weeping monstera

Why is my monstera weeping?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

It can be quite alarming seeing water droplets forming on the ends of your Monstera’s leaves when you’ve been so careful not to overwater it.

As you can see from the image above, my Thai Constellation is currently weeping, and whilst I’m confident that this isn’t a sign of my plant’s imminent demise, I’m attached enough to the plant that I thought I’d research the issue and write about it.

I mean, I have nothing better to do. If the government is telling me to stay at home, something I’ve fought to do my entire life, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.

Ok, let’s crack on.

Why is my monstera weeping?

It’s a process called guttation and it’s not exactly water that’s accumulating on the end of the leaves, it’s xylem sap, which is basically water and minerals your plant doesn’t need anymore.

Plant pee, if you will.

Sorry.

When you water a plant, it takes up water (shocking, I know). But, rather like us when we have wine, the plant doesn’t know when to stop sucking up water. If it takes up more than it needs, it expels the excess moisture (plus some other crap it doesn’t need) through its leaves.

Is guttation the same as dew?

No. Guttation is an internal thing a plant does, but if you’re looking at outside plants, it can look the same.

Usually, a plant gets rid of excess moisture through transpiration, and you can’t see the moisture leaving. You know, because it’s tiny molecules of water vapour. But plants don’t transpire at night, and the roots carry on sucking up water.

Understandably, with the roots taking up water and the leaves not expelling any, pressure builds.

Guttation occurs when the water is forced out of the stomata and collects on the tip of the plants, like a little teardrop.

Dew, on the other hand, has never been within the plant.

It’s moisture that’s been hanging around in the air and the condenses on cold surfaces such as plants.

It’s unlikely to occur indoors unless you’re leaving your windows open at night, so if you have water droplets forming on your plants, it’s probably guttation.

Is guttation bad for your plants?

I’m going to say no, but keep reading, because obviously I’m going to mention overwatering, because when don’t I?

Guttation is a perfectly natural part of a plant’s life, and it isn’t a sign that your plant is any other than totally healthy.

HOWEVER

My own observations have found that plants weep more when they’ve just been watered, so if you’re noticing more guttation than normal, then maybe check your soil.

If you’re not overwatering, then maybe inadequate drainage is the issue.

I want to reiterate that there may be nothing wrong with your plant – since it’s a natural response to excess water there are a plethora of reasons (temperature, humidity, plant size) that your plant is…guttating? Is that a word? Surely there’s a verb form of the noun guttation?

Anyway.

So whilst guttation is nothing to worry about, it’s always worth keeping an eye on your plant, especially if it was a £89.99 Thai Constellation.

By the way, my Thai does need repotting, I’m just waiting for my worm castings to show up. I’m transferring her into terracotta too so her roots can be very aerated. She deserves the best.

I’m also shuffling her around the house a lot so that she gets the best light and humidity, so I notice when she drips on me. My other plants could be guttating just as much, I’m just not noticing it.

Guttation does seem to happen in monstera more than other plants, but maybe I just notice them more because of the huge leaves.

Guttation is only bad when…

  • It’s ruining your furniture. Water damage is real kids.
  • Your plants are over fertilised. If you see a white mark that looks like an ink blot, then this may be a sign that you need to ease of on the fertiliser, or switch to a gentler one like bunny poop or worm castings (also poop). Your plant can get leaf burn from the excess fertiliser present in the xylem.

Does guttation happen in every plant?

No – big woody plants (some would call them ‘trees’) don’t guttate because they’re big and gravity is a real thing so the plant doesn’t have the ability to resist gravity to push the xylem up the stem.

I’m assuming it’s either pushed out of the roots, but I really have no idea. Presumably, they can just take in an awful lot of water.

Why is my plant sticky?

Xylem fluid isn’t sticky, so if your plant is covered in sticky droplets, that’s not a sign o guttation.

But if you have philodendron, you may have noticed sticky drops on the stem.

Firstly, you need to check for pests. Scale insects in particular produce honeydew, which can cause sticky leaves.

In fact, if you google ‘sticky philodendron’ all you get is a load of scale horror stories. But in my experience, either philodendron start expelling seriously sticky xylem once their stems reach a certain girth, or they’re just naturally sticky.

I have no idea which it is, but my P. golden dragon, P. hastatum, and P. subhastatum are all healthy, have no bugs (famous last words) and are sticky as hell.

Conclusion

So this article from the Spruce seems to suggest that guttation is different from the roots sucking up excess water and expelling them through its leaves, but every other article suggests that it’s the same thing.

I’m not saying the spruce is wrong, but it’s unlikely that a plant can suck up water and expel it, unchanged.

I mean, when we drink a lot of water, we pee it out, but it’s not pure water. It’s pee.

Water plus other stuff we don’t need. Salts etc.

It’s the same with plants.

I conclude this essay by comparing the process of guttation to the process of peeing more when you’ve drunk (drank? what’s wrong with me today?) too much water – it won’t kill you but maybe chill it with the hydration.

Hope that helps.

26 thoughts on “Why is my monstera weeping?”

  1. Oh thanks for this!! I bought my first monstera a few weeks ago and gave it a good watering a few days ago, and woke up to what looked dew drops this morning. I checked in case I’d left the window behind it open all night – nope. Water leak from the apartment above? Thank god, no. So reached for trusted Google and found your helpful article. I feel much better now. Have a great day!

  2. I’m glad I could set your mind at ease! Good luck with your Monstera, may it grow big and strong.

  3. I put my varigated monstera outside for a few hours so it could get some “fresh air”. Unfortunately, it was windy and the new, beautifully varigated leaf broke off. 🙁 The plant has been weeping for a day now and I am very glad to have found this. Thank you!

  4. oh noooo what a nightmare! Don’t worry, that scenario is one that wild Monstera will come across all the time, so the plant will survive. You can put the leaf in water – they last a pretty long time.

    Sometimes single leaves grow roots and will last even longer, but unless there’s a node there, it’ll remain a single leaf.

  5. I thought I was going insane, I kept finding water droplets on my new monstera! My first thought was that we had a leak and never noticed, and even got up on a chair and felt the ceiling for wet patches! Thank you for this wonderful article, I honestly had no idea plants did this!

  6. Yeah, I was moving mine to a different spot a couple of years ago and water was running down my arms – it’s so weird when you don’t know where it’s coming from!

  7. Thank you so much!! I’ve been wondering for a while my mostera does this and yet looks so healthy! xx

  8. Wow… really? This is really informative… I just bought a montsera yesterday, water it when I got home because the soil is kinda dry. Then earlier this morning my fingertip got wet when I touched the leaf. I thought my hand was probably wet so I just ignored it, But then this afternoon I noticed there is water droplet on the tip of one leaf, then other leaves have water droplet too. I found it weird. So I started to search and your article was the first one to give me an answer to my curiosity. It’s a common phenomena. Now I don’t have to worry about my montsera… Thanks again.

  9. You’re welcome! Yeah, it’s totally normal. In my experience monstera are pretty forgiving plants – great for beginners.

  10. Thank you for this. I bought my monstera four days ago, and I haven’t watered it yet because every day I’ve been seeing these droplets on its ends… I assumed it was over watered at the nursery, and there also are two white dots on one of its leaves (this article REALLY covered all my questions, lol) I just wanted to confirm, since it is guttating? Or whatever, lol, it has sufficient water right now then, and I won’t need to water it for a while still, ya? Can you tell this is my first plant, haha!

  11. Yeah, I’d leave it to dry out for a bit. It’s best to check the soil (I’m a big moisture metre fan), but it’s unlikely to need more water if it’s guttating.

    Congrats on your first plant! May it be the first of many!

  12. Thank you for this humorous & informative article! I have a photo of mine with the big droplets on top of the largest leaves (which was puzzling, as it wasn’t on the small ones), and a white spot on one of the leaves, if you’d like to have an example for your article. (I would’ve posted it here if there were an option.) I just got it yesterday. The soil was drenched, but…it was $12.99 at Trader Joe’s so I expected it would need some TLC. 😉

  13. I find that only a few of the leaves have droplets on the end – it usually depends how much water they need to get rid of. I’m not sure why the water would stay on top of the leaf – could it have dropped from a higher leaf?

    The white spot could be from a bit of physical damage or past thrips action. Thrips LOVE monstera, and monstera are usually pretty happy to host the odd bug without too much damage (I just spray the leaves with diluted neem oil and wipe the bugs off).

    Most likely is that someone tried to help the leaf unfurl and damaged it. Almost every one of my plants bears some scar from me doing this (am impatient and bad) and they fade over time.

    Awesome bargain by the way! I’d love to put the photo in the article – email me (caroline@planethouseplant) and drop me a link to a site or social handle and I’ll credit you.

  14. Amazing article, it helped me a lot since I had no idea what was going on with my monstera. Thank you so much! 🙂

  15. Very good read. I have a few different plants that very often have droplets, and at first I was worried. Thank you for the information, and for making this article fun! 🙂

Leave a comment