What is the best soil for monstera plants

What is the best soil for monstera plants?

The best soil mix for monsteras is a nutrient-rich, well-balanced soil that provides excellent drainage, moisture retention, and aeration with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. A recommended mix includes pine barks, perlite, coco coir, and worm castings.

In this guide, we’ll help you make an ideal soil mix for your monstera plants. We’ll discuss the things you have to consider, the components of the soil, and the best recipes to follow.

Things to Consider When Choosing Soil for Monstera

Nutrient Content

Nutrient Content

You have to make sure that the soil of your monstera plants is nutrient-rich because these plants, like many other tropical houseplants, have specific nutritional requirements for healthy growth.

Since they naturally grow in tropical forests, monsteras have become used to using a lot of nutrients to produce large leaves. 

Look for a fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or slightly more nitrogen content. An NPK ratio of 1:1:1 or 2:1:1 should be good for your lovely monsteras.



One of the most important things you should consider when choosing a potting mix for monstera plants is its draining capacity. It’s crucial that the soil is well-draining to prevent the monstera from sitting in waterlogged soil.

The plants are susceptible to root rot if their roots remain consistently wet. Root rot is a fungal disease that can quickly damage or kill the plant’s root, so we want to avoid it as much as possible.

Look for a soil mix with perlite, sand, or bark, as these can help improve the soil’s draining properties. You should also stay away from soil mixes with clay since it’s compact and doesn’t drain well.



Good soil aeration is essential for the health and well-being of monstera plants, as it directly impacts the roots and overall growth of the plant.

Plant roots require oxygen for respiration, a crucial process that provides the energy the plant needs to survive. In compacted or poorly aerated soil, the oxygen supply can become limited, leading to root suffocation and poor plant health.

Additionally, well-aerated soil is favorable for microorganisms that help break down organic matter. Having enough microorganisms in the soil can make it easier for the plants to absorb nutrients.

Moisture Retention

Moisture Retention

Water is crucial for the health and survival of monstera plants. That’s why it’s still important that the soil can retain some moisture. 

While they don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil, they also don’t appreciate being in overly dry conditions. Soil that retains some moisture helps provide a stable environment for the monstera, helping it withstand drought.

Adding peat moss or coco coir to your soil mix can help improve its water retention capacity.

pH Level

pH Level

Monsteras prefer slightly acidic soil, so it’s best to look for a potting mix with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5.

If you’re making your own mix, this shouldn’t be that big of a problem, as most ingredients used to make soil mix have a slightly acidic pH. Peat moss and pine bark have pH of 4.5 and 5, respectively, so they’d make great soil amendments.

It’s important to keep the pH in the appropriate range, as some nutrients may become less accessible to the roots if the soil is too acidic or alkaline.

Components of a Monstera Soil

Pine Bark

Pine bark is a coarse material, so it can help prevent the soil from becoming too compact and allow excess water to flow through. Its texture also helps promote aeration in the soil.

Moreover, they also retain some moisture despite promoting good drainage. This is an essential property that you should look for in soil amendments.

Pine bark will also add nutrients to the soil as it slowly decomposes.


Perlite is included in all soil mixes because of its excellent drainage properties. When it’s mixed in soil, it creates small gaps where water can drain away freely.

These small gaps also permit oxygen to reach the roots and prevent the soil from being overly compacted.

Coco Coir

Coco coir is extracted from the husk of coconuts. It’s an eco-friendly alternative to peat moss, so we prefer using it for our plants.

That said, peat moss is more easily accessible. If it’s the only one you have, you can use it too.

Coco coir can help retain moisture and release it slowly to the monstera to avoid waterlogged conditions.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has been gaining popularity among gardeners because of its benefits.

It can help prevent the growth of fungi and molds, making the soil a more suitable and healthier environment for the monstera to grow. It can also help improve the quality of water before it reaches the roots by removing some contaminants.

Keep in mind, though, that excessive use of this can cause nutrient imbalance in the soil. Make sure to use only a small amount in your soil mix.

Worm Casting

Worm castings or worm poop are nutrient-rich soil amendments that can help provide the soil with necessary nutrients. They contain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and other beneficial elements for monsteras.

Additionally, worm castings can help improve the overall structure of the soil. They can increase soil aeration, enhance water retention, and improve its draining capacity.

Soil Mix Recipes for Monstera

Soil Mix Recipes for Monstera

Recipe #1

  • 5 parts pine bark
  • 4 parts coco coir
  • 5 parts perlite
  • 2 parts charcoal
  • 2 parts worm casting

This is a well-balanced soil mix recipe for monstera that can provide the plant with an appropriate environment for the plant to grow. 

It has components that address essential factors for the monstera, including good drainage, moisture retention, aeration, and fertility.

The pine bark and perlite components help prevent waterlogged conditions and promote better aeration, while the coco coir component retains the moisture the monstera needs.

Worm castings are a nutrient-rich organic material, so adding two parts can help improve the nutrient content of the soil. The activated charcoal, on the other hand, can fight off fungi and mold.

You can remove activated charcoal from the mix if you don’t have it. Removing it won’t have a significant impact on the mix’s suitability for monstera plants.

Recipe #2

  • 4 parts pine bark
  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part coco coir

This recipe is ideal if you have limited ingredients at home. This mix heavily emphasizes drainage and aeration due to the high proportion of pine bark and perlite.

The coco coir helps retain moisture, which the plants need to survive.

The pine bark can provide some nutrients to the soil, but you might need more fertilizer to provide the plant with enough nutrients. You may also need to water it more frequently to maintain adequate water levels.

Signs That Monstera Is in the Wrong Soil

Signs That Monstera Is in the Wrong Soil

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves in a monstera plant can be a sign of several factors, including using the wrong soil. 

This can indicate that the soil is not draining enough, and the roots are consistently sitting on extremely moist soil. This leads to root rot, which causes the leaves to turn yellow.

It can also indicate that the plant is not receiving enough nutrients, so older leaves are dying and turning yellow.

Brown Spots on Leaves

Brown spots on the leaves are another sign that the soil is not draining enough, drowning the roots and causing root rot.

When the roots are compromised due to excessive moisture, the plant may struggle to take up water and nutrients. The monstera’s inability to take up water and nutrients can result in brown spots on the leaves.

That said, brown spots may be caused by various reasons, including overwatering. No matter how well-draining the soil is, watering it excessively can lead to root rot.

Adjust your watering practices, and wait for the top two inches of the soil to dry out before watering again. If the brown spots get worse, then it’s probably the wrong soil.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves are usually a sign of dry conditions. If the soil isn’t retaining enough moisture, the monstera can’t access enough water to support the leaves, causing them to droop.

Don’t let the soil completely dry before watering the soil. If you notice that you’re watering the soil more than once a week, add more organic matter or coco coir to the soil.

Another possible reason is if the soil’s pH is too acidic or alkaline. If the pH is way above or below the appropriate pH range, the roots won’t be able to uptake the necessary nutrients.

Always monitor the soil’s pH to ensure that it stays between 5.5 and 6.5.

Leave a Comment