I've gone through some of the previous posts for Monstera but couldn't quite find anything like this. I bought a new Monstera about a week ago and it seemed to be adapting well. New leaves were unfurling, it seemed strong. But some of the leaves have started drooping a bit and I've noticed some brown spots on some of the leaves.

Some information:

  • I haven't watered it since bringing it home since the soil was a little damp. The top seems dry so maybe it's time to water.
  • I'm wondering if the room it is in is too cold. Possible?
  • Because of the little shiny patches, I thought it might be a scale infestation and I did find a little cottony string (just one) on one of the leaves, but I cannot find any scale insects. I've never had them before so I might just not be seeing them.

Anyone have any thoughts?

UPDATE: Added photos of the outer roots.

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Thank you!

  • Doesn’t look like insect damage, more like sun or frost damage? Was it exposed to direct sun or temperatures below 10C?
    – Daria
    May 1, 2019 at 11:28
  • It may have gotten some direct sun, but it would have been very little. The room gets chilly, but I would say no lower than about 17-18C. May 1, 2019 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


This looks a lot like the typical virus/fungus/bacteria infection brought about by being too wet in low light. The indicators are:

  • a necrotic or dead spot surrounded by the next phase of growth where the leaf is dying back
  • problem first appears on the older growth
  • located in random areas on several leaves

Most plants can outgrow this if the conditions are improved. Try this:

  • move to the highest light area. A south exposure behind a light drapes so the light is diffuse is ideal
  • make sure the plant is not sitting in water
  • consider taking the plant out of the pot to look at the roots. Normally firm and white or brown roots are good. Black and soft or mushy are dead roots and indicate the problem is root rot. Cut out dead roots without disturbing the root ball too much. As this has only started the plant should be able to out grow the problem.

You asked about washing the leaves. I observed some shiny oily spots and white pesticide residue on the leaves. You could wipe the leaves with a clean cloth but this will not affect the problem.

  • So it may have started before I even bought it. It's in a fairly bright room, but I'll see if I can improve the location for sun exposure. I'm worried about the direct sun. The spot it is in might have a little direct sunlight toward the end of the day, but where it is typically gets a lot of indirect light. I'll take a look at the roots next. Would washing the leaves be advisable? May 1, 2019 at 14:12
  • Thank you for the edit! Second follow up question (Thank you for the help!): If I check the roots and I see rot, is there any way to save it? May 1, 2019 at 15:08
  • more explanation added!
    – kevinskio
    May 1, 2019 at 15:32
  • I did a quick check last night and noticed that the roots are really squashed in the pot. I know this happens, but when does squashed become too squashed? At any rate, the outside roots were all white and firm. They looked pretty healthy! Should I be going into the root ball? I'm worried about damaging all of these external roots because they're so compact =\ (Photos added to original question) May 2, 2019 at 16:13
  • @kaleidoscope those roots are firm and white so nothing to do. The plant will put on more top growth as the roots extend. I recommend more light and less water. Do not repot
    – kevinskio
    May 2, 2019 at 16:30

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