What Not To Do When Repotting Your Monstera: 9 Common Mistakes

Repotting a Monstera plant, while seemingly straightforward, often entails nuanced considerations that, if overlooked, can negatively impact the plant’s health. Common errors, such as selecting an inappropriate pot size or ignoring the importance of drainage, can lead to detrimental outcomes, including root rot or stunted growth. Additionally, timing and soil composition play pivotal roles in the transplantation process. As we explore these critical mistakes further, it becomes evident that grasping the intricacies of each step is essential for fostering a thriving Monstera. Let’s examine these issues more closely to guarantee your gardening efforts are both effective and rewarding.

Choosing the Wrong Pot Size

Selecting an improperly sized pot for your Monstera can lead to significant health issues, including root rot or stunted growth. To promote healthy development, a general rule is to choose a pot that is 2-3 inches larger in diameter than the current one.

This size increment allows the root system ample space to grow without being overwhelming, which could retain excess water and cause root rot. Conversely, a pot too small constricts the roots, limiting access to nutrients and water, thereby stunting the plant’s growth.

It’s important to balance pot size to foster a healthy environment, facilitating robust growth and preventing potential health problems that arise from inadequate sizing. This choice directly impacts the overall strength and longevity of your Monstera.

Ignoring Pot Material

While selecting the right pot size is essential, equally important is the consideration of pot material. Different materials can greatly impact the moisture retention and overall health of your Monstera. Plastic pots, for instance, tend to retain more moisture, which might be beneficial in drier environments but can lead to overwatering issues in more humid conditions.

Conversely, ceramic pots are more porous, promoting better air circulation around the roots. Terracotta pots are highly recommended for their breathability and ability to wick away excess moisture, making them an excellent choice for Monsteras prone to root rot. Each material interacts differently with the environment and watering habits, so choosing wisely can have a substantial influence on your Monstera’s growth and health.

Using a Pot Without Drainage

Another significant aspect to take into account when repotting your Monstera is the use of pots with adequate drainage holes. Drainage is essential to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot, which can lead to root rot and other health issues for your plant.

Without these holes, excess water has nowhere to escape, creating an overly wet environment that can harm the root system. This stagnant water can also encourage the growth of mold and fungus, which are detrimental to your Monstera’s health.

If you find yourself with a pot without drainage, consider drilling holes or using it as a decorative outer container with a properly equipped inner pot.

Skipping Soil Considerations

Neglecting the significance of selecting the right soil mix can significantly impact the health and growth of your Monstera.

An ideal soil blend for Monstera should include a combination of peat moss, perlite, and organic matter. This mix guarantees proper aeration and moisture retention, essential for the roots to develop healthily without becoming waterlogged.

The incorporation of organic matter not only nourishes the plant slowly as it decomposes but also maintains the soil structure light and breathable.

Failing to take into account these soil components can result in poor root health and, consequently, a less vigorous plant.

Always aim for soil that supports a balance of moisture and air while providing essential nutrients and structure for growth.

Incorrect Planting Depth

Planting your Monstera at the incorrect depth can lead to significant health issues such as stem rot or dehydration. When repotting, it’s important to maintain the plant’s previous soil line. Planting too deep may suffocate the roots and stem, increasing the risk of rot due to excess moisture.

Conversely, planting too shallow exposes the roots to air, leading to dehydration and poor nutrient uptake. To promote healthy growth, measure the depth carefully, making sure that the base of the stem is level with the soil surface. This practice helps stabilize the plant and fosters healthy root development, setting the foundation for a thriving Monstera.

Always double-check the depth before finalizing the planting position.

Fertilizing Too Soon

Fertilizing your Monstera immediately after repotting can disrupt its recovery and lead to nutrient burn. The roots are vulnerable during this period, and introducing fertilizer can overwhelm them, causing more harm than good. To avoid such issues, consider these guidelines:

  • Wait at least 4-6 weeks before applying any fertilizer to give your Monstera time to settle.
  • Observe plant health; only fertilize if your Monstera shows signs of active growth.
  • Choose a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to minimize the risk of over-fertilization.
  • Dilute liquid fertilizers more than the recommended strength to ensure it is gentle on the recovering root system.

Following these steps can help make sure your Monstera thrives in its new environment.

Over or Under Watering

After addressing the timing of fertilization, it is equally important to take into account the water needs of your Monstera post-repotting to prevent stress from over or under watering. Initially, monitor the soil moisture closely.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, particularly in a new environment where roots are still adapting. Conversely, underwatering might cause the plant to dehydrate and hinder root development. Use your finger to check moisture levels; the top inch of soil should feel dry before you water again.

Adjust your watering schedule based on the moisture retention of your potting mix and the environmental humidity. Ensuring a balanced watering routine will support a smooth adjustment and robust growth for your Monstera.

Immediate Sunlight Exposure

Exposing your repotted Monstera to direct sunlight too soon can lead to significant stress and damage to the plant. After repotting, your Monstera is in a vulnerable state, adjusting to its new environment and healing any root disturbances. Immediate sunlight exposure can exacerbate this stress, risking leaf burn and further shock.

  • Avoid direct sunlight for the first week: Allow your plant to adapt in a shaded area.
  • Gradual reintroduction: Slowly increase light exposure over several weeks.
  • Monitor for signs of stress: Watch for wilting or scorched leaves.
  • Use indirect light: Place your Monstera where it receives bright, indirect sunlight during its recovery period.

Understanding and managing light exposure is vital for the health of your newly repotted Monstera.

Repotting at the Wrong Time

While managing light exposure is important for a repotted Monstera, choosing the correct time for repotting also plays a vital role in ensuring the plant’s health and growth.

The ideal period for repotting Monstera is during the late winter or early spring. This timing coincides with the onset of the growing season, allowing the plant to adjust to its new environment and commence growth with vigor.

Repotting outside this period, especially during the dormant winter months or the peak of summer heat, can stress the plant, leading to slower recovery and reduced growth. It’s essential to align repotting with these natural growth cycles to promote robust health and prevent unnecessary strain on your Monstera.


To summarize, ensuring the well-being of a Monstera during repotting involves vigilance against numerous potential missteps. Selecting an appropriately sized, well-draining pot crafted from a suitable material, combined with accurate soil choice and correct planting depth, is paramount.

Additionally, avoiding premature fertilization, improper watering, untimely exposure to sunlight, and incorrect seasonal timing are critical for fostering a thriving Monstera. Heeding these guidelines will prevent undue stress on the plant and encourage robust health and growth.

Leave a Comment