If you are looking for some vining or climbing plants for your garden, the Monstera plants are a great choice. These tropical plant species are native to the rainforests in southern Mexico and Central America and are also widely referred to as the Swiss Cheese Plants. This name is due to the presence of delicate splits and holes in their foliage giving them an exotic appearance.
These plants further have a wide range of species giving the gardens a huge variety to choose from. However, be it “the big and holey Monstera deliciosa plant” or “the silvery and delicate Monstera siltepecana plant,” each one of them needs a proper soil mix. Now, while the genus of these plant species is diverse, their potting mixes are nearly similar.
Keep reading, and let us will help to understand what soil is best for Monstera!
Soil for Monstera: How Can You Find It?
When it comes to the kind of soil Monstera plants like getting it right is quite crucial. While these plants are well accustomed to frequent rainfall, and thereby, high humidity, they do not prefer soggy soil. It is because such soil can cause root rot in these plants. Soil rich in nutrients but well-drained is ideal for growing Monstera plants.
So, keeping this in mind, do you know what is the best potting soil and soil mix for Monstera plants? If not, let us find out. Here are some of the things you should look for in the soil that is best suited for monstera:
- Start by looking for soil that has all the nutrients needed by the Monstera plants.
- Make sure that this soil retains moisture as well as provides good aeration.
- Lastly, you need to ensure that it is slightly acidic.
How to Make Your Own Potting Soil for Monstera?
Now, you can readily get such nutrient-rich soil mixtures in the market. However, you can also prepare a similar potting mixture yourself. In order to accomplish this, only a few ingredients need to be gathered. Here is a list of these suitable ingredients that you can use for making Monstera soil. Have a look:
- All-purpose Potting Soil,
- Peat Moss,
- Pine Bark or Shredded Bark,
- Horticultural Charcoal,
- Compost, and
Once you have these ingredients, you need not look further for what soil is best for Monstera. You can make it yourself. That being said, this is not the fixed material list you will need. These are interchangeable. In simple words, you need to get those ingredients that can help you get a potting mixture that is lightweight, drains well, and provides plenty of aeration for the monstera roots.
Make Your Own Potting Soil for Monstera: A 4-Step DIY Guide
Here is how instead of looking for “what soil is best for monstera,” you can make one yourself in four simple steps. Have a look:
Step 1: Collect All the Suitable Ingredients
Firstly, you need to get everything you will need for preparing the potting mixture. As a general rule, it should have the following:
- One-part humus-rich soil: You can use commercial all-purpose potting soil or compost for it.
- One-part coarse organic matter: You can use peat moss, pine bark, or shredded bark for it.
- One-part perlite: You can also use vermiculite instead of it.
- A handful of horticultural charcoal: This is an additional ingredient that can be added to improve the aeration and drainage of the mixture.
If we talk about the amount of these ingredients in percentages, any good Monstera soil mix needs to have:
- 30 percent of all-purpose potting soil,
- 40 percent of shredded bark,
- 20 percent of peat moss,
- 10 percent of perlite, and
- A handful of horticultural charcoal.
Step 2: Mix the Ingredients
Once you have all the required ingredients in one place, the next step is pretty basic. You simply have to take a large bucket or bowl. In it, mix all the ingredients you have to make your own special blend that is magic for Monstera plants.
Step 3: Moisten the Mixture
After you are done mixing all the ingredients, you need to moisten it slightly. Once done, you will have a lightweight potting mix that not only drains well but also provides proper aeration for the roots of your Monstera plants.
Step 4: Store the Unused Mixture
After you have used the soil mix for your Monsteras, make sure to store the unused Monstera potting mix in an airtight container. It will come in handy for future use. So, we hope this answers your question “what is the soil used for monstera deliciosa,” and you will be able to prepare it easily. If not, you can always get your hand on commercial potting soil mixes.
What to Keep in Mind When Getting Commercial Potting Soil Mixes for Monstera?
If you are wondering “can I use all-purpose soil for monstera,” the answer is you can. However, you need to mix several other things into it to get the perfect soil mix for your Monstera plants. If you do not have the time to do so yourself, it is also possible to opt for commercial potting soil mixes. However, when purchasing these, there are several things you need to keep in mind.
Make sure that the soil mix is a perfect combination of soil, compost, perlite, vermiculture, coarse organic matter, and everything else needed to help the soil drain well. It should also supply plenty of oxygen to Monstera roots. Further, you need to keep away from soil mixes that are dense. It is because such soil mix can compact with repeated watering. It will also remain moist for too long and can cause root rot in Monsteras.
What Are Some Options for Monstera Plant Soil Mix You Can Use?
Whatever soil mix you use for your Monstera plants, you need to make sure that it is high in nutrients, retains moisture, drains well, provides plenty of aeration to the roots, and is slightly acidic. It means that you cannot use all-purpose potting soil alone. Instead, you need to add a few things to it and make your own soil that is fit for Monstera.
Based on the characteristics of an ideal soil mix for monstera, let us see if the following makes the cut. Have a look:
If you are wondering if you can use cactus soil alone for your Monstera plants, the answer is no. You cannot use this soil alone for them. It is because this kind of soil is specially designed for cacti and other succulents, and is dry. While monstera does not like soil that is very moist, it does need some moisture.
The cactus soil in the picture will not be able to retain enough moisture that is needed by the Monsteras. That being said, it is not completely a bad idea to use cactus soil for monstera. If you know how to use it with other ingredients, you can readily get your own perfect soil mix for Monstera plants.
This particular kind of soil can easily replace vermiculite or perlite. You need to add the rest materials as it is mentioned in the section about making your own soil mix for Monstera. It means that in addition to cactus soil, you will have to add peat moss, all-purpose potting soil, and charcoal, and you will have the perfect potting mixture for your Monsteras.
Is compost soil ideal for Monstera? If you want to know the same, we have the answer for you. It is not a great idea to use this kind of soil for monstera as it is very dense and does not have the desired aeration and drainage capacity needed by the plant. That being said, you can use it in the soil mix as compost is an excellent source of various plant nutrients.
So, while you cannot use compost soil on its own for your Monstera plants, you can certainly use it while preparing a soil mix for them. Simply use one part of it with one part of all-purpose potting soil. Along with this, add one part of peat moss, one part of perlite or vermiculite, and a handful of charcoal. This formula is sure to work out for most Monstera plant types out there.
Is orchid soil good for Monstera or it too cannot be used alone like compost and cactus soil? If you want to know about the same, the answer is that it is best to avoid orchid soil for your Monstera plants. This kind of soil has a quick drainage system, and thus, can make gardening Monsteras a time-consuming process for you.
It is because as the soil drains very quickly, you will have to continuously water it to provide the plants with the right amount of moisture. If you fail to do so, chances are you may run the risk of the soil drying, thereby harming your Monstera plants. So, while orchids and Monsteras have the same basic soil needs, you need to avoid using orchid soil alone for monstera plants.
That being said, orchid soil along with all-purpose potting soil and peat moss can form a perfect soil mix for your Monstera plants. Simply, mix a part of orchid potting soil with one-part peat moss and one-part all-purpose potting soil. When using this mix, you need not worry too much about keeping an eye on your Monstera plant’s moisture levels.
What Potting Soil Is Used for Monstera – Acidic, Basic, or Alkaline?
If you want to know what kind of soil is used for Monstera adansonii in terms of pH, this section is for you. To answer it simply, your Monstera plants need a soil type that has a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. It means that the soil that is the best for them needs to be slightly acidic. Now, most other houseplants need a pH close to 7.0 or slightly below.
Due to this, various soil mixtures you find may have the same pH value. While your Monstera may grow in average or neutral soil, you will certainly notice that it will do so at a much slower rate as compared to its ideal slightly acidic soil. If you are not aware of the pH of the soil in your garden, finding out about it is pretty simple.
You can easily get a soil test or purchase an inexpensive kit to measure the pH of your Monstera potting soil. The latter is readily available at plant centers and hardware stores. Once you find out what the pH is, you can adjust it accordingly. For instance, if the pH is above 7.0, and your soil is too alkaline, you can add peat moss to it, and lower the pH value.
What Happens if You Use Soil with the Wrong pH for Your Monstera Plants?
Now, if your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it can cause certain problems with nutrient uptake in your Monstera plants. This can further cause the development of growth and health issues in the plants. Here is how extremely acidic and alkaline soils can affect your Monsteras. Have a look:
Extremely Acidic Soil
If the soil in which you have planted Monsteras is extremely acidic soil, it can lead to both nutrient deficiencies and toxicity in them. Here are some of the most common deficiencies and toxicity that you can observe by looking out for their symptoms:
- Manganese toxicity: It usually leads to yellowish-brown spots between leaf veins. The leaf tips can also dry out eight weeks after planting, and it may also cause chlorosis of younger (upper) leaves along with stunted plant growth.
- Aluminum toxicity: Some symptoms of this kind of toxicity include small, dark green leaves and late maturity, stunted plant growth, purpling of stems and leaves, yellowing and death of leaf tips, etc.
- Magnesium deficiency: The symptoms of this deficiency are more severe on the lower leaves. One of them includes interveinal chlorosis. It is where the leaf veins stay green but the areas that are between them turn yellow.
- Calcium deficiency: The symptoms for this appear initially as localized tissue necrosis. In the latter phases, the symptoms include stunted plant growth, curling of the younger leaves, death of terminal buds and root tips, etc.
- Phosphorus deficiency: In this deficiency, some of the symptoms that you may observe include stunted shoot growth, darkening of leaves, increased anthocyanin synthesis leading to reddish-violet, or violet color, etc.
Further, if the soil in which you have planted Monsteras is alkaline, it can also lead to both nutrient deficiencies and toxicity in them. Here are some of the most common deficiencies and toxicity that you can observe by looking out for their symptoms:
- Copper deficiency: Inadequate levels of this nutrient have symptoms like poor growth, leaf tips turning a bluish green color, delayed flowering, plant sterility, wilting, etc.
- Zinc deficiency: This deficiency affects the base of the leaf near the stem first, and then moves upward. If it is extreme, the upper leaves can become chlorotic and the lower ones can turn purple, brown, or even die.
- Manganese deficiency: If you are on the lookout for the symptoms of this deficiency, these first appear around the 4th-6th week. You can notice small brown spots on the middle-aged leaves. These rust-brown spots keep on increasing if not taken care of.
- Boron deficiency: Some symptoms of this deficiency include distorted growth of the leaf tips, hollow or rough plant stems, curled or wrinkled new leaves, etc.
- Sodium buildup: If you want to look out for the symptoms of the increase in the levels of sodium, some of them include sudden wilting of leaves and stunted plant growth.
How often should I water Monstera?
In order to help your Monstera plants grow well, you need to water them every 1-2 weeks. This will give time for the soil to dry out between waterings, and not remain very moist. Also, it is best to water these plants in brighter light more often than in lower light. Another tip that you can use for watering Monstera is to use water that is left overnight or using filtered water.
Do Monsteras need deep pots?
Yes, Monsteras need deep pots. These need to be deep enough so that you can insert a pole easily into them. Make sure to get a pot in which you can insert the port at a depth of at least seven inches. This is to ensure stability to your Monstera plants.
How and when should I re-pot Monstera?
If you want to re-pot your Monstera, you can do it any time of year using all-purpose potting soil. You can re-pot them every two to three years. Once you have them in a pot that is large enough (diameter of eight inches or larger), you can always add fresh potting soil on top instead of repotting.