What is Guttation, and Why is My Monstera Crying?


Have you noticed water droplets along the edges of your monstera deliciosa’s foliage? Water droplets on the foliage are sometimes called crying, weeping, or sweating. This weird but completely normal and natural phenomenon is known as guttation. Learn more about guttation, why it happens, and what to do if you notice your Monstera crying.

What is Guttation?

Plants have a process to get rid of excess water naturally, known as transpiration. Pores, known as stomata, on the bottom of leaves, open up, allowing excess moisture to evaporate. Plants often close their stomata overnight, so a well-hydrated plant cannot get rid of any excess water when that happens. Monstera crying or guttation is more likely to happen when the stomata are closed, and the plant cannot conduct transpiration. 

Guttation occurs when a plant is so full of water that the excess is pushed out of the edges of healthy leaves. The water often runs along the edge of the foliage and drips, creating the appearance of crying or weeping. Guttation is similar to when people sweat, but it’s when a Monstera deliciosa sweats.

The droplets are not water but are xylem or sap. The sap is mostly water but contains minerals the plant needs to survive and grow. Xylem is safe and non-toxic. There’s no need to worry if you get any xylem on your hands or exposed skin. The sap won’t damage your flooring, the plant pot, or anything it touches. A large plant that produces a lot of xylem could make a wood or tile floor slippery, so be aware. 

weeping foliage

Does Stress Cause Guttation?

Closed stomata and excess water throughout the plant is the most common cause of Monstera guttation, but stress can also play a role. Monstera crying can happen to plants that have undergone stress. Making the move from a nursery or shop to a home, moving to a new location within a home, or a recent repotting are all events that may be stressful to a plant. 

Each plant and each situation is different. Just because your Monstera deliciosa cried after being repotted one time doesn’t mean it will happen again. On the other hand, if your Monstera deliciosa was sweating after being moved to an outdoor patio space, don’t count on it crying when it is brought back inside.

Why Do Monstera Deliciosa Sweat?

Most plants are capable of experiencing guttation; however, some experience this process more than others. The leaf’s internal structure, or vascular system, determines which plants are capable of guttation. Often, large-leaf plants are more likely to cry, weep, or sweat. The Monstera deliciosa is one of the more popular large-leaf plants, so most people associate guttation with monsteras. Monstera deliciosa plants also prefer increased humidity and damp growing conditions, making them more likely to experience a buildup of xylem.


Is a Crying Monstera Healthy?

Guttation is normal and natural. Monstera crying or weeping is not a sign of an unhealthy plant, but it is a sign of a very hydrated plant. Maybe you gave the plant a drink late in the day or evening, and the stomata closed as the roots were soaking up water. The excess water needs to go somewhere, so your plant looks like it’s weeping or sweating. 

Guttation can also happen when a plant is overwatered. Monstera like damp soil, so this plant can typically deal with the occasional big drink. Consistent overwatering can be trouble. Don’t be alarmed if you notice your Monstra crying, but inspect the plant for yellow leaf tips, fungus gnats, or other signs of overwatering. Ensure you provide excellent Monstera care and know that guttation doesn’t mean there is a problem, but it could be an early warning sign of an issue.

Mineral Content or Over-Fertilization?

In some instances, dried xylem (dried Monstera tears?) may leave a crusty white residue on the foliage. The xylem contains minerals, so the residue could be leftover minerals after the water content evaporated. A high mineral content could also be a sign of over-fertilization. 

The fertilizer residue could potentially burn the foliage, so wipe the leaves down to remove it. Follow the dosing and frequency instructions on the fertilizer packaging, and do not feed dormant plants to prevent over-fertilizing.

Crying plant

Be Aware of Pests

Most plant owners immediately think of pests when they see anything out of the ordinary on the leaves of a plant. Learn to identify guttation and spot the signs of pests. Xylem looks like and has the same or a slightly thicker consistency as water. A sure sign of pests on a plant is a sticky residue known as honeydew, a waste product of insects. Honeydew can be clear or white, and it’s thick, stays in place, and will not drip like xylem. 

Happy Tears

Guttation can be alarming the first time you see it, but it’s really a cool thing plants do to regulate themselves. Don’t assume water droplets on your plants are simply a crying Monstera, but also know that guttation is a normal occurrence. Take a minute to inspect your plant to look for signs of overwatering or pests, just to err on the side of caution if you have a weeping Monstera. If everything checks out, you can dry your plant’s tears and keep up the good work growing a happy and healthy plant!