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Does Monstera Need Fertilizer? (What Type, How Much & More)

Monsteras are indoor plants widely grown in all parts of the world as they are easy to care for. They are popular for their leaf holes due to which they are known as Swiss cheese plants. With proper lighting, watering, fertilizing is vital for monstera’s growth. But does monstera need regular fertilizing? Let’s find out!

Monstera plant doesn’t need much fertilizer, but they will grow more if you fertilize them during their growing season in the spring and summer. Use a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer every 4-6 weeks for ideal growth. You can dilute the fertilizer to half the strength to avoid overfertilizing.

Fertilizing monsteras should be regulated with proper dose and right fertilizer. Fertilizer balanced with the right ratio of macronutrients and micronutrients is very crucial.

Lack of nutrients will make your monsteras weak and dull. You might never see the holes in their leaves due to the lack of fertilizer.

On the other hand, Overfertilization is more dangerous as lack can be rectified by adding the necessary dose, but overly fed monsteras become tricky to revive. They stunt monsteras growth resulting in their death.

The fertilizing process is simple, but the primary step is to determine the accurate fertilizer and right dosage for your monsteras.

We have put together all the essential information to choose between the wide range of fertilizers available, the right ratio of nutrients for your monsteras, accurate dosage, when and how to fertilize them. Also, not to miss the quick fix for over-fertilized monsteras.



Do monstera need fertilizer?

Yes, monstera demands to be fertilized, though the dosage should be regulated for best results.

Even if we use an organically rich potting mix, the soil’s nutrients will deplete over time. And if we don’t supplement the nutrients, soon our monstera will run out of them. Thus, the growth of your monstera will be affected. It might have weaker foliage and poor growth.

If you want your monstera to thrive, provide them with an adequate amount of nutrients. Without proper nutrients, the plant may survive, but it will definitely not thrive as we want them to.

Fertilizers are vitamins to monsteras that help them develop stronger, healthier, and promote their immune system to fight off diseases.

Some of the signs of lack of nutrients in the plants are:

  • Leggy plant growth
  • Leaves not splitting
  • Weak stems
  • Slow growth
  • Yellow and brown leaves
  • Weaker root

These signs clearly indicate that your monstera needs more nutrients. A lack of nutrients will result in poor growth.

Also read: Why is my monstera dying?

What nutrients do fertilizer contain?

While looking for perfect fertilizer for your monstera plant, you should be educated about the nutrient elements present in that fertilizer.

These nutrients are divided into three categories for better understanding:

IngredientsNutrients
MacronutrientsNitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium
Secondary nutrientsCalcium, Magnesium, Sulphur
MicronutrientsIron, Zinc, CopperBoron, Chlorine, ManganeseMolybdenum, Nickel

Macronutrients: Macronutrients consists of mobile nutrients fundamental for building any healthy plant. These nutrients are integral for forming vital proteins, cellular growth, boosting the immune system, respiration, etc.

Secondary nutrients: These are secondary nutrients required in less quantity but are equally crucial for the growth of monsteras. They help to absorb nutrients, improve metabolism, strengthen the immune system, etc. of your monstera plant.

Micronutrients: Micro word only signifies trace amount, but this does not make them less important. For bushy and healthy monsteras, these nutrients are crucial and necessary.

What’s the best fertilizer for monstera?

In this world of wide varieties available for almost everything out there, it becomes a stress to choose between so many products.

The same goes for fertilizer selection for your plants, which we acknowledge you are puzzled to choose between given ranges of fertilizers.

Simplifying your issues is our responsibility. Choosing the fertilizer with an appropriate ratio of the nutrient is crucial. The ratio listed on packaging helps to decide the perfect fertilizer for your monsteras.

You will see a series of numbers, such as 10:10:10 showing the composition of nutrients, i.e., Nitrogen:Phosphorous: Potassium.

That means that particular fertilizer contains 30% of these macronutrients in equal proportion, and the other 70% would be other secondary and micronutrients in smaller quantities.

These nutrients are vital for your monsteras. Let us see what their functions are:

NutrientsFunctions
Nitrogen-Formation of proteins
-Essential for photosynthesis
-Stimulate new growth
Phosphorous-Key to photosynthesis
-Cellular growth and division
-Encourages root growth
-Essential for flowering and fruiting plant
Potassium-Helps regulate water intake
-Boosts immune system
Calcium-Reduces soil acidity
-Improves nutrients absorption
-Boosts immunity
Magnesium-Essential for photosynthesis
-Improves metabolism
Sulfur-Fights winter hardiness
-Synthesis of amino acids

A balanced 20:20:20 fertilizer would be an ideal choice for your monstera.

Liquid fertilizer is considered to be the most suitable choice for your monsteras to thrive in its best form. You can also try some organic alternatives.

Types of fertilizer

There are several varieties of fertilizers out there in the market you can choose from, such as liquid, granules, slow-release, sticks, and tablets. However, sticks and tablets seem easy to use but do not distribute nutrients equally in the soil.

The best one’s out of the above varieties are:

  • Liquid fertilizer
  • Granular fertilizer
  • Slow-release fertilizers

Liquid Fertilizers: Liquid fertilizers have a steady supply of nutrients in the soil. You can control the supply during winters as the growth rate slows down so the supply can be interrupted and vice versa can be done during growing seasons.

Adulterate ½ or ¼ of the dosage of the liquid fertilizer instructed on the package in water. They are also accessible in powder form.

Granular fertilizer: Granular fertilizers can be tricky and hot. They can shake the roots as they contain a high level of nitrogen and potassium. They can scorch the leaves of your pothos, not considered best for your monsters.

Slow-release Fertilizer: These are fertilizer covered with plastic resin or sulfur-based polymers that break down over the course of time. They supply nutrients steadily in the soil by leaching out with every watering. They can be overapplied or diluted poorly and also quite pricey.

So, liquid fertilizers are the best choice for your monstera plant. You can also go with slow release fertilizer during early spring.



Compost as a fertilizer

Compost basically is made up of organic substances (with animals and plant matter). They work wonders for your plant:

  1. They form small aggregates by binding with soil particles, giving the soil a crumby structure. These aggregate holds water to make it available to the plant when needed. Also, it promotes a better flow of oxygen.
  2. Summer is a growing time for your monstera. The microorganisms in the compost also release nutrients at this time. As the weather warms up, these microorganisms also encourage your plants to grow faster.
  3. They neutralize the toxins and metals in the soil to save a plant from absorbing them.
  4. Modifies the soil pH level to lessen the dependency of the plant on the soil.

Add compost in a small quantity by layering it on the top of the soil and water your monsteras sufficiently. They will be supplementing the soil slowly with the nutrients.

Compost is a great organic way to grow your monstera, but they have some drawbacks too.

  • The ratio of micro and macronutrients cannot be measured or balanced.
  • They produce a foul odor, which can be a nuisance for some people.

Compost should be added in small quantities but make sure you feed your monsteras with supplements to balance out the nutrients.

Do monstera like coffee grounds?

Coffee grounds make a nutrient-rich and cost-effective fertilizer for your plants. 

Monsteras like coffee grounds but should be used mindfully and filthy. If used directly on the top of the soil, coffee grounds can cause fungal growth, burn plant, moisture retention.

You can make compost or mix with water to make the best use of coffee grounds:

  • Use coffee grounds to make compost by adding your used coffee grounds to your compost pile and wait till the compost is ready to use.
  • Another way is by adding coffee grounds to a jar full of water and let it sit for about two weeks to release nutrients. Use it to water your monsteras.

Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and potassium. They will give an ample amount of nutrients required for your monsteras growth but may lack in few. 

You may need supplements to balance the nutrients needs that coffee will not be able to achieve.

How often should I fertilize my Monstera?

Monsteras should not be overly fed in any case. Fertilizing should be increased during the growing season and reduced during dormant seasons.

During growing seasons, i.e., spring and summer, fertilize your monsteras every 4-6 weeks for proper utilization of fertilizer and helping your monsteras grow throughout the year.

During the dormant season, i.e., autumn and winter, avoid fertilizing or fertilize every three months.

You can start fertilizing your monsteras from a semi-dormant state, i.e., two months before the growing season begins for optimal growth.

How much fertilizer does monstera need?

Liquid fertilizers can be used by diluting half the strength with water as per the recommended dose.

If you prefer compost, just add a handful into the pot.

The Monstera plant should be exposed to sufficient light and be watered adequately for best results alongside fertilization.

What’s the best fertilizer for monstera

If you didn’t enjoy the science behind all the fertilizer we discussed earlier; you might have skipped to this part. So, without any delay, I shall share with you guys two choices that I use mostly on all my plants, including monstera. 

Jacks Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer is one of the most versatile and useful fertilizers I have ever used. Yes, it is a chemical fertilizer, but it does wonder for all my houseplants, including monstera.

The recommended dosage is 1tsp. with a gallon of water. However, I use 1/4th tsp.(25%) of what’s recommended, and my monstera grows like crazy.

If you don’t like the chemical way, I do have an organic choice for your plants. An obvious choice would be compost. Although you can try any good brand compost, I strongly recommend Charlie’s Compost for your houseplants.

But some people are offended by the pungent odor of compost, and they want some organic solution that doesn’t smell that bad but does its job. For such people, I have a perfect solution.

A completely organic solution is Espoma Organic Indoor Liquid Organic Plant Food. It is entirely odor-free and does its job well.

This is a balanced fertilizer which can be diluted to 1/2 strength. A regular dose would be around 7-8ml to half a gallon of water.

Although this organic fertilizer comes in a small package, you can use it for a season if you have limited plants. But if you are a plant hoarder like me, it might not be the perfect solution as it doesn’t last long.

Thus, what I do is I use organic solutions and chemical solution alternatively every 4-6 weeks.

How to fertilize monstera?

Fertilizing monsteras is no big task. With the right fertilizer, right dose, and right method, your monsteras will go a long way.

  • Pick the perfect fertilizer.
  • Dilute the ½ or ¼ of fertilizer of the given dosage with a liter of water. Add this to your monsteras.
  • For compost, users add a handful once every two months.
  • Water your monsteras after fertilizing for proper absorption and distribution of the nutrients by the soil and roots.

What happens if you over fertilize monstera plant?

By over-fertilizing your monsteras, you are inviting unwanted problems for your plant. Even organic fertilizers like compost can harm your monsteras if overfed.

It can burn your monsteras; few signs through which you can know you have over-fertilized them are:

  • Brown leaf tips
  • White spots on top of the soil
  • Wilting
  • Discoloring
  • Stunted growth
  • Burnt roots

Over-fertilizing limits moisture uptake and will show signs of stress in a few days. 

Follow the prescribed dosage we have discussed above to avoid such situations.

How to fix over-fertilized monstera?

If you have already fed your monsteras more than required, you need to act immediately to fix the blunder you have made. Here are a few steps you need to follow:

  1. Examine the condition of your ill plant.
  2. Clip damages and burnt foliage and stems.
  3. You can scrape the top one inch of the soil to remove concentrated soil due to over-fertilization.
  4. Flush your monsteras with water thoroughly to extract excess fertilizer and allow the water to drain out.
  5. Repot your monsteras if they are in severe condition with fresh soil.

If the condition is not severe, you may not need to repot your monsteras but stop fertilizing for at least 4-6 weeks.

With decent care and environmental conditions being fulfilled, you will sooner notice your monsteras flourishing and putting new growth.

Last words

Monsteras do need fertilizer for wholesome and healthy growth.

The fertilizer will not only provide sufficient nutrients for your monsteras but also help in supplying the nutrients to the leaves and stems from the soil.

Lack of nutrients can affect their immunity and make them weak and susceptible to diseases.

Fertilize with balanced 20:20:20 fertilizer with recommended dosage for stronger monsters.

Liquid fertilizers are considered to be the best variety of fertilizers.

The frequency of fertilizing depends primarily on the season and the growing needs of your monsteras.


Source: Monstera Growing, Monstera, Indoor Plant Care.

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