7 Common Mistakes Indoor Gardeners Make When Planting Monstera

Being a plant parent isn’t always a walk in the park. It can be more like a high-wire act, especially when it comes to the delicate art of replanting.

If you’re a first-time Monstera owner, you might be biting your nails at the thought of replanting or repotting this precious plant gem.

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After all, nobody wants to see their new green friend wilt and wither. But fear not!


While it’s true that there’s no substitute for experience, being forearmed is being forewarned.

Understanding common pitfalls can help you avoid them, setting your Monstera—and you—up for success.

In this article, we’ll be diving into the seven most common mistakes indoor gardeners make when planting their Monstera.

By the end, you’ll have the confidence of a seasoned gardener, ready to give your Monstera a new home where it can thrive.

7 Common Mistakes Indoor Gardeners Make When Planting Monstera

Choosing the Wrong Pot

Many indoor gardeners make the mistake of choosing a pot based on its aesthetic value alone.

While it’s important that your pot complements your home decor, it’s equally essential that it meets the needs of your Monstera.

Gardener tilling the soil for proper water drainage

Monstera roots need room to grow, but too much space can result in waterlogged soil and root rot.

On the other hand, a pot that is too small can lead to overcrowded roots and stunted growth.

The ideal pot should be about 2-3 inches larger in diameter than the root ball of your Monstera.

As for material, consider a pot with good drainage, such as terracotta, which is porous and allows excess water to evaporate.

It’s also worth considering a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.

Using Poor Quality Soil

Not all soils are created equal. Using a poor quality or inappropriate soil can prevent your Monstera from reaching its full potential.

Monstera thrive in a well-draining, peat-based potting mix.

Coconut substrate peat and coconut chips with fibers

This type of soil mimics the plant’s natural environment and provides the right balance of aeration and moisture retention.

Monstera prefer slightly acidic soil, so adding a bit of peat moss to your mix can help maintain the right pH balance.

It’s also a good idea to add some perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage.

Not Checking for Pests Before Planting

Overlooking pests on your new Monstera can lead to an infestation that can harm not just your plant, but potentially your entire indoor garden.

Pests like spider mites, thrips, and mealybugs are common on Monsteras.

Closeup of long and yellow pest on a Monstera leaf

efore planting your new Monstera, thoroughly inspect the leaves, stems, and even the soil for signs of pests.

Look for discolored spots, sticky residue, or actual insects.

If you spot any, treat the plant with an appropriate pesticide or natural solution before introducing it to your indoor garden.

Neem oil or insecticidal soap are often effective against a wide range of pests.

Check out other types of pests here: The Ultimate Guide to Monstera Pests: Prevention and Treatment Hacks

Planting Too Deeply

Planting your Monstera too deeply can lead to stem rot, a common problem when the buried stem becomes waterlogged.

Woman's hands planting Monstera with fenestrations in a terra cotta pot

This is often a result of overwatering or poor drainage, combined with deep planting.

Plant your Monstera so that the top of the root ball is level with or slightly below the surface of the soil.

Be sure not to bury any leaves under the soil, as this can lead to rot.

If you’re using a moss pole or other support, ensure the base of the stem is still at soil level.

Ignoring the Need for Support

In their natural habitat, Monsteras are climbing plants that use other trees for support.

This climbing habit is often overlooked when planting them indoors, which can lead to a less than optimal growth pattern.

Monstera Dubia in climbing post

When planting your Monstera, consider adding a moss pole or similar support structure to your pot.

This allows your Monstera to grow upwards, promoting the development of larger, split leaves.

As the plant grows, secure its stems to the support using soft plant ties.

Exposing to Direct Sunlight Immediately After Planting

Immediately placing your newly-planted Monstera under direct sunlight can shock the plant, leading to sunburned leaves.

After planting your Monstera, place it in a location that receives bright, indirect light.

Beautiful monstera plant on a wooden stand

The plant needs time to adjust to its new environment.

Gradually increase the amount of light it receives over a period of several weeks, avoiding direct sunlight which can scorch the leaves.

Remember, Monstera are native to the understory of the jungle, so they’re used to dappled sunlight, not full sun.

Replanting During the Wrong Season

The seasons can greatly impact the health and growth of your Monstera.

Many indoor gardeners don’t consider the seasons when planting their Monstera, but these plants have a natural growth cycle that corresponds with the changing seasons.

The best time to plant or repot a Monstera is during spring, when the plant is entering its main growth phase.

This gives the Monstera a full growing season to establish its root system before winter.

Replanting during winter or other seasons can stress the plant and hinder its growth.

If you must repot outside of the spring season, ensure the indoor environment is warm and stable, as cold drafts or fluctuating temperatures can further stress the plant.

There are No Planting Mistakes, Only Lessons

Remember that becoming a successful indoor gardener is a process of trial, error, and constant learning.

Understanding these requirements is key to ensuring a thriving, healthy plant that will bring joy and tranquility to your home.

Before you dash off to repot your Monstera, take a moment to read up on its specific needs. Remember, knowledge is the gardener’s best tool.

And always remember: the roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for nature.

Happy planting!

For more planting tips, check out these other articles:

Monstera Lighting Guide: The Secret to Unleashing Lush Greenery

Monstera Troubleshooting Guide: Quick Fixes For 7 Common Issues