If you have a Monstera deliciosa, you must have noticed it sweating, crying, or dripping water from leaves. We know how frightening it can look at first, but this condition is absolutely normal and happens all around the year. But since you are a plant parent, you must want to know why your Swiss cheese plant leaves are dripping water. And we’ve covered exactly that to calm your nerves. Keep reading.
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Why Is My Monstera Deliciosa Crying, Sweating, Or Dripping Water?
What you term as dripping, crying, or sweating of monstera leaves is actually your plant going through a process called guttation. It is a natural and non-harmful process that takes place due to a number of reasons. And those droplets are actually xylem sap, not water.
What Is Guttation?
Guttation is basically water droplets that come from inside the plant and form on the leaves. These droplets look like water, but in reality, they are xylem sap, a type of mineral. Monstera deliciosa or Swiss Cheese plant contains xylem cells that send nutrients, water, and other fluids from its roots to the stems.
Guttation occurs in several vascular plants and even grasses and mostly happens when roots absorb more water than required. The pressure of the excess water forces the xylem tissue to move the water back to the leaves. Xylem sap, on its own, is non-toxic, non-sticky, but can get really messy if the larger plants start dripping.
Why Does Monstera Deliciosa Or Swiss Cheese Plant Go Through The Guttation Process?
As discussed earlier, Monstera deliciosa goes through a process called guttation, in which liquid droplets form on the tips of leaves. There are a plethora of reasons why guttation takes place. These include:
The first reason for guttation is overwatering. It’s a sign that your Swiss plant has more water than it requires and is trying to get rid of the excess. This happens when you overwater your plant. Additionally, Monstera plants have low water potential, which leads the water to sit on the soil and builds pressure around the roots. Due to the increase in pressure, the plant starts releasing fluid through hydathodes, their water glands and this leads to guttation. We’d like to mention that not all plants have hydathodes.
Note: overwatering doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term effect that mainly occurs due to the lack of proper air circulation in the soil. If you water the soil and it stays wet, it’s a sign of overwatering.
Plants do not perform transpiration at night, which leads to the accumulation of moisture. So to discard excess moisture, the root pushes chemical sugar and of course moisture upwards through the phloem. Phloem is a fine channel connected to the cells on the surface of leaves. They then release the excess minerals and water, which make the plant look like it’s weeping.
Adjusting To New Environment:
The process of guttation isn’t common with all the plants. Some plants adjust to new environments quickly, but monstera isn’t one of them. Therefore, it regulates its growing conditions by dripping water.
Stress or too much pressure of growing in unideal conditions can also cause weeping of Monstera leaves. There could be many reasons why your monstera is stressed. It could be due to changes in soil or if the plant is growing in size and the present pot seems small. Sometimes, a short journey from nursery to home can also stress these plants, which they relieve by weeping or crying.
Is Guttation Bad For Monstera Deliciosa?
No, guttation doesn’t mean something is wrong with your monstera. It’s just a natural part of their lives. But it wouldn’t be unwise to keep a track of your plant’s feeding and watering habits to see if it can be reversed. We’re saying this because guttation is also a sign of overwatering. Monsteras is quite a hardy plant and can take care of itself in case of overwatering and excess moisture. But that doesn’t mean you can keep watering it as much as you want.
On the other hand, if the water droplets are leaving ink-blot type or white marks, it’s because you are overfeeding it. Over-feeding or over-fertilizing is a common problem, especially with new plant parents. They think they are going their plant good by providing a high level of nutrients. Instead, excess fertilization gets stuck in the xylem, leading to the burning of leaves.
Sometimes, the white crust may also be a natural formation as xylem sap is a combination of water and minerals. So it might get a bit tricky to find out if the problem is natural or due to fertilizers. Your best bet here would be to stop giving fertilizers to your plant and see how it reacts to it.
If you’re not feeding any kind of fertilizer, you can rest assured that it’s a natural occurrence.
Apart from guttation, the droplets on your monstera plant can also be sticky secretion left by plant fests, which are known as ‘honeydew’. You should know the difference as pests can be very dangerous for your plants, and must be taken care of immediately.
First and foremost, if your plant is covered with honeydew, it means that plant feeders like mites and mealybugs are feeding on your plant. The honeydew is sap from sugar and other nutrients present in the plant that the pests eat and then secrete on the plant itself.
Honeydew isn’t harmful on its own, but the pests that feed on it can weaken and kill the plant. Furthermore, honeydew attracts other pests and bugs that can wreak havoc on your plant.
Therefore, your first job should be to examine the droplet thoroughly. If it looks different from dew or guttation, act as soon as possible to get rid of it.
What Should You Do When Your Monstera Deliciosa Is Dipping Water/Crying/Sweating?
If your plant is going through guttation, you don’t have to take any steps. But if it’s due to some other reason, you need to address the problem immediately. The first step you need to take is to find out if the droplets are dew, honeydew, or xylem sap. The other ways to stop the dripping include:
Adjust The Watering Routine:
If the guttation is a result of overwatering, you may need to cut down on it. If the soil stays wet for a long time, avoid watering until it’s completely dry. We would advise you to water your monstera in the morning so that the plant gets an entire day to use up the water when their stomata are open.
Pick A Well-Drained Soil Mix:
A well-drained soil mix is ideal for the optimal health of Monstera Deliciosa. A well-drained soil mix lets the water get spread evenly. Moreover, it even discards excess water.
Provide Sufficient Light:
A regular supply of light keeps the pores of the plants open for a longer time, thereby allowing the water to evaporate completely. Additionally, it even helps your plant use up all the water during the process of photosynthesis.
Lower The Humidity:
If the humidity is on the lower side, it will allow more water to escape through the leaves of your Monstera plant through evaporation.
Use The Right Pot For Your Monstera:
Using the right size of pot for your monstera plant is more important than you can think. The perfectly sized pot keeps the moisture at the perfect level, enabling your plant to thrive in the best possible condition.
Keep Pests At Bay:
As a plant parent, it should be your duty to keep bugs and pests away from your babies. Keep a close eye on the health of the plant and check for infestation every now and then. If there is a pest infestation, move it away from the other plants for a few days and spray pest/insect repellant on it. You need to monitor your plant closely until the pests are gone completely.
FAQs About Monstera Plants Dripping Water
Is guttation the same as dew?
Most people perceive guttation the same as dew, but the fact is that they are completely different. Dew is formed through condensation from the moisture present in the air, while guttation is a sap that comes out of a plant. It’s also important to note that dew doesn’t really occur on houseplants unless they are placed next to an open window. So if your plant isn’t placed near a window and is still forming droplets, it’s guttation.
Is it normal for a Monstera plant to drip water?
For the most time, guttation is a completely natural phenomenon, but sometimes, that dripping could be due to some other reason such as dews on leaves or a sticky residue left by harmful pests. So you need to understand the distinction between all these causes to keep your plant happy and healthy.
Should I adjust my watering schedule if there’s guttation?
Guttation in itself is a natural process, and monstera plants are quite hardy, so we doubt it will do any harm to your plant. Thus, don’t change any routine unless the leaves are turning brown, black, or are getting mushy. But we’d like to reiterate that avoid overwatering them. If Monstera deliciosa starts drooping, it means that it is thirsty and you have to water it. Alternatively, check the top few inches of the soil. If it feels hard, water your plant immediately. It the soil feels moist; you can wait for a couple of days before watering. If you feel doubtful about the moisture level of your plant, you can check with a moisture meter.
Why is my monstera plant or leaves sticky?
Xylem sap isn’t really sticky, but the plant may start releases sticky xylem if its stem has reached a certain girth. Apart from that, the leaves of your monstera could be sticky due to honeydew. So check for pest infestation and clean your plant as soon as possible.
Does guttation take place in every houseplant?
Guttation is quite a common occurrence, even in hydroponic plants, but it appears mostly in Monstera or you can say it’s more visible because of its large leaves. It also comes down to the size because trees do not guttate as they are huge and can resist the gravity that pushes the xylem up the stem.
How often does a Swiss Cheese plant/Monstera plant sweat?
It’s difficult to say the exact time as transpiration and guttation occur when the plant needs them. But if your leaves are releasing water every single day, then the reason is something else, most probably, overwatering.
Should I wipe away the xylem sap from the leaves of my Swiss Cheese plant?
No, do not wipe away the xylem sap from your Monstera’s leaves. The fluid on the leaves of your plant means either your plant is transpiring or going through guttation. Transpiration is required for the transfer of fluid and minerals. Guttation, on the other hand, takes place when transpiration cannot. So if you wipe away the sap or fluid from the leaves, you are causing water loss. Water loss can be fatal for your plant as it changes the rate of transpiration. So if you see sweat drops on your Monstera, just leave it as is. You can wipe the sap from the floor though.
Plants are unique in their own ways, therefore you should keep an eye on their needs and wants. In case your Monstera plant is dripping, crying, or sweating, the first thing you need to know is to understand the difference between dew, honeydew, and guttation. It might feel overwhelming at first, but you’ll get a hang of it soon. If it’s guttation or transpiration, you can rest assured, as both processes are natural. But if it’s something else, you need to address it as fast as you can. If there’s something you’d like you to know or pitch in, leave us a comment below.
Aiza Siddiqui is one of the content providers in Gardener’s Toolbox. From a very young age, Aiza has been passionate about gardening, which explains her choice of major in studies. She holds a BSc Degree in Botany from the University of Calcutta. Aiza is a green thumb through and through and owns more than 100 different types of plants. Every article that she contributes to Gardener’s Toolbox is written by doing extensive research and from her own experience with planting and gardening. Hoping that you will find her articles on different houseplants helpful.