Best Soil Types for Monstera Plants to Thrive Indoors

No matter what type of Monstera you own, you need to set it up for success with the proper soil mix. All my 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. In my experience, a soil mix containing 1 part peat moss/coco coir, 1 part perlite, and 4 parts pine bark fines is an excellent base for Monsteras to thrive in your home.

The Best Soil Mix for Monstera Plants (Essential Tips)

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 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?

All types of 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.

The Ultimate Monstera Plant Potting Mix Recipe

Monstera soil

If you want to make a potting mix for your Monstera plants, you’re in luck. It’s easy to make a great mix at home if you have access to a few materials. No matter what species of Monstera you own, it will love my potting mix outlined below.

We’re going to cover the basic components of an excellent 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 texture similar to peat moss but compacts 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 excellent 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 I use for my Monstera plants at home. It offers excellent 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, 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 I’ve found work well in my experience (via Amazon):

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.

How Pot Shape and Plant Size Impact Soil Choice

Monstera Plant on Wooden Table

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, in my experience, 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 issues with compaction and diseases.

Signs You’re Using the Wrong Soil Mix

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.

Yellow or Yellowing Monstera leaves and/or drooping leaves are a sign that your plant may not be getting enough air or water.

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 be unable 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 only water 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.

Why Soil Choice Matters

Green Glossy Monstera Leaves

When you choose a soil mix, you want it to provide your plants with five things.

  1. A place to anchor
  2. Proper gas exchange
  3. The right amount of water
  4. Temperature control
  5. Nutrients

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.

Monstera Plant Soil FAQs:

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 are suitable for Monstera plants.

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.

How often should I repot my monstera plant?

Monstera plants need to be repotted every 1-2 years or when their roots have outgrown their current pot. Repotting is best done in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. Use a slightly larger pot and fresh potting soil when repotting.

Can I use compost in my Monstera soil mix?

Compost can be an excellent addition to your monstera soil mix if it is well-aged and thoroughly composted. Avoid using fresh or uncomposted compost as this can contain harmful pathogens and may not be well-balanced in nutrients.

Should I add fertilizer to my Monstera soil mix?

You can add a slow-release fertilizer to your Monstera soil mix or fertilize your plant regularly with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to burnt roots and other problems, such as yellowing Monstera leaves.

How often should I water my monstera plant?

Monstera plants prefer to dry out slightly between waterings, so waiting until the top inch or so of soil has dried out before watering again is best. Water your plant thoroughly and allow any excess water to drain away. Avoid letting your monstera plant sit in standing water, which can lead to root rot.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know all about the best soil mix for Monstera plants, you can keep your plants healthy and happy.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

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.

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