Monstera deliciosa is an easy-to-grow plant that has sizeable beautiful foliage. But to support bushy and healthy growth, you must choose the right soil type for them. The variety of potting mixes available in the market can confuse us all. So, today we shall discuss all about the right soil mix for your Monstera. Let’s dive right into it.
In general, monstera plants do well in well-drained and nutrient-rich soil. The ideal mix for Monstera would be one part of potting soil mixed with one part of peat moss and one part of perlite. This mix will provide adequate aeration and moisture to the plant, preventing possible problems.
Soil is the growing medium for most plants, including Monstera. Providing appropriate soil will 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.
Table Of Contents
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What soil should I use for Monstera?
While looking for a soil mix for your Monstera, you must keep a few properties in mind. These include:
- Moisture retention
A nutrient-rich medium is crucial for Monstera as they grow pretty significantly.
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 soil requirement 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.
Types of Soil Suitable for Monstera Plants
Here are a few soil types suitable for Monstera:
Well-Draining Soil Mix: I have figured out that Monstera requires soil that drains well and a mix that contains a combination of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. This type of soil mix retains enough moisture with proper drainage.
Loamy Soil: Loamy soil is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay that balances drainage and moisture retention, and I have also found that these plants thrive in loamy soil that is rich in organic matter.
Sandy Soil: Sandy soil is also a good choice because it drains quickly and does not let water stand for a long time which is suitable for Monstera. But it will not be enough if it is not blended with some organic matter.
Orchid Mix: Orchid mix is another soil mix that I tried for these plants. It combines bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss, which offers excellent drainage and aeration. This type of soil mix is well-suited for Monstera plants that require well-draining soil.
Succulent Mix: Succulent mix contains sand, perlite, and other inorganic materials that promote drainage. Monstera plants can thrive in cactus/succulent mix if the mix is amended with organic matter.
Also read: Does monstera need fertilization?
What is the best soil mix for monster?
|Peat-based soil||Made from decomposed sphagnum moss||Retains moisture well, aerates roots||Can be expensive, not sustainable|
|Coco coir||Made from coconut husks||Sustainable, retains moisture well||Can be low in nutrients, may need to be mixed with other soil types|
|Perlite mix||Made from volcanic glass||Improves drainage, aerates roots||Can be too dry and not retain enough moisture|
|Potting soil mix||Combination of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite||Balanced mix of moisture retention and drainage||Can be heavy and not allow for proper aeration|
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 requirements, 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.
Mixing the soil and creating a perfect blend for your monstera plant can be time-consuming and challenging at the same time.
But you are in luck! You can buy a ready-to-go bag of perfect potting mix for your monstera plant from rePotme.
rePotme is an excellent place where you can buy some readymade mixes for all your houseplants and succulents.
If you want to check out other mixes offered by them, you can check that out right here(rePotme).
- 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
- Take 2 parts of Miracle Grow Indoor potting mix
- Mix a part of perlite/coarse sand into the mix
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 with 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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Looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.
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 prefer dry soil.
However, it doesn’t work for our monstera plant. So, what can we do to fix the issue? It’s quite simple.
- Take a part of cactus soil
- Add a part of peat moss/cocopeat
- Mix a part of the compost
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.
We prefer Hoffman Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix in which we add a portion of compost and a part of peat moss/cocopeat to retain adequate moisture and minerals for your 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.
Common Problems with Soil for Monstera Plants
Overwatering: Too much water will cause root rot, and your Monstera can die. These plants like well-draining soil that dries out between waterings.
Underwatering: Yes, you need to keep your Monstera free from all root problems, but to do so, don’t leave the soil too dry. Underwatered Monstera can show signs like drooping, and the leaves can become crisp and brown. So, keep an eye on it and water it adequately.
Poor drainage: Poor drainage can make your Monstera sick if too much water is logged. So, drainage has to be really good for your Montera to remain healthy.
Nutrient deficiencies: Only well-draining soil with adequate watering will not suffice if required nutrients are absent. Therefore fertilizing at regular intervals will nourish the plant with nutrients, and it will thrive to your liking.
pH imbalances: Soil pH is another vital factor that can determine the health of your Monstera, and it should be between 5.5 and 7.0. If the pH is too high or too low, the plant may not be able to absorb nutrients properly.
Soil compaction: Ensure that the soil is not too compact because this will hinder plant growth for lack of aeration. Adding perlite and vermiculite will help, and digging the soil with a fork will loosen the soil up. You can also take a stick and dig holes in the soil for aeration.
Organic vs. Inorganic Soil Amendments for Monstera Plants
|Compost||Decomposed organic matter||Adds nutrients, improves soil structure||Can be heavy and not allow for proper aeration|
|Worm castings||Waste produced by earthworms||Adds nutrients, improves soil structure||Can be expensive|
|Perlite||Volcanic glass that has been heated and expanded||Improves drainage, aerates roots||Can be too dry and not retain enough moisture|
|Vermiculite||Mineral that has been heated and expanded||Improves moisture retention, aerates roots||Can be too heavy and not allow for proper drainage|
I have tried organic and inorganic soil mixes for my Monstera plants, which do relatively well in both soil types.
Organic soil consists of compost, manure, and peat moss, derived from natural sources and rich in nutrients that will promote growth in your Monstera.
This soil can improve soil structure and texture, increase water retention, and promote healthy microbial activity.
It can also enhance the overall health of the Monstera plant by promoting root growth and increasing disease resistance.
On the other hand, inorganic soil amendments, like perlite, vermiculite, and sand, don’t have organic stuff.
It helps avoid soil compaction and improves aeration, allowing the roots to breathe.
Organic soil amendments are generally preferred for Monstera plants because they provide a more complete and balanced source of nutrients and promote overall soil health.
However, inorganic soil amendments can be helpful in situations such as drainage issues or when a plant is being grown in a container where soil compaction is more likely.
You will have to consider many factors to choose the soil amendment for your Monstera, and as per your plant’s environment, you will need to choose the soil mix.
Soil Drainage and Moisture Retention for Monstera Plants
Let us understand the importance of drainage and moisture retention for Monstera soil:
Choose a well-draining soil mix: A well-draining soil mix is a key to a Monstera with healthy roots. So, make a good mix of organic and inorganic matter so that it becomes well-draining and water does not stay logged long.
Use a pot with drainage holes: Drainage holes are significant for your monstera plant to drain out excess water from the pot.
Water thoroughly but infrequently: Most Monsteras die due to watering issues, and I also have been a culprit for watering them too frequently when I first brought them to my place. I gradually learned and didn’t want you to make the same mistake. So once you water it thoroughly, don’t water it again until the top soil completely dries.
Monitor soil moisture: Great if you have a moisture meter, but if you do not, you can still stick your finger inside the soil up to 1 inch, and if the soil feels dry, it is time to water. But if want to retain the moisture for long especially if you are staying in a dry place then you can use sphagnum peat moss.
Use a pebble tray: If you live in a dry place, using a pebble tray will be a great idea to increase the humidity around the plant. Placing the pot in a tray with pebbles inside will indeed work.
How can you test the soil quality for your Monstera?
pH test: You can buy a pH test kit to check if the soil pH is acceptable for your Monstera. These kits are available at most nurseries, or you can also get them online.
Inspect visually: By merely looking at your plant, you can identify whether the soil is healthy. Check if the leaves are turning yellow or if your plant is growing correctly.
Testing the soil nutrients: Just like the pH kit, you can also get a soil nutrient testing kit which can help you determine the nutrient deficiency of the soil.
Testing the soil texture: You can check if it is too loamy or sandy by merely touching the soil. This way, you can understand how much moisture the soil can hold or how well-draining it is.
How do you know when Monstera needs repotting? (How to do it?)
If your Montera is growing fiercely and it has been more than 1 year since you have done the repotting, it is time to consider.
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.
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 the 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.
Also read: Is my monstera root bound? What can we do about it?
Best pot size for monstera
The size of the pot will differ depending on the size of the plant and the current pot size.
A monstera can be grown in a 6″ pot to a 24″ pot depending upon the plant’s size and growth.
Going 1 size up from the current size will be ideal.
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.
For example: If your Monstera is planted in an 8″ pot, move them to a 10″ pot. Depending on the root structure, you can also move them to a 12″ pot.
However, never go beyond that, as too big of a pot can also be bad for the growth of the roots.
How to repot Monstera?
Below are the steps to repot Monstera:
- A new pot for your Monstera: Select one size larger than the current pot, with drainage holes in the bottom.
- Preparing the new pot: You need to fill the pot with a new potting mix and also leave some space at the top for your Monstera.
- Removing the plant from the old pot: Carefully lift the plant up from the old pot. You can run a knife along the edges of the pot to get the plant out quickly.
- Check the roots: Check the roots carefully for any disease or illness. You can remove the dead or diseased roots before repotting.
- Repot your Monstera: Place the plant in the new pot and fill it with the new potting mix. Ensure that the plat stays sturdy in the potting mix.
- Watering: Once done with potting, water it thoroughly and ensure the soil is moist but well-drained.
Allow the plant to settle for a few days, and don’t leave it in the direct sun immediately after repotting. Once you see the plant has settled down in about a week, you can expose it to the sun. Wait for at least 2 weeks before you fertilize it.
Also read: Pot size and its impact on the growth of the plant.
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 nutrient-rich, well-draining soil that 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.
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Do Monsteras need orchid bark?
Yes, you can add some orchid bark to the soil mix as it will improve the drainage, and the Montera plant likes well-draining soil.
What is the best soil mix for variegated Monstera?
Ideally, it needs 2 part perlite,3 parts potting soil, pumice, or coarse horticultural sand. You can also use 2 parts of peat or coco coir, 2 parts perlite, and 1 part of small-grade orchid bark.
Sources: Growing monstera, All about growing monstera
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