Did you just buy a Swiss Cheese Plant or Monstera deliciosa? Wondering what are the essential things that you need to do when you bring home your new Monstera plant? Should you water your Monstera right away? What is the best location for your Monstera? Do you need to repot your new Monstera immediately? Here I’ll show you step by step everything that needs to be done when you bring a new Monstera deliciosa home.
Monstera deliciosa Plant Care Video
Below is a video showing you step by step everything that I do when I bring home a new Monstera deliciosa.
1. Do you need to water your new Monstera?
Don’t assume that your new Monstera needs to be watered right away. The best way to tell if it’s time to water your Monstera is to feel the soil. Stick your finger into the soil around 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Monstera. If it’s slightly damp, don’t water it yet.
On average, I water my Monstera once every 1-2 weeks. It does not like overly wet soil and is prone to root rot.
Don’t forget to empty out the water that drains out of the drainage holes. Don’t let your new Monstera sit in the puddle of water. It might get root rot which is fatal for your Monstera. As a general rule, it’s better to underwater than to overwater your Monstera. Overwatering is the leading cause of death for most houseplants.
2. Do you need to repot your new Monstera?
There are 2 things to check for as you decide whether or not to repot your new Monstera. The first is to check for drainage holes and the second is to check for signs that your new Monstera has outgrown its pot.
Check for Drainage Holes
First, check and see if there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot of your new Monstera. Some plants are in pots that look like it has no drainage holes but there is actually a grow pot underneath with drainage holes. Take a closer look at the pot that your new Monstera is in. Is there a grow pot underneath with drainage holes?
If there are no drainage holes, then you need to repot your Monstera immediately because you don’t want your new Monstera to sit in soggy soil which can cause root rot.
My new Monstera is planted in a grow pot with drainage holes. I’m leaving my Monstera in this pot for now. It’s best to leave your new Monstera plant in its current pot while it’s getting used to its new home. There is no rush to repot, wait a few weeks before repotting.
Check for signs that your Monstera has outgrown its current pot
Take a look at the drainage holes, if you see the roots coming out of the drainage holes this is a sign that your Monstera has outgrown its current pot. You should repot soon. But know it’s not urgent, you can let your Monstera acclimate to its new home first before repotting.
How to Repot your Monstera?
If you need to repot your new Monstera because there are no drainage holes or it has outgrown its current pot, use a well-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix that is also good at retaining water. Organic soil mix containing perlite or orchid bark are good for Monstera plants. Only buy organic soil mix because the fertilizer is not as concentrated. Non-organic soil should really only be used for outdoor plants.
Check out my guide on How to repot Monstera deliciosa
3. Where should you place your new Monstera?
There are several factors to consider when deciding where to place your new Monstera- Light, whether or not you have pets, whether or not you have small children, temperature, humidity, and draft.
In the wild, Monstera lives under tree canopies in the tropical rainforest. However, that doesn’t mean you can put your Monstera in a dark spot with little light. Your Monstera will grow best in a bright location with indirect sunlight. The best spot for your Monstera Plant is to place it in front of a north-facing window. If you don’t have a north-facing window, filter direct sunlight with curtains. Be careful with direct sunlight, it can get sunburned. If your Monstera is not getting enough consistent sunlight, you will start to notice that the leaves are not splitting.
I have my Monstera in front of an East facing window and it’s pretty happy there.
Pets and Small Children
If you have dogs, cats, or small children, you should keep your Monstera away from them. Your Monstera is toxic to humans and pets. Don’t let children or pets chew on the leaves of the Monstera plant because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. The crystals can cause your lips to swell. It can also cause vomiting and difficulty breathing.
You should also consider the temperature of your interior space. Your Monstera likes a daytime temperature of 70 to 80 F (21-26C) and a nighttime temperature of 60 to 70 F (15-21C).
Your Monstera is a tropical plant that grows best in a humid environment. You should mist your Monstera Plant once a week and turn on the humidifier if your home is particularly dry.
Make sure you position your Monstera away from heating and air conditioning vents. Keep it away from draft. If you have a drafty window, make sure your Monstera is located away from it.
Don’t be too quick in introducing your new Monstera to your existing houseplants. It’s a good idea to quarantine your new Monstera and keep it away from existing plants. This is to make sure the new Monstera is not bringing in pests and diseases to your old plants. Monstera plants are generally not susceptible to diseases and are pretty resilient. However, it can sometimes have mealybugs which you can treat with horticultural oil. Check out my video on how to make horticultural oil with baby shampoo.
4. Wipe down the leaves of your Monstera
Your new Monstera might have fertilizer residue, dust, and dirt on its leaves, so it’s a good idea to wipe the leaves of your new Monstera. Wiping the leaves of your new Monstera will help improve its photosynthesis. Get a damp cloth and wipe down the leaves. I like to use a microfiber cloth, but you can use any type of cloth as long as it’s clean. A damp paper towel will also work. Don’t use leaf shine to wipe your Monstera. The chemicals will clog up the leaves.
5. Do you need to fertilize your new Monstera?
I generally don’t recommend fertilizing your new Monstera right away. You don’t want to overfertilize your Monstera since you don’t know if it was just fertilized by the grower. Wait a month before you fertilize your Monstera. When you do fertilize, use an organic fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen content. Fertilize once every 2 weeks when it is actively growing. When it’s dormant, during the winter, don’t fertilize your Monstera.
Check out my Monstera Plant care guides
Beginner’s Guide: Repotting Monstera deliciosa (video)
How to Take Care of Your Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)- Infographics
Why is my Monstera Leaves Dripping Water?
Quick Start Guide: What to do with New Monstera Plant when you bring it home (video)