Repotting Monstera

If you are reading this, your monstera has most likely reached a point in its life that requires it to be moved into a bigger pot. This is an exciting prospect for your plant because it most likely means that it is happy, healthy, and has simply outgrown its old home.

Monstera Deliciosa, as a general rule, require repotting every 2 to 3 years. The timeframe is naturally dependent on the conditions under which the plant is living and can vary depending on the region. Being methodical and deliberate will ensure that your plant thrives after repotting.

Numerous guidelines should be followed to ensure that the repotting experience does not cause irreparable damage to your monstera. Instead, it is an endeavor that ensures its happy and healthy growth for years to come.

Signs Your Monstera Needs Repotting

The first sign to look out for to determine whether your monstera needs repotting is whether roots are sticking out through the drainage holes. This most likely means that the plant is root-bound and needs to be placed in a new pot.

When a plant is root bound, the roots start circling around the inside of the pot with nowhere else to go (other than those that escape through the drainage holes). The roots ultimately start to take up more space than the soil. As a result, the plant cannot gain sufficient nutrition from the soil around it.

Stunted growth can occur as a result of this, and so it’s important to consider repotting at this point in time.

Repotting Monstera in a clay pot

Why Repot A Monstera?

Your monstera will require repotting every 2 to 3 years. This depends on the region and its climate, where the plant is placed, and the amount of water and nutrition given in the past.

It is important to repot your monstera for several reasons. Firstly, moving the monstera into a larger pot will give the plant more space to grow without being restricted.

While you will move the plant into a bigger pot, it’s important to note that the new pot should not be significantly bigger than the previous one. Approximately 2 inches is the optimal size increase.

The main reason for this is that a pot that is too big could potentially cause overwatering and root rot for the plant because the soil in the pot will hold more water than the plant can take up via its roots.

Another reason to engage in regular repotting is to prevent soil compaction. This is easily detected – soil that has hardened and pulled away from the edges of the pot is an indication of soil compaction.

If, when watering the plant, the water sits on the soil’s surface for a long time without soaking away, this is another indication of compacted soil. Repotting will ensure that the soil becomes aerated and new soil is added to prevent further compaction.

This leads to the next main reason for repotting your monstera – giving the plant new soil and, therefore, new nutrients. As time passes, your monstera starts to use up all the available nutrients in the soil. By repotting and adding new soil, the plant is given a host of new nutrients to enjoy that will continuously promote healthy new growth.

An additional benefit of regularly repotting your monstera is the ability to prevent diseases such as fungus and root rot.

Read more: Thai Constellation Monstera

How To Repot Your Monstera

There are several considerations to be made when repotting your monstera. Some preparation work is also necessary to ensure a smooth transition from the old pot into the new one without the plant suffering any adverse effects.

Before Repotting

Watering Monstera before Repotting

When deciding to repot your monstera, it’s best to water it two days before repotting. Giving the plant sufficient water before repotting will help to alleviate some of the stress associated with the process.

However, watering on the same day as repotting (or the day before) will result in soil that is too wet, potentially making for a more challenging transplanting exercise.

When To Repot

Now another major consideration in repotting your monstera is the time at which you decide to do it. Choosing the incorrect time of year at which to repot your plant can potentially cause the plant to suffer.

Generally, late winter to early spring is the best time to repot the monstera. This is the time just before new growth begins, which will give the plant sufficient time to settle into its new home before the start of the growing season.

Choice Of Pot

The choice of pot should be carefully considered, especially if you are opting for an expensive, solid pot that could ultimately become the plant’s permanent home  (more on that later).

The pot that you choose for your monstera should have sufficient drainage holes to ensure that the pot does not become waterlogged and allow the plant to sit in water for any period of time. Depending on the size of the monstera, or your own aesthetic choices, you may opt for a cheap plastic pot that you can put into a larger decorative pot.

In this case, there is no need for drainage holes in the decorative pot, as the inner pot will have sufficient drainage. If you opt for a solid pot, such as one made of clay, concrete, or ceramic, ensure that it has proper drainage holes and a tray underneath to catch any water that is not absorbed by the plant.

Choice Of Soil

The soil you choose for your monstera is extremely important to ensure healthy growth. Because the plant hails from a tropical climate, it prefers to live in soils that mimic those of its natural habitat.

This means airy, well-drained soil with good levels of coco coir, bark, perlite, and peat. The aforementioned assists in trapping air pockets in the soil to ensure that the soil is sufficiently aerated.

Users Also Read: Types Of Monstera

Removing The Monstera From Its Old Pot

Removing the plant from its old pot should be done carefully to avoid damage. By gently prying the plant out of its pot, you will ensure that you do not damage the root ball. Any compacted roots should be carefully pried apart using your hands to ensure that the roots will easily be able to take to the new soil.

Once the roots have been gently loosened, place the plant into its half-filled new pot, and fill the remainder of the pot with new soil until the soil level is 1” below the top of the pot. Ensure that the plant is watered thoroughly after repotting to assist in ensuring that it does not suffer any major transplant shock.

Pruning a Monstera

Staking A Monstera

Because the monstera usually grows up trees in its natural habitat, this upwards growth needs to be supported in the home environment.

If the plant is not sufficiently supported in order to grow vertically, it will grow horizontally in a wild fashion, and the trunks will start to droop significantly, potentially being damaged by the sheer weight of the plant hanging downwards.

There are numerous supports available on the market. What these usually do is mimic the moist, rough texture of the trunk of a tree in order to fool the plant into thinking there is a tree for it to grow up.

These supports give somewhere for the aerial roots of the monstera to attach themselves, offering additional support to the plant. While the traditionally purchased options usually consist of a wire cage filled with moss or hay, one can just as easily make use of an old piece of wood, preferably covered in moss, and insert it into the soil.

Whichever support option you choose, ensure it is secured firmly in the soil. This is best done when repotting if the plant does not already have support.

Once the support is carefully placed in the soil and firmly secured with soil, gently attach the trunk of the plant to the support using plant ties to ensure a secure fit.

Conclusion

While repotting your monstera may seem like a daunting task, following a few simple guidelines will ensure that you are able to pull off the job without the plant suffering any major adverse effects. The job is nowhere near as difficult as it might seem, and it is a highly rewarding task.

Repotting is an important undertaking for your monstera because it ensures that healthy growth is able to take place, and the plant is able to gain all the nutrients it requires to ensure it is consistently happy and healthy throughout its entire lifespan.

By being careful throughout the entire repotting process, you will ensure that your plant not only survives the move but is able to thrive in its new home once repotting is complete.

This will allow the plant not only to grow larger but to gain all necessary nutrients that it would otherwise not have been able to gain had it stayed in its old pot.

Sources

https://houseplanthouse.com/2019/05/19/monstera-madness-a-repotting-guide/

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/swiss-cheese-plant/repotting-cheese-plants.htm

https://monsteraplantresource.com/how-to-repot-a-monstera/