Rootbound or pot-bound plants are those that require repotting after some time. This occurs due to overgrowth and root congestion of the plants that grow indoors. Unlike the plants that grow in nature, indoor houseplants tend to cluster their roots into interweaving. However, not all houseplants like to be rootbound and Monstera Deliciosa is one of them.
If you have a Monstera in your house, you must know that the plant does not like to grow in small containers, as lack of space often forces the plant to struggle for water and nutrients. However, as a plant parent, you need to identify the signs that indicate your Monstera requires immediate repotting. Remember, Monstera Deliciosa is one of the fastest-growing houseplants and if you repot the plant at the right time, you can save it from being potbound.
Some plant parents believe Monstera Deliciosa is among the houseplants that enjoy being root-bound. Well, finding whether a Monstera Deliciosa plant like to be pot bound or not can be a challenging task for a new plant parent. However, we are here to help new plant parents out with some basic but important information on whether Monstera plants like to be pot bound or not and what is the best time to repot the plant and support its growth and well-being.
Monstera is a tropical vine and it does not like to be rootbound. A rootbound Monstera Deliciosa plant can struggle for soil, water, and nutrients. If you do not catch the condition on time, it can kill the plant. Slow growth, yellow and brown leaves, and outgrown roots are some of the signs you need to watch out for. It is a good idea to repot your Monstera in a slightly larger container once in a couple of years to support its growth and well-being.
Should You Allow Your Monstera To Become Root-Bound?
This is an important question and you must be aware of it. If you want your Monstera to grow freely inside your home, you must restrict the plant from going root-bound. As your Monstera grows, its roots increase rapidly to extract more nutrients and moisture from the soil. Lack of space often restricts a Monstera plant from spreading its roots.
Let us focus on what happens when you keep a Monstera plant in a small container for a long period.
Tangled Root Ball:
Constantly growing roots inside the container start displacing the soil and develop a composite tangled root ball.
Since there will be not enough space for the roots to proceed freely, they will hit the wall of the container and as a result, they will get damaged.
Rootbound plants always struggle for water and nutrients. Your Monstera will suffer from a similar condition and react to it with slow growth.
Yellowing leaves are among the signs that tell that your Monstera is struggling for space, water, and nutrients.
Outgrown roots often get out through the drainage holes, while sometimes the pressure of continuously growing roots cracks the container wall.
Also, the rootbound condition causes nutrient deficiency in houseplants like Monstera Deliciosa. If the container cannot hold enough soil, water and fertilizer can easily get out through the drainage holes. Houseplants like Monstera Deliciosa require additional nutrients to thrive. When a plant becomes rootbound, it struggles to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
Rootbound is a serious condition and if you do not take measures to save your plant at the right time, disaster is inevitable.
Also Read: Monstera Aerial Roots: What Are They And What To Do With Them?
Signs Your Monstera Plant Has Become Rootbound
If you want to save your plant friend from getting rootbound, you have to read the signs that indicate your Monstera is not in the best condition. However, it is quite simple to identify those signs and even a new plant parent can do this.
One of the simplest ways to check whether your Monstera has become rootbound or not is to pick the plant out of the container and examine the roots. If it has developed a heavily tangled root ball and there is not enough soil available to support its growth, your Monstera has become rootbound.
Well, this is not the only way to confirm that your Monstera has become rootbound. You can also watch out for visual signs to conclude. Have a look at some common signs that indicate your Monstera has become rootbound.
- Yellow leaves or brown spots
- Leaves and stem dropping
- Slow or stunted growth
- Dry soil
- Symptoms of dehydration
- Spiral roots around the bottom
- Roots sneaking through the drainage holes
How to Help a Rootbound Monstera Deliciosa Plant?
Monsteras are among the tropical vines that grow vigorously with an extensive root system. They enjoy growing in open space as the availability of adequate space allows them to unfurl their roots freely. Monsteras that grow in containers are not so lucky, as they need to curl up their roots to support growth.
Hence, as a plant parent, you need to be mindful of the condition and arrange a larger pot for your beloved plant.
Remember, overgrown roots or rootbound conditions symbolize that your plant is growing. Now the choice is yours. You can either keep it in the same old pot or give it enough space to grow.
Well, it is better to let your beloved Monstera grow freely in a larger pot. If you move it to a little bit larger container, the plant can reward you instantly. Conversely, if you decided to leave the plant struggling in a small container, it would refrain from growing.
Repotting the plant in a larger container is the best thing you can do to keep the plant from the rootbound condition. In many cases, plant parents wait for the rootbound symptoms before they arrange a larger space for the plant. We think this is not the right way to treat a houseplant like Monstera Deliciosa; as such a step can cause unnecessary stress.
The right way to help a rootbound Monstera plant is to focus on its root system and upgrade the container every two years if necessary. You can check the roots system once or twice a year to determine whether the plant has become rootbound or not.
Repotting a Monstera Deliciosa plant to a larger container will give the plant enough space, soil, water, and nutrients to grow. Now, the question is how big the new container should be?
Choosing the Right Container for Your Monstera
If your Monstera has become rootbound, you can help it out with a little bit larger pot. However, before you invest in a new pot, you need to keep a few factors in mind so that you can give your friend the best place to thrive.
When choosing a new container for your Monstera, prefer a pot 1-2 inches larger than the old one. Make sure the new pot is a few inches deeper than the previous one, as the additional space will help the plant to get bigger with the support of a moss pole. We think, repotting is the best to time insert a pole, stake or trellis into the soil and help the plant climb.
Preferring a too-large container for your Monstera can be a big mistake, as a too-large pot can retain unnecessary water and cause root rot. Hence, avoid bringing a too big pot for your Monstera and save it from irreversible damage.
Some plant parents do not like to upgrade the size of the container and make the plant adjust to the same old pot. For this, you have to cut the roots back and help the plant to arrange enough room for soil. If you have decided to do so, you can only exclude one-third of its root system.
Also Read: Can You Propagate A Monstera Plant Without A Node?
When To Repot A Monstera Plant?
The right time for repotting often depends on the growth rate of the plant. If the growth is normal, you can repot your Monstera once every two years. If the plant has outgrown, you should consider repotting the plant early.
Let us talk about the right season to repot your adorable Monstera. Spring and early summer is the best time to give the plant a new container. We would recommend you not to disturb the plant in the winter season, as the winter is the sleeping season for your Monstera. If you repot the plant in winter, you will give your Monstera unnecessary stress.
Choosing The Best Soil For Your Monstera
Tropical rainforests are the natural home for Monsteras and they thrive best in a hot and humid environment. The gorgeous tropical vine love soil rich in nutrients and can hold adequate moisture. If you are repotting a rootbound Monstera in a new container, you will need to add some soil to fill the new container.
A well-drained regular soil mix can be a good addition to the new pot. Sometimes, plant parents add peat moss, coconut fiber, or compost to the potting soil. The potting soil needs to retain moisture, as this will make it easier for the plant to extract water from the soil. You can create a potting soil mix on your own or buy it. The soil mix should provide the plant with adequate nutrients, moisture, and aeration.
Remember, if your Monstera has been suffering from a rootbound state for a long period, it must be hungry for moisture and nutrients. Hence, we would suggest you add well-drained soil when repotting your Monstera.
How To Repot A Rootbound Monstera?
Repotting a Monstera is an easy task and you do not have to be a certified botanist for this. Even if you are a new plant parent you can repot your beloved Monstera by following a few simple steps. Just bring the right pot and prepare the plant for repotting.
First thing first, move your Monstera along with its pot to a workable area. Pull out the plant from the existing container and pay attention to the root ball. If the plant has developed a root ball, there will not be much soil left in the pot.
The root ball may contain some soil and you have to scrape them off. Now, inspect the roots and trim the damaged ones. Once the plant is ready for repotting, keep it aside and fill the container with fresh soil mix. Add soil the pot only up to one-third of the pot.
It is time to transplant the plant into the new container. Place your Monstera on the soil inside the pot and refill the pot with fresh soil. Avoid full filling the pot with soil. A gap of nearly an inch from the top edge will help you to add water and fertilizers.
We would suggest you never let your Monstera get rootbound. You have to identify the early signs and take measures before the plant gets into the state. Remember, even if your Monstera has not become rootbound, you can consider repotting the plant once every two years. Repotting and re-soiling can prevent many health issues like root rot. Conversely, frequent repotting can affect growth and the overall health of the plant.
Houseplants like Monstera Deliciosa do not like to get rootbound. However, it is up to you whether you want to consider repotting or not. Your Monstera can live and thrive in the old pot if you trim the unnecessary roots and add soil, water and nutrients whenever required. Repotting can help a Monstera plant reach its full potential, as it gives the plant enough room to grow. When the plant grows in the same old pot, the soil and roots ratio gets affected. A slightly large pot can be the best solution to keep your Monstera from being rootbound. The tips we have provided above will help you to identify the signs for repotting and take measures at the right time. It is quite easy to repot a Monstera Deliciosa plant and you can do it once in two years to support your Monstera’s natural growth. We believe our tips will help you to deal with a rootbound Monstera in a better way. We welcome you to share your experience with us and help readers learn new things on how to deal with a rootbound Monstera Deliciosa plant.
Gardening is my greatest passion, and I love indoor and outdoor plants so much. Plants make me happy, and I enjoy taking care of them. I know keeping plants happy and healthy is a challenging task. But as a plant enthusiast, I do my best to help my little friends thrive. I am here to help people who nurture similar points of view about plants with my little knowledge and experience.