How to Find the Best Monstera Soil Mix Recipe for You (Beginners Guide)
Here’s a controversial statement many aroid growers will disagree with. There is no ONE perfect Monstera soil mix recipe. We wish we could give you a fool-proof recipe for your Monstera. But the truth is, what may be the perfect Monstera soil for one may not be suitable for another Monstera plant parent. And the difference lies in each plant parent’s technique.
But the good news is, in this guide, we will help you find your perfect Monstera Soil Mix Recipe that will fit in with your plant parenting style and help you achieve a lush and thriving indoor plant collection.
So if you’re ready, grab a coffee, and let’s dig in.
Want to Know Our Garden Bench Top Recipe Formula for our Monsteras?
If you are short on time and just want to know the specific Monstera Potting Mix Recipe we use with our Monsteras, use the link below to jump to our ingredient list.
Why Does Your Plant Parenting Technique Matter?
If there were one thing we wished we had known towards the beginning of our indoor plant journey, it would be that your plant parenting technique matters!
Your plant parenting technique will impact the type of soil you use with your indoor plants.
For example, if you are a time-poor parent who only likes to water their plants once a fortnight, you will need soil with good water retention.
In contrast, if you work from home and can monitor your plants on a daily basis for signs of dehydration or droopiness, you can afford to have more airy, fast-draining soil.
Are you starting to see why it is hard to give just ONE all-around Monstera Soil Mix Recipe?
What are the Must-Have Soil Properties in a Monstera Soil Mixture?
Monstera Deliciosa is a versatile plant that can happily grow in varying soil types.
They can thrive in soil mixes consisting solely of standard commercial soil mixes. At the same time, they will equally love a complex chunky homemade premium aroid soil mixed with ten different ingredients.
The key is ensuring the soil mix you end up using for your Monstera possesses a few important properties, which we’ll explore below.
Ensure your soil is well-draining soil that has proper drainage properties to allow any excess water to escape from the drainage holes in your pots or containers.
Wet soil or soggy soil will increase the risk of developing diseases (like root rot) or attracting pests to your Monstera.
At the same time, you need a soil mix with moisture-retention properties that will be able to hold enough water to sustain your Monstera.
We know this sounds contrary to what you just read above. The key is to use soil that contains mediums that can absorb water but won’t block up your soil, like sphagnum moss.
Soil Air Flow
Monstera roots need room to breathe and grow. So make sure to use a soil mixture that contains a medium (like perlite, LECA or pumice) that facilitates aeration throughout the soil.
Monsteras are not fussy indoor plants and can tolerate a neutral or slightly acidic pH environment between 6.0-7.0.
That being said, if you want your Monstera to thrive and receive the maximum uptake of nutrients from the soil, target the slightly more acidic soil between 6.0-6.5.
In order to achieve those beautiful big, broad fenestrated leaves, your Monstera needs a lot of nutrients, which is why it is important to use high-nutrient and fertile soil. The key minerals you will need are nitrogen, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
This can be supplemented by a commercially available well-balanced fertilizer. Or, if you are like us at the Garden Bench Top, you may like to choose an organic solution, such as worm castings fertilizer.
Monstera Soil Mix Recipe – Garden Bench Top Formula
Now that you know about the ideal properties of soil for Monstera, let’s look at the ingredients we use for our Monsteras.
Monstera Soil Mix Recipe Ingredients List
- 2 Part Regular Potting Mix – a nice and easy way to include a variety of nutrients in the soil with varying textures.
- 1 Part Sphagnum Moss (or peat moss) – a growing medium that will retain water to supply the Monstera’s root system. (Note: we like to pair our Monsteras with moss poles which act as a supplementary water source)
- 1 Part LECA Balls – clay balls that provide air pockets for adequate aeration of the soil. LECA also absorbs and retains water for the roots.
- 1 Part Orchid Bark (Medium Grade) / Orchid Soil – creates a chunkier soil mixture to facilitate proper aeration and provide the roots with something to grip onto. You could also use bark chips, shredded bark, tree bark, or aged bark.
- 1 Part Worm Castings – fresh from our homemade worm farm to provide all the essential nutrients and minerals.
How to Make Monstera Soil
Making up Monstera soil is easy.
Simply combine all of the above-listed ingredients into a clean container and mix until all the ingredients are blended evenly.
Garden Bench Top Tip
We like to make bulk batches of soil and store any excess in a separate container to use in the future.
Monstera Soil Mix Recipe Variations
Even though we consider the above formula as the Best Soil for Monstera plants. As we said at the beginning, what works for us may not work for you.
So we have included a few variations of the above formula with ingredient amendments to suit different plant parenting styles.
Monstera Soil Mix Recipe for Time-Poor Plant Parents
If you lead a busy lifestyle with a never-ending To-do list and active social calendar, you will want Monstera soil that can hold a bit more water and nutrients.
This means your Monstera will be able to survive for longer periods between waterings and will require less monitoring on a daily basis.
Due to your time constraints, you could use a ready-made, commercially produced potting soil mix, like the one available from AMAZON below
It contains all the necessary ingredients, such as sphagnum peat moss, perlite, earthworm castings, and much more. And, of course, the great thing is that it comes all pre-mixed!
It doesn’t get easier than that.
Alternatively, you can make a few adjustments to our recipe to increase the content of your soil with water-retaining mediums.
- 2 Part Regular Potting Mix
- 2 Part Sphagnum Moss / Coco Coir (aka coconut coir)
- 1 Part Perlite
- 1 Part Orchid Bark (Medium Grade)
- 1 Part Worm Castings
Monstera Soil Mix Recipe for the Attentive Plant Parent
At the other end of the spectrum, you have plant parents who love to dote on their indoor plants. Attentive plant parents usually spend their time at home and have the ability to check their plants on a regular basis (daily or every other day).
This means they have the ability to quickly pick up on any changes in their Monstera’s behavior and swiftly rectify any issues, such as watering.
What this means in terms of the Monstera soil mix composition is that they can afford to have a potting soils that is lighter, airy, and holds less water.
Here is an ingredients list for a lighter Monstera Soil Mix Recipe
- 1 Part Regular Indoor Potting Mix
- 2 Part Sphagnum Moss
- 1 Part Perlite
- 1 Part Horticultural Charcoal (big pieces, not powder)
- 1 Part Orchid Bark (Medium Grade)
- 1 Part Worm Castings
How to Tell Your Monstera Needs New Soil
If you’ve been scratching your head, asking yourself why your Monstera is looking a bit drab and not as spritely or exuberant as it once did, it may be because it needs some fresh soil.
Here are some common symptoms that indicate your Monstera is screaming for an injection of new soil.
If you notice your soil’s texture looks dry and crumbly, with bits and pieces clumping together, it may mean parts of the soil may have deteriorated and no longer retains the original properties.
This can occur when the soil becomes too dry. Or simply because it is too old and needs replacing.
A Monstera that isn’t showing healthy growth or new leaves indicates there is a fundamental problem with its conditions.
This can be caused by a lack of nutrients or the plant roots have run out of room to grow.
Fortunately, both of the abovementioned problems can be resolved by repotting your Monstera with freshly made soil.
Leaves Discolored and Lack Luster
Discolored and drooping leaves are one of the first indications that a plant is distressed.
When soil quality is the fundamental problem, the Monstera leaves may develop yellow patches as well as begin to droop.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, we recommend getting your hands dirty by making some fresh Monstera soil using one of the above recipes.
If you’ve been around the Garden Bench Top before, you’ll know we love pairing our Monsteras with sphagnum moss poles. Feel free to check out some of our other interesting articles: