Monstera Deliciosa, is one of the most well-liked houseplants in the entire world. The leaves of this lovely plant have spectacular color, shape, and size. Just like all other houseplants, Monsteras need certain conditions to survive.
In addition to water, CO2, and light, the soil or medium in which the monstera is planted, plays a vital role in how well your Monstera deliciosa grows. Due to the role of soil in monstera plant growth and health, this article will go over the factors affecting the qualities of soil mixes and will also discuss how to choose or make the best soil for monstera plants.
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About monstera plant
Monstera Deliciosa, commonly known as the Swiss cheese plant, is an evergreen vine that has huge leaves with a distinctive pattern of holes and separations along each leaf.
They are native to Central America. In their natural habitat, they can grow to heights of several meters. They cling to tree bark, moss, and branches thanks to tiny hairs on their vines and aerial roots, where they absorb moisture from rain and airborne water vapor.
Signs Of Using the Wrong Soil Mix
When your monstera plant begins to yellow, brown, or droop, you should check the soil to determine if anything is causing one of the following symptoms:
Since monstera plants are native to the forest, they prefer to stay well-hydrated, but both too much and too little water can stress them out. Check the soil moisture with a stick or a moisture probe from the top down when the leaves begin to yellow to determine whether the soil is too damp or not.
It might be necessary to amend your soil with sand, clay, or bark to help the water flow through if it is holding too much water and preventing the absorption of nutrients. The monstera’s pot should drain properly as well.
Brown stains on your Monstera leaves indicate that the roots have possibly acquired root rot. Root rot typically damages the roots before it appears on the leaves. Root rot usually has a foul odor that you may notice before the brown spots appear. Ensure the water is not sitting in the soil since root rot is usually caused by overwatering.
The most common reason leaves droop is typically a lack of water. You should first examine the soil moisture because a well-hydrated plant stands up steadily.
There should be a reasonable balance between well-draining and moisture-retaining; if the soil is too dry, add moist organic matter but not an excessive amount of non-absorbent materials, such as bark and sand.
Test the soil quality if your plant appears to be drooping for another reason other than a lack of water, such as too little fertilizer or an unbalanced pH.
Characteristics of the best soil for monstera plant
In the natural habitat, a large portion of the water used by Monstera plants is taken by their aerial roots and vines, which grow several inches deep into the topsoil beneath their hosts.
Swiss cheese plant is used to well-draining topsoil, despite the fact that Central American forests receive a significant lot of rain. Since the ideal method for caring for plants is to imitate nature, the following elements will serve as a guide for creating the best soil for Swiss cheese plant:
Although the ground stays moist over the long term in tropical areas, topsoil dries out quite soon due to the heat. You can duplicate this condition at home by watering when the top inch or two of the potting soil is dry.
Leca or a little sand can be added to the soil to improve drainage, and terra cotta or nursery planters will stop water from sitting in the pot.
Swiss cheese plants prefer soil that drains well, but they do not like the soil to become completely dry. Peat moss or coco peat can be added to the monstera plant soil mix to enhance holding moisture ability without leaving standing water in the container.
Like the rainforest, monsteras enjoy humidity and thrive best when the relative humidity is approximately 50%. To keep the Swiss cheese plant moist between waterings, you can place a humidifier close by the monstera plant or spray water on its leaves.
The ground roots of the Monstera plant are usually in the top few inches of the soil. These plants consume a lot of nutrients to create extra-large, deep green leaves. This means that the best soil for monstera plant is a nutrient-rich soil mix.
Swiss cheese plants’ ideal soil pH range is between 5.5 and 7.0. Since most houseplants demand neutral (pH 7.0) or slightly acidic soil to grow, most potting soil mixtures have a pH close to or slightly below 7.0. However, monstera plants will still grow in medium or neutral soil, albeit usually more slowly.
How to make the best soil for Swiss cheese plant (DIY Recipes)
Monstera plants will thrive with just a weekly watering if you provide them with enough indirect light and the appropriate soil mix composition.
You can combine a few basic potting materials to create the best soil for Swiss cheese plant. The following are some DIY recipes for making the best soil for monstera plants:
DIY Recipe 1:
- 2 Parts commercial potting mix
- 2 parts Coco fiber or peat moss
- 1 part perlite, orchid mix, or Coco chips for aeration
DIY Recipe 2:
- 3 parts of commercial potting mix
- 1 part of perlite/coarse sand
DIY Recipe 3:
Pre-made commercial potting mix for monstera plants
There are numerous commercial potting soil blends acceptable for Monstera plants. The following are some of the best commercial soils for Swiss cheese plants:
Note: Do not use dense soil mixtures that can compress with frequent watering.
It is advised to avoid products marked as having moisture-control ingredients because they often contain beads or other materials that collect and hold moisture. They could cause root rot or other diseases if they keep the soil in your Monstera plant damp for an extended period of time.
If you decide to use a moisture control potting mix, keep an eye on the soil moisture levels because an overly wet environment will be detrimental to your Monstera plant.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Is cactus potting mix good for Monstera plants?
Since cactus soil is made for succulents like cacti and other plants that like dry soil, you should not use it alone to grow monstera. Cactus potting mix consequently does not hold adequate moisture for Monstera plants. However, you can substitute cactus soil for vermiculite or perlite in the mixture to make your own soil mix for monstera plant.
Is orchid potting mix good for Monstera plants?
Orchid soil mix makes watering and plant maintenance time-consuming as it drains quickly. If you want to use orchid potting soil alone in the container, your monstera's soil may dry too rapidly.
However, since Monstera plants and orchids generally share the same fundamental soil requirements, many houseplant keepers use orchid potting mix for their Monstera plants. If you want to do that, make sure to monitor the moisture levels in your plant to prevent accidentally underwatering it.
Is charcoal good for the Monstera plant?
Adding horticultural charcoal to your Monstera potting soil mix is a great technique to enhance your Monstera plant's health and encourage adequate aeration and drainage. Making the best soil for your Monstera plants requires combining one part of horticultural charcoal with ten parts of the soil mix.
Horticultural charcoal stimulates plant growth and enhances plant health in several ways, which is why it is included in soil mixes. It increases the amount of oxygen in the soil, absorbs moisture, filters contaminants from the soil, encourages healthy aeration, and assists plant roots in absorbing nutrients.