Can Monstera Live in Water Forever? Debunking the Myth

Have you ever wondered if your beloved Monstera could thrive in water alone, without the need for soil?

This idea has been floating around for some time, causing quite a stir in the plant community. Some say it’s possible, while others insist it’s a myth. Well, we’re here to settle the score once and for all.

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In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Monstera care and explore the truth behind this popular myth.

So, let’s dive into this botanical mystery together – could the Monstera truly be an aquatic superstar? Let’s find out!

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Can Monstera Live in Water Forever?

Monstera plants are known for their resilience and adaptability. If you’re wondering if they can survive and grow in water indefinitely, the answer is not straightforward.

Monstera plant in a clear glass vase with water in it

While some Monstera enthusiasts have successfully grown their plants in water for years, other experts argue that Monstera is not aquatic plants and won’t thrive in water as their permanent environment.

When Monstera cuttings are placed in water, they can start producing roots in as little as two weeks, and new leaves can emerge soon after that, indicating that roots have taken hold.

Under the right conditions, including proper nutrients, bright light, and warm temperatures, Monstera can continue producing new leaves while living in the water.

However, since Monstera is native to forest floors and is not a true aquatic plant, it’s worth considering that long-term water-based growth might not provide the optimal conditions for your plant’s overall health.

And so, it’s important to closely monitor the plant’s health and consider transferring it to the soil if any signs of stress or poor health become apparent.

Adapting Monstera to Water

Monstera plants are known for their ability to adapt to various growing conditions. One of these adaptations includes the ability to survive in water for extended periods.

In fact, some Monstera plants have been known to thrive in water for years when properly cared for.

Propagation

To propagate Monstera plants in water, follow these steps:

1. Choose a healthy stem with at least one leaf and a visible node (the bump on the stem where a leaf or aerial root has grown).

Stem cutting of Monstera plant

2. Using a clean, sharp pair of scissors, cut the stem just below the node.

Click here to see this pair of gardening scissors on Amazon.

3. Remove any leaves or aerial roots near the bottom of the cutting, leaving the node exposed.

4. Place the cutting in a container that allows the node to be fully submerged in water while keeping the leaves above the waterline.

Click here to see this clear glass container on Amazon.

It should take around two weeks for the Monstera cuttings to begin producing roots in water.

Once the roots are well developed, the cutting can continue to grow in its water environment or be transplanted to the soil if desired.

Transplanting from Soil to Water

If you want to transition a fully grown Monstera from soil to water, follow these steps:

1. Carefully remove the Monstera from its pot, shaking off as much soil as possible from the roots.

A woman removing the Monstera plant in its pot

2. Gently rinse the roots under lukewarm water to remove the remaining soil particles.

3. Trim any damaged or rotting roots before continuing.

4. Place the plant in a suitable container that allows the roots to be submerged in water, but keeps the leaves above the waterline. A container with a narrow neck can help support the plant upright.

Click here to see this narrow-neck container on Amazon.

Caring for Monstera in Water

When it comes to growing your Monstera plant in water, there are a few key aspects to consider to ensure its optimal growth and overall health.

Light Requirements

Monsteras are tropical plants that thrive in bright, indirect sunlight.

Be sure to place your Monstera in a location where it receives plenty of natural light, but is not directly exposed to harsh sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn.

A spot near a bright window or behind a light-filtering curtain would work well.

Click here to see this light-filtering curtain on Amazon.

Temperature & Humidity

As a tropical plant, Monstera prefers warmer temperatures and higher humidity levels. Aim for a consistent temperature range of 65-75°F and a humidity level above 50%.

This can be achieved by placing your Monstera in a well-ventilated room or using a humidifier to maintain the desired humidity.

Nutrients & Fertilization

When growing Monstera in water, it’s essential to provide it with the necessary nutrients. Since the plant doesn’t have access to the nutrients found in soil, you’ll need to supply them through a liquid fertilizer.

You can use a diluted houseplant fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, following the instructions on the package.

Click here to see this water-soluble fertilizer on Amazon.

Water Quality & Maintenance

Maintaining excellent water quality and regular upkeep is essential for successful Monstera growth in water.

The water type and its condition greatly affect the plant’s health. Any contaminants or imbalances can cause issues such as root rot, discoloration, and stunted growth.

Therefore, careful choice of water and consistent maintenance is necessary to ensure the Monstera’s healthy growth.

Types of Water

When growing a Monstera in water, the type of water used is crucial for the plant’s health. There are several types of water that can be used, including:

Tap Water

Woman changing water in glass flower vase using the water from the faucet

If using tap water, it’s essential to allow it to sit for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Chlorine can be harmful to Monstera plants.

Filtered Water

Filtered water removes impurities and is suitable for Monstera growth.

Well Water

Well water can be used, but it’s crucial to ensure it’s free of harsh minerals that can harm the plant.

Spring Water

This is a good option, as it’s naturally free of most impurities.

Rainwater 

It is an excellent choice for maintaining the health of your Monstera, as it contains minerals that tap water doesn’t provide.

Frequency of Water Changes

To keep Monstera healthy in water, it’s vital to change the water regularly; ideally, every 3 to 5 days. Always change the water if it becomes cloudy, regardless of the time since the last change.

Maintaining fresh water helps provide the plant with oxygen and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.

Preventing Algae & Bacterial Growth

To minimize algae and bacterial growth in your Monstera water, follow these tips:

1. Use a container made of a non-transparent material, which reduces light exposure and slows algae growth.

Click here to see this non-transparent container on Amazon.

2. Make sure to change the water frequently, preventing the buildup of organic matter and reducing the risk of bacterial growth.

3. Avoid over-fertilizing, as excess nutrients can encourage algae and bacteria to grow.

4. Keep the plant in a well-lit location, but avoid direct sunlight on the water container, as this can heat the water and promote algae growth.

Possible Challenges

pest infested leaf of monstera plant

Growing a Monstera in water can be rewarding, but it comes with challenges such as:

Root Rot & Fungal Problems

When attempting to grow a Monstera in water, one significant challenge the plant may face is root rot.

Since monsteras are accustomed to living in soil, the change to a water environment can make them susceptible to fungal infections.

Root rot occurs when the roots are constantly submerged in water, leading to decay due to insufficient oxygen flow.

In addition to root rot, fungi can also cause problems for a Monstera living in water. Fungal issues typically arise when there’s an imbalance in the water’s pH level or the plant’s living conditions.

To prevent fungal growth, ensure that the Monstera’s environment is well-balanced and clean, with proper nutrients added to the water.

Pest Infestations

Monstera plants in water can still face common pest infestations like spider mites and aphids.

Spider mites thrive in dry and warm environments, so it is essential to maintain proper humidity levels around the plant.

If you notice any signs of spider mite damage, such as white specks on the leaves, immediate action should be taken to mitigate their spread.

Aphids, on the other hand, can be found feeding on the sap of Monstera leaves. These pests can multiply rapidly, so it’s essential to work quickly to alleviate the issue.

Applying a mixture of water and dish soap to the leaves is a gentle yet effective method to combat an aphid infestation.

Transitioning Monstera Back to Soil

Monstera plants can live in water for quite a long period, but to reach their full potential and health, it is recommended to eventually move them to the soil.

The process of transitioning from water to soil is critical for the survival of your Monstera plant. Here are some steps to follow for a successful transition.

1. Ensure Strong Roots

First, it’s essential to ensure your Monstera has developed a strong root system while in water.

A person holding the Monstera plant with so much strong roots

The new roots should be approximately 3-4 inches long before attempting the transition to the soil. This process typically takes about 2-3 months after propagation in water.

2. Choose the Right Pot & Soil Mix

When choosing a pot for your Monstera, make sure it has sufficient drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

A well-draining soil mix, typically comprising peat moss, perlite or pumice, and potting mix, will improve your plant’s adaptability to the new environment.

3. Provide Bright, Indirect Light

As Monstera plants are tropical, they require a good amount of indirect sunlight for photosynthesis. Place your plant in a location that receives bright, indirect light so it can continue to thrive.

4. Ensure Consistent Moisture

During the transition, your Monstera will need consistent moisture in the soil. You can achieve this by watering the soil thoroughly and ensuring that the excess water drains out through the drainage holes.

Keep an eye on the moisture levels in the soil, and adjust your watering accordingly.

5. Provide Potassium

Monstera plants also benefit from potassium to promote healthy growth and leaf development.

You can provide potassium by adding a water-soluble, balanced houseplant fertilizer to the water as per the package instructions.

6. Monitor for Signs of Stress

It’s essential to monitor your Monstera plant after the transition, keeping an eye out for signs of stress, such as yellowing or wilting leaves.

If you notice any distress, review its environment and make any necessary adjustments, such as relocating it to a brighter or more humid area.

A person arranging the monstera plants in the clear glass vase with water

After contemplating the prospect of cultivating Monstera plants in water, it is crucial to bear in mind that these plants are not suited for aquatic environments and may not prosper to their maximum potential if not taken care of properly.

In order to guarantee the well-being and development of your Monstera, it is imperative to cater to its fundamental requirements as delineated in the aforementioned guidelines.

Regardless of whether you opt to grow your plant in water or soil, supervising its health and making necessary adjustments will ensure a splendid and thriving addition to your abode.

We appreciate you taking the time to acquaint yourself with Monstera plant care alongside us. Happy planting!