Monstera is an easy-to-grow plant that has large beautiful foliage. But to support bushy and healthy growth, you need to choose the right type of soil for them. The variety of potting mix available in the market can be confusing for all of us. So, today we shall discuss all about the right soil mix for your monstera. Let’s dive right into it.
Most well-drained and nutrient-rich soil will do good for your monstera. Avoid using garden soil as it is too compact, and it can hinder your monstera’s growth. You can choose any standard potting mix and prepare it by adding a handful of peat moss and perlite for moisture retention and aeration.
Soil is the growing medium for most plants, including monstera. Providing appropriate soil is going to make all the difference between mere survival and thriving.
Thus, today we shall learn all the secrets to good quality soil mix for our monstera. I’ll try to keep everything simple and in layman’s terms. So, let’s get started.
What soil should I use for Monstera?
While looking for a soil mix for your monstera, you need to keep a few properties in mind. These include:
- Moisture retention
A nutrient-rich medium is crucial for monstera as they grow pretty large. If the soil doesn’t provide enough nutrition to the plant, your monstera’s growth and health will be impacted.
Always aim for a balanced and nutrient-rich potting mix while repotting or propagating your monstera.
Since your monstera plant will be constrained to the pot, they are prone to overwatering.
Most of the problems regarding the growth of the plant are due to watering issues. Thus, make sure you water it appropriately.
On the contrary, dry and cracky soil is not good either. If the soil doesn’t retain moisture, your monstera’s roots will get stressed, and it may also suffer from root problems. Thus, make sure your soil retains appropriate moisture.
Aeration of the soil is equally important as well. A dry and compacted soil will not allow adequate air exchange.
Thus, the roots of your monstera won’t have enough air to breathe, and it will lead to mushy and brown roots. Therefore, make sure you choose a mix that provides enough air exchange.
With all this, we can wrap the requirement of soil for our monstera. But wait! If you are here to pick the soil mix and do not want to learn all the science behind this, then keep reading to know more.
Also read: Does monstera need fertilization?
What is the best soil mix for monstera?
Monstera is not such a demanding plant, but it does need a suitable potting medium that can support its foliage and provide the plant with appropriate nutrients to thrive. Providing a nutrient-rich potting mix shall work out great for your monstera.
But Wait! Just because I suggested you a nutrient-rich potting medium doesn’t mean you can get a bag of potting soil and throw your monstera in.
The potting soil needs to be prepared to meet the requirement of the plant we discussed earlier.
So, we need to make a few changes in the mix to make it appropriate for your monstera.
After experimenting and learning all about monstera’s requirement, I have discovered the right combination for them.
I have brought it down to two well-balanced recipes for the perfect soil mix. This mix works great with most tropical houseplants.
- 1/2 Part potting mix (I usually go with Miracle Grow Indoor potting mix)
- 1/2 Part Coco fiber
- A handful of perlite, orchid mix, or Coco chips for aeration
The first soil mix is one of my personal favorites. It is really simple and straightforward but does its job pretty well.
In this recipe, we mix 1 part of miracle grow potting mix with 1 part of coco fiber and a handful of perlite or orchid mix.
This creates a perfect balance of nutrient-rich medium and a well-draining and light-medium to grow our monstera plant.
The second soil mix is also simple and works great if you don’t have enough supplies at your disposal.
We shall mix two parts of miracle grow to a part of perlite/coarse sand for aeration for this mix. This shall make the potting mix airy and well-drained.
Also read: All about root rot in monstera
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Can I use cactus soil for Monstera?
No, you cannot use cactus soil for your monstera plant. However, you can still create a DIY mix with proper knowledge that works equally well for your monstera plant.
Cactus soil doesn’t hold moisture for long enough. It works excellent for plants like succulents and cactus that prefers dry soil.
However, it doesn’t work for our monstera plant. So, what can we do to fix the issue? It’s quite simple.
By mixing some cocopeat or peat moss into the cactus mix, we can help the soil retain moisture for our monstera plant.
Compost adds some organic matter into the mix and also makes it nutrient-rich. Thus, creating a perfect balance for our monstera to thrive.
However, if you throw in a bag of cactus mix and plant your monstera into it directly, then it is definitely not going to work out.
There is a risk of losing your monstera as the leaves will start wilting, and the plant may eventually die off.
Also read: Why is humidity crucial for monstera growth?
Does monstera like acidic soil?
Monstera can tolerate a wide range of pH levels. Ideally, monstera prefers slightly acidic soil with a pH ranging between 5.5 to 7.0.
Although your monstera can tolerate a slight variation, it would be ideal to maintain a pH level of 6 for ideal growth.
Anything below 5.5 can be too acidic for your monstera. Thus, it may result in leaf burn and stunted growth.
How do you know when Monstera needs repotting?
As a rule of thumb, you should only repot your monstera when it outgrows its present size pot.
Say, your monstera is planted in a pot for a year, but it has grown fiercely. The plant roots have started displacing the soil and are on the verge of breaking the pot.
Then, it is a clear sign that your monstera needs to be replanted.
On the other hand, if the plant is growing slowly or not growing, you need to focus on finding what’s wrong with your monstera plant and not bother with repotting them.
Some signs of a root bounded monstera are:
- Soil dries up quickly.
- Monstera shows signs of dehydration.
- Droopy and curling of leaves.
- Stunted growth.
- Roots are spiraling around the bottom.
- Roots were coming out of bottom drainage holes.
- Pot starts expanding and breaking down.
- Yellow or brown leaves
If you notice any of these signs, then it is evident that your monstera needs to be repotted.
Best pot size for monstera
There is no ideal size chart for your monstera plant. The size of the pot will differ depending upon the size of the plant and current pot size.
A monstera can be grown in a 6″ pot to a 24″ pot depending upon the plant’s size and growth.
Monstera can get root bound as their roots grow densely and quickly. Aim to repot them every two years or so depending upon the growth of your monstera.
You should move your monstera to a pot 2″ larger than the current one.
For example: If you monstera is planted in an 8″ pot, move them to a 10″ pot. You can also move them to a 12″ pot depending upon the root structure.
However, never go beyond that as too big of a pot can be bad for the growth of the roots as well.
If you are like me, who skips the entire content and reads the conclusion first, then I would be glad to summarise everything for you.
Monstera needs adequate soil to grow bushy and healthy. Although they can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil that can hold moisture for a while would be ideal for them.
You can either go with a simple mix of potting soil with perlite in (2:1) ratio or create a well-balanced custom mix for your monstera plant.
You can combine 1 part of miracle grow potting mix with 1 part of coco fiber and a handful of perlite or orchid mix.
This would provide your monstera with a well-draining soil that is nutrient-rich and can support the growth of your beautiful monstera foliage.
To learn in detail about the monstera plant’s soil requirement, I would suggest reading the blog post in detail. So, you don’t miss any substantial part of the puzzle.