One of the key care elements of any houseplant care is getting the compost mix right. Without the foundation of good compost, your Monstera plant (or any plant) will quickly decline if it is in the wrong soil.
That doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy specifically-formulated compost for every species of plant you have.
That would be madness. While all of us that have extensive houseplants can be considered mad to some extent (even rearranging rooms so that the plants have more room), that’s going a little far.
Not to mention very expensive.
Interested in knowing how you can make the soil right for your Monstera deliciosa, without breaking the bank? Here’s what you need to know, including the advantages and drawbacks of each kind.
What Soil Should You Use For Monstera Deliciosa?
You have a few options when it comes to getting the soil mix right for Monstera deliciosa, and it’s not as complicated as it might appear at first glance.
To start with, it’s a good idea to look at what a Monstera plant needs.
Like any aroid, it needs soil that allows plenty of oxygen to the roots, so some sort of material that will stop the soil from compacting.
It also needs sharp drainage, as Monstera deliciosa will not stand in boggy soil for long.
Monstera deliciosa also needs plenty of nutrients to keep this giant happy and its growth healthy.
So how do you achieve this? You have three options.
Use A Blend Of Perlite, Orchid Bark, And Houseplant Compost
This mixture works for a range of aroid plants, and it’s not complicated to make, as it requires no special ingredients.
This mixture is a good choice as it only has three ingredients, and all can be found in garden centers, online, or in DIY stores.
It provides excellent drainage, which prevents the soil from taking too long to dry out.
It also means that the likelihood of watering your plant too much is drastically lower.
However, what makes this mixture so effective can be terrible for those who don’t want to keep a close eye on their plants.
It will dry out very quickly, especially if the plant is getting plenty of light and warmth, and this might not be something you want. In this case, a self-watering moss pole, or wicking system would help.
Amend A Houseplant Mix With Large Perlite
If you have a large bag of generic houseplant compost, it’s worth adding some large perlite to the mix.
Notice I wrote large perlite. You can get perlite in different sizes, just as you can with pumice. For aroid plants, the larger the perlite, the better.
It means that the soil will have a much better supply of oxygen, and it will also stop the soil from compacting, and allowing it to drain properly.
This is effective with only two materials, and chances are you already have some houseplant mix to hand.
If you have a lot of plants, this is a very cost-effective way of making your compost mixes go further, as well as giving your plants the conditions they need to thrive.
Should You Use A Monstera-Specific Mix?
Maybe you don’t have the room for lots of different bags of substrate, or you don’t fancy mixing your own. It can get messy, especially if you don’t have any outside space.
If you’re not a fan of mixing up your own compost blends, buying a specific mixture for your plants is an option you can go for, especially if you only grow one specific species or plants that belong to the same genus, such as all Monstera plants.
There are many brands out there that do specific mixes, even third-party sellers, so there are lots of options out there.
Some mixes will include beneficial bacteria to help strengthen the root system, and if there are certain materials that you don’t like (such as perlite), some brands will sell them without this, or even mix up a blend that you request.
The compost is ready to go when you open the bag, and sometimes that is all you want in a mix!
It is much more convenient, but it can get expensive, so keep this in mind. This is especially true when it comes to Monsteras, as typically Monstera deliciosa will get quite large, and you’ll need plenty of soil to keep the plant thriving.
How To Get The Best Out Of Monstera Plants
Do not water your plants on a schedule. If something changes in the growing conditions when you come to water it, your plant may still be wet, or it may be much drier than it should be.
The growing conditions in your home won’t follow a schedule, and your plant certainly won’t, so don’t aim to water X amount of days.
Instead, make sure that you check the plant to see if it needs to be watered on a schedule. This will help you give your plants the attention they need, without the risk of overwatering or underwatering your plants.
It’s also worth remembering that when you change the type of soil your plant is in, you will also need to change the frequency of when you water.
All the growing conditions need to be kept in perfect balance so that the plant has everything it needs, and no more than this!
Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Soil For Monsteras
Can You Use A Ready-Made All Purpose Compost For Monsteras?
You can, but you need to consider the potential drawbacks.
For one, your Monsteras may not get the aeration, drainage, or nutrients they need. It can mean that they are less healthy than Monsteras that are grown in much more porous mixes, as the roots won’t be as strong, but they will survive.
You will also have to be very careful not to overwater your Monstera deliciosa. Without the added drainage, it will take a while longer for your plant to partially dry out, especially if you’re growing it in indirect sunlight.
Can You Use Cactus Soil For Monstera Plants?
Monstera deliciosa will grow in cactus soil, but it’s not the best compost to use. While it has excellent drainage, this can mean that the plant will dry out too quickly, and the mixture may not be as porous as it should be.
You may still want to add some perlite or another coarse material to aerate the soil and give the plant the best start possible.
Can You Use LECA For Monsteras?
LECA, or clay balls, are an interesting choice. It’s a good idea if you don’t like to use soil and want something with plenty of moisture and air circulation, but there are some things to consider.
Leca contains zero nutrients. None. The plants in leca will rely on what minerals they can get from the water you give them, as well as the regular feed you provide.
The water also needs to be changed frequently to keep things fresh.
It’s also worth noting that Monstera roots are incredibly strong and thick, so avoid planting Monsteras in glass containers.
As the plants become root-bound, you may have to break the glass to get them out of the container, which is not ideal at all.
Plastic containers are better, but they may be easy to knock over, so this is another thing to keep in mind.
There are always advantages and drawbacks to different soil types, so it’s important to consider each one before you choose what kind of soil to use.
Don’t forget that when you do change the soil type for a Monstera deliciosa (or any other plant), you will also need to keep the other elements of care balanced.
What worked previously as a watering routine and general care may not do so in a different soil type, so you may have to adapt it.