Everything You Need to Know About Monstera Plants and Soil!
Monstera plants offer something for everyone, with species ranging from the big and holey Monstera delicosa to the silvery and delicate Monstera siltepecana. No matter what type of Monstera you own, you need to set it up for success with the proper soil mix. Although this genus of plants is diverse, they all require similar potting mixes. Join us as we help you choose the best soil mix for your beloved Monstera plants.
- The Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants – The Essentials
- Why Soil Choice Matters
- Signs You’re Using the Wrong Soil Mix for Monstera Plants
- The Importance of Well-Draining Potting Soil for Monstera Plants
- What Soil pH is Best for Monstera Plants?
- How Pot Shape and Plant Size Impact Soil Choice
- The Best Soil for Repotting Monstera Plants
- The Ultimate Monstera Plant Potting Mix Recipe
The Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants – The Essentials
Monstera plants do best in potting mix that holds moisture yet also drains well. They prefer a soil mix with a slightly acidic pH, in the range of 5.5-6.5. A soil mix containing 1 part peat moss/coco coir, 1 part perlite, and 4 parts pine bark fines is an excellent mix for Monsteras.
Why Soil Choice Matters
When you choose a soil mix, you want it to provide your plants with five things.
- A place to anchor
- Proper gas exchange
- The right amount of water
- Temperature control
If you choose a potting mix that doesn’t suit your plant, your plant will struggle to obtain what it needs. This can result in serious issues and even death.
Signs You’re Using the Wrong Soil Mix for Monstera Plants
If you’re using the wrong soil mix, your Monstera will let you know. Here are some common signs that something is wrong with the mix you’re using.
If you are using a mix that doesn’t offer enough drainage, your plant will be sitting in water. In simple terms, it’s drowning!
If you are using a mix that doesn’t hold enough water, your plants may not be able to take in the water they need. This can also cause yellow leaves.
Brown spots on Monstera plants are a symptom of root rot caused by overwatering. These spots may appear small and then enlarge and/or spread throughout the plant over time.
Even if you’re only watering once every few weeks, an improper soil mix can prevent soil from drying out. As the roots sit in constant moisture they begin to rot and your plant cannot properly take up water or nutrients.
The Importance of Well-Draining Potting Soil for Monstera Plants
One of the easiest ways to harm your Monstera plant is by letting it sit in water. Watering Monstera too frequently can cause this problem, but using a poorly-drained potting soil can also lead to issues.
A well-draining potting soil allows excess water to move through the soil, rather than sit in the soil. If you choose a mix where excess water can escape, your plant’s roots won’t be sitting in moisture, which prevents problems with root rot.
Another reason why it’s crucial that water can drain from soil relates to proper aeration. If all the airspaces in the soil mix are filled with water, the roots cannot access oxygen.
Additionally, beneficial soil microbes will also die if they cannot take up the air they need. This is especially important for recently propagated Monstera plants.
What Soil pH is Best for Monstera Plants?
All types of Monstera plants do best in a soil with a slightly acidic pH. Remember that a neutral pH is 7.0, and any number below this is considered acidic.
Monsteras do best in a mix with a pH between 5.5-6.5.
How Pot Shape and Plant Size Impact Soil Choice
The pot shape and plant size don’t affect the soil you choose. All types of Monstera plants in all types of containers will do best in a well-draining soil mix with a slightly acidic pH.
With that said, the container and plant size will impact how much you need to water.
Larger plants in larger pots will require more water than smaller plants in smaller pots. But, that doesn’t mean you should choose a soil mix that holds more water. Rather, apply a larger volume of water each time you give your plant a drink.
The Best Soil for Repotting Monstera Plants
When it comes time to repot your Monstera, use a potting mix that has the same qualities mentioned above. Always switch out your soil when you repot your plants in order to remove any issue with compaction and diseases.
The Ultimate Monstera Plant Potting Mix Recipe
If you’re looking to make a potting mix for your Monstera plants, you’re in luck. It’s easy to make a great mix at home, as long as you have access to a few materials. No matter what species of Monstera you own, it will love the potting mix outlined below.
We’re going to cover the basic components of a great potting mix and then provide a recipe.
Components of a Monstera Potting Mix
Sphagnum peat moss has fine particles yet a coarse texture. This leads to great water-holding and nutrient-holding capacities along with good aeration.
Coco coir is made from the husks of coconuts. It has a similar texture to peat moss but compacts a bit more over time.
Pine bark fines are small pieces of coniferous trees such as firs, pines, and spruces. This bark has a high percentage of lignin, which means it retains its shape over time. Therefore, it’s excellent at resisting compaction and providing air pockets.
Perlite is a type of expanded rock. It looks and feels a lot like styrofoam. It does not absorb water, so it is great at providing aeration and drainage to a soil mix.
The Best Monstera Potting Mix Recipe
Now that you understand a bit about what each component provides to a potting mix, here’s a great recipe to follow. It offers great aeration and drainage, yet also holds enough water for your plant to take up all it needs.
This mix is made up of:
- 4 parts pine bark fines
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part sphagnum peat moss OR coco coir
To make the mix, add all the ingredients to a large container then add water until just moist. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together and then fill your Monstera pots.
Storebought Monstera Potting Mix
If you don’t want to make a potting mix at home, you can buy one from the store and add some extra perlite or orchid mix bark to increase drainage.
A standard houseplant potting mix provides a good base. Here are a few options that will work well:
- Bloomscape Potting Soil
- Dirtco. House & Tropical Plant Potting Soil
- Foxfarm Ocean Forest Potting Mix
- Miracle Grow Indoor Potting Mix
To make the mix even better, combine 5 parts of the potting mix with 1 part orchid bark and 1 part perlite.
You shouldn’t use cacti or succulent soil mix for Monsteras. However, as noted above, you can mix an orchid soil mix in with a standard potting mix to increase drainage and aeration.
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Now that you know all about the best soil mix for Monstera plants, you can keep your plants healthy and happy.
Monstera Plant Soil Tips FAQ
What Soil pH is Best for Monstera Plants?
Monstera plants do best in soil with a slightly acidic pH. Remember that a neutral pH is 7.0, and any number below this is considered acidic. Monsteras do best in a mix with a pH between 5.5-6.5.
Can you use cactus soil for Monstera?
Cacti or succulent soil mixes tend to have similar beneficial characteristics (such as slight acidity and good drainage) which is suitable for Monstera plants.
What are the main soil considerations when repotting a monstera plant?
Always switch out your soil when you repot your Monstera plants in order to remove any issue with compaction and diseases.
How do you mix Monstera soil?
To make the Monstera soil mix, add all the ingredients to a large container then add water until just moist. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together and then fill your Monstera pots.
Does Monstera like moist soil?
Monstera plants do best in a potting mix that holds moisture yet also drains well. Ensure your potting vessel has a drainage system so excess water can disperse during watering cycles.
Everything You Need to Know About Growing Monstera Plants:
For more on the famed Monstera plant and to learn more about how to grow and care for these plants at home, please see our guides to:
- The 12 Best Monstera Varieties to Grow at Home
- Monstera Plant Light Requirements
- The Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants
- When and How to Water Monstera Plants
- When and How to Fertilize Monstera Plants
- 12 Common Reasons Your Monstera Plant Leaves are Turning Yellow
- How to Grow and Care for Variegated Monstera Plants
- Monstera Peru Ultimate Care Guide
- Monstera Plant Meaning and Symbolism
- How Fast do Monster Plants Grow?
- How Long Do Monstera Plants Live For?
- The Uses and Benefits of Monstera Plants
- Monstera Plant Temperature & Humidity Preferences
- Where to Position Monstera Plants in the Home
Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.