Watering your Monstera can seem daunting, but it’s easy to get the hang of.
You can keep your Monstera looking lush and healthy for years with proper watering techniques and regular maintenance.
In this blog post, I will tell you how often to water Monstera so that your plant always stays in tip-top shape.
You’ll learn how much water is too much (or too little) and what environment allows optimal growth.
I will also provide tips on troubleshooting common problems caused by improper watering and suggestions on watering methods.
So let’s begin our journey through this beautiful houseplant.
Understanding Monstera Plants
Monstera plants, or Swiss cheese plants, belong to the Araceae family and are known for their large foliage with deep splits and perforations.
They come in various sizes, from small monstera houseplants to larger specimens that can reach up to 10 feet tall.
The most distinctive feature of monstera plants is their beautiful split leaves. The leaves have deep cuts and cuts that go all the way through to the stem, giving them a unique texture.
The leaves can be solid green, yellowish-green, or variegated with splashes of white and yellow.
Monstera plants, such as monstera deliciosa, are also known for their stunning aerial roots extending from their trunks into the air, reaching for support and nutrition.
Two Methods to Water Monstera
Below are the two commons methods to water monstera:
i. Bottom watering monstera
Bottom watering is a method of watering monstera plants that involves filling the bottom tray or container with water and then allowing the plant to sit and soak from drainage holes.
This method helps to prevent overwatering as the plant only takes what it needs. It also ensures that all parts of the root system are evenly hydrated.
- Prevents overwatering as the plant only takes what it needs
- Ensures even hydration of all parts of the root system
- Keeps foliage dry, reducing the risk of fungal infections
- Easy to monitor water levels in tray/container
- Can be done without having to lift the plant
- Harder to identify the level of root saturation, so it can be difficult to know whether it needs more or less water
- It can be tedious if you have multiple plants in a pot that need to be watered separately
- Bottom watering creates an environment of oversaturation if overfilled with water.
ii. Watering from the top:
Top watering involves pouring water directly onto the monstera’s soil, ensuring it is properly distributed throughout the root system.
Watering monstera plants helps create a more humid environment that can benefit some plant varieties.
- Creates a more humid environment around the plant
- Easy to monitor water levels in the soil
- Helps ensure the proper distribution of water throughout the root system
- Can be done without having to lift the plant
- Risk of overwatering if not monitored closely due to difficulty of determining soil saturation levels
- This can lead to foliage damage if too much water is poured on the foliage
- It can create an environment of oversaturation if overfilled with water.
- Harder to control humidity levels in the soil, increasing the risk of fungal infections and other diseases.
Factors That Impact Watering Schedules
In brighter areas, more water is often needed due to increased evaporation. If you grow your Monstera in too much direct sunlight, less frequent watering may be necessary to ensure root health and growth.
In the warmer months, you may need to water more often due to increased evaporation. In cooler months, you should reduce the watering frequency of watering as your Monstera will be growing at a slower rate and need less moisture.
A larger plant with more foliage will have a higher demand for moisture and nutrient uptake, so you may need to water more frequently than smaller plants.
When deciding on the watering schedule, you should pay attention to the type of soil your Monstera is planted in.
Soil with a high amount of organic matte will hold moisture better than dry soil with few organic components, meaning it may need less frequent watering.
In drier climates, you’ll need to water more often as the air does not provide enough moisture.
You can water less frequently in more humid climates as the air provides some of the necessary moisture.
If it’s too hot, you may need to water more often to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
If it’s too cold, you may need to water less often, as the soil will retain moisture better in cooler temperatures.
Fertilizers can cause plants to take up additional amounts of water, so you may need to water more often if you regularly feed your Monstera.
Removing large amounts of foliage can reduce the amount of moisture the plant needs, allowing you to water less frequently.
On the other hand, if you are pruning to promote growth, you may need to water more often as the new foliage will have a higher demand for moisture.
9. Growth stage
During monstera growth stages, young plants need more frequent watering as they are still growing and establishing their root systems, while mature plants may only need to be watered once every two weeks.
10. Root system
If the roots are too wet, they can become susceptible to diseases and rot. Too dry, the plant won’t be able to take up enough water or nutrients.
So you’ll need to adjust your watering schedule based on how well-established your root system is.
11. Pot size
Larger pots retain more moisture than smaller ones, meaning you may need to water less often.
On the other hand, if you have a small pot, it’s important to check the soil moisture levels more frequently and adjust accordingly.
How Can You Test When to Water Monstera?
i. Moisture meter
A moisture meter is an easy and accurate way to determine when to water your Monstera plant.
This device uses probes placed into the planter’s soil, providing a reading indicating how much moisture is present.
If the readings show that the soil is dry, it’s time to water your Monstera plant.
ii. Finger test
This simple method involves inserting your finger into the planter’s soil up to the first knuckle.
You know it’s time to water your Monstera plant if it feels dry. Watering monstera is a delicate balance, so be sure to not over-water, as this can lead to root rot.
iii. Poke a stick method
This is the least accurate method for determining when to water your Monstera plant.
With this method, you will poke a wooden stick into the soil until you reach the bottom of the planter.
If the stick feels dry when you pull it out, it’s time to water your Monstera plant.
Be sure you are reaching the bottom of the planter with this method, as the top layer of soil can be dry while there is still moisture deeper in the pot.
Monstera Watering Tips
- When watering your Monstera, use lukewarm water to ensure the soil is evenly moist. Water the plant until you see it trickle out of the bottom of the pot.
- It’s best to water Monstera on a planned schedule rather than allow it to dry out and then water it. Some plants prefer watering more often, while others do well with less frequent but deeper watering. The best way to tell if your Monstera needs water is to check the soil for moisture.
- To avoid over-watering and root rot, make sure that there is adequate drainage in the pot. You can add a layer of pebbles or stones on the bottom of the pot to ensure adequate drainage.
- If your Monstera is growing in a pot with fewer drainages, you should be careful not to overwater it and water it only when the top inch of soil feels dry. You can also use a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture level.
- Monsteras prefer humidity, so mist the leaves regularly with a spray bottle filled with distilled water or rainwater. You can also place a humidifier nearby or set up a pebble tray with water underneath the pot.
- When repotting, avoid overwatering when transplanting, as this can cause root rot and nutrient deficiencies.
Signs of Overwatered Monstera
1. Dark brown spots on leaves
Monstera leaves turning brown is a result of overwatering, as the roots of a plant can become waterlogged and unable to absorb nutrients properly.
When this happens, the leaves may suffer from nutrient deficiencies which can cause them to turn dark brown and eventually die off.
Keeping the soil too moist for too long can encourage root rot and fungal diseases, which will cause further damage to the leaves.
2. Yellowing leaves
When a plant’s roots are unable to absorb enough water because they’re waterlogged, the leaves may start to turn yellow in an attempt to reduce water loss.
This is a sign that the plant is not getting enough oxygen and nutrients from the soil, which can cause the plant to become stressed and eventually die if left untreated.
3. Presence of Molds
If your plant is waterlogged, the excess moisture creates an ideal environment for fungal growth which can spread quickly and harm the plant’s health.
Molds appear as a white or grey covering on the surface of leaves and stem if left untreated.
4. Mushy Stems
Overly wet soil leads to too much moisture, which causes your monster plant to become weak and unable to support its weight.
This makes the stems brittle, soft, and easily breakable due to rot. If your plant’s stems are mushy, reduce watering and allow the soil to dry out completely before adding more water.
5. Root rot
When you subject your monstera’s roots to soggy soil, oxygen levels in the soil become depleted, and fungi can grow on the plant’s roots, causing them to rot and eventually die off.
If root rot occurs, immediately reduce watering and add more soil to the plant’s pot to help drainage and aeration.
Signs Your Monstera Needs Water
1. Drooping leaves
If you notice your monstera’s leaves starting to droop, it is likely past due for water. The leaves of the plant should be standing upright and full of life.
Try watering with room temperature water and ensure the water reaches all parts of the soil.
2. Wrinkled, crispy leaves
You are likely under watering if your monstera’s leaves are wrinkled and crispy. Wrinkling can be a sign of dehydration, so give your plant a thorough soak with room-temperature water.
3. Yellow leaves with dry brown spots
Underwatered monstera develops yellow or brown leaves. If you notice yellowing or brown spots on any of the leaves, this is also a sign that your monstera needs more water.
Try watering the plant deeply so the roots get enough moisture, and the yellowing leaves may eventually return to their original green shade.
4. Soil pulling from the edges of the pot
When soil pulls away from the sides of its pot, it usually means insufficient moisture is present.
This is a sign that your monstera needs water, so try to give it a good soak until you notice the water coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom of its pot.
You may also want to consider repotting or adding more soil to the pot if necessary.
Common Monstera Watering Mistakes to Avoid
Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when watering monstera plants:
1. Using the wrong type of water
When watering Monstera, using tepid (room temperature) filtered or distilled water is important.
Tap water can contain chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals unsuitable for your plant’s health.
If tap water is available, let it sit overnight before watering your Monstera.
2. Emptying drip trays and cache pots
It is important to remember to empty out any excess water that may have been collected in the drip trays or cache pots of your plants.
These can become breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi, harming your plant’s health.
Always empty the trays and pots after each watering session or at least once a week.
3. Watering using the wrong amounts
Over-watering is one of the most common Monstera watering mistakes. Too much water can lead to root rot, fungal diseases, and plant death.
Generally, only water when the soil is dry to the touch. If you’re unsure, wait another day or two before watering again.
4. Watering in a pot without drainage holes
Monstera does not tolerate standing water, so your pot must have drainage holes at the bottom.
Without these holes, any excess water will not be able to escape, which can result in root rot and other plant health issues.
Check the bottom of your pot for drainage holes before watering Monstera.
How to Maintain a Healthy Monstera Plant
Place the Monstera plant in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight and has good air circulation. Avoid areas with direct sunlight or heat sources, such as radiators and vents.
Water the Monstera deeply when the top 2” inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Allow excess water to drain from the pot and empty any water collected in saucers.
Feed your Monstera with a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season (spring to fall).
Use a dilute solution as directed on the label and reduce feeding during winter months.
Prune your Monstera as needed to remove leggy growth and control its size. Remove dead leaves, stems, and any diseased parts of the plant.
Check your Monstera regularly for signs of Monstera pests and diseases such as aphids or mealybugs. Treat with a non-toxic insecticide or an organic solution if necessary.
Re-pot your Monstera in a larger container when necessary. Use a mix of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss for the best results.
Check the humidity around your Monstera plant and increase it if necessary by misting daily or setting a humidifier near it.
How much water does a monstera need?
A Monstera plant generally requires moderate watering to keep its soil moist but not overly wet. Depending on the size of the pot and how much light it is receiving, as well as other factors such as temperature and humidity, a monstera might need to be watered once or twice a week.
When should I water the monstera plant?
The best time to water a monstera plant is when its soil is dry to the touch and about an inch deep. If unsure, stick your finger into the soil or use a moisture meter to measure the soil moisture levels before watering.
How do I know if my monstera needs water?
To check if your monstera needs water, look for wilting leaves or limp stems – these are signs that it needs more water. You can also poke your finger into the soil up to your second knuckle. If it feels dry, then the monstera needs water.
What is the best way to water a monstera plant?
The best way to water a Monstera is by pouring lukewarm water slowly at the base of the plant until you see some runoff from the bottom of the pot. This ensures that all parts of the soil are evenly moistened, and your Monstera gets adequate water.
Can I water my monstera plant with tap water?
Yes, you can use tap water to water Monstera, but it is unsafe for all plants. Tap water often contains chlorine, which can be toxic to some types of plants. If possible, it is best to use filtered or distilled water for Monstera, as this will ensure that your plant doesn’t suffer from any chemical burns.
Why are my monstera leaves yellow in color?
The most common cause of yellowing leaves on Monstera is overwatering. Too much water can lead to root rot and, eventually, yellowing of the leaves due to a lack of oxygen for the roots. Too much direct sunlight can also cause your plant’s leaves to turn yellow.
Do monsteras need a lot of water?
Monstera plants don’t need a lot of water. Overwatering can lead to root rot and eventual death of the plant. It is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy and only water when necessary – usually once or twice a week.
How often should you water in winter?
During the winter, Monstera plants don’t need as much water as they do in the summer months. You should only water when the soil is dry or if your plant is starting to look wilted. Generally, watering every 1-2 weeks should be sufficient.
How often do you water monstera in summer?
During the summer months, when days are longer, and temperatures are higher, your Monstera may need to be watered more frequently than during other seasons. In hot weather, you will likely need to water once or twice weekly to ensure the soil remains moist. It is best to use lukewarm water and avoid overwatering or underwatering your plant.
We’ve learned that with the proper knowledge and understanding of how to water Monstera plants properly, you can ensure a long and healthy life.
Adding water slowly and allowing the soil to become mostly dry between watering will help prevent overwatering and keep your Monstera happy.
Be sure to check moisture levels often by pressing down lightly on the soil surface or using a moisture meter available at most gardening stores.
Of course, a balanced combination of the right amount of water, light, humidity, fertilization, and soil is essential for a healthy Monstera plant.
Play it safe and err on the side of caution – don’t let it get too dry between watering or too wet for too long. With this knowledge, you are one step closer to having a healthy houseplant.