Monsteras are one of the most popular houseplants in the world for their hardiness, variety of leaf sizes and colors, and the distinctive unusual natural holes in each leaf.
Despite their large sizes (particularly the easily recognizable monstera deliciosa, otherwise known as the Swiss Cheese Plant), monsteras are generally remarkably easy to take care of, which is why they are loved in abundance by beginners.
One of the key care requirements for any living organism is hydration, which is essential for plants.
Plants rely on a water source for photosynthesis to provide essential nutrients for growth and the overall health of the plant.
While too little water can dry the plant out and kill it, too much water can cause irreparable damage in the form of root rot.
If you’ve recently bought a monstera and you’re wondering about its hydration requirements, we’ve got you covered. Here is everything you need to know about how often to water monstera!
How Often Do I Water A Monstera?
Generally speaking, a monstera should be fed a generous amount of water once every 1-2 weeks.
These plants are very hardy and don’t need nearly as much water as some other houseplants, and they’ll even happily survive off a little neglect.
This means that if you accidentally forgot to water your monstera for 2-3 weeks, it probably won’t show you any signs of distress.
As with any plant, the key to watering a monstera is ensuring that the soil is completely dry before you give it water.
Unfortunately, checking to see if a monstera requires water isn’t as simple as looking at the top layer of soil. The top layer shows the tip of the iceberg, and due to its constant exposure to the air, it’ll always best the driest part of the soil (and therefore the worst indicator of whether the plant needs to be watered or not).
Instead, you’ll have to stick your finger about an inch down into the soil. If the soil is damp, wait a few more days and try again. If the soil is dry, it means that your monstera can be watered!
To water your monstera, you’ll need to take it out of its decorative pot and put it on the ground. It’s about to get quite messy, so we recommend putting the plant in the bathtub or backyard.
Make sure that the pot your monstera is in has good drainage holes. Then, pour a generous amount of water into the monstera until you start to see water draining out from beneath the pot.
If you only water the top layer, this won’t provide enough water down in the roots. It’s also best to water all around the surface of the soil to allow for an even distribution of water.
Once the water starts to drain out of the pot, you can leave the monstera in the bathtub or outside until the water has completely drained. Then, the plant can be placed back into its decorative pot.
How Long Can Monstera Last Without Water?
While a monstera should be watered once every 1-2 weeks depending on what the soil feels like, they can actually last slightly longer without water.
It can also depend on the species of monstera, but for the most part, a monstera can last an extra 5-7 days before showing signs of dehydration.
Overwatering/Underwatering A Monstera
Your monstera is more likely to survive better if you underwater it rather than overwater it. This isn’t an excuse to be lazy – it’s more of a heads-up about how overwatering a monstera isn’t a good thing to do.
If you don’t test the dampness of the soil or if you water a monstera in its decorative pot, you run the risk of creating root rot. Root rot is a condition that can kill plants if left untreated.
This is because of too much exposure to water, which will then turn stagnant at the roots and essentially drown them.
If you water a monstera while it’s still in a decorative pot, the water will pool at the bottom of the pot, surrounding the roots with constant exposure to water.
However, there are ways to cure root rot. Prevention is the first cure, which is why it’s so important to only water a monstera when the soil is totally dry.
Secondly, if you notice that your monstera hasn’t been growing lately, or if the leaves are starting to wilt and look discolored, these are signs of overwatering.
You can even look for roots coming out of the drainage pot, as the roots will try to climb out for drier conditions.
Once you detect root rot, you’ll have to remove the plant from its pot to assess the damage.
If only some of the roots are damaged, you can remove these by cutting them off, replacing the rotted soil, and then repotting the plant. In some serious cases, however, root rot cannot be cured.
How Often Should I Mist Monstera?
Monstera benefit from being misted similarly to how they benefit from being watered! It is generally recommended misting a monstera once a week to keep their leaves looking fresh, bright, and free from dust or pests.
Misting a plant that thrives in a warm and humid environment, like a monstera, is an excellent way to mimic their natural habitat. While a monstera will happily survive without regular misting, it will certainly thrive and grow even more fabulously thanks to misting.
The best time to mist a monstera is in the morning so the water has enough time to evaporate throughout the day.
As long as you don’t over-mist the monstera when the soil has recently been watered, misting the plant shouldn’t cause root rot.
What Humidity Do Monsteras Like?
While monsteras are naturally found in places of high humidity, you don’t necessarily need to replicate these habitats! Monsteras are notoriously hardy and resilient plants, so they’ll be just as happy in a home of low humidity.
If you want your monstera to thrive even more, however, you can mist it once a week to provide more hydration to the leaves.