Here’s How to Stop Monstera Adansonii Having Crispy Tips

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Monstera adansonii can be a bit prone to crispy tips, probably due to the fact they have fairly thin, delicate leaves that brown easily.

I got my Adansonii a few months ago, and it promptly put out three new leaves, all with crispy tips. Well, on one the leaf was half crispy, so saying it was just the tip is somewhat misleading.

I think I’ve got it sussed now. I won’t lie, one of the main reasons we get crispy tips on our Monstera adansonii is that we don’t pay them enough attention.

A LOT house plant issues boil down to us spending too much, or not enough time with them.

It’s in shock

I’m pretty sure that this was the issue with mine. I kept it in good light (a couple of meters away from a BIG south-facing window) and watered it well.

It was in desperate need of a repot when I brought it home. There was more roots than soil and I was having to soak it every couple of days to keep it hydrated.

I always leave plants a couple of weeks before repotting to reduce shock, but I try to only repot if it’s 100% necessary. After the obligatory two week waiting period I repotted – though I still got a few crispy tips I think spreading the shocking events out over a few weeks helps the plant recover quickly.

It did recover – it’s looking pretty healthy now.

Here’s an offending crispy tip:

It’s not been watered enough

Monstera adansonii can be a bit of trial for new plant people, because they can be very inconsistent with the amount of water they need.

I highly recommend not putting them in terracotta, just because it can mean you’re having to water them every day when they’re in growing season. It would be ok if it actually was every day, but it’s more like ‘water every day for three days, then wait five days, water twice in two days, wait two days…it’s just a bit much.

It’s definitely worth bottom-watering Monstera adansonii to stop crispy tips. They’re often sold as a load of cuttings in one pot (because it makes them look fuller) but that can make them a bit of pain to top water without getting the leaves wet.

Bottom watering just makes sure all of the soil is thoroughly watered, and none of the vines are going to end up getting dehydrated and crisping up.

I like to leave my plants to bottom water for a few hours, but you can speed up the process by putting the plant in a bowl of water, and then top watering it. Doing it this way means that the soil is thoroughly dampened in about ten minutes. I don’t think its as effective as just leaving the plant to wick up the water itself but I can’t think why it wouldn’t be. IT’S JUST A FEELING, GUYS.

It’s been watered too much

Monstera adansonii are just as easy to overwater as they are to underwater due to the seemingly sporadic way in which they absorb moisture.

I like to use a moisture meter and water when it hits the 2 or 3 mark. I know a lot of people hate moisture meters, but…they’ve never led me astray.

Always check the soil before you water – don’t just water weekly because that seems about right.

There are a few things that can cause you to inadvertently overwater, so keep an eye out for them:

It doesn’t like the water

Calathea are famous for getting crispy tips because they don’t like your tap water, but Monstera adansonii can be a bit precious about water quality too.

I do use tap water on my Monstera adansonii, so not all tap water is going to upset them – you just have to try it. Rainwater is another option, as is adding aquarium dechlorinator/tap safe to your water.

I personally don’t think it’s worth the expense of getting either a water filter or distilled water, but plenty of people love this option.

Humidity is too low

Monstera adansonii aren’t too fussed about ambient room humidity being around 45%. They won’t grow as big or as fenestrated as if you had higher humidity, and they’ll be less inclined to use their aerial roots to climb, but they’ll look perfectly fine.

However, if the humidity gets too below around 40% then you might end up with damage to the ends of the leaves.

A humidifier is a great choice. Misting isn’t, because it mimics rain more than it does high humidity, but also because of this next point:

Water has got trapped in the leaf

Monstera adansonii can make a right meal out of unfurling, especially as their leaves get larger and more fenestrated. Water can get trapped in the leaf and cause it to rot a bit.

Unfortunately, there’s sometimes nothing you can do about this. Water often gets into the leaf because it came out of the leaf due to the leaf gutatting. Since you can’t really control when your plant guttates, there’s not a lot you can do about this.

HOWEVER, in my experience, making sure that your Monstera adansonii has good light, decent humidity (around 60%), and is well fed seems to encourage the leaves to unfurl faster so they’re less likely to fall victim to this.

Don’t mist new leaves (if you have to mist at all) because it dramatically increases the chance that water will get trapped and cause brown marks when it unfurls.

It needs feeding

Monstera adansonii are pretty heavy feeders and will get yellow mottling if they’re hungry. Over time, this yellowing will turn brown if the plant isn’t fertilised quickly enough.

I try to fertilise my Monstera adansonii every couple of weeks in the growing season, because it has several vines but isn’t in a particularly large pot (so there won’t be much soil to get nutrients from). I use the General Hydroponics Flora series and my Adansonnii seems pretty happy.

It’s too cold

Brown tips can often be attributed to cold weather, especially in plants with delicate leaves like Monstera adansonii.

Keep your Monstera in as warm a spot as you can in winter, be sure not to keep it in a draught, and don’t let its leaves touch the windows – this can cause brown tips overnight.

It tried to grow through another leaf

This one is fairly specific to Monstera adansonii, though I have seen it in Monstera deliciosa too.

Some leaves are a bit think and grow through the hole of another leaf. Not only do they get stuck if you don’t notice, but just touching another leaf can be enough to cause damage to the delicate new leaf.

This happens a lot to plants comprised of multiple vines. If anyone has a solution I’m all ears. I just keep an eye on new growth and redirect it gently. They usually go back to how they were though.

Pests can cause brown tips

Pests are a pain to see on Monstera adansonii, but luckily they’re one of those plants that a lot of pests aren’t fussed about. In my experience, a couple of weeks of spraying them down with soapy water is enough to shift most pests.

Thrips damage and underfertilisation look remarkably similar in Monstera adansonii:

monstera adansonii that needs fertilising
this is hungry, not thrips-y, but the mottling is very similar in both scenarios

The brown marks tend not be concentrated near the tips of the leaves, but it’s always worth checking, just in case.

Final thoughts

Some brown tips on your Monstera adansonii are unavoidable.

The best way to avoid them is to make sure you’re clear on watering it – thoroughly dampen the soil when it’s nearly completely dry, and then don’t water until it’s dry again (which could be tomorrow or next week because they’re fickle).

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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