Repotting an unruly Monstera plant attached to a moss pole is a tricky task, but this blog will tell you everything you need to know.
- Essential Details about the Monstera Plant
- What a Moss Pole is
- The Reasons and the Best Time to Repot a Monstera
- Steps to Repot Monstera plants with Moss Pole.
Facts About Monstera Plants
Monstera is a genus consisting of numerous plant species and varieties that originate from the tropical forests of Central and Southern America, including Mexico. Their beautifully-fenestrated leaves and expansive, glossy foliage have made them a popular choice amongst houseplant lovers.
The name of this genus is a Latin word that translates to ‘abnormal’ and ‘monstrous.’ It represents their unique, holey leaves and ability to grow huge. Monstera plants also commonly go by the following names.
· Swiss cheese plant: The perforations on the leaves of a Monstera plant look similar to the holes in Swiss cheese.
· Split-Leaf Philodendron: Monstera plants closely resemble the species from a related genus called Thaumatophyllum Bipin.
· Fruit Salad Tree: This name refers to the delicious, edible fruit of the Monstera species that tastes like a fruit salad. Monstera fruit is also known as the Mexican breadfruit, monster Fruit, Penglai banana, ceriman, monstereo, and balazo.
Like many other tropical houseplants, Monsteras also have a climbing nature. In the wild, they cling to other trees with their aerial roots to climb and grow upwards in search of light.
But what happens when you grow these plants indoors?
Since there are no other trees in an indoor setting, they need some kind of vertical support structure as an alternative. Without support, their growth can sprawl out in all directions. This is where a moss pole comes into the picture.
The Basics of Moss Poles
Moss poles are support structures that impersonate the texture of moist, mossy tree trunks. They help climbing plants, like Monstera, grow aerial roots and climb upwards rather than sprawling downwards or sideways from their container.
The height of most moss poles ranges between 36 to 48 inches, and they are made from sphagnum moss and coco coir.
Although Monstera plants can grow without moss poles, using one helps you create a more natural environment for them to grow indoors.
Not only does a moss pole vertically support climbing plants but also becomes an additional water source and nutrients for them. It encourages the healthy growth of larger and more mature leaves.
To facilitate aerial root development, you can attach larger Monstera vines to the moss stick with twine or plant tape.
When and Why You Should Repot a Monstera
Monstera plants outgrow their pots quickly. Their roots start entangling each other, making it difficult for them to breathe and absorb nutrients and water from the soil mix.
Repotting Monstera to a slightly larger container provides it with enough room to breathe and grow. It allows you to replace the old potting mix with fresh soil mix to provide your plant with better nutrition. You shouldn’t choose a pot much larger than the previous one because it may waterlog the soil.
Do you see roots poking from the drainage holes or growing along the edges of the plant’s container? This is a clear sign that your plant has become root bound, and it’s time to shift it to a larger container.
Some other signs that your Monstera needs repotting include stunted or no growth despite favorable conditions, yellowing leaves, and the degrading quality of the soil. You must repot as soon as you see one or more of these signs.
Old and mature Monstera plants don’t require repotting as frequently as the young and juvenile ones that grow aggressively. Generally, repotting a mature Monstera plant once every two years should be enough, but you can repot sooner if you sense an urgent health issue.
The best time to repot a Monstera is early spring, just when the plant enters its active growing season. The active growth bursts help the plant recover from injuries and transplant shock incurred during the repotting process.
You can also repot in summer while the plant is still in its active growing season, but the recovery from transplant shock may take more time.
Repotting Monstera Plants With a Pole
If you haven’t used a sphagnum moss pole for your Monstera yet, repotting is the best time to add one to the new plant pot without the risk of hurting the roots.
But if your plant is already attached to a moss pole, you don’t need to remove it when repotting. You can take out the plant from its old pot along with the moss pole and place it into the new pot without causing any damage to the plant and its root ball.
Here are the steps you can follow to move your plant to a new home safely:
Choose a Moss Pole
Monstera Moss poles are available in different kinds and sizes. A traditional moss pole is made from a wooden plant stake covered with loose sphagnum or peat moss.
Go for a moss pole that is tall enough for your Monstera plant. Ideally, a moss pole’s length should equal the pot’s height plus the stem above the pot and a little more room to grow.
You have the option to get a self-watering moss pole; it comes with a hollow core that you can fill with water for the moss to absorb.
You can also select an extendable moss pole; it allows you to add a new piece on top of your plant outgrows the current size of the moss pole.
Select and Prep the New Pot
The new home for your Monstera should be just slightly larger than the previous one. If you buy a pot that is too large or wide, it will just hold excess soil and water, leading to root rot. Just remember it should be wide enough to accommodate your Monstera’s root system and the pole and leave behind some space.
You can pick a pot with 0.5 to 1 inch of room around the roots to the pot’s edge on each side. Make sure the pot has proper drainage holes. Fill up 1/4th or 1/3rd of the pot with regular, well-draining potting mix. If you want to add a moss pole to the new pot, you can stick it into the potting mix at this point.
Use a Sheet to Avoid Mess
This step is important if you don’t want to make a mess. Use a sheet or any other protective material to cover the area where you want to perform the repotting task. Be careful not to move the plant and the pot too much.
Ask for Help
Repotting a large Monstera Deliciosa can be tricky, especially when removing the plant from its old pot. Hence, you should onboard one or more people to help you with the task.
With three people by your side, one person can handle the pot, the other can guide the roots, and the third person can hold on to the plant and the pole. But make sure every person involved in the task knows exactly what they have to do; this will avoid confusion at the time of repotting Monstera Deliciosa.
Water Your Plant a Day Before
Give your Monstera a thorough watering session a day before to soften and loosen up the soil. It will prevent the plant from going into transplant shock after repotting.
On the day of repotting Monstera, check if the soil is loose enough to ease the plant out of the pot. If it’s not, use a knife or any other thin, flat object and run it around the pot’s inner edges.
Remove the Plant From the Old Pot
Lay the pot on its side and gently remove your plant along with the moss pole. If the plant doesn’t come off easily, squeeze or jiggle the pot to loosen the soil more.
Avoid tugging and pulling on the plant because it can damage the root ball. Make sure someone is holding on to the plant and the pole while removing them from the pot.
Position the Plant Into the New Pot
If you are using a new moss pole, decide where it should go in the pot. Ideally, you should place the pole near the Monstera’s stem. This makes it easier to tie the aerial roots to the moss pole. Moreover, positioning moss poles at the rear of the pot can allow the lush, large, green foliage to hide the pole from view.
Position the plant at its original planting depth. Hold the plant and the moss pole upright while lowering it into the new pot, spreading the roots over the soil.
Fill in and Firm the Potting Soil
You can now start filling in fresh potting soil around your plant’s roots and base. Press the soil a little to secure the moss pole and the plant in their positions. This will also remove air pockets in the soil, providing easy access to water and nutrients.
Arrange or Reattach Aerial Roots With the Moss Pole
To keep your climbing Monstera erect, arrange or reattach the vines with the moss pole using twines or soft twist ties if they come loose.
Water the Plant
Return the new pot to your plant’s original growing location and water it thoroughly to firm the soil more. You can also add more potting soil at this point if you think it’s not enough. Wait for the top one or two inches of the soil to dry out before watering the plant again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Wet A Moss Pole Before Planting?
Yes – keeping the moss pole moist before planting is highly recommended. Since moss poles can retain water, spraying them before planting enables them to hold adequate moisture for the aerial roots and maintain high humidity. But ensure that the moss pole isn’t soaking wet because excess water can damage the roots.
When Should I Put a Moss Pole to Monstera Deliciosa?
You can add a moss pole to your Monstera’s pot whenever possible. But if you want to get a head start, the best time to add a moss pole is just the plant is in its infancy and has begun growing aerial roots.
As the Monstera grows, its aerial roots begin to grow into the moss, but until that point, it must be manually secured to the moss pole.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.