What Is the Best Soil for Monstera deliciosa? Being one of the most popular houseplants worldwide, Monstera deliciosa is an absolute beauty from the Mexican tropics.
The leaves, with their magnificent color, shape, and size, give the plant the unique place it deserves in our hearts and homes.
But like all other living beings, Monsteras, too, have some special requirements to thrive.
Besides water, CO2, and light, the soil it lives in is crucial to how well your Monstera deliciosa thrives.
We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
What Is the Best Soil for Monstera deliciosa?
The best soil for Monstera deliciosa is an airy aroid mix containing ½ portion of your regular potting mix, ¼ compost, and ¼ perlite. Choose a soil mix that closely resembles the plant’s natural growing conditions. Look for a well-draining, nutrient-rich mix. The ide mix varies according to your climate.
Best Monstera soil mix
According to the University of Connecticut, Monstera deliciosa needs well-draining soil high in organic matter. The same goes for growing Monstera adansonii.
You can buy mixed soil for Monstera deliciosa plants and aroids on Amazon.
It is essential to start your Monstera journey with the right soil.
I speak from experience when I first started with general potting soil and all the hassle it brought me.
I had a Monstera Thai Constellation and a Monstera deliciosa Variegated. Both plants suffered from root rot multiple times because the soil was too airy and compact.
It started with yellow leaves; they were always mushy when I checked the roots.
I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong as my Monsteras sure looked droopy, but the more I watered them, the worse they looked.
It is no fun to bring plants back to a healthy state after root rot, and it costs me months of rehabilitation.
Do yourself a favor and invest in good airy, and well-draining soil such as the Premium Monstera Potting Soil from the Houseplant Resource Center containing soil, bark, coco coir, and perlite.
How to Choose Potting soil for monstera?
With the market’s wide range of commercial potting mixes, choosing the right soil for your Monstera deliciosa can seem overwhelming.
And you might as well find yourself more confused when trying to create the potting mix yourself.
Here’s an in-depth guide to what your plant needs and the different ways to provide it.
Soil For Monstera – 5 Crucial Factors to Consider
Monstera deliciosa is particularly susceptible to root rot. Hence, drainage is the most crucial aspect when choosing the soil type.
Apart from placing your plant in a pot with a good drainage outlet, it would be best to consider whether the soil is well-draining.
For soil to be able to drain, it must contain particles that differ in size. You’re recommended to mix different components to prepare your soil.
Chunky materials like perlite and compost create that size variance in soil components and the regular potting mix.
The problem with using a single substance or multiple substances that have similar particle size as a potting medium is that the particles can easily clump together and compact the soil.
For instance, using only peat moss or loamy soil, the potting mix will compact the pot on the first watering, leaving the plant with drowning roots and no drainage.
More often than not, Monstera deliciosa parents overlook that just like foliage needs CO2, the roots need oxygen to stay healthy.
If the soil is too compacted and damp all the time, the roots may never be able to access the much-needed oxygen.
The absence of oxygen and the presence of excess moisture is what leads a plant to root rot.
When the roots cannot breathe, fungi take advantage and feed on the roots.
Gradually, the roots start softening and die off as the infection spreads.
Root rot is almost impossible to be reversed, and as they say, prevention is always better than cure.
Good aeration and drainage are a two-in-one package. The same soil components that improve drainage also improve aeration.
The primary mechanism whereby fresh air is provided to the roots is the vacuum created when water flows through the soil.
When you water your Monstera deliciosa, the water seeps down throughout the soil as it is well-draining.
When the extra water exits from the drainage hole below, it creates a vacuum in the empty spaces in the soil where the water was present before exiting.
The vacuum sucks fresh air into the soil, allowing the roots to breathe.
The best soil for Monstera deliciosa is a chunky, well-draining mix.
A plant obtains nutrients for growth (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) through its roots.
If your Monstera deliciosa were growing naturally on the forest floor, its roots would’ve been feeding on the nutrient-rich soil.
Soil is fed continuously by dead plant debris, animal droppings, and the powerful earthworm effect.
Although houseplants cannot get the same nutrients as they would in nature, we can still supplement their nutritional needs via fertilizer and soil mix.
Peat moss and compost will serve as the primary nutrient sources for your Monstera deliciosa.
You can always add nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer in the growing season.
4. Water retention
When it is said, “Monstera deliciosa likes well-draining soil with good water retention,” plant owners are often left scratching their heads.
The two terms are ‘well-draining.’ And ‘good water retention’ in the sentence makes it sound self-contradictory. However, this is not the case.
When discussing water retention, we talk about the soil’s ability to absorb water and slowly release it as the roots require it. The water retention part is done by the porous material present in the soil.
Perlite, for instance, is highly porous and can absorb water and fill all the tiny air spaces inside.
When a little perlite unit cannot absorb more water, it lets the extra water pass by.
This happens on a massive scale when you water your Monstera deliciosa, and perlite is part of the potting mix.
Soil water retention is crucial for the plant’s well-being as it is complicated. When all extra water has drained out of the pot, the roots still absorb water in the soil.
When the water around the roots is used up, the water stored inside the perlite and other water-retaining components is released gradually per the plant’s requirement.
This way, the soil is kept moist without the risk of excessive dampness.
5. Soil pH
Different plants thrive in different soil pH levels. Monstera deliciosa prefers soil that is slightly on the acidic side, with an ideal pH range of 5.5-7.
The potting mix we mentioned above will already fall into this pH range, so you don’t need to adjust it more.
Alternative Potting Soil Combinations for Monstera – The Best Soil for Monstera deliciosa
Not everyone can easily access the ingredients mentioned in our original potting mix, but that is not a hard and fast rule. We can opt for any soil mix as long as the essential functions are fulfilled.
Here are a few alternatives.
- ½ regular potting soil, ½ coco peat or peat moss
- ½ regular potting soil, ½ coco chips or orchid bark
- ¾ regular potting soil, ½ perlite or pumice
What Type of Soil Monstera deliciosa Doesn’t Like?
This tropical herbaceous will grow even if you pot it in only regular soil or any mix you choose.
Avoid certain soil types, as they will keep your plant struggling.
Do not use dirt or soil that is taken from the ground. The regular potting mix we have mentioned does not contain ground soil as a component.
Ground soil often retains much more moisture and does not contain the required nutrients for potted plants.
Also, be careful not to use any soil component with a pH above 7.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I repot my Monstera deliciosa?
Despite their vigorous growth rate, Monsteras can smoothly go 2-3 years in the same pot. If you think your plant needs repotting, try taking the rootball out and checking if roots are circling at the edge of the soil. The best time of the year to repot is spring.
Why is my Monstera deliciosa drooping after repotting?
It is normal for plants to display signs of transplant shock when they are repotted recently. If you’ve done the repotting right, you should expect the foliage to look happy in a few days. If the problem persists, it may be the wrong time of the year to report, or the plant may not like its new home.
Is cactus soil good for a Monstera?
Cactus soil is not optimal for a Monstera. Although it drains well, it does not retain humidity very well. Monstera deliciosa needs soil that is not airy and retains water.
Should I use orchid bark for Monstera?
Orchid bark is a great additive to a potting mix for Monstera deliciosa. It is coarse and well-draining and allows for airflow to the roots. Orchid bark is a great choice as an additive to a Monstera potting mix.
Can I use peat moss for Monstera?
Peat moss is water retentive and well-draining. Monstera deliciosa grows well in 100% peat moss, or peat moss can be used as an ingredient for a soil mix consisting of peat moss, bark, perlite, and potting soil.
What kind of soil does a Monstera need?
A monstera needs a well-draining potting soil that is airy and retains humidity. You can mix potting soil with peat, perlite, charcoal, and orchid bark.
The ideal soil for a Monstera deliciosa consists of the following:
- Potting mix ½
- Compost ¼
- Perlite ¼
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.