The monstera species are a tropical plant that are used to lots of drainage, high humidity and frequent rain. When watering your monstera in the controlled conditions of your home it is important to do so in the correct way to help your plant thrive.
Monstera plants require watering about once a week, you don’t need to drench them, just water them until you see some drainage come out the bottom of the pot.
This comprehensive guide to watering your monstera houseplant will help you and your beloved Swiss Cheese Plant to thrive and grow into a magnificent show piece.
What is the correct way to water your monstera?
Monstera varieties enjoy moderate moisture so when watering them it is important not to go overboard but you also cannot neglect them. You’ll need to water your monstera about once a week. To do this you don’t need to drench or soak them either. You can put your pot in the sink and turn the tap on, you’ll need to stop when you see water coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom. You can also do this with a watering can if you don’t want to move your pot or if it is too big to move. If you do it this way you need to make sure that as the water drains out that you remove it from the dish below your pot as it fills. If you leave the dish full you will hamper the drainage and keep too much moisture in the soil which may harm your plant.
How do you know if your monstera needs to be watered?
As mentioned, overwatering your monstera is a bad idea and will harm your houseplant. There are a few simple tricks you can use to know if your monstera needs to be watered.
An experienced grower may be able to tell if a plant needs to be watered by picking up the pot and feeling the weight. The lighter the pot, the less moisture it has and the higher the chance is that it needs to be watered. If you’re just getting into the hobby of growing plants or you are a new monster growing you may not have mastered this skill yet. There are some other tricks you can use to tell if your monstera needs to be watered though.
The first of which is the pencil trick. Get a sharpened pencil and insert it a few inches into the soil. If the wood of the pencil starts to get darker you’ll know that there is enough moisture present in the soil and you wont need to water.
The other trick is more like commonsense than a hidden gem of the gardening world. Put your finger in the soil. If your finger is wet, then the soil is wet and there is no need to water your monstera, if it is dry, then it is time to give it a drink.
What is the best kind of water for you to use on your monstera?
Don’t worry, you wont have to go out immediately and get water from the fountain of youth to give your monstera a drink, you don’t even have to use demineralised or salt softened water. Plain old tap water is perfectly fine to water your monstera with. Just make sure that it is lukewarm as water that is too hot or too cold can put the plant into shock.
If you find calcium deposits on your plant, this is most likely because the tap water you have access to has this mineral in an abundance, in this case you will have to search for an alternative water source.
Some growers out there swear by only using natural rain water on their monstera. Again I find this unnecessary, as it will leave you with the same result albeit with extra effort. If you want to show your monstera some extra love then you can also go down this route.
How do you know when your monstera is underwatered or overwatered?
It is actually really easy to tell if your houseplants are overwatered or underwatered. Your monstera will tell you that it is getting too much or not enough water.
How to tell if your monstera is overwatered?
To tell if your monstera is overwatered, look our for these signs:
– Leaves turning yellow
– Stems turning mushy or soft
– Dark brown spots forming on the leaves
– Mould forming on the surface soil
– Stems darkening near the base of the plant
How to tell if your monstera is underwatered?
To tell if your monstera is underwatered, look our for these signs:
– Wrinkled or crispy leaves
– Soil pulling away from the edges of the pot
– Leaves drooping
– Yellowing leaves with dry brown spots
How to fix an overwatered monstera?
If you have overwatered your monstera, there is no reason to stress, there are some very simple things you can do to correct the situation.
First thing to check is the drainage at the bottom of the pot, if water isn’t coming out of an overly moist pot, maybe you need to add more drainage holes or try a different pot. The other factor that can affect drainage is the soil that your monstera is planted in. If it is heavily compacted, especially near the drainage holes of the pot, it may prevent the water from draining out.
You can move your plant into a place that receives more sunlight, this will speed up the evaporation process and help to dry out your plant’s soil which will return it to a better moisture level.
If the plant is severely overwatered to the point of flooding it would be best to re-pot your monstera into some new soil which is of a more appropriate moisture level. This will be the quickest way to fix an overwatered houseplant but it is important that you be careful when doing this. Severely overwaterd plants can be fragile and they are already in stress. So when moving the don’t tug or pull the stem, make sure you remove the root ball in its entirety and re-plant it in a stable fashion to not cause any further stress.
How to fix an underwatered monstera?
Fixing an underwatered houseplant is much easier than fixing an overwatered one. That is why it is important that when you’re in doubt of whether or not a plant needs watering, leave it a day. This will help to prevent overwatering.
To help an underwatered plant it is really simple, just give it a good drink. Something to look for though is that if the plant is severely underwatered the soil may not hold the moisture and instead have the water pass right through. If this is the case you’ll need to break up the soil to remove clumps and continue to water the plant until it is holding the moisture.
What conditions do monstera plants like?
When watering any plant, it is important to mimic its natural habitat as much as you possibly can. Obviously you most likely wont be able to recreate a tropical rain forest in your own home but there are many things you can do to recreate the conditions as best as possible.
As mentioned before, monstera are a tropical species and as such, they are used to heavy rains periodically, very well draining soil to accommodate for this heavy rain and humid air.
How do you recreate these conditions?
Well, short of connecting a garden hose to your ceiling, creating rain forest like precipitation would be quite difficult. The good news is that you don’t actually need to do this. Monstera don’t need to be soaked, they don’t need to be drowned, in fact they have evolved to be able to handle this heavy rain so that it doesn’t affect them. So if you were to regularly water your plant, once a week, it will respond very well and thrive.
You do need to have very good drainage in your soil, however. If your soil is compact, has very poor drainage or sits in excess water you wont be creating the ideal conditions and could harm your monstera. To improve the drainage you can add a spacing agent such as bark to the soil or completely change the medium that your monstera is planted in which will give more drainage. This is incredibly important because if the drainage isn’t acceptable, your plant may become overwatered.
A humid environment is preferred but not essential to monstera development. Usually this is dictated by the area of the world that you live in but there are some things you can do to increase the humidity in your home, this can be done by using a humidifier to increase the humidity in the air. In houses where there are plenty of houseplants, the humidity is often higher than those without plants. This is because they regulate the humidity, the closer they are together the more the humidity in that area will rise.
As you can see, watering your monstera isnt hard at all! It is actually one of the easier house plants to care for in this regard. As long as you don’t overwater your monstera it should grow very well and thrive in your care.