If you have been propagating a Monstera plant in water, at some point, you will need to transfer it to soil. Although Monsteras can thrive for a surprising length of time in water, they do need soil in order to grow in the long term, and they may die if you don’t transplant them.
You can move a Monstera plant out of water and into soil as soon as the plant has begun to grow strong, robust roots. If you transplant it too early, there’s a major risk of damaging the roots and killing the plant. Make sure you have a suitable aroid soil, and then carefully swap the plant over without knocking off the roots.
How Long Do The Roots Need To Be Before I Transplant My Monstera?
The roots of your plant need to be at least two inches long before you move the plant into a new pot. If you don’t want to risk it this soon, you can keep it in the water until the roots reach around four inches long, but not too much longer, or the plant will start to struggle to get enough nutrients.
Monsteras also like to have lots of air around their roots, so you need to be changing the water regularly to re-oxygenate it. It’s better to get your plant into soil as soon as you can to minimize the work needed and to help it grow strong.
Depending on how strong your cutting is, it could take a few weeks for roots to even appear, let alone reach this length, so be patient and keep changing the water. Watch as the roots develop, and don’t be tempted to rush things just for the sake of getting the plant into the soil. Until the roots are established, there’s a high risk of killing the cutting.
How Do You Move Monstera Plants From Water Into Soil?
When the roots are long enough, you should prepare a container for your Monstera. It should be a few inches larger than the plant so that there is room for its roots to grow, but not so big that you are at risk of drowning your plant. If there is too much space in the pot, it’s easy to end up with soggy soil around your plant’s roots.
Make sure you are using the right kind of potting mix, too. Monstera plants like loose, airy soil, so you need to either buy one that is specifically marketed for aroids, or mix one yourself. You can combine potting compost with things like orchid bark and vermiculite.
This will ensure that the compost stays loose, letting oxygen get to the plant’s roots, and helping to draw water away from the roots so that they don’t stay wet for too long.
Don’t transfer your Monstera into plain potting compost; it is quite likely to die, especially if the soil gets compacted over time. Some Monsteras may survive in plain compost, but they much prefer to be kept in aroid-friendly soil.
You also need to make sure that your container has plenty of drainage holes so that the water can run out, and your plant doesn’t get water-logged.
Once you have the right soil and container, fill the pot to two-thirds, and then lift the plant out of the water and place it in the pot while being very careful with the roots. You can then surround it with soil, so that the pot is full and the Monstera is supported.
Work slowly so that you are not at risk of damaging the plant, and get it as upright as you can. You don’t need to press down hard on the compost; this will compact it and prevent oxygen from getting to the roots. Instead, just lightly pat it down once the plant is in place.
Next, water the plant gently. This helps to settle the soil around the fine root hairs and ensures the plant can get enough to drink.
How Do You Keep Monstera Happy Once It Is In Soil?
Your Monstera will want to be kept in a damp environment for a while once it has been transitioned into soil. Because it is used to having water very readily available, it’s a good idea to mimic this environment by giving the plant plenty to drink. This will reduce the shock of the environmental change.
You should check whether the plant needs water every day, but don’t automatically give it a drink daily. You don’t want the soil to be sodden; your plant’s roots will quickly start to rot and become vulnerable to fungal infections.
The surface of the soil should be allowed to dry out a little before you give the plant a drink. You don’t want your Monstera to die of thirst, but you also don’t want it to be swimming. The ideal conditions involve a lightly moist growing medium that occasionally dries out for short periods.
Over time, your Monstera will become more resilient and capable of dealing with droughts, so you won’t need to water it as often or watch it as carefully. However, this will certainly not happen overnight, and you should be tending to your Monstera with care for at least eight weeks.
After this time period, you may be able to relax a bit, because your plant should have developed a good root network throughout its pot. It will be able to reach deeper when it needs water, rather than struggling with just a few roots.
You do still need to water the Monstera regularly, but not nearly as often.
Where Should I Put The Monstera Once It Is In Soil?
You may be able to put the Monstera back where you were keeping the cutting when it was in water. This will help to reduce the stress because there will only be one environmental change, rather than many. However, do make sure that the spot is suitable first.
Monsteras like bright, indirect light. They are rainforest plants and usually grow beneath thick canopies that filter out most of the direct sun, but still allow plenty of light to reach the Monstera’s leaves. This is the environment that you need to replicate, and if your windowsill is too sunny, a thin curtain or shade may help.
The plant also likes stable temperatures, so make sure that it is somewhere warm. They prefer to be kept above 70 degrees F, and when you have first transplanted your Monstera, it’s very important to think about this, because it will be vulnerable to shocks.
If you need to move your Monstera, try to pick a spot that is similar in terms of light and temperature. Plants are surprisingly aware of being moved and it does cause them stress, so if you can put your Monstera where it was before being transplanted, do so.
Do I Need To Add A Support Once The Monstera Is In Soil?
Monstera plants grow much better when they are in soil, and you may find that a support is needed to keep your plant upright once it no longer has the support of a vase. A small plant will manage without a support for a while, but as it gains size, it will benefit from having something to climb.
You may wish to add a moss pole to your plant’s new container if the plant is large (although it’s better to wait if the plant is still quite small). Your Monstera’s leaves will start to flop and it won’t be able to support itself once it gains height if it doesn’t have anything to cling to.
In most cases, you won’t need to add a support as soon as you transfer the plant into a new container, because most Monstera cuttings are relatively small. When handling a larger cutting, however, you should consider it.
Can You Propagate Monsteras In Soil?
If you would like to skip the water stage, you may be wondering whether you can propagate a Monstera plant directly in soil, rather than having to grow it in water and then transplant it.
This is perfectly possible, and some people prefer this method because it is more straightforward. However, it does give you less information about how the cutting is doing, because you won’t be able to see the roots.
To propagate a Monstera in soil, you will need to take a cutting using sterile shears, making sure that it includes a node (just as you would for water propagation). Next, prepare a container with loose, airy soil and plenty of drainage material.
With this done, you should bury the end of the cutting in the soil, making sure that the node is covered, as this is where the new roots will begin to sprout from. Water the pot well so that the soil is moist, and place it somewhere with bright, indirect light.
Hopefully, the roots will begin to sprout and as long as you keep the soil suitably damp, the plant should grow.
That might sound like a much more appealing method, but there are some issues with it. It can be challenging to know how damp the roots are or whether they are even forming, and there is a risk of the Monstera just rotting because you won’t be able to aerate it effectively.
You will need to be very patient for a few weeks before you even know whether the cutting has taken. When a few weeks have passed, give the Monstera a light tug and see if it shifts in the soil. If it stays put, it has started to develop roots and is beginning to grip onto the growing medium; if it doesn’t, the cutting has probably failed.
Can I Just Keep My Monstera In Water?
You might be wondering whether you actually need to transplant your Monstera, especially if it seems to be doing fine in the water. The answer is that although you can keep a Monstera in water indefinitely, it will probably not grow particularly large, and may gain size very slowly.
You will also need to follow quite a few complicated steps to be successful. For starters, you need to keep the water clean and the vessel clean. That means regularly removing the Monstera, pouring out the water, washing the vase, and then refilling it with clean water and putting it back.
This will need to be done every few days if you want to prevent algal growth and ensure that your plant’s roots have enough oxygen, so it’s quite high-maintenance. Note that even if you change the water and clean the vase regularly, algae are bound to keep forming, and you won’t be able to keep them at bay permanently.
You will also need to add nutrients to the water in the form of liquid fertilizer, and you may need a special fertilizer because your plant will need micronutrients as well as the standard macronutrients that are present in most fertilizers. That means buying a specific hydroponics fertilizer, which can be expensive.
You can’t just keep your Monstera in water if you don’t follow these steps; it will run out of oxygen and nutrients, and it will then die. If you want to grow your Monstera in a vase because it looks cool, make sure you understand the process fully and be aware that this is not easier than growing a Monstera in soil.
It does have a few advantages, of course; the plant is less vulnerable to pests, looks cooler, and won’t spread the soil around your home. Overall, though, Monsteras grow better and more easily in soil.
If you have propagated a Monstera cutting in water, you should be looking to move it into soil after a few weeks, when its new roots reach around three or four inches long. Make sure you choose a suitable substrate and keep it nice and moist for the weeks following the transition. This will reduce the plant’s shock and give it plenty of water while it establishes its roots.