Our Essential Guide to Watering Monstera Plants

The famed Monstera (AKA Swiss Cheese Plant) is an awesome house plant loved for their cool leaf structure and laid back style. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know about watering Monstera plants at home as it’s perhaps the most fundamental element to ensure your plant truly thrives. Nothing kills a Monstera faster than over or underwatering the plant but with a few well-followed guidelines yours will do just fine.

As a general rule, the trick is to only water when the topsoil has dried about 80% of the way (typically every 10 to 14 days). However, be aware there are several factors in play such as prevailing light conditions, the relative ambient temperature where your Monstera resides, the soil mix you’re using as well as the size of the plant itself. Read on to learn more and get your watering game on par with the pros.  

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Things to Consider When Watering Monstera Plants

Things to Consider When Watering Monstera Plants

For the purposes of this guide, we’re primarily talking about watering indoor Monstera plants. As noted, there are various factors that are going to impact the frequency and volume of your watering cycles. It’s worth considering each as you formulate the best plan for your Monstera relative to your own unique living environment.

Outdoors you’re a little more at the mercy of the elements but the basic principles still apply. Always aim to retain some degree of moisture in the soil particularly during dry spells. Also, ensure suitable drainage is in place to avoid the numerous issues that arrive with stagnant water and saturated soil bases.

Temperature and Humidity

Monstera Plants grow just fine in most home environments and are likely to be protected against significant temperate fluctuations.

In most houses, apartments, and offices with a general ambient temperature in the 60 to 72F bracket the watering needs are going to be largely consistent with 10 to 14-day estimates.

If you’re in a super-hot indoor environment for whatever reason the plant is going to lose moisture at a faster rate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.

Air Conditioners can play a factor as well. Tropical plants love humid environments (yearning for their native rainforests). Typically anywhere from 50 to 75% relative humidity would be ideal (though not practical at home and in most of the northern hemisphere).

Air conditioners have a habit of sucking moisture from the air so you’ll need to monitor the soil for moisture retention during extensive periods of AC usage.

Light

Watering Monstera Plants Light Considerations

Whilst Monstera are super tolerant to a host of light conditions, they really thrive in bright, indirect light.

Light, being a source of heat is going to play a significant factor in your plants watering needs. A spot near a south facing window is going to accelerate moisture loss versus anything in a north, west or easterly orientation.

The Season

As is common in the natural world, most house plants take a period of mild to full dormancy during the winter months. Growth slows and the needs of your plant in terms of water and feed can be cut back.

This is an important period to verge on the side of caution with your watering habits. Whilst you never want the soil to be bone dry, you will probably only need to water every 3 weeks or so until spring arrives and the plant’s virility once again kicks in.

The Soil Mix

Watering Monstera Plants Soil Considerations

The type and structure of your soil mix will play a fundamental role in how often you need to water your Monstera plant.

My preferred soil recipe is to combine a well-draining all-purpose house-plant soil mix with approx 40% of something a little more robust to help aeration (such as bark and perlite). This will allow water to flow freely through the soil. Though bear in mind you may need a greater water frequency (every 7 to 10 days in spring through summer).

Standard potting mixes are fine as well (those that you pick up at your local gardening center or online). Though they tend to be a little denser and will retain moisture for longer (reducing your watering frequency requirements).

Drainage

This is imperative. Make sure whatever pot or planter you’re using has some form of drainage hole for water to run freely through the plant into a collecting saucer underneath.

Also, don’t allow the plant to stand in a saturated saucer for extended periods. By soaking the soil you’ve already done your job so collect the excess and discard.


When To Water A Monstera Plant

When to Water Monstera Plants

Monstera plants do a great job of letting you know when they’re thirsty. You’ll quickly learn to understand their needs as your relationship with the plant develops over time. There are a few key things to look out for.

Monitor Moisture Levels in the Soil

As referenced, the general rule of thumb is to only re-water once the topsoil has dried approximately 75 to 80% of the way. You can check this with your fingers if you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Or, you can invest in a moisture probe or meter and simply insert it in the soil.

The moisture meter gives an accurate reading of the moisture content of the roots. If the reading is showing 3-4, then it means it is time to water the plants. Wait for a few days if the reading is more than that.

The final way (and a bit more rudimental) is to simply use a stick. If the stick comes out dry, it means the soil is dry. And if there are soil residues on the stick, it indicates the soil beneath still has some moisture.

When the Leaves are Curling and the Plant is Losing it’s Vibrant Green

A tell-tale sign your plant is dehydrated and in need of a drink.

When Monstera Leaves Start Turning Brown at the Edges (and potentially fading a little yellow as well)

Watering Monstera Plants when the leaves start turning brown

This is common particularly when the air is very dry in the winter months or also if the plant is exposed to AC for extended periods throughout the day. In addition to checking moisture levels in the soil look to spritz the leaves with a little water spray or (better) invest in a humidifier if you live in a very dry climate.  

When’s the Best Time of Day to Water Montstera Plants:

A long-debated topic but if possible I’d aim to water first thing in the morning. This will give your Monstera plant time for the water to run through and be collected. Water retention is generally better in the morning hours before heat or light are at full strength as well.


How Often Should I be Watering Monstera Plants

From experience, for a medium-sized Monstera plant in a normal/average living environment, with the plant exposed to bright, indirect light you should aim to water every 10 to 14 days in spring through summer and every 14 to 21 days in the winter months.

There’s always a caveat based on the various factors in play so a weekly check is always recommended.


When NOT to Water your Monstera Plant

When Not to Water Monstera Plants

It’s easy to fall into the habit of just watering your Monstera plant whenever you get the chance without really considering the current state of the plant’s health and needs.

Over-watering is by far the most common reason for Monstera plant decay and disease. Always verge on the side of caution and check the basic points before watering any further. A few key points to follow:

Never water the Monstera Plant when at least 50% of the soil base in the pot is still moist or damp (again, check with your fingers, probe, or stick).

Yellowing leaves – are one of the most common signs of over-watering. Check nothing is blocking the drainage holes underneath as well and immediately pause further watering until the soil has dried almost completely out.  

Signs of black spots on the stem. This is often a sign of fungal infection developing linked to over-watering and / or a saturated root-base or root rot. Allow the soil to dry completely and apply a good organic fungicide.


What Type Of Water Is Best For Monstera Deliciosa?

Tap water tends to be over-chlorinated in many places which isn’t ideal for house plants. If possible filter first and use room-temperature water each time.

Rainwater is also generally fine if you collect in your garden.


How To Water Monstera Plants

With a watering can, add water around the base of the stem and across the topsoil until the water starts to run through. You can stop when it starts to appear in the saucer underneath. Leave for 10 mins then collect the excess from the saucer and drain.

A water spray is also a great idea for the leaves and can be applied monthly. Just don’t oversaturate (a light, gentle spritz is sufficient!).

Water spray for Monstera Plants

How Much Should I Water My Monstera Deliciosa?

This is going to be largely dependent on the size of your Monstera plant and the potting container. As opposed to volume, water liberally until you can see it running through into the saucer underneath.


What To Do Between Watering Cycles?

The Monstera is an easy-going plant so shouldn’t require much fuss in-between watering cycles. Just keep an eye on the leaves by removing dust and giving an occasional spray with water.


How To Water Propagated Monstera Leaves/ Stems?

Watering Propagated Monstera Plants

If you are growing the propagation in soil, make sure the soil is moist and not wet. In addition, water the plant once a week. Besides, if you are growing in water, change the water every 7 to 10 days.


Watering Monstera Deliciosa After Repotting

Aim to give the plant a good soaking straight after repotting. Then allow the soil to dry almost completely before starting your regular water cycles.


Wrap- Up

The delicious Swiss Cheese is a really rewarding plant to grow at home. Generally speaking, it’s one of the easiest house plants to care for. Just be considerate with your watering habits and you’ll have a flourishing beauty on your hands for years to come. Remember, we all have slightly different living environments so monitor and adapt your watering schedules as needed to ensure your Monstera plant has the best opportunity to thrive. Enjoy!  


Watering Monstera Plants FAQ

Leaves that start to curl, droop or crips up at the edges are common signs that your Monstera plant need watering.

Water liberally until you start to see water running through into the saucer underneath the pot. The exact volume will be dependent on the size of plant and the potting container.

A gentle mist can help to hydrate the leaves and provide a degree of humidity. Be careful not to saturate the leaves though as stagnant water on the surface can lead to decay and fungal infections.

Depending on the severity of color loss, most Monstera plants won’t regain their full vivid green color after suffering from over or under watering issues. If the leaf is in particularly bad condition look to cut back as close (and neatly) to the stem as possible to allow for new growth to come through.

As with all house plants, the key is to find the right balance of light, water, feed, and temperature. Every home or office presents its own unique set of circumstances so you’ll need to monitor and adjust to ensure your Monstera plant thrives. A happy, healthy Monstera will be vibrant green, with strong healthy leaves and display steady growth.

Plants can recover from overwatering if you’ve mitigated early and adjusted the watering cycles moving forward. Monitor closely over a 2 week period and observe for general signs of improvement in the plant’s overall health.

Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe.

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