Monstera plants are some of the most beautiful, striking houseplants out there. You see them all over social media as the eye-catching centerpieces to beautifully designed rooms, and now you’re ready for one of your own! Growing a healthy monstera is not as hard as you might think!
Luckily, monsteras are fairly simple to care for once you understand their needs. There are some non-negotiable elements to growing the healthiest, most beautiful monstera plant possible, though, and we’ve found a few tricks for making the most of your monstera care.
Here are our favorite secrets to growing a healthy monstera.
Secret #1: The right potting medium
One of the most important secrets to a healthy monstera—or any houseplant, really—is the type of soil or medium you plant it in.
After all, that medium is a huge part of a potted monstera’s environment! That’s where the root system lives, grows, and absorbs water and nutrients. It’s crucial that your potting medium allows the roots to function, stay healthy, and nourish the plant.
Your monstera’s potting medium must balance moisture retention (so your plant doesn’t dry out), drainage (so your roots aren’t sitting in water. Hello, root rot!), the right pH balance, and the right nutrients (though you’ll eventually need to fertilizer).
We know a lot of people who use cactus mix or even regular indoor potting mix with a few handfuls of peat moss mixed in, but we find that this holds onto too much moisture and doesn’t promote long-term health or growth.
We love this monstera potting mix recipe from Kaylee Ellen on YouTube:
- 5 parts orchid bark
- 4 parts coir
- 5 parts perlite
- 2 parts activated charcoal
- 2 parts worm castings
Monstera plants also grow well with hydroponic mediums such as LECA, which can be a great option if you’re a habitual overwaterer.
And remember, the best potting mix won’t get you anywhere if your pot doesn’t drain properly. So make sure your pot has drainage holes!
Secret #2: Bright, indirect sunlight
This might sound obvious, but you’d be shocked how many people don’t provide their monsteras with enough light!
Monsteras require bright, indirect sunlight to grow and thrive (and produce those beautiful fenestrations that made them famous). This means that they live by a large, bright east-facing or even south-facing window, but are not directly in the sun’s rays.
But if your window is small or if something outside blocks some of the light (like an awning or a tree), your monstera might not be getting enough light.
Use this post to determine the level of natural sunlight in your home. If it’s not bright enough, you may want to supplement with a grow light!
Sunlight provides plants with energy, helps them use water efficiently (this prevents overwatering issues!), and promotes growth, so it’s a non-negotiable. It’s worth it to check your light conditions several times per year and adjust your monstera’s environment accordingly.
Secret #3: Give them something to climb
In the wild, monsteras “climb” up tree trunks by growing aerial roots that affix to surfaces. They want to do this indoors as well!
While you can grow a monstera without a trellis or moss pole, your plant will grow wide rather than tall. This takes up a lot of extra space and can cause your leaves and stems to become very cramped. This can prevent some of the leaves from receiving enough light, promote fungal growth due to reduced airflow, etc.
So give your monstera something to climb! Moss poles are simple to make, and your monstera will appreciate the extra space. You can also train them to grow up a homemade or store-bought trellis.
Secret #4: The perfect fertilizer for monsteras
Monsteras need lots of nutrients to grow those big, beautiful leaves!
While there’s usually a fair bit of nutrients present in potting mix (ours or the DIY recipe we mentioned earlier), a monstera can still burn through all those nutrients in just a few months and require more. It’s important to use the right liquid fertilizer to provide your plant with a steady supply of nutrients so it can grow a robust root system, large green leaves, and sturdy stems to support those leaves. Nutrients also support essential functions like respiration, photosynthesis, even nutrient uptake, ironically!
Fertilizers with an NPK ratio of 5-2-3 tend to work best for monsteras, but those can be tricky to find, and tricky to use because most require you to remember a fertilization schedule. I could never remember when to fertilize my monsteras, so I created Monstera Plant Food, which is perfectly balanced for monsteras and gentle enough to use with every watering. No fertilization schedule required!
This is by far the easiest way to provide your monstera with the right nutrients. You can buy Monstera Plant Food on Amazon.
Monsteras are gorgeous and fun to care for. Learn everything you need to know about monstera care with our guides!