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Creating a good soil mix is the perfect way to grow healthy containerized plants for gardeners. Container gardening has gained a lot of popularity due to its many advantages. Talk of how space-saving it is for those of us living in urban homes and having the zeal to keep stunning houseplants like Monstera!
Monstera plants’ soil mix should be slightly acidic and fertile with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous nutrients. They must be more nutrient-rich than regular soil, with better draining, lightweight, and consistent.
In our quest to cut down on our gardening budget and at the same time have that high-quality soil mix, it becomes a matter of utmost necessity to learn how to make our own at home. This article intends to focus mainly on the best soil mix for Monstera. What kind of soil mix do they prefer? What is the perfect recipe for creating this soil mix? Please stick with us as we explore this further.
What Kind of Soil Does Monstera Prefer?
Monstera has access to well-draining soil that retains moisture and is well aerated in their natural habitat, which they thrive in. Let’s explain further the best type of soil for your monstera. This information is quite helpful when creating that perfect soil mix for them. In essence, you will always aim to create a soil mix that closely matches the soil they grow in the tropical and subtropical regions.
Consider the following soil preference for your monstera:
The natural soil in native regions of Monstera is often rich in nutrients because of the naturally occurring droppings from animals, biodegrading plants, etc. Therefore, this kind of soil naturally meets the nutritional needs of monstera. But when creating a soil mix, the chances are high that the nutrients will be lost as one tries to kill pathogens.
To replace the lost nutrients, one would need to add some minerals such as magnesium, boron, or the remains of dry earthworms to the mix.
Well aerated soil
Aeration is an essential aspect for both houseplants and garden plants. Monstera prefers soil with ample air circulation and drains well to help ensure the plant does not suffer from sitting in too much water for long. Look at it this way, a lot of water in a potted plant will push out the oxygen.
The lack of oxygen will cause your plant’s leaves to turn yellow or shrink. Soggy soils also encourage fungal growth.
So when creating a soil mix for your monstera, you want to include perlite, vermiculite, and coco coir ingredients. These ingredients have been proven to be quite helpful in making the soil light, not compact, and have good aeration. This way, water will be well-distributed throughout the mix, and the excess will drain out quickly. Remember to put drain holes in the container you use to plant your monstera.
The ability to retain moisture
Monstera prefers soil that drains well and at the same time retains moisture; it may sound not very clear, and you would easily assume that the two qualities can easily overlap. However, it is essential to note that retaining moisture doesn’t imply having overly wet soil. It simply means that the soil needs to have the ability to retain some humidity after all the water has drained out.
Perlite is the best ingredient in ensuring a soil mix has good aeration and moisture retention. It has well-sized particles that hold water and slowly drain it, providing the soil doesn’t dry out completely. It also has the right kind of spacing to aid in draining out excess water.
An acidic pH level
Monstera prefers acidic soil, which takes us back to the pH scale. This scale typically runs from level zero to 14, and level 7 is considered neutral. All the other readings below seven are considered acidic, and those above seven are alkaline.
Reliable reports indicate that the ideal pH level for Monstera lies between 5.5 and 6.5.
Luckily, many ingredients used in creating soil mixes have high acidity levels. For instance, an element like coco coir has a pH level between 5.2 to 6.8. Therefore, these ingredients help create the acidic soil pH that Monstera thrives.
Monstera prefers a soil mix made of natural ingredients. Therefore, a good soil mix for your monstera will include organic components such as peat moss, coconut coir, tree bark, perlite, vermiculite, fine sand, silt, and compost leaves. Each of these ingredients carries some benefit for the monstera.
Read this post on Monstera light requirements; how much do Monstera need?
The Perfect Recipe for Monstera Soil Mix
It will interest you to learn that you can create a perfect soil mix for your monstera cost-effectively and in the comfort of your home. All you need to do is improve the available potting soil to ensure it meets the ideal kind of soil your monstera yearns for.
For instance, adding an ingredient like perlite is a good move to increase the draining capacity of your potting soil. To promote moisture retention, a component called coco coir works well. To fertilize your soil, adding worm castings will introduce the much-needed nutrients. Also, adding activated charcoal can absorb chemicals and keep off bacteria or fungi.
That said, here are two alternative recipes to create a great soil mix for your monstera:
First simple recipe
The ingredients you will need are:
- Potting soil: The best potting soil for your monstera is orchid soil because it has orchid barks that carry extra nutrients to help your plants grow well. Alternatively, if you can’t find orchid soil, you can still use regular potting soil or cactus soil.
- Perlite: To create aeration and drainage, perlite is a must-have ingredient. It has particles that are bigger than the normal soil particles, therefore able to retain some moisture, create good airflow and allow water to drain through.
To create a good soil mix, combine potting soil and perlite in a ratio of 3:2, which means you will take three portions of potting soil and mix this with two portions of perlite.
Best advanced recipe
You also can create this highly recommended soil mix from scratch, which is the best mix because it covers the major requirements for the ideal soil for your monstera. Using this recipe, you will have a soil mix with good aeration, good drainage, moisture retention abilities, nutrient-rich, and the ability to decontaminate.
The ingredients you will need are:
- Orchid barks: Get some shredded orchid tree barks. They have a coarse nature that is free from compaction, well-draining, and rich in nutrients.
- Coconut coir: This is a natural fiber found inside a coconut structure. It has good water absorption abilities and is, therefore, able to provide moisture retention for your soil mix.
- Perlite or pumice: These pebble-like rocks are good for modifying the soil structure to make it well-aerated, well-draining, and less compact.
- Activated charcoal: This helps ensure your soil gets rid of impurities, limits fungal growth, repels insects, and absorbs excess water to prevent root rot.
- Worm casting: This is an organic fertilizer source created from earthworms. It provides the nutrients your monstera needs to thrive.
- Have the following measurements for the ingredients mentioned above. For instance, if you are creating 10 kilograms of soil mix, you will have 1kilogram of worm casting (10% of the whole mixture), 1 kilogram of activated charcoal (10%), 2.5 kilograms of perlite (25%), 2 kilograms of coconut coir (20%) and 3.5 kilograms of orchid barks (35%).
- Next is to place all these ingredients in a mixing container.
- You will then use a gardening spoon to mix them up until you get a balanced and consistent soil mix. Your perfect Monstera soil mix is now ready for use.
Factors that Influence the Ingredients to Use in Creating a Perfect Monstera Soil Mix
While creating your monstera soil mix, a few factors influence your ingredients and quantity. They include:
- Your watering habits: If you accidentally overwater your plants, you will need to add more perlite to your mix. This will help protect your roots from rotting by increasing the soil’s aeration and water-draining ability.
- The current state of your Monstera: Consider your monstera as you prepare your soil mix. Add some worm castings if you notice your plant needs more nutrients to grow better. If you intend to save your plant from root rot that has just started, increase the number of bark chips or perlite.
- The state of your mix: Initially, your may notice that your new soil mix has challenges with absorbing water. You can add a wetting agent such as powdered kelp to help your mix readily absorb and retain moisture this first time.
- The environment: Those living in hotter climates may need to factor in the fact that moisture will evaporate easily from your soil. A solution for this can be having a top dressing made of sphagnum moss. This will not only help you retain moisture for a long but will also keep away pests and make your soil look more appealing.
Having the right size of pot for your monster is essential. It could mean the difference between success and failure. Check out The best pot sizes for Monstera, What to avoid
The Mini Monstera
One plant requires slightly different conditions Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is not a true Monstera despite its common name of mini monstera or monstera minima.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of soil does Monstera need?
Plant your Monstera in a container with drainage holes, and use good quality potting soil with peat moss that drains quickly. The plants thrive in dense, nutrient-rich soil but don’t do well in potting soils with bark or compost. If your container doesn’t have drainage holes, make a few in the bottom.
Can I put Monstera cutting straight into the soil?
Propagating Monstera deliciosa in the soil is an easy process. Take a cutting from a healthy Monstera that includes at least one node and plant it directly into well-draining potting soil. Rooting Monstera cuttings in soil instead of water save the step of moving the rooted cutting into the soil later.
How often should you water a Monstera?
Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light. Monsteras can benefit from filtered water or water left out overnight before use.
Why are my Monstera leaves curling?
The most likely culprit is thirst or dryness. If your monstera’s leaves are curling and even a little crunchy, that’s a sure sign that it might not be getting enough water or that the environment is too dry.
Does Monstera clean the air?
Large-leafed philodendron plants, including the trendy monstera plant, were shown to be one of the most effective for reducing air pollution.
It is worth noting that different plants require different types of soil mix based on their needs. Making your soil mix is a fantastic way to create a perfect blend that best suits your plant and meets its needs. Matching the right soil mix to a particular plant is the secret to having thriving plants. Monstera plants don’t appreciate saturated soils, and a high nutrient-content soil mix ensures your plants grow fast and strong.