Ultimate Monstera Growing Guide

monstera 5

The monstera, or Monstera deliciosa, belongs to the Araceae family and is native to the tropical regions of America. These plants may also be referred to as the Swiss Cheese plant, a name derived from the monstera’s most coveted feature, large green leaves with fenestrations, or holes. It is generally believed the functional purpose of these holes is to allow light to pass through to the plant’s lower leaves, or to other plants in the jungle! 

Caring for the monstera is shockingly quite simple, which is a large reason why plant parents all over the world rave about this monster(a) plant. This monstera growing guide will layout everything you need to know!

Please note: This plant is mildly toxic to humans and toxic to both cats and dogs. Calcium oxalate is present in these plants in large enough quantities for them to be considered irritants. If leaves are ingested, symptoms such as oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing could occur. While not deadly, it is still recommended to avoid these plants if you have over curious pets.  

monstera growing guideMonstera plants come in a variety of sizes and colors. This is a beautiful Variegated Monstera Albo leaf from our office!

Potting Needs

Before you’re ready to plant your monstera, you must first choose the correct pot to ensure your soil can do its job as needed. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of plant parenting. While it’s important for your pot to look good, and match your interior, it’s even more important to give your plant the home it needs. 

Size

Also keep in mind the pot size needed for your plant. Typically, your monstera will come planted in a plastic pot, also called a nursery pot. These pots will be perfectly fine as beginning homes for your plant. However, you may want to repot your plant into something more fashionable. We encourage you to wait at least 2-3 weeks before your first repot, as the move into your home is already very stressful to the plant.  

Repotting your Monstera

When repotting is necessary, it is suggested to use a pot/planter that is no more than 2” larger the previous one. Repotting is typically a stressful stage for a plant, so minimizing the size increase can make adjusting a lot easier for your plant friend (in this case, your monstera). But when is repotting necessary? Repotting is necessary when your plants roots beginning to poke out of the drainage holes, or if you notice a stoppage of new growth. 

TIP: Repotting should only occur about every two years!

Material

When it comes to potting your monstera, you can choose anything from terracotta pots, ceramic pots, and plastic planters (more on this below). However, it is important for your pot, regardless which one you choose, to contain drainage holes on the bottom (you guessed it, to prevent root rot). 

Terracotta Pots

Pros:

  • Outstanding durability.
  • Absorbs excess moisture from soil (Good for plants with a low moisture preference, like the Monstera). 
  • Fairly inexpensive. 

Cons:

  • Heavy when moving & replanting. 
  • Can crack in cold weather conditions.
  • Absorbs excess moisture from soil (Bad for plants with a high moisture preference). 

monstera 2 e1627656324801

Here is a monstera from @Brina Blum in a terracotta pot.

Glazed ceramic Pots

Pros: 

  • Protects plants from sudden temperature changes. 
  • Durable
  • Fashionable appearance.

Cons:

  • Larger pots can be expensive 
  • Insufficient drainage. 
  • Repotting is challenging.
  • Made of porous material which traps moisture. (Not good for low moisture plants such as monstera. If you tend to overwater your plants, you may want to avoid this option).

monstera 3 e1627656392103Here is a monstera from Kara Eads in a ceramic pot.

Plastic Pots & Planters

Pros:

  • Cheapest option 
  • Large variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. 
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to drill additional drainage holes.
  • Makes repotting easier.

Cons:

  • Typically, not a durable option
  • Negative health issues associated with some plastics (opt for recycled material or planters made from polypropylene).
  • Not the most fashionable option. 

monstera 4 e1627656471902

Here’s a variegated monstera albo in a plastic planter. Photo from Severin Candrian

Soil and Fertilizer Needs

Soil

Like many other houseplants, the Monstera is prone to root rot if exposed to improper moisture conditions. For best results use a well-draining soil, which will hold ample moisture while allowing any excess water to discard into the saucer. You can also assemble a homemade blend consisting of pine bark fines, perlite, and sphagnum peat moss. 

Fertilizer

In the spring and summer when your monstera is actively growing, it’s suggested to feed it once a month. We recommend a liquid fertilizer like Espoma’s Organic Indoor

Lighting conditions

In nature, the monstera thrives from bright, indirect sunlight. Make sure to avoid direct sunlight as it can cause burn marks on the beautiful green leaves. As a plant found on the floor of tropical forests, they can also tolerate low light, but note this will slow the growing process. If you keep your plant near a southern or western exposed window, we suggest using a sheer (or any other transparent material) window curtains to keep your Monstera out of direct sunlight. If using a grow light, such as our Large Aspect™ Grow Light, we suggest hanging your light 48” – 60” away from your monstera. 

monstera 5 e1627656579446Monstera under the Large White Aspect, courtesy of @jungle_of_eden

Watering

As mentioned earlier, root rot is one of the most common causes of Monstera death. Because of this, you should always make sure that a monstera’s soil is almost dry before watering. A great way to test moisture levels is to submerge your pinky 1-2 inches deep in the soil. If you feel zero to little moisture, it is time to water your plant! Water until liquid begins flowing through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot. It’s very important to discard all accumulated water in the saucer, as this can also cause root rot.  

Temperature and humidity

As a native plant of the tropics, monstera’s need ample humidity. Purchasing a humidifier is a great way to provide similar levels of humidity as they would receive in nature. We prefer the Miroco Cool Mist Humidifier. In the winter months, dry air from heaters can cause Monstera leaves to dry out. For a happy and thriving monstera, try to keep humidity levels above 60%. 

In addition to humidity and plentiful indirect sunlight, monstera’s also love warmer temperatures. A normal indoor temperature of 60-80° F (15-27° C) is perfect for your monstera houseplant. Avoid any cold drafts or direct airflow from heaters during the winter months. 

monstera 6 e1627656666499

Monstera shaped neon light by @Ripley (you can purchase something similar here).

Other Information

  • Large leaves can collect dust. If you notice dust or dirt, wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to keep them clean and healthy.
  • Monstera plants love to climb. Don’t hesitate to add a trellis or other accessories for climbing plants! 
  • If your monstera leaves are turning brown, it’s likely from inconsistent watering patterns. 
  • If your monstera leaves are turning yellow, it’s likely from its soil being too dry. 
  • Monstera plants can fruit but this is typically only occurring in nature.

For propagation tips be sure to read our in-depth guide on monstera propagation! 

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Customer Reviews
5.0 Based on 582 Reviews
5 ★
97% 
563
4 ★
3% 
19
3 ★
0% 
0
2 ★
0% 
0
1 ★
0% 
0
Customer Photos
100reviewers would recommend this product Write a Review Ask a Question

Thank you for submitting a review!

Your input is very much appreciated. Share it with your friends so they can enjoy it too!

Filter Reviews:
VM
08/10/2022
Virginia M.
US US
I recommend this product

Light is perfect, timer is not

The light is so beautiful! Extremely sleek and feels very solid, like a quality fixture should. I ordered the large white version, and the wood arm so I could attach that to the wall rather than fuss with the hardware and hook it to the ceiling. (I'll avoid drywall anchors at all costs, but it's great they were included). My plants are happy, and I'm thrilled with how it looks in my home! Only issue I've had is with the outlet timer - it just doesn't work. The instructions aren't complicated, of course there's always a potential for user error but there's only so many switches that can be flipped and I've tried all directions with no success. Admittedly its rather frustrating, since I'll have to figure something else out if I'm not home to turn the light off and on..

A
08/06/2022
Anonymous
US US
I recommend this product

Working very well

We’ve been using our lights for 8 months now and really like their appearance and function. Great product.

A
08/05/2022
Anonymous
US US
I recommend this product

So far so good.

I’m writing this review for the 10% off. I’ve just received these lights, but after a week of use they seem to be working well. They are certainly more attractive than the average grow light and give a very nice ambiance. I’m not quite sure they are worth the cost, but I would probably still recommend these to someone who wants a visually pleasing grow light.

A
08/05/2022
Anonymous
US US
I recommend this product

Awesome Light

This light is beautiful and effective. My monstera is already growing faster!!

Related Articles

You might be interested in...

Sticky Traps from Amazon

8 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats Quickly

,

Pests are always a concern when it comes to the beauty and life of plants. Fungus gnats, although harmless to humans, are one pest that […]

Read More →
eduard militaru NgiE1A lIyY unsplash scaled 1

Bringing Your Plants in For Winter: A Step-By-Step Guide

Summer has officially passed and the cold temperatures are here to stay! As we switch to spending most of our time cozied up indoors, we […]

Read More →
best lights for growing plants indoors featured image 3 thegem blog default1

Best Growlights For Indoor Plants

,

Sometimes the toughest part about having houseplants is creating an environment for them to thrive. Worrying about your plants getting proper sun exposure can be […]

Read More →
Scroll to Top