Monstera has recently topped the charts of the most famous indoor plants in the world. These beautiful plants from the forests of Central America do not need many requirements for surviving.
Monstera thrives when you neglect them. You don’t need to water them regularly or keep them under constant sunlight, but make sure that the potting mix is perfect and do annual repotting so that the plant doesn’t grow out of the pot.
But, what kind of soil is perfect for Monstera, and how can you prepare the perfect pot mix for these plants? Here, we have gathered all the essential information about the soil mix for these swiss cheese plants so that you don’t have to browse through different sites. 1.
What Soil Is Good For Monstera?
A soil mix with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5 is perfect for a Monstera plant, as they love the acidic mixture. Besides, the pot should have a sound drainage system so that the plant doesn’t suffer from root rot or other infections.
The general soil mix used for monstera plants is a mixture of peat moss or coco coir, perlite, and pine bark fines. You can even use orchid barks for creating the mix. Apart from this, there are other types of soil mixtures that you can try out for your Monstera.
Why is it essential to get a perfect soil mix? As Monstera plants do not need much water or sunlight and can grow under rough conditions, they need to get all nutrients from at least one source. That’s why it is crucial to make the perfect soil mix for your Monstera plant.
While making the mixture, pour all the ingredients into a large bowl and add water. Mix them till they are moist enough to put in the pot, and then plant your Monstera. A perfect soil mix will provide essential nutrients to the plant and allow proper gas exchange, better temperature control, moisture, and more. 2.
If the soil mixture is not good, your Monstera plant can die, which is quite rare. How to know if the soil mixture is not fit for the plant? Here are some of the signs that will help you understand whether the potting mix is perfect for Monstera or not.
- The leaves of the Monstera will turn yellow if the potting mix is not correct. Due to a lack of proper gas exchange and drainage, discoloration of leaves can occur.
- If the drainage system is not sound in the pot, or if the soil doesn’t dry out in the stipulated time, then there are high chances of root rot. In such conditions, brown spots appear on the leaves that slowly spread all over the plant and kill it.
- There is no reasonable growth rate of the plant. A proper soil mix provides nutrients for the plant to grow and produce new leaves. If there is no visible growth, then you need to change the contents of your soil mixture.
Factors To Keep In Mind While Preparing Soil For Monstera
It would help if you kept in mind certain things while preparing the soil mixture for your Monstera. Though these plants are not as demanding as Jade, Peace Lilies, or other indoor plants, Monsteras are pretty specific in the soil mixture. Here are some of the most critical factors that you need to know while planting a Monstera.
Monstera plants are prone to root rot, due to which it is highly advisable to get a pot with a sound drainage system. If your pot only has a hole or two, then drill some more holes and then use it for planting Monstera.
If the pot retains water and the roots stand for a long time in the water, then there are high chances that they would suffer from root rot or develop other infections. Even after drilling holes, you need to check whether it is effective or not.
Besides, the soil mix should contain ingredients that can absorb water and has good retention. Do not use single ingredients or substances of the same size as they can clot the drainage system of the pot.
As Monsteras get maximum nutrition from the soil, your soil mix must contain macro and micronutrients. For improving the number of nutrients in the mixture, use soil from nearby forests or areas where there are tons of trees.
The soil in such areas contains high amounts of nutrients that can work wonders for Monsteras. You can also get fertilizers and add them to the mixture. However, make sure that the fertilizer has more macronutrients as compared to micronutrients.
As stated earlier, a proper soil mixture is essential for gas exchange in Monstera. The roots of these plants require maximum oxygen to survive and provide growth to the entire plant. The drainage system must be sound to make sure that the roots get enough oxygen. Too much water might clot the way to access oxygen from the atmosphere. A sound drainage system opens the way to a suitable gas exchange system. It creates empty spaces and a vacuum that sucks in the fresh air and provides it to the roots.
4. Water Retention
Water retention states the ability of the soil to absorb water and provide it to the plant properly. How can a soil mixture have a good water retention capacity?
If the mixture has enough porous materials, then the retention capacity of the mixture would be good, and the roots would get an adequate amount of water whenever they need.
These porous materials work as a continuous water supply for the roots instead of delivering all at once. Even when the pot is completely dry, and you see that your plant is still surviving, it’s because of the water retention capacity of the soil mixture.
It lets out water when the roots and stems need it the most to make food and provide energy to the rest of the parts of the plant. 3. 4
5. Soil pH
Monstera loves acidic soil, and the pH of the mixture must be around 5.5 to 7. This scale is perfect for the plant and allows it to grow freely.
As Monsteras are climbers by nature, a good pot mix can grow appropriately without any support. You can check the pH level of the soil by using litmus paper or any other kit.
Essential Components For Monstera Soil Mixture
Before you go ahead and start making soil mixtures for your Monstera, it is vital to know the essential components you require for the entire process. Below are the ingredients, without which you cannot create a soil mixture for Monstera.
- Peat Moss: Peat moss is known for its coarse texture due to the presence of fine particles. It has excellent water retention capacity and holds most nutrients, thanks to its coarse texture that works wonders and even provides good aeration.
- Coco Coir: Also known as coco chips, coco coir is made from the husks of coconuts and provides a similar texture to peat moss. It gives an excellent holding capacity and provides space for the roots to grow.
- Pine Bark Fines: These are pieces from various coniferous trees and contain high amounts of lignin. It is excellent for enhancing gas exchange and even resist compaction due to its shape retention capacity.
- Perlite: Perlite is a type of rock that works more like styrofoam. Though it does not absorb water, it provides a good base and improves the drainage system by allowing space for passing water.
What Is The Best Soil Mix For Monstera?
There are various recipes for Monster’s soil mixture, each having different ingredients and mixing methods. Here, we will tell you two types of soil mixture that Monstera parents highly prefer.
Here are the ingredients that you need for this soil mixture recipe.
- 1/2 part of potting mix
- 1/2 part of Coco fiber
- Orchid branch mix
- Coco chips
For this recipe, you have to use a good potting mix. Take the stated amount and mix it with coco chips in a large bowl. After that, mix orchid mix and perlite in the bowl. Combining perlite, coco chips, and the orchid mix gives good aeration to the soil mixture. It even improves the nutrient content of the mixture and absorbs water for better growth.
For this recipe, you only need these two things
- Two parts of potting mix
- A mixture of sand and perlite in a 1:1 ratio
If you do not have enough supplies in your garden, this recipe will be perfect. The mixture of perlite and sand provides good drainage and aeration to the plant. Meanwhile, the potting mixture provides all the essential nutrients that your Monstera needs.
Soils That Monstera Hates
Yes, there are certain types of soils that your Monstera hates with all its roots. It would help if you never used dirt from the ground while preparing soil mixture for Monstera; they hate it.
Always use a potting mixture that is available in the market. These mixtures are soilless and have various nutrients in them. The most common ingredients you can find in a potting mixture are perlite and moss. Potting mixtures are essential as they provide nutrients for proper growth and photosynthesis.
Do not use potting mixtures that come with labels of “moisture control.” Why? That’s because these mixtures have a water-absorbing gel that absorbs all the water and slowly releases them to the roots.
Though it sounds interesting, most of the time, the technology doesn’t work, and your plant would die without water. Hence, it is better to use standard potting mixtures instead of these gel mixtures that will naturally instill water into the plants.
Moreover, if you want to use regular garden soil, make sure to add pot mixture as well. Garden soil does not contain many nutrients and won’t be able to feed the plant properly. Though this type of soil does have good moisture absorbing capacity, it can’t provide other benefits that potting mixture can. 4.
Can I Use Regular Soil For Monstera?
Though various plants are grown on regular soil, it is not the same for Monstera. These plants are not demanding, but they do need proper soil mixture for a better growth rate.
Regular garden soil does have good water retention capacity and can improve the drainage system as well. Moreover, garden soil is the best for gas exchange and provides enough oxygen to the roots. But, they do not contain enough nutrients to satisfy the hunger of Monstera plants.
Due to a lack of nutrients, Monstera plants would stop growing altogether. Though these plants can survive, there is a big difference between surviving and growing.
If you want your Monstera to grow into a beautiful plant, then avoid using only garden soil for the mixture. You can add potting mixture and other vital components that we have stated above.
A good potting mixture and fertilizer, and regular garden soil can do wonders in the growth rate of a Monstera plant. While buying any potting mixture or fertilizer, make sure to look at its ingredients. It should have a significant amount of macronutrients as they enhance the growth rate and help in photosynthesis. 3. 4
Can I Use Cactus Soil For Monstera?
Though Cactus and Monstera have the same characteristics, that doesn’t mean that you can use Cactus soil to grow a Monstera plant. Why? Because cactus soil cannot retain water for a long time, Monstera needs a soil mixture with a good water retention factor.
But, you can improve the composition and include Cactus soil for your Monstera mixture. How? Below are the ingredients and recipes that you can apply for a DIY mixture.
- Cactus soil
- Peat moss or Coco peat
- Compost mixture
Take the cactus soil in a big bowl and add both moss and compost to it. Mix it with water till the solution becomes moist enough to handle the weight of a plant. By adding moss, the water retention capacity of the mixture increases.
Moreover, compost helps in improving the gas exchange that is essential for Monstera. Compost also contains nutrients and helps in providing all essential things to the plant.
Can You Use Orchid Soil For Monstera?
Yes, you can ultimately use orchid soil for Monstera. The requirements for both the plants are the same, and even the soil mixture contains similar ingredients.
As orchids are perennial plants, it would be a complete waste if you throw away the soil mixture once the plant is dead. Instead, add some more ingredients and use the same mixture for your Monstera while repotting it.
Orchids bloom in spring and summer and then die when autumn arrives. Due to this, they need proper care and attention to produce enough flowers in the plant. For preparing the soil mixture for an orchid, you need peat moss, perlite, compost, potting mixture, and other similar ingredients that a Monstera would need.
The best thing about using orchid soil is that you can cut fine pieces of the orchid bark and add them to the mixture for your Monstera. Orchid bark acts as nice air pockets and improves gas exchange as well. Besides, orchid barks also contain several nutrients that are beneficial for Monstera.
Does Pot Size Matter For Monstera?
Yes, pot size does matter as Monstera are fast growers. They can grow up to 5 inches or more in a year if you provide them with proper living conditions.
However, there are sure signs that you need to look for before repotting your Monstera. It would help you to make a wise decision of whether the time is correct or not for repotting.
- Check how much water your Monstera needs in a week. It clearly states that the plant’s roots take up the entire space, and there’s not enough soil to absorb water. If it absorbs more water and you find yourself watering the plant frequently, it is time to repot it.
- If you see your Monstera’s roots coming out of the pot, bring a bigger pot immediately. As Monstera needs a better drainage system, there are more holes at the bottom of the pot. When the plant grows, its roots try to come out through these holes and enter the soil underneath. If you do not repot the plant immediately, there are high chances that Monstera would suffer from root bounds.
- Check for regular growth signs. Monstera shows growth signs over spring and summer as a warm environment increases the growth rate of these plants. If there is growth in height or new leaves over spring, you need to repot the plant.
While buying a Monstera, make sure to get a pot bigger than the plant. It would help you prevent repotting for quite some years as the pot would provide enough space for growth. Small pots restrict plant growth and result in root bounds and other issues. Hence, make sure to look for the pot size while getting a Monstera. 5.
How Do You Repot A Monstera?
It would help if you repotted your Monstera once every two years at least. However, you need to follow specific steps and guidelines so that the repotting process is as smooth as possible.
You have to remove the plant from the container, prepare the new pot for repotting, add a moss pole, and then trim the plant once you finish the process. Below are the detailed sections for each part that will help you throughout the process.
Removing Plant From Container
If your Monstera is still young, then removing it from the pot won’t be a difficult job. All you have to do is take your potted Monstera to the workspace, place it on the side and gently tap the bottom. Continue doing so until the soil comes loose, and you can gently remove the plant from the pot.
In the case of a large Monstera plant, you would need a helper for removing the plant from the pot. Carry the plant to your workspace with the help of your partner.
Place the pot on its side and start tapping gently at the bottom and on the sides. It will take some time for the soil to come loose, but do not lose patience and start yanking your plant as that would harm your Monstera.
You can use a butter knife and run it inside the rim so that some portion of soil comes loose. Once you can remove the plant up to a certain extent, gently pull it out. No matter what, do not pull the plant with force as it would damage the Monstera in several ways.
Before you start repotting, make sure that the soil mixture is ready. In the above sections, we have stated various recipes for preparing Monstera soil mixture.
Apart from that, it would help if you had your garden tools for the process and a cloth for cleaning up the mess. Make sure to sanitize your garden tools before using them to prevent germs or viruses from attacking your Monstera.
Firstly, fill 1/3rd of the new pot with the soil mixture. Ensure that you have a strong base of perlite or some other stones that can help improve the plant’s draining process.
After filling the pot with the mixture, place your Monstera at the center. Now, fill the remaining part of the pot with soil mixture. However, do not pack the pot tightly as it would make it difficult for gas exchange in the roots.
Once you have filled the pot with the mixture, water your Monstera correctly to avoid it from going into transplant shock. Watering it will help the Monstera to familiarize itself with the new surroundings.
Adding Moss Pole
As Monstera are natural climbers, they need constant support to grow in a vertical direction. While repotting, you have to follow the same process, but add an extra pole so that your plant doesn’t become lanky or leans towards nearby poles for support.
After filling the pot with 1/3rd of the pot with new soil and planting the Monstera, place the moss pole firmly on the pot. Ensure that the pole is sturdy and doesn’t fall as it would provide support to the plant to grow properly. After that, fill the entire pot with the soil mixture and water your plant.
If you find it difficult to attach your plant with the pole, use clips or pins for the purpose. It would help the Monstera to grow around the pole. Moreover, do not harm the leaves or stems of the plant while doing so, as it can open the path to various diseases, pests, and infections.
It is essential to trim your Monstera so that they don’t grow too tall. Why? That’s because tall plants do not get enough nutrients as it takes time to reach the tip from the roots.
Besides, if your Monstera continues to grow in the vertical position, there would come a time when it won’t be able to handle its weight and fall off.
To make sure that it doesn’t happen, you need to prune or trim its leaves and stems during the process of repotting.
Use your gardening tools during the entire process and make sure not to cut off any baby leaves. Moreover, do not trim too much as it would affect the growth rate significantly.
Monstera is also known as swiss cheese plants due to their unique leaves. Due to this reason, these plants have become popular in the past few years.
They are easy to take care of and do not need much to grow. You only have to take care of the soil mixture and water it once a week, and the plant will grow wonderfully.
However, make sure that the temperature in your neighborhood is warm as these plants prefer warmer surroundings for growing. One of the essential things that Monstera needs is the perfect soil mixture.
If the potting mixture is correct, then the plant can survive and grow even under harsh conditions.
Here we have stated the type of soil these plants prefer, the things you need to keep in mind while preparing the mixture, repotting, and various other things. It would help you in taking proper care of your Monstera. Happy Gardening!! 1. 5