered water