Complete Guide on How to Repot Monstera (with or without Moss Poles)
We understand uprooting your Monstera to be repotted can feel daunting. But we come bearing good news! Repotting a Monstera is straightforward, especially if you follow our beginner guide for How to Repot Monstera plants (even if your plant has a moss pole).
By the end of this guide, you will:
- Understand how to successfully repot your Monstera using our easy to follow step-by-step instructions,
- Understand why repotting Monstera plants regularly is essential and beneficial,
- Access our Garden Bench Top tips for successful Monstera care, like the optimal soil for luscious growth and what pot sizes you should use.
If you’re trying to drum up the courage to repot your first Monstera, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Because you’ve already taken the right steps towards success by being here and reading this guide!
So grab a coffee and let’s get started!
How to Repot Monstera (with additional steps for Moss Poles)
We know you’re keen to get your hands dirty, so let’s jump straight into the steps for repotting your Monstera.
FYI – The images in this tutorial were taken during a Monstera Deliciosa repotting session when we noticed brown tips developing on the Monstera’s leaves. You can check out why we decided to repot our Monstera was the best for its health HERE.
1. Choose the Right Pot
If there is one thing that will give you an edge in your Monstera care, it is the pot selection. We look for specific characteristics when choosing a pot (or container) for our Monsteras. These are:
- plenty of drainage holes to allow excess water to escape,
- ideally, the container is made from porous materials to facilitate aeration and oxygen intake of the Monstera roots, and
- The size of the pot should be 1-2 inches larger than the size of the root ball.
Monsteras don’t need large amounts of room in their pot, and their roots are okay with being slightly root bound. As long as the soil properties still can absorb and retain water or there is a secondary water source like a moss pole.
Don’t stress if you DO NOT have any extra pots made from porous materials (like terracotta or concrete), don’t stress.
You can still use plastic or ceramic pots. As long as there are drainage holes and your soil mix is light and chunky with plenty of airflows.
This is the perfect lead into the next step – using the right Monstera Soil Potting Mix.
2. Set Yourself Up for Success – Use the Best Monstera Soil
The next ingredient we focus on is the quality of the soil.
In our experience, Monstera Deliciosas are hardy and resilient plants. They can survive in various soil, from 100% commercially made potting mix to a custom-made chunky aroid soil mix.
We use a mixture of soils to achieve well-balanced soil, and this involves a bit of DIY by mixing pre-made potting soil with chunky growing mediums for our Monsteras. If you want to learn the exact recipe in our Monstera Soil Mixture guide.
Whatever soil you choose to use with your Monstera, your soil must have the following properties:
- excellent drainage
- ability to retain water
If your Monstera lives in soil with the above properties, it will have all the necessary ingredients for a happy life.
3. Remove Monstera from Container (Remove from Moss Pole)
Now for the daunting part – removing your Monstera from its pot.
We liken this process to taking off a band-aid. In the lead-up to the event, the pain gets built up in your head. But once it is over, you soon realize you were fretting over it for nothing 😊
The best advice we can give you is to take your time with the process and do it.
Give the sides of the pot a squeeze or a gentle tap to loosen the grip of the soil and roots.
Place your Monstera on its side and gently slide the plant and root mass out of its container.
If your Monstera is not cooperating and remains stuck inside the container, try running a butter knife or chopstick along the sides, which will dislodge any stubborn soil.
How to Remove a Moss Pole
If your Monstera is staked to a moss pole, you will need to remove this before you take your pot out of its pot.
How complicated this process is will depend on how long your Monstera has lived with the moss pole.
For tips and tricks for REMOVING A MOSS POLE, check out our guide for detailed steps.
4. Inspect and Tease the Roots
Now that the hard part is over and you have successfully removed your Monstera, it’s time to turn our attention to the root ball.
We know some indoor plant enthusiasts do not believe that teasing the root ball is necessary, and we have no concrete evidence suggesting that teasing the roots delivers benefits.
However, we like to tease the outside roots because it allows us to investigate the health of the root mass for issues such as root rot or the presence of pests.
Loosening the roots will also allow their roots to spread out and encourage healthier growth.
5. Position Monstera (and Moss Pole) and Backfill Soil
It’s time for the rewarding part of the repotting process – settling your Monstera into its new home.
If you are installing a moss pole with your Monstera, consider how it will be positioned in your pot with the plant. Consider which part of your Monstera will be front and how you envision your Monstera developing as it grows.
Next, fill your new pot with a small layer of soil and rest your Monstera on top of the soil to see if it is sitting at an appropriate height.
We always aim to sit our Monstera Deliciosas slightly below the top of the container so water doesn’t spill over when we water our plants. Remember, your soil will also compress over time and eventually sink lower.
Once the Monstera (and moss pole) is positioned, carefully backfill any spaces with soil until it confidently supports itself.
With gentle pressure, pat down the soil to secure everything into place.
6. Water Your Monstera and Admire Your Work
We’re almost done now.
Give your Monstera a healthy watering and ensure any excess water freely flows from the container’s drainage holes.
If you have a moss pole, give it a good misting to encourage the Monstera’s aerial roots to grow and anchor themselves to the moss pole.
Garden Bench Top Tip
If you don’t want the chore of misting a moss pole, try installing a SELF WATERING MOSS POLE for your climbing plants.
You’ve just successfully learned how to repot Monstera plants!
Why is Repotting Your Monstera Important?
Now you know the steps involved with repotting a Monstera (and how straightforward it is), let’s explore how regularly repotting can benefit your indoor plant collection.
Room to Grow!
Repotting a Monstera is like when we outgrow one home and need to move into a new (bigger) house.
As the root mass of your Monstera continues to grow, the older established roots will begin to take up more room in the containers or pots, leaving less room for the new younger roots.
If your Monstera becomes too compacted, it can cause it to become root bound. Root-bound plants can become stunted and malnourished due to insufficient nutrient uptake.
This leads us to the next repotting benefit for Monsteras – boost nutritional content.
Increase Your Nutrients!
Your Monstera’s home is an enclosed ecosystem, and there are no natural ways for nutrients to reach your Monstera roots for absorption.
This means your Monstera relies entirely on you for all its food and essential minerals. No pressure 😀
And one way you can ensure your Monstera has a sustainable food source is by regularly changing the soil during your repotting sessions (this is also why we like to add worm castings into our soil mixes).
Aerates Your Soil
Another fantastic benefit of regular repotting sessions with your Monstera is preventing soil from becoming too compacted.
As the soil in your Monstera’s home ages, it loses its properties and becomes compacted, preventing air circulation and oxygen from reaching the roots.
Repotting your Monstera will prevent this from occurring and keep your Monstera happy and thriving.
Catch Problems Early
And the final, and what we consider the most important, benefit of repotting your Monstera is that it allows you to spot any problems in your Monstera’s root system before they develop into something sinister.
Repotting a Monstera regularly allows you to give your root system a frequent once-over.
Naturally, it is difficult to spot a plant problem that is developing under the soil. So the next section will detail a few signs that indicate it’s time to get your hands dirty and repot your Monstera.
Signs Your Monstera Needs Repotting
Look out for these signs if you’ve had your Monstera for a while and you’re still determining when it was last repotted.
A sure sign that your Monstera needs fresh soil is when you notice the growth has slowed.
Stunted growth occurs when there is a need for more nutrients in the soil and limited space for the roots to grow.
Drooping and Wilted Leaves
If the soil is old and needs a refresher, it may also mean it has lost its water-retentive properties, contributing to the need for more new growth.
Monsteras require a reliable source of water. So when the soil cannot hold enough water, the soil dries out quickly, and your Monstera will endure long periods without sufficient water to thrive.
Roots Protruding from the Pot
An obvious sign that your Monstera has outgrown its home and needs to be repotted is when you see roots growing out of the pot’s drainage holes.
This is a clear sign that the root system is beginning to become cramped, and it needs to be upgraded to a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter.
This is a good thing – because it means you’re doing something correctly!
How to Repot a Monstera – What’s Next?
We hope this guide has given you the confidence to get your hands dirty and repot your Monstera!
We understand it can feel daunting the first few times, and however, the more you go through the process, the more confidence you develop.
So what are you waiting for? Give it a go and let us know how you went 😄
If you feel like your Monstera would benefit from a moss pole, check out these articles:
- How to tell if my Monstera needs a Moss pole
- Tutorial for How to build a Self Watering Moss Pole (with video)
- Moss Pole Alternatives
Thanks for joining us at the Garden Bench Top.
- Araceae. (2023, March 26). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araceae