Does Monstera Need Drainage?

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The Monstera Deliciosa, or the Swiss cheese plant, is a stunning dark green houseplant well-known and desired for its large fenestrated leaves and undemanding care routine.

Although the Monstera plant can typically reach an impressive ten-foot height, its overall appearance and growth rate get badly affected when the plant pot lacks appropriate drainage.

Any time you overwater your Monstera plant, the excess water accumulates inside its soil and pot. The moist environments can lead to fungal infections, which will slow the plant’s growth and affect its survival.

To learn more about this, keep reading below.

Why Do Monstera Plants Need a Well-Draining Potting Mix?

Native to the Central American rainforests, the Monstera plant’s beauty, health, and lifespan depend on your watering habits. While Monstera plants prefer evenly watered soils, too much moisture can cause root rot and push the plant to premature death.

What is Root Rot?

Like all other plants, the Monstera needs water to survive. Water is a critical ingredient in photosynthesis, enabling the plant to produce food.

However, like most other indoor plants, the Monstera plant does need a lot of watering. Instead, tropical plants like the Monstera must be watered only once every two weeks. Ideally, let the top soil dry out altogether before adding more water.

However, if you overwater the Monstera plant, its excessively moist soil will create the perfect environment for fungal growth. As the fungus spreads to the Monstera plant’s root ball and aerial roots, it engulfs them. This root rot can dehydrate the entire plant and kill it prematurely.

Usually, a brown or discolored Monstera leaf or stunted growth will help indicate a root infection.

Fortunately, there is a way to prevent root rot and promote long-term healthy growth. As long as the Monstera plant is grown in a well-draining potting mix and the correct type of porous pots, excess water will drain well.

Moreover, adding peat moss or sphagnum moss to the potting mix will help reduce the soil Ph and improve its overall drainage.

root rot closeup

How to Choose the Best Pot for Your Monstera?

Choosing the best pot for monstera plants requires understanding the plant’s unique needs and the characteristic qualities of different types of pot material. While a water-loving houseplant can grow in all pots, a Monstera plant cannot.

Hence, before you bring home a young Monstera plant, learn about the different pots to choose the best pot for your monstera plants.

Some of our top picks for an indoor Monstera’s pot are as follows:

Ceramic Pots

Monstera Adansonii in ceramic pot

Most plant owners consider ceramic to be the best pot. Most houseplants grow better in ceramic pots than in wooden, concrete, or terracotta pots.

Since ceramic pots are made from sand and soil, they can absorb most excess water from the potting mix. Hence, even if your ceramic pot is missing a drainage hole or there is a blockage in the pot’s drainage holes, the chances of rot decrease significantly.

Moreover, unlike plastic pots that could deform as the Monstera plant’s roots grow, the ceramic pot can retain its shape and hold the growing plant. This allows a growing Monstera plant to live in the same pot for a long time, making overall plant maintenance easy.

Furthermore, your Monstera planter care routine will become even easier if you have a glazed ceramic pot. Although the inner walls of the ceramic plant pot will absorb all excess moisture, they will retain it as well.

When your Monstera plants get thirsty, their roots will suck that water back from the pot and hydrate themselves.

Terracotta Pots

Monstera Deliciosa in terracotta pot

A Terracotta pot is another excellent pot for your Monstera plant that helps retain necessary moisture while reducing the chances of a fungal infection.

Terracotta pots are made from dense clay that is naturally porous. This quality allows fresh air to pass through the Monstera roots, which helps prevent root rot by reducing the moisture around them.

Moreover, a glazed terracotta pot is a frost-resistant plant pot that helps maintain the inner temperature of the potting soil. Since cold temperatures increase the chances of root decay, terracotta pots help prevent it.

Furthermore, both glazed and unglazed terracotta pots are available in various pot sizes, and finding a bigger pot is always accessible. Moreover, these pots are also generally cheaper than other plant pots.

Concrete Pots

Monstera Deliciosa in concrete pot

If your Monstera Deliciosa plant is tall, well-grown, and fully matured, the best choice will be concrete pots. Both cement and concrete pots are highly porous and usually have large drainage holes.

Hence, if you have a habit of over-watering your Monstera plant pot, a concrete vessel will help drain out all extra water and retain the perfect amount of moisture in the soil.

Moreover, since concrete vessels are generally large pots, they can support the weight of your tall and heavy Monstera plant and prevent it from falling.

Which Are the Worst Pots for Your Indoor Monstera Plant?

Plastic Pots

While a ceramic, concrete, or terracotta pot can help retain root ball health and expel excess water, plastic or wooden pots cannot.

Plastic pots are nonporous pots that do not absorb or expel water from their walls. Instead, water can only drain out from the single drainage hole present at the bottom of the vessel.

If the Monstera’s roots are overgrown and clumpy, they can block the drainage holes. This will further restrict the movement of water and will create overly moist surroundings.

Hence, if you have a growing Monstera, never plant it in any plastic pot.

Wooden Pots

Wood pots are both beautiful and beneficial for many houseplants. They help insulate the plant from external temperatures and do not crack or deform easily. However, despite this, there are better pots for Monstera plants.

While wood pots are slightly porous, they do not offer the kind of drainage a Monstera pot demands. Moreover, most wooden vessels lack proper drainage holes and prevent the timely expulsion of accumulated water.

Furthermore, wooden varieties usually come in small pot sizes and are not ideal for a plant that can grow as large and heavy as a Monstera.

Cache Pots

A cache pot is a vibrant, elegant, and aesthetically pleasing plant pot that helps conceal a Monstera plant’s ceramic or cement-growing pot.

However, although a cache pot can add to your indoor Monstera plant’s overall appeal and beauty, it can lead to rot.

Potted plants like the Monstera Deliciosa depend heavily on drainage. Since a cache pot lacks drainage holes, it will simply collect and store the water that drains out of the Monstera pot.

Eventually, the soil can re-absorb that water and get wet again. Since the Monstera plant’s health requires that the soil be fully dry before the next watering, it is best to avoid placing your Monstera pot inside a cache vessel.

Self-Watering Pots

Finally, the last plant pot we strictly advise against is a self-watering plant pot. These pots come with a small tray or disk at the bottom designed to carry water.

The Monstera plant’s soil absorbs that water and never gets the chance to dry out fully. This increases the chance of fungal infections and exposes the entire plant to possible early death.

Do Monstera Plants Like Big Pots?

While most indoor plant species remain small their entire lives and grow in small pots, the Monstera, in comparison, is no less than a plant monster.

With a remarkable ability to reach an impressive ten to twelve feet height in just a few years, pot size is essential for a healthy plant.

Ideally, plant your Monstera in a large pot, and repot the plant into a larger pot after one to two years. Doing so allows your Monstera plant’s roots sufficient space to grow and spread without sustaining any damage.

Moreover, more than a large pot size is needed to support a Monstera plant’s heavy weight. For this, it is best to introduce a moss pole to your Monstera pot to help center its weight and facilitate overall growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Bottom Watering Better for Monsteras?

A Monstera is a pot-bound plant that heavily depends on its pot size, type, and good drainage. Since bottom watering will always keep the roots in a soggy soil mix, we strongly advise against it.

  1. Should I Repot My Monstera Plant after Buying?

A Monstera is a fast-growing indoor plant that must be repotted only once every two years. Hence, if your Monstera plants are young and small, you do not have to worry about repotting them into a larger pot.

However, if your new Monstera is potted inside a wooden, self-watering, or plastic pot, it is best to repot it into a ceramic or terracotta one.

healthy Monstera roots

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the best reason for owning a Monstera is that this plant grows without too much attention or regular care. However, the plant must get sufficient nutrients, bright indirect light, and appropriate drainage.

While planting your Monstera in a ceramic, terracotta, or cement pot can help reduce the moisture in its soil, it is always best to choose a pot with the largest drainage holes.

However, if your Monstera’s pot lacks a drainage hole, drill holes into its bottom to facilitate drainage.