With splits and holes, monstera deliciosa adds aesthetic appeal to your living space.
Most common problem faced by indoor plant gardeners is with overwatering.
Watering monstera plant depends on various factors, which include amount of sunlight it receives, climatic condition in your region, potting soil you choose and humidity in the room.
When you don’t care to consider these elements, your houseplants is subjected to stress resulting in yellow leaves, stunted growth and infestation.
To put in simple words, monstera deliciosa plant need to be watered once after 1-2 weeks depending on climatic conditions. However, as a thumb rule you can water monstera plant if the top soil layer is dry by 1 inch.
By direct translation, monstera deliciosa means delicious monster. As is evident by the translation of its name, monstera deliciosa is a swiss cheese plant that is like a little monster wrapped in the extremities of deliciousness.
Most people consider Monstera deliciosa as their primary choice for a houseplant. But they remain unaware of the challenges that they possibly invite by choosing to plant swiss cheese in their backyard.
One such challenge is how often to water Monstera deliciosa. Water is the basic need of all living beings and plants are no exception to this.
However, many people find it difficult to know how often to water plants, and when to water them. When things turn to swiss cheese plants, this confusion becomes a little more complex. Majorly because of the nature of these plants.
If you feel the same, we’ve got your back! In the following article, we’ll be telling you exactly the frequency, intensity, and the right duration to water your swiss cheese plants.
Not only this, you’ll also get to know about some of the most important tips to take care of your Monstera deliciosa.
How Often Should I Water My Monstera Deliciosa Plant?
The Swiss cheese plant is known by many names across different regions. Some of them are monstera deliciosa (as we have seen earlier), swiss cheese vine, balazo leaf philodendron, fruit salad tree, split leaf philodendron, fruit salad plant.
- Swiss cheese plants usually do not require much water for striving and staying healthy. They present gardeners with less of a challenge when it comes to the quantity of water.
- If we compare them to other tropical plants, they need low to moderate water for growing and staying fit.
- Additionally, they do not require water once or twice a week. Their need is to maintain a water schedule that offers occasional watering with maximum care.
Many people misinterpret occasional watering for underwatering. And once they start seeing signs of underwatering in their plants, they start to overwater it, leading to more damage.
Therefore, knowing and establishing the perfect balance between overwatering and underwatering is important while growing swiss cheese plants.
The ideal time to shower your monstera deliciosa with an ample amount of water is only when the top layer of the potting mixture or the soil bed gets visibly dry and arid.
This means, never having to follow a fixed water schedule for your plants. And, this is true to a great extent.
Overwatering Monstera Plant
It might be surprising but overwatering is the number one killer of houseplants, University of California states this.
To grow healthy monstera with glossy leaves, you must master watering cycle.
Potting soil and climatic conditions are two major things according to me that a gardener must consider while watering plants.
Like most houseplants, monstera needs a well-drained potting soil and temperature between 65-85F.
Native to tropical region, this plant is drought tolerant. So, you don’t have to worry to water it every single day.
Watering frequently during growing season will encourage the plant to grow faster. But hydrate your monstera only when top 2-4 cm of potting soil is dry.
You can check for moisture by inserting your finger.
Yellow leaves, stunted growth and root rot are common signs of overwatering monstera plant.
How to revive?
Stop watering monstera for few weeks, till your notice the to soil is completely dry.
If needed, move the pot under morning direct sunlight and relocate to shade in afternoon.
In some cases, potting soil is the culprit. So, you have to repot the plant. Regular repotting avoid monstera from root bound.
Underwatering Monstera Plant
Though monstera is drought tolerant if left underwatered can experience signs like yellowing of leaves, stunted plant growth and eventually plant will dry.
Monstera goes underwatered mostly when you’re on unplanned vacation.
Arrange self-watering system to keep your potting soil moist.
When to Water Your Monstera Deliciosa Plant?–
When the topmost layers of your soil turn dry, it means that your plant is on the verge of getting dehydrated and only the deeper soil layers are moist. In order for water to reach the plants, you need to bridge the gap by hydrating the topsoil layer as well.
Also Read: How Long Can Peace Lilies Go Without Water?
How to test soil for dryness?
If you are finding it difficult to tell how dry the soil is or how much water does the plant need, there is an easy way out, which is commonly known as the Finger test.
Select a spot near the base of your plant and insert your finger in the soil near the plant base. It might feel filthy but no damage would be done to your nails or fingers. Remember to insert your finger gently, or your nails can break.
- If the soil feels wet or even slightly moist, do not water your plant for another week. If it is dry from the top and slightly moist at deeper layers, water it steadily and not heavily.
- If the soil feels dry or has visible cracks at all soil layers, water it immediately. Additionally, this also indicates that you should increase the water frequency by 1.5 times.
- If you do not like to dirty your fingers, or cannot go ahead for the finger test for some reasons, here are some of the best alternatives that you should try.
Select a wooden stick and start inserting it near the base of the plant in a way that it doesn’t damage the plant or the soil composition. After a few seconds, take the stick out with as much care as you put it in.
Now, investigate the stick for the materials that are on it. If you see one or a few other soil clumps, it indicates the fact that there is enough water present already. However, if you see no or very less dry residue attached, start watering your plant. This is known as the stick method.
Also Read: Why Are My Calla Lily Leaves Turning Yellow?
Use Stick to tell if your plants need water
Another inch-perfect, scientifically approved and more reliable measure of assessing the moisture of your plant soil is by using the moisture meter.
A moisture meter is usually available at all the nurseries or hardware stores and is known to give the results according to a colour code that is unique to each meter.
Read the label, understand the instructions, and go ahead by taking the moisture test. The results shouldn’t be difficult to interpret. Moreover, moisture meters are not expensive and you can also ask your local gardener to lend it to you for some time.
The exact frequency or intensity of how you should water your monstera deliciosa plants varies from each person’s preferred mode of practice, the environment that they live in, amount of sunlight available, size of the pot or outdoor gardening, soil type and its drainage properties, and so on and so forth.
As a general rule, it is stated that one should water their monstera deliciosa plants once every week in very warm months and once in every three to four weeks when the weather is cold or when it is frosting.
However, it is important to remember that this is just a general rule and how often you should water your monstera deliciosa plants varies from time to time.It is never advised to follow a single water schedule or a pattern as it may lead to more harm than any good.
Also Read: How Often Do You Water Potato Plants?
How to Water Swiss Cheese Plant? (Outdoors & Indoors)
Another important factor to keep in mind is that the water requirements of your monstera deliciosa plant does not change much according to the indoor or outdoor setting that it is placed in. So, you can plant them anywhere with a free mind.
Unlike other plants, one should take special care in watering the monstera deliciosa plants because they only require to be hydrated by up-to 3 to 4 inches of depth, rather than 6-7 inches, which is very common for other plants.
With enough being said about when and how to water your monstera deliciosa or swiss cheese plants, let us next turn to some quick tips for taking a general care of your plant.
How to Take Care of Monstera Deliciosa: Quick Tips
Let us visit some of the best and most effective tips to keep your monstera deliciosa in good health for as long as you wish:
If you are keeping your plants indoors, make sure that you are providing it with bright, but indirect sunlight. Placing them in the south direction of your window is the best spot to receive adequate sunlight.
- Sunlight: If you have planted your monstera deliciosa outdoors, make sure to pave a way for keeping your plant in a fairly shaded region. This is because they cannot stand long hours of direct and strong sunlight. If you can’t find a perfect shaded region, try placing it under a tree.
- Fertilizing: You should also fertilize your monstera deliciosa plants in summer months, since it enhances the growth during that time. However, if you fertilize your plants in winters, you might actually be forcing growth upon your plants which is not an appreciated practice.
(Read on this: Can you fertilize monstera with coffee grounds?)
Assess the growth of your monstera deliciosa plant. If you feel that the present container cannot cope up with the growth of the plant or is restricting the same, feel free to repot it to a pot that is larger and has a better soil bed. This encourages the healthy growth of the plant.
Also Read: Best Fertilizer for Peace Lily
Monstera Deliciosa is the perfect example of a beautiful tropical plant that can be grown in your own backyard, while giving you classic jungle-like feels.
Contrary to what many people believe, these giant and beautiful looking plants are actually very easy to grow and maintain. Cherry on cake is the ability of swiss cheese plants to grow both indoors and outdoors.
To keep the conditions of these plants intact, and even better in the coming times, water it according to the schedule we have mentioned above. Including a few quick tips will promote healthier growth and new potential in your swiss cheese plants.
We have mentioned some of the best watering techniques and general tips for your monstera deliciosa plants. Following them rightly and consistently should give you good results in no time.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting