Monstera Plants An Experienced Gardener’s Watering Guide

Monstera Plants: An Experienced Gardener’s Watering Guide

Monstera plants have become the darling of many indoor plant enthusiasts because of their striking foliage and easy-to-care nature. With their rising popularity comes the need for owners to understand the essential techniques for caring for them.

In this guide, we’ll focus more on the watering needs of monstera plants and discuss how often they should be watered and the factors affecting their watering frequency. 

We’ll also discuss the signs of underwatering and overwatering to help you adjust your watering schedule and accommodate their needs.

How often should monstera plants be watered?

How often should monstera plants be watered

It’s hard to give an exact number on how often to water monsteras, as it depends on several factors, including sunlight, temperature, and plant size. Generally, the plant should only be watered when the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil has dried out. 

Most monstera plants grown indoors typically need watering every 10 to 14 days. That is if the plant’s average indoor temperature falls within 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity level is around 30% to 60%.

This watering schedule will significantly change in different seasons since there will be a change in the environment. You’ll generally need to water the plant less during fall and winter, typically only every 3 to 4 weeks.

When is the best time to water monstera plants?

When is the best time to water monstera plants

The ideal time to water monstera plants is in the morning or early afternoon. Watering during these times will allow it to take up moisture and utilize it throughout the day.

Watering in the morning also allows the soil and the leaves to dry before evening comes, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

Watering in the afternoon when the temperature is high and the evaporation rate is fast won’t give the plant enough time to absorb sufficient amounts of moisture.

How do I water my monstera plants?

How do I water my monstera plants

Top-watering is one of the most common watering methods to water monstera plants. You just have to pour water evenly across the soil’s surface until you see water starting to drain from the bottom of the pot.

Another method you can try is bottom-watering. In this method, you place your monstera’s pot inside a large container filled with water to let the soil absorb the moisture from the bottom up.

Bottom-watering, though, is not efficient and effective for larger pots. It usually takes a long time before the upper roots receive moisture, and the distribution may not be as even as top watering.

What water should be used when watering monstera plants?

What water should be used when watering monstera plants

It’s best to use filtered water and rainwater when watering monstera plants. They’re free from impurities and chemicals that can harm the plant.

Tap water often contains chlorine, which is harmful to monsteras. If you only have access to tap water, let it sit out in an open container for at least 24 hours to dechlorinate it.

Avoid using softened water since it has a high salt content. It can lead to salt buildup in the soil, leading to damaged roots and nutrient imbalance.

How much water should be used when watering monstera plants?

How much water should be used when watering monstera plants

The amount of water needed when watering monstera plants will depend on the plant’s size, the pot’s size, and environmental factors. As a rule, don’t stop watering until you see water running through the drainage holes.

Smaller monsteras will generally need less water, so you can just use a jug or glass to water them. 

Larger monsteras, though, will need a lot of water. If jugs can no longer supply the monstera with the right amount of water, you can place it in your shower and water it until you see water draining from the bottom of the pot.

Factors Affecting the Watering Frequency of Monstera Plants

Light Conditions

Light Conditions

The intensity and duration of light exposure of monstera plants play a crucial role in their watering frequency. The brighter the light and the longer they’re exposed to sunlight, the more frequent the watering will be.

Monstera plants thrive in bright, indirect light. The soil dries out faster in this lighting condition, so monsteras are likely to need more frequent watering, about once every 1 to 2 weeks.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature directly affects the evaporation rate around the monstera plant. The plant’s soil tends to dry out more quickly in warmer environments, so watering will be more frequent.

This is also one of the reasons why they need more water during spring and summer compared to winter and fall.

On the other hand, higher humidity levels will typically reduce the rate of evaporation from the soil. Monstera plants can potentially go longer between waterings if the humidity indoors is high since the soil remains moist for longer.

Pot Size and Type

Pot Size and Type

Monstera plants in larger pots generally don’t need frequent watering since they have more soil. The high amount of soil in these pots allows them to retain moisture for extended periods.

That said, they usually need more ounces of water during watering sessions, as the entire soil needs to be evenly moistened.

Pot types also play a huge role in determining the frequency of watering. Terracotta pots are porous by nature and allow water to evaporate through their sides, so plants grown in them usually need more watering than those grown in plastic pots.

Soil Mix

Soil Mix

Soil composition affects moisture retention and drainage, which, in turn, affects how often you water your monstera. A mix with a lot of ingredients that improve the soil’s drainage, like perlite and sand, will generally need more frequent watering.

Monstera plants need a well-draining soil mix to thrive. This mix is usually composed of loam soil, perlite, coco coir, and worm casting. 

If you use a lot of perlite and incorporate bark into your mix, you’ll need to water the plant more frequently.

Similarly, if you use a large amount of coco coir in the mix, the soil will retain more moisture than usual, and the plant will need to be watered less. However, this may lead to soggy conditions, so monitor the soil’s condition regularly.

Plant Size and Age

Plant Size and Age

The size and age of your monstera directly influence the size of its roots, so they significantly impact the frequency of watering needed by the plant.

Smaller monstera plants have smaller root systems and fewer leaves to supply moisture. As a result, they generally require less frequent watering compared to larger plants.

Similarly, young plants, like those that have been recently propagated, have a smaller root system that isn’t fully established yet. They won’t need as much watering as mature plants, and overwatering can be detrimental to them.

Signs of Overwatering

Yellow Leaves

While yellow leaves can be attractive on variegated monsteras, they can also be early signs of overwatering. This happens when the roots are suffocating because of waterlogged soil, impairing the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients.

Nutrient deficiency makes it hard for the plant to perform normal physiological functions, including chlorophyll production. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color in the leaves, so without it, the leaves will appear yellow.

Brown Leaves

Browning on the tips of your monstera plant is a common sign of calcium deficiency. This happens when the plant isn’t receiving enough nutrients due to various reasons, including overwatering.

The roots suffer damage and decay when the soil becomes saturated with water. This makes them unable to uptake nutrients like calcium, leading to browning leaves.

Mushy Roots

Mushy roots mean the plant is suffering from root rot, and it’s likely caused by overwatering. When the soil is consistently waterlogged, it becomes a favorable environment for fungi that cause root rot to grow.

Since the roots don’t have much access to oxygen due to excess moisture, they become more vulnerable to damage.

Mold on the Soil

When there’s a high humidity level at home, we often see mold growing on our walls. The same can happen to the soil if it’s constantly wet.

Excess moisture in the soil creates an environment with high humidity, which is favorable for mold growth. It also breaks down organic matter faster, giving mold and fungi more food sources.

Signs of Underwatering

Yellow Leaves

While yellow leaves are often associated with overwatering, they can also be caused by underwatering. Lack of moisture forces monsteras to prioritize supplying water to newer leaves at the expense of older ones, resulting in yellow leaves.

Underwatering also tends to impair the plant’s ability to uptake essential nutrients, like nitrogen. When a plant can’t take up nutrients, it can lead to a decrease in chlorophyll production and yellow leaves.

If you’re unsure if the yellowing in your monstera is caused by overwatering or underwatering, check the soil and look for other signs. If the first two inches of the soil is dry, you’re probably underwatering your monstera.

Drooping and Curling Leaves

Underwatering causes water stress due to the lack of moisture around the root zone. As the plant experiences water stress, the leaves may wilt and droop as a defense mechanism.

In addition to drooping, leaves may start to curl or fold to reduce the surface area exposed to the air. Curling helps minimize water loss through transpiration as the plant tries to save up the little water it has.

Slow Growth

Just like humans, monstera plants need nutrients to grow and develop. Water is crucial to transport essential nutrients from the soil to the other parts of the leaves, so without sufficient water, the plant won’t be able to spread nutrients evenly.

When the plant becomes stressed from insufficient water and nutrients, its growth slows down as it redirects its energy and resources toward survival. Until the plant starts receiving sufficient nutrients, it won’t be able to grow.

Dry or Crispy Soil

Underwatering means that the plant is not getting enough water to maintain sufficient soil moisture. As a result, the soil becomes dry and crispy, an inappropriate growing medium for monstera plants.

As the soil becomes more dry and crispy, it becomes more compact. The more compact it becomes, the less permeable it is to water and the less moisture the roots receive.

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