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    When and How to Repot Monstera Successfully: A Complete Guide for Beginners

    blog post authorShrish Tariq
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    A person repotting a monstera plant.

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    Monstera deliciosa ( Swiss cheese plant) is an exotic-looking plant that is easy to grow and features huge and deeply fenestrated leaves. Its leaves are the most striking and coveted feature for unique houseplant collectors. This Monstera plant needs repotting (potting up of plant) every two years to ensure healthy growth and development once it matures.
    Repotting Monsteras and other houseplants are essential to good plant care. It provides the plant root system with fresh soil and space for growth. The new potting soil means more nutrients, and the new planter means good drainage for root system aeration. Monsteras transplanting into fresh soil promotes spectacular foliage growth. Otherwise, a root-bound plant will give in to root rot and stunted growth.
    Let’s learn when and how to repot Monstera deliciosa successfully for more vigorous growth. This guide will also help repot Monstera adansonii, a smaller version of the Swiss cheese plant.

    When Should You Repot a Monstera?

    Healthy green monstera plant in white ceramic pot on wooden side table
    Image Source:Photo by Suchada Tansirimas on Getty ImagesHealthy green monstera plant in white ceramic pot on wooden side table
    Like all indoor plants, Monsteras like being repotted every 12 to 18 months based on their growth rate. Some species in this genus are slow growers, like cacti, and prefer to remain in the same planter home for years and only need fresh potting soil mix. While other Monstera plants need repotting every 1 to 2 years for their rapid growth rate, such as Monstera deliciosa plant.
    The best time of the year to repot your Monstera plant is early spring (also propagation time) through the summer and late winter. Because the plant is actively growing and can take up the fresh soil nutrients and grow new roots for more space, benefitting plants in developing new leaves.
    Before repotting your Monstera deliciosa houseplant, look for these signs and symptoms. These signs indicate that your potted houseplant needs fresh soil and a new planter with drainage holes.
    Stunted growth: Root-bound Monstera plants grow dense circling of roots inside the pot, making it difficult for the roots to absorb nutrients from the potting soil. Thereby, aboveground plants stop growing, and new foliage buds develop.
    Plant roots grow through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot (the plant's energy is used more on root growth than the aboveground portion).
    The potting soil is old and does not have enough nutrients to support the plant’s new growth. Therefore, it needs more synthetic fertilizer applications.
    Potting soil dries out quickly and does not retain water to keep roots hydrated. Therefore you need to apply more water to keep the soil moisture level optimum. (Frequent watering can lead to fungal root rot and bacterial infections).
    It has been almost two years since you last repotted your Monstera plant. Therefore it has stopped growing due to lack of space. 
    So, repotting Monstera plants into a new pot with a fresh potting mix can prevent them from stunted growth, foliage droop, and poor nutrition. It will also give roots more room for growth and spread.
    Should I Repot Monstera after buying it?
    It is not always best to repot the nursery or garden center bought Monstera immediately because the plant is young (not root bound) and has not outgrown its current container. Another reason not to repot the newly purchased Monstera plant is that it has traveled miles from the garden center to your home and needs acclimation before transplanting to a new container.
    Can I Repot Monstera in the summer?
    Summertime is best for repotting Monsteras and other houseplants because of the active growing season. These plants can also be repotted in early fall before they undergo the dormancy stage.
    Can I Repot Monstera in the winter?
    Winter season is not perfect for repotting Monstera plants because of their dormancy stage. However, if you want to repot it, wait for late winter to early spring until all the harm of frost has passed.

    How to Repot Monstera

    Monstera Monkey Mask or Obliqua or Adansonii leaves. Home plants in white pot.
    Image Source:Photo by Irina Zharkova on Getty ImagesMonstera Monkey Mask or Obliqua or Adansonii leaves. Home plants in white pot.
    These tropical rainforest plants need moist soil rich with compost or organic matter and good drainage. So repotting Monsteras into a fresh potting mix will boost their nutrient levels. To repot Monstera plants, you need the tools and materials below to transplant Monsteras successfully.

    Step 1: Prepare Supplies for Monstera Repotting

    Once you have decided on Monstera repotting, gathering the right tools and materials is vital. So that you can repot Monstera plant easily without damaging its root system and big fenestrated leaves. 
    1. Bigger pot or planter
    2. High-quality fresh soil mix
    3. Sterilized shears
    4. Plant stake or Moss pole

    Step 2: Choose the Best Potting Mix for Monsteras

    Choosing the best potting mix for Monsteras is key to successful repotting. Otherwise, a wrong potting soil mix will lead to more damage than improving the plant’s roots' growth and spread.
    These plants' best potting soil mix is moisture-retentive, lightweight, and airy (providing good aeration to the roots). They do not prefer to grow in overly wet or water-saturated potting medium because of root rot.
    So prepare a potting soil mix containing coco coir, peat moss, perlite, lava rock, and worm castings. Blend six portions of orchid bark, four parts of perlite, coco coir, or spaghnum peat moss, and one bit of worm castings. All these ingredients will create a nutrient-rich, aerated, and well-draining soil mix for Monsteras.
    Perlite is a soil additive that improves soil texture (especially clay soils), drainage, and aeration. It keeps the root system well-aerated and assists in nutrient absorption and healthy growth. The optimum addition of this material in any houseplant potting mix will prevent root rot by draining the excess water from the container instantly.
    Coco coir benefits the root system of its water-retaining capacity. It slowly releases the water and help plant by keeping roots well moistened. It also prevents overwatering by maintaining a well-hydrated growth medium.
    Worm castings are organic fertilizers and rich sources of potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and concentrated nitrates. Adding worm casting in the potting mix will speed up the growth and help roots settle into a new planter.
    Note Icon
    Note:
    Stunted growth in Monstera plants indicate the need for a fresh potting soil mix.

    Step 3: Choose the Best Pot and Support For Repotting

    When repotting the Monstera plant to a new container, it is essential to choose a suitable planter. For example, the new pot should be slightly larger than the current pot. 
    The ideal pot size for a growing Monstera plant is 4 inches in diameter for proper adjustment of rootball into a new home and vigorous growth. Be mindful to select the right planter size because the larger pot will lead to overwatering plus lots of overly wet soil and killing your plant with kindness.
    Also, the new pot should have drainage holes to drain excess water and prevent the plant from root rot. For planter material, there are two options: plastic or clay (terracotta).
    Both container materials have advantages, but terracotta (glazed or unglazed) pots prevent the plant from waterlogged conditions and salt buildup at the root zone. On the other hand, the plastic pot retains water for long periods and is beneficial for extra moisture-loving plants.
    If you plan to use a stake like a moss pole or trellis for the Monstera plant, select a pot that is deep enough for the support.

    Step 4: Remove your Monstera and Inspect The Root System

    After selecting the correct container and preparing the potting mix for repotting, remove the plant from its current container carefully. Turn over the existing pot while gently holding the plant from the stem base, and tap the bottom of the planter with the other hand until it comes out. Be sure not to disturb the roots (otherwise, it will lead to shock and initiate the foliage droop).
    Gently run your fingers through the root ball to untangle and remove the old potting soil mix. Also, examine the Monstera roots for browning and rotting. Prune off the brown roots with sharp and sterilized shears to prevent the slow decline of your favorite plant. Otherwise, a fungal lead root rot will kill the plant by encouraging defoliation.

    Step 5: Plant your Monstera into a New Pot

    Before adding potting mix, spread a thin layer of small-sized gravel into the bottom of the container for good drainage and aeration. Now fill the two-thirds container with a well-draining potting mix and set the stake in the center of the pot. 
    Place the rootball into the center as the stem base is 1 inch below the top of the new planter, and tie the stem with a moss pole. Backfill it with soil around the plant base to firm it up, and water thoroughly. Ensure to avoid overpacking the soil around the Monstera deliciosa base because it will impact the aeration.
    Note Icon
    Note:
    When repotting Monstera deliciosa that is fully grown, one person should hold the plant from the top while the other supports the roots after it comes from the planter. Also, once your potted plant has reached the desired height, give it a top dressing of fresh potting mix once a year and repotting every three years.

    Step 6: Continue with Proper Monstera Plant Care

    After repotting Monstera deliciosa, follow these plant care tips to help the plant to overcome the transplanting stress.
    1. Water deeply to ensure the planter drains well, then water once a week during the growing season.
    2. A well-draining soil with proper nutrients promotes new growth and root system spread in a new planter.
    3. Fertilize the newly potted plant once a month from spring to summer.
    4. Watch for spider mite infestations and give your plant a neem oil treatment every two weeks.

    Troubleshooting Repotting Issues


    Why is my monstera drooping after repotting?
    It is due to root damage or stress during the repotting process. However, the newly repotted plant will bounce back when adequately cared for and maintained.
    How to Repot a Monstera with a pole?
    At the time of repotting, set the moss pole in the center of the container. Then set the plant base into the planter as one inch of stem below the top of the pot. Secure the plant base by backfilling it with potting mix and tie the stem with a moss pole to support its climbing growth habit.
    Can I use cactus and succulent soil for Monsteras?
    There are better care practices for Monstera repotting because this potting soil is only designed for the cacti and succulents that like to grow on dry ground. On the other hand, Monsteras need water-retaining, nutrient-rich soils to thrive and survive.