The monstera species are an excellent indoor plant, and its vibrant green leaves can brighten any room in your house. However, sometimes water droplets may form on the tip of your plant’s leaves. It may look like your monstera is sweating, but is that normal?
It is normal for your monstera to sweat, as that means the plant is undergoing guttation. Basically, your monstera is getting rid of excess water and minerals to retain a healthy internal environment. What could be more normal than that?
Although you may have been alarmed when you first saw these water droplets, there isn’t anything to worry about. You just need to understand what guttation is and what you should do when it occurs. Read on.
What Is Guttation?
When you see a plant, you may think that all it does is absorb water and sunlight to photosynthesize, and grow into luscious creatures. However, plants are more complicated than that. They need to maintain a specific balance of water and minerals in each part to remain healthy.
When you see your plant “sweating,” what do you think is in excess in the plant? The most obvious answer is water. However, the water droplets on your monstera are actually xylem sap – a mixture of water and minerals.
The process of removing excess water and minerals from pores in the leaves is called guttation. Guttation usually occurs at night, when temperatures are cold, and there is no sunlight. This is because, during the day, the plant can expel excess water via the transpirational pull. But sometimes, the plant needs to remove water at night or in the absence of the sunlight. In that case, root pressure plays an important role.
So basically, guttation works in the following ways:
- The roots end up absorbing water in excess from the soil.
- The accumulation of water in the roots creates enough root pressure to push the water upwards.
- As water moves up the plant, it picks up excess salts and minerals, forming the xylem sap.
- When the xylem sap reaches the leaves, it is expelled from the plant via the hydathodes.
Now you know what the mysterious “sweat” or “teardrop” on your monstera is. However, make sure that you do not confuse xylem sap from guttation with dew. They are entirely different, as explained below.
Is Your Monstera’s Sweat Just Dew?
The answer to this question is no. Your monstera sweating is the result of guttation. These droplets are the exudation of xylem sap from the tips of the leaves. Dew, on the other hand, is formed when hot air in the atmosphere meets the cool surface of the leaves. This phenomenon is called condensation.
The water from guttation comes from within the plant. The water droplets that form dew come from the atmosphere outside the plant. Another difference between dew and xylem sap is that dew will generally cover the entire surface of the leaf, but xylem sap is secreted only from the tips or edges of the leaves as that is where the hydathodes are located.
Why Is Your Monstera Sweating?
Now that you know your monstera “sweating” is the result of guttation let’s talk about what causes guttation.
Guttation is primarily caused by root pressure. Root pressure is the force that propels fluid upwards from the roots to the xylem, which eventually transports it up the stem and into the leaves. This root pressure is usually caused by osmotic pressure in the cells of the roots.
Osmotic pressure in the roots is a direct consequence of high moisture content in the soil. This can occur at night or if the transpiration rate is very low during the day.
Is It Normal for Your Monstera to Sweat?
Seeing water droplets appear on the tip of your monstera’s luscious leaves can be an alarming sight. However, rest assured that your monster “sweating” is absolutely normal. It does not in any way mean that you have an unhealthy plant.
Excess of anything is bad. Plants realize this just as well as we do (if not better!). Therefore, they have mechanisms and processes for removing unwanted substances so they can maintain their wellbeing and health.
Your monstera “weeping” or “sweating” is the result of the removal of unwanted water and minerals, and that is why there is nothing to be worried about. Guttation is a normal procedure in most vascular plants, and your monstera is one of them.
What Should You Do if Your Monstera Is Sweating?
In most cases, your monstera “sweating” may be the result of overwatering. Your plant will absorb excess water if surplus water is available. So, go easy on the watering. You only need to water a monstera once a week. How to take care of a monstera is discussed in more detail later on.
In the case of “sweating” or just water droplets, you do not need to worry. However, if you begin to notice a white, ink-like blood on the tip of the monstera’s leaves, then you may have a problem. Guttation is harmful in this case.
The white stains are a sign of over-fertilizing. The excess minerals accumulating on the tips can burn the leaves. To avoid this, you need to check your soil and opt for lighter fertilizers. A good option is Burpee Organic Potting Mix.
To avoid any stress or worry as far as your monstera is concerned, you need to appropriately take care of your plant. A monstera, just like any plant, needs a little devotion and discipline to be nurtured well.
How to Take Care of a Monstera
Monsteras, with their thick and luscious foliage, make attractive indoor plants; they can liven up any room instantly. They are an excellent option to choose if you are looking for indoor plants. You can buy a Monstera Delicioso Swiss Cheese plant online easily. Taking care of a monstera is not difficult either, but you need to remember a few rules.
Use the Right Soil
Your monstera will require fertile soil that drains properly. Well-draining soil is essential to avoid root rot. When buying soil and fertilizers, you should choose one that is rich in organic substances such as the Houseplant Resource Center Fertilizer spray.
Be Careful with Water
Your monstera should never be overwatered. Water it only once a week and that also after checking that the top two inches of the soil are dry. Wet soil will lead to your monstera “sweating” or worse, root rotting. However, when you water the plant, water it abundantly or till the water begins to gather above the soil surface.
Place in Warm Temperature
Monstera species thrive in a warm environment. They are not super sensitive, but in most cases, will not tolerate temperatures below 10°C (50°F). The ideal temperature for your monstera would be between 21°C – 24°C (70°F – 75°F). This should not be a problem indoors, but avoid placing your plant under direct sunlight or too close to a heating vent to prevent the air from becoming too dry for your monstera.
Your monstera sweating is the result of a normal phenomenon called guttation. It is the exudation of the excess of water and minerals from the plant. You may need to check your soil and watering schedule to avoid it.
Taking good care of your monstera is easy, but requires you to remember a few rules such as choosing a well-draining soil and not watering till the first two inches of the soil are completely dry. Once you get the hang of nurturing your monstera, it will become a lovely addition to your house!