The name monstera might sound unconventional, but that does not make the plant any less popular among plant enthusiasts. The name comes from a Latin word that means abnormal because of its unique-looking perforated leaves that are the plant’s signature.
Apart from just being popular indoor plants, these plants are also widely seen in paintings, pillows, or wallpaper. If you own one or wish to buy one, you need to know about the correct way to water it if you want it to grow correctly.
Following a proper watering schedule is very important for any houseplant. Too much watering can lead to root rot, and too much laziness can lead to plants dying of thirst.
How often to water monstera?
The Swiss Cheese Plant is a fan of moderation. They do not like overly moist soil all day long, and they do not like their soil to be dry for long. They thrive somewhere between these two cases. Although these plants are very forgiving when it comes to overwatering or under watering, it is only to a certain extent.
If the top one or two inches of the soil is dry to the touch, it is time for you to water your plant. Once you figure out the amount of time it takes for the top layer of soil to dry, you can fix your schedule for that season.
There are three easy ways to check whether the top portion of soil is wet or dry.
- Finger test: You can put your finger into the soil up to two knuckles deep. If the soil at the tip of your finger is dry, it is time for you to water your plant. If it is wet, you need to wait for some time.
- Use a stick: You can use a chopstick to dip into the soil instead of your finger. If the chopstick comes out clean, that means the soil is dry, and you need to water the plant. If there are bits of soil stuck to it or a little wet, you need to hold off watering it for some more time.
- Moisture meter: Check whether it is time to water your plant like a pro using a moisture meter. It will tell you whether the soil is dry or wet, and you can accordingly decide when to water your plant.
One of the most important things to consider while watering the monstera plant is its growing season. These plants grow over the summer season and become dormant in the winters. Let us see how this affects the watering of the plant.
How often to water monstera in summer?
Since summer is the growing season for the monstera plant, it needs more water. It is because when it is growing, it can efficiently utilize all the water. In summers, you need to water your monstera when the top layer of the soil is dry. It means you can water your plant roughly once a week.
However, this is not a strict timeline as it can differ according to the climate of the place you live. Watering regularly in summers ensures the plant grows to its total capacity. It would help if you also fertilized as and when required in this growing season.
How often to water monstera in winter?
The Swiss Cheese plant grows very little in the winter season. It can be a dormant season in the monstera season cycle. It is the time when you can give yourself and your plant a little rest. Watering needs to be less frequent than in summers. If the top layer of the soil is dry, you can still wait some more before you water it.
You can water the plants once a month in winters, and it is still not a problem. But again, it changes according to your geography and climate. Frequent watering in winters can prove to be very deteriorating for the plant’s health. It would help if you also put a leash on using fertilizers in the dormant season.
How do I know if my monstera needs water?
If you have a plant, you need to water it regularly and not wait for the plant to start showing signs of underwatering. Monstera plant has pretty thick leaves, so it won’t show symptoms of dehydration unless the damage is too far gone.
But I have listed some of the symptoms that show that your monstera needs water.
If the soil is dry: It is the best and safest way to ensure that your monstera does not go through a lot of deterioration because of underwatering. If the top layer of the soil is dry, it is time for you to water the plant. Suppose you are using a moisture meter; water the plant when the meter shows a 2 or 3. If it goes any lower, there is no need to panic, but water the plant immediately to avoid any permanent damage.
Drooping leaves: Be careful with this sign. It is also sometimes a sign of overwatering. If you see drooping leaves, check your watering schedule and the soil. If you think the soil is dry, then it might be a result of dehydration. Water the plant if this happens.
Wrinkled or crispy leaves: This is very often a sign of underwatering in several plants. If this happens, your monstera plant is severely thirsty, and you need to treat it.
If the soil is pulling away from the edge of the pot: It can happen when you are trying to speed up the growth of monstera leaves and provide it with a lot of light. Because of this, the soil dries out quickly, and this leads to the soil becoming hydrophobic. So, it starts to pull away from the edge of the pot.
Yellowing of leaves or dry brown spots: The cause behind brown spots is incompatibility with humidity, but they can also happen due to underwatering. But if it is because of underwatering, it means the damage is too much. But you can still try to recover from it by switching to the regular watering schedule.
Curling leaves: This is a very sure sign of underwatering. You can quickly fix this issue by giving the plant a little extra care. You can take the plant out of its pot, let it soak in water for some time, let the water drain thoroughly, and carefully place it back.
But if you do not want the hassle, you can let the plant sit in water for some time so that the roots can absorb the water completely.
How do you know if you are overwatering your monstera?
Overwatering is one of the most common causes of death for monstera plants. It can take a little overwatering now and then, but continuously being under cautious about its watering requirements can prove to be fatal for your Swiss Cheese plant.
If your plant is exhibiting these symptoms, it is most likely receiving more water:
Wilting or drooping leaves: This can be a symptom of overwatering or under-watering. There is a straightforward way to find out which of them might be the cause. Check the soil. If the soil is wet or moist and leaves are drooping, it is a sign of overwatering.
Now, please wait for the soil to dry before you water again, and this time, keep the plant in bright indirect light and see to it that it receives sufficient light so that the water dries out quickly. A well-draining soil is of utmost importance.
On the other hand, if the soil is arid, the wilting of the leaves is caused by underwatering. So, make sure to rearrange your watering schedule accordingly.
Leaves are turning yellow, brown, or black: This can also be a sign of underwatering. But it would help if you read further into the lines to confirm. If only one leaf at the bottom of the plant is turning yellow, the chances are that it is just an old leaf that has lived its life.
But if several leaves start to turn yellow, especially from the tip, it is a symptom of overwatering. In this case, the leaves start yellowing and look limp and sad.
3. Root rot: If the roots smell bad and have turned black, it is a root rot sign. Also, if you are infrequently watering and not a lot and yet the plant appears over watered, it is a sign of root rot. In this case, it isn’t easy to save the plant. But you can do it if you try this quickly. Take the healthy roots and start to propagate them separately. You can have your new monstera grow this way.
However, if there are no healthy roots left, take cuttings, leaf, stem, and node and use them for cultivating a new plant. You need to root them in water for a few days and shift them to the soil when they start to grow new roots.
Brown and mushy stems: This is also a sign of root rot caused by overwatering your Swiss-cheese plant. Follow the same step to replenish your plant as you did in the case of root rot.
Factors that can impact the need for water
Some of the factors that influence the need for watering in monstera plants are:
- Type of soil: Since it thrives in moderation, the ideal soil for the monstera deliciosa plant is a well-draining mix with some retention capability. You can add perlite or bark chips to the regular house plants potting mix to get this ratio.
- Light: The growth rate of monstera deliciosa is directly proportional to the amount of indirect light it is receiving. But this means the watering requirements also increase. It is because, as much as the plant grows, it utilizes more water. Another reason is evaporation is faster in more sunlight.
- Size of plant: Needless to say, the watering requirements of a giant plant are more than that of a smaller plant. But that does not necessarily mean it needs water more often. How is that, you ask?
A giant plant means a bigger pot and more soil. It means the soil will be wet for a longer time. A smaller plant means a smaller pot and little soil which can hold only a tiny amount of water. It means sometimes; the little plant requires more frequent watering. But this cannot be established as a fact.
It is because the watering of the plant depends on the draining capacity of the soil. The critical rule of thumb is to water when the top layer of soil is dry.
Type of pot: Terracotta pots allow water to evaporate through the clay and allow air to pass through. If you think you are susceptible to overwater, use a terracotta pot as it gives you more room to avoid problems caused due to overwatering.
A plastic pot does not allow water to evaporate through it, so water the plant less frequently if kept in a plastic pot. A drainage hole is a must in any pot, and you do not need to put gravel at the bottom.
Humidity: This factor comes at last because of its most minor importance. Although a monstera with adequate humidity (above 50+) will require a little less watering, the difference is negligible.
Is it necessary to mist your monstera?
Misting the monstera plant is not generally recommended, as increasing the humidity for a short span might lead to fungal diseases and pest infestation. But if the humidity is too low, mist it in the morning time once a week so that the water has sufficient time to dry.
Monstera deliciosa can be your favorite plant, too, if you grasp its watering needs correctly. It is a very forgiving plant but does not test it or push it to its limits. Once you find out what’s working for your plant, stick to it and watch your plant prosper.