monstera soil mix
Monstera is a popular indoor plant with beautiful, distinctive leaves.
While this tropical plant is easy to grow, you need a to pick up the best monstera soil mix available in the market near you to keep it looking healthy and bushy.
After all, it is from the soil that the plant absorbs all its nutrients and water. Right?
In this article, we will share best Monstera soil mix recipe with you. You will also learn what factors to consider while choosing the soil mix for your Monstera.
What is the best soil mix for Monstera?
In its natural habitat, Monstera thrives in well-draining soil that retains moisture and is also well aerated. It would help if you kept this in mind while creating the perfect Monstera soil mix.
The best soil mix for Monstera should contain the perfect blend of organic aged bark, coco coir, perlite. This blend gives it the ideal balance for drainage, moisture retention, pH, and nutrition to help all varieties of monstera plants thrive.
Things to keep in mind while choosing soil mix for Monstera
Monsteras naturally grow in tropical forests. Why is this important?
While choosing a soil mix for Monstera, you should aim to create a mixture that resembles the soil in which they grow naturally. Consider these properties when looking for the best monstera soil mix –
Monstera prefers well-aerated soil. Aeration in the soil helps in the even distribution of moisture.
It also helps improve the flow of oxygen through the plant’s roots. Including coco coir, perlite, and vermiculite in the mix, makes it light and provides good aeration.
Monsteras require well-draining soil.
Soil with good drainage allows water to move through the soil at a moderate rate, so the plants have time to absorb moisture. Overly wet soil increases the chances of pests and root rot. A lot of water in the pot also pushes out all the oxygen from the soil.
3. Moisture content
While monstera soil mix needs to be well-draining, it also needs to have the ability to retain moisture.
Maintaining this balance can be tricky, so your potting mix needs ingredients like compost, coco coir, bark that absorb moisture, and aerating ingredients like perlite.
4. Nutrient-rich soil
In tropical forests, the organic matter is constantly breaking down in the soil, making it rich in nutrients.
When creating a soil mix for Monstera, add and replenish the soil with magnesium and boron. Natural materials like vermiculite and compost also add nutrients to the soil.
5. Soil pH
The soil’s pH level plays a vital role in Monstera’s healthy growth.
It is essential for nutrient uptake and affects the balance of beneficial and harmful bacteria in the soil. Monsteras require a pH range of 5.5 to 7, which is a little on the acidic side. Coco coir has a pH level range of 5.2 to 6.8, so adding this can create the perfect pH level for Monstera.
Best ingredients for Monstera soil mix
Monstera is a hardy plant, but it does need an appropriate potting mix to grow well. Now that you know the factors you need to consider while creating a potting mix, here are the ingredients that you would need –
1. Coconut coir
Coconut coir comes from the fibrous husks of coconuts and is ground to form fine fibers. It can absorb ten times its weight in water and thus improve the soil’s water retention capacity.
2. Bark chips
Bark chips are chipped or shredded tree bark that can be added to Monstera potting mix. Its coarse texture helps aerate the soil, prevents compaction, and improves drainage. It also provides nutrition for the plants to grow.
Perlite is a lightweight coarse white material that looks a bit like polystyrene. It is highly porous and is used in potting mix to improve aeration, draining, and insulation.
4. Activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that’s commonly used to remove impurities from water and air. When used in potting mix, it improves the soil’s ability to remove impurities. It also repels insects, absorbs excess moisture, and thus prevents root rot.
5. Worm castings
Worm castings are an organic fertilizer produced from earthworms. They add valuable nutrients to the soil. When used as mulch, they help control pests like aphids, spider mites, and whitefly.
Best Monstera soil mix recipe
If you have collected all the ingredients to make Monstera soil mix, you can now make it at home without any trouble.
Take a large container and add –
- Bark chips -5 parts
- Perlite -5 parts
- Coco coir – 4 parts
- Activated charcoal – 2 parts
- Worm castings – 2 parts
Use a gardening spoon to mix all the ingredients until you get a balanced and consistent soil mix. Your Monstera soil mix is now ready to use.
While potting, make sure that the pot has drainage holes. After planting Monstera in this mix, cover the top one inch of the soil with bark chips. This discourages fungus gnats from laying eggs in the mud.
Factors that influence ingredients in Monstera soil mix
You can make some changes to this mix depending on your environment. Here are some other factors that can influence the quantity of certain ingredients you use in Monstera soil mix –
If you live in hotter climates, the water will evaporate quickly from the soil. You can add sphagnum moss to the top layer of the soil to help retain moisture for longer and keep away pests.
If you overwater your plants, you may need more perlite in your Monstera soil mix. Doing this will improve the soil draining capacity and prevent root rot.
Condition of your plant
The current state of your plant will also dictate what you put in the soil mix. If the plant is not showing healthy growth, you may need to add more worm castings to improve the soil’s nutritional content. If the plant is beginning to show signs of root rot, add more perlite or bark chips to the soil mix.
How to know that if your Monstera needs repotting?
Generally speaking, you need to repot Monsteras once every two years. Repotting allows the plant to grow larger by replacing the soil with fresh, nutrient-rich soil. However, you may have to repot your Monstera earlier if you notice any of these signs –
- When you notice roots growing along the edges of the drainage holes in the pot or growing through them, it is time to repot. Your plant has become rootbound, and it is time to upgrade to a bigger container.
- Has the soil in the pot started to look dry and crusty? If you press the soil firmly with a finger and water is released from below, it is a sign that the plant’s roots are seeking more moisture. Replace the soil with a fresh Monstera soil mix that will provide a boost of nutrients to your plant.
- If your Monstera leaves are turning yellow, brown, or are falling off, they may be lacking nutrition, water, or both. It is time to repot and replace the soil.
What kind of pot is best for Monstera?
You can choose between terracotta, concrete, ceramic, or plastic pot for your Monstera, depending on your watering habits, where you want to place it, and your budget. While choosing a pot that looks good is important, it must also tick these other boxes.
- The pot you choose must be large enough for the plant to grow but not so large that it dries out too quickly. Ideally, keep two inches of space between the roots and the pot edges.
- The pot should be deep enough to support the weight of a moss pole. Adding a moss pole to a shallow pot can make it unstable.
- If you tend to overwater your plant, a porous plant made of terracotta is a good choice. If you tend to neglect your plants and they go dry between waterings, plastic or ceramic pots are right for you.
- Since Monsteras need well-drained soil, ensure that the pot has drainage holes.
Some FAQs about Monstera soil mix
Can you use regular soil mix for Monstera?
Regular potting mix is too dense, and it tends to hold on to the water for too long. This can cause overwatering issues like root rot.
If you can’t find all the ingredients of the Monstera soil mix that I mentioned earlier, you can mix equal quantities of regular soil mix and perlite. This will help regular soil mix drain more quickly.
Can I use cactus soil for the Monstera plant?
No, you should avoid using cactus soil for the Monstera plant. This soil cannot hold on to moisture for too long. It is perfect for cactuses and succulents but can dry out your Monstera plant.
If you do not have any other soil mix, you can make the cactus soil more suitable for Monstera by adding coco peat or peat moss to this soil to increase its moisture-retaining ability. You should also add some compost to improve the soil’s nutritional content.
Can I use orchid potting mix for Monstera?
No, it would be best if you did not use orchid potting mix for your Monstera because it drains too quickly and can dry out your Monstera. To use this soil, you should mix one part orchid potting mix, one part all-purpose soil mix, and one part coco coir.
Final thoughts on Monstera soil mix
Monstera needs well-draining, nutrient-rich soil that can hold moisture for some time. You can create the perfect potting mix for your Monstera by mixing bark chips, perlite, coco coir, activated charcoal, and worm castings. Each one of these ingredients has a particular use.
If you don’t have all these ingredients, you can use a regular potting mix and add perlite to it. You can also mix cactus soil and orchid potting mixture with other ingredients to make them more suitable for Monstera.