Monsteras are a relatively slow-growing tropical plant that can stay in the same pot for a long time. When given bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and enough water to keep their roots moist without drying out excessively, they are happy to live and grow in the same place.
However, they can’t stay in the same pot forever and so understanding how to know when to repot your Monstera can ensure your plant stays happy and healthy.
That is, much like other houseplants, Monsteras eventually outgrow their pots and need to be repotted. Young plants need repotting every year, while older plants need repotting every two to three years. But these aren’t the only things that may mean it’s time to repot your Monstera plant.
Follow this guide for when and how to repot your Monstera plant to keep it happy and healthy in your home.
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When to repot Monstera
Young Monstera plants can outgrow their current pot quickly and so should be repotted once a year to give their roots room to grow and to encourage rapid growth. Older plants do not grow as quickly as young plants do, meaning that a mature Monstera can be repotted every two to three years.
Repotting them gives them a growth boost, while also giving you a chance to look at the roots and refresh the soil.
How do you know when to repot a Monstera?
Routine repotting of your Monstera plant is as simple as following a time schedule. Repot young plants every year and repot older plants every two to three years. But there are other reasons to repot a Monstera plant too.
Keep an eye out for the following signs that your Monstera plant needs repotting:
1. The plant is root-bound
Monstera plants grown in the same pot for a long time may get root-bound. This happens when the roots fill the pot and have nowhere else to go.
You may see roots snaking along the surface of the soil. Roots in a root-bound pot will also slink their way out through the drainage holes in search of water and nutrients. If you notice these, it almost certainly means that it’s time to repot your Monstera.
Take a look at our article on the best pot for your Monstera to find out just what you should be repotting your plant into.
2. The soil doesn’t drain well
Sometimes Monsteras need to be repotted to change soil that doesn’t drain well. This may be due to a poor choice in potting mix, or because you have consistently overwatered your Monstera.
Either way, the stale, wet soil needs to go and the only way to do that is by repotting your plant with the best soil type for your Monstera.
3. Your Monstera has stunted growth.
If your Monstera plant’s growth rate crawls to a standstill despite your efforts to provide it with the water, nutrients and light your Monstera needs to thrive, the culprit may be that it has outgrown its pot.
When roots fill all the soil in the pot, they aren’t able to get the water and nutrients they need, even if you’re actively fertilizing your Monstera. Your Monstera plant will react by slowing down its growth.
Repotting your Monstera plant in the next larger pot, called potting up, will likely spur new growth and return your Monstera plant to its usual vigor in a few weeks.
4. You want to control your plant’s growth
Sometimes repotting a Monstera plant isn’t about giving it more room to grow. Full-grown plants that have reached the height limit of your home can be repotted to prune your Monstera’s roots and slow down their growth.
Repotting for root pruning involves trimming away one-third of the length of the roots and then repotting the plant in the same sized plant pot.
When should I stop repotting Monstera?
If your Monstera has reached the height limits of your home and you want to keep it from growing taller, you don’t need to repot it into a larger pot. Instead, growing it in the same pot with occasional root pruning will do the trick. Mature Monstera plants do not need frequent repotting as long as they are healthy.
However, if your mature Monstera plant begins to look weak or otherwise unhealthy, repotting it in fresh soil can give it a boost.
When can I transplant a Monstera plant?
Monsteras can be transplanted or repotted at any time of the year to address immediate concerns like being root bound or if they suffer from root rot. However, if possible, it’s best to wait to transplant a Monstera plant in early spring, just before its burst of new growth.
That is, unless there’s an immediate issue like one of those just mentioned, it is best to hold off on repotting during the fall and winter when the Monstera is dormant. Instead, doing this in spring gives the roots time to fill the pot while the plant is actively growing.
The second-best time for repotting your Monstera plant is in the summer when it is actively growing. Fall and winter should be avoided for routine repotting, though, because Monstera plants go dormant in the fall and winter. During dormancy, very little growth occurs and so a newly repotted plant may struggle to adjust if it is repotted in the fall or winter.
When considering when to repot Monstera adansonii (or other Monstera varieties) and you’re not sure if a particular season will work for you – or your houseplant – keep the following tips in mind.
Can I repot Monstera in summer?
It is best to repot a Monstera in the spring to take advantage of the burst of growth that happens in the spring. But Monstera plants experience active growth throughout the summer too, so you can repot your Monstera in the summer if you choose to.
Monstera plants repotted in the summer may take a little longer to adjust and send out lush new foliage, but they will settle in and start growing soon.
Can I repot Monstera in winter?
You can repot a Monstera in the winter if conditions warrant, like if there is an urgent reason to do so affecting your plant’s health. However, it is better to wait until spring when new growth resumes.
Repotting your Monstera plant to correct or treat disease or to address a serious issue with poor drainage is sometimes necessary, like if your Monstera is root bound. Give it a little extra TLC and watch it for signs of problems, but don’t obsess if you need to repot your plant in winter.
Should I water my Monstera after repotting?
You should water your Monstera after repotting as these plants are prone to stress from repotting and so watering your Monstera thoroughly can reduce this stress. This gives the roots plenty of moisture and ensures the plant will stay hydrated as it adjusts to the change.
Place your Monstera plant in its normal growing location and let the soil dry out before watering your Monstera plant again. In terms of how often to water your Monstera after that, the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil should feel dry to the touch before you water your plant again.
How to repot a Monstera with aerial roots
Repotting a Monstera with aerial roots isn’t much different from repotting a Monstera without them. Aerial roots are perfectly happy when they are potted up in the soil and will even sprout some new underground roots, too.
- Remove your Monstera plant from its original pot. You may need a hand from a friend if the Monstera plant is full-grown.
- Gently shake or brush as much soil from the roots as you can.
- Rinse the roots with water from a kitchen sprayer or garden hose if you are repotting it outside.
- Examine the roots for any signs of discoloration or disease. Healthy roots are white or light-colored. Dark, brittle, or mushy roots need to go.
- Trim away any damaged or discolored roots. Use sterilized garden clippers or a sharp knife for this.
- Fill the new plant pot halfway with fresh Monstera soil.
- Settle the plant into the pot, spreading the roots out over the soil. Aerial roots can go under the soil too, but you can also let them hang out of the pot.
- Backfill around the roots (including any aerial roots you have tucked under the soil) with fresh soil using your hands to guide the Monstera plant so the crown (the area where the roots meet the stems) rests at the soil level.
- Pat the soil down to settle it and remove air pockets.
- Water your Monstera plant thoroughly. From there, let it dry until the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil feels dry to the touch before watering again.
How to repot Monstera with a pole
How you repot a Monstera with a pole depends on how tall the plant is and how large the pole is. Small plants can be repotted by gently removing the Monstera moss pole and then putting the pole back into the soil of the new pot. Larger Monstera plants with tall poles pose a bit more of a challenge, but it can be done.
The full process is as follows:
- Water your Monstera plant thoroughly the day before repotting it. This loosens the soil and helps to prevent root shock when you repot it.
- Prepare the new pot by filling it about halfway with fresh Monstera potting mix.
- Spread a sheet or other protective material over the area where you intend to repot your Monstera plant. If the weather is good, you can do it outside, but moving the plant and the pot as little as possible is always best.
- Enlist the help of a friend to remove the plant from the pot. This is best accomplished by one person holding the pot and one (or more) person holding the plant and the pole.
- Gently lay the plant and pot on its side.
- Squeeze or jiggle the pot to loosen the soil.
- Slide the pot free of the plant while one person supports the plant and the pole.
- Hold the plant (and pole) upright and lower it into the new pot, spreading the roots out over the soil.
- Fill in around the roots with fresh Monstera potting mix, positioning the plant at its original planting depth.
- Firm the soil around the roots and base of the plant with your hands to secure the plant and pole into the soil. This also removes air pockets in the soil so that your Monstera’s roots have easy access to water and nutrients.
- Water the Monstera plant thoroughly and return it to its original growing location.
- Let the soil dry out until the top 1 to 2 inches feels dry to the touch before watering it again.
Tips for repotting a large Monstera
Repotting a large Monstera plant often requires more than one person. While it can be accomplished by two people, three may be even better.
- Water your Monstera plant thoroughly the day before repotting it. This ensures your Monstera plant is well nourished and loosens the soil.
- Check that the soil is loose enough to remove from the pot easily. You can squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen it or use a knife or other thin flat object to loosen it by running it around the inner edge of the pot.
- Decide who will hold the pot and who will support the plant and pole. With three people, one person can manage the pot, one can guide the roots and the third person can support the plant and pole.
- Clearly communicate who is responsible for each task, so there is no confusion when you begin removing the plant from the pot.
- Lay the plant on its side. This makes it easier to work with and reduces the risks of damage to the plant.
- Work quickly, but gently, to remove the plant and roots from the pot. Avoid pulling or tugging on the plant as this can damage roots and may pull the plant free of the pole.
- Position the plant into the new pot and backfill around the roots with fresh Monstera potting mix.
- If vines come loose from the pole, reattach them with soft plant ties when you stand your climbing Monstera plant erect.
How to avoid Monstera repotting shock
A Monstera experiencing repotting shock is a natural reaction for large plants that are repotted as they adjust to their new home. Usually, by giving them some time to get used to the new pot, they tend to recover back to full health.
You can lessen the effects of Monstera repotting shock by giving your plant some TLC in the process, including by incorporating the following tips:
- Water the plant well the day before repotting it, so it is well-hydrated, and the soil is loose.
- Work quickly, but gently, to avoid exposing the roots to the air for too long. If you get interrupted, cover the roots with a moist towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Give your Monstera plant fresh potting mix designed for Monsteras. A potting mix for aroids will do.
- Water your Monstera plant thoroughly after repotting it to moisten the soil.
- Place the Monstera back in its original growing location. If you intend to move it to a new location, let it rest in its old location for a week or two to reduce stress to the plant.
Final thoughts on when to repot a Monstera
Learning how and when to repot your Monstera plant is an important part of routine care. While repotting the plant is usually done in the spring just before new growth appears, it can be done at other times if your Monstera plant needs immediate care.
For best results, plan ahead for your Monstera’s needs and repot it in the spring when the plant has the resources to grow and thrive.