Since Monstera is a tropical vine, we often consider Monstera Deliciosa a strong plant that can thrive even in an adverse environment. For many plant parents, fertilizing a Monstera plant is not as necessary as other things like air, water, and soil. Yes, a Monstera Deliciosa plant can grow without fertilizer but if you want the plant to stay healthy, strong, and luscious, you must consider fertilizing it.
Just like we add lots of fruits and vegetables to our diet to stay healthy and strong, your adorable Monstera requires nutrients to thrive. There are a lot of benefits your Monstera plant can gain from balanced fertilization, especially in the growing season. Although fertilization can help a Monstera plant to flourish happily, over-fertilization can cause irreversible damage. Hence, you have to be a little bit cautious when fertilizing your monstera plant.
If you are not quite familiar with the issue, you should go through the article. In this article, we will talk about the reasons why you should fertilize your Monstera, how often you should feed your plant, what type of fertilizer you should buy for the plant, and many other important things you need to know before feeding the plant.
Houseplants like Monstera Deliciosa needs nutrients to support their growth and well-being. Houseplants often find it difficult to extract nutrients from used-up pot soil and struggle to support their growth. A well-balanced houseplant fertilizer with a ¼ or ½ strength ratio can help a plant stay happy and healthy for years. But, be careful with fertilization, as over-fertilization can cause irreversible damage.
Why Does Your Monstera Need Fertilizer?
If you allow it, your little Monstera can turn out to be a 6-8ft giant. Even in home conditions, a Monstera Deliciosa plant can grow up to 6-8 feet provided you have kept it in an excellent condition and provided it with proper nutrients.
You may ask why a Monstera does not require added nutrients when it grows in the wild. Well, the answer is that a wild Monstera does not grow in a pot. It enjoys access to all required nutrients available in nature. In the beginning, pot soil is fortified with some important nutrients that help a Monstera plant to thrive.
So, initially, your little Monstera can extract all required nutrients from the potting soil. As the process goes on, the soil available in the pot starts losing its richness and becomes less valuable for the plant within a year. Once, all nutrients available in the potting soil are absorbed by the plant itself, the soil becomes infertile and unsuitable for the plant.
Monsteras that grow in nature, can access all essential nutrients from the forest floor and rainwater. But, if we talk about a Monstera that grows inside, they are hugely dependent on you for their growth and well-being. Remember, fertilizers are more than foods a plant needs to thrive in a home environment.
The tropical vine is tougher than any other houseplant. If you fail to meet its basic requirements, it will react negatively. Hence, you have to let the plant thrive by maintaining the supply of all essential nutrients through fertilization. Proper fertilization will not only help the plant grow spontaneously but will also make it full and luscious. So, adding high-quality fertilizer to your Monstera Deliciosa plant will be a good idea.
Read: Do Monstera Like To Be Root Bound? When Should You Repot It?
Best Time to Fertilize Beautiful Monstera Plant
Your Monstera can use the nutrients available in the potting soil for a limited period. This cannot go for so long and you have to replenish the nutrients used by the plant. So, adding fertilizer is very important for the well-being of your Monstera plant.
You do not have to be a plant expert to know when to fertilize your plant. It is pretty simple and even a new plant parent can do this.
To execute the task, you have to focus on the growing seasons. Summer and spring are the seasons when house plants like Monstera Deliciosa tend to grow. So, these are the seasons you have to target to fertilize your Monstera.
Growing months are the best time to feed your plant with high-quality fertilizer. Once or twice a month would be good enough for your growing Monstera. Once it gets into colder seasons, you have to stop fertilizing the plant. In cold seasons, houseplants like Monstera Deliciosa enter into a dormant state and do not require any additional supplements.
Hence, avoid fertilizing the plant in the fall and winter, as your Monstera does not require many nutrients to survive in these seasons. Remember, you can burn your Monstera’s roots by over-feeding them.
How Often Does Monstera Deliciosa Need Fertilizer?
This is an important part and you have to be a little bit watchful here. Remember, the frequency of fertilizing a houseplant like Monstera always depends on its growth rate. If you find that your Monstera is growing at a rapid pace, you can consider feeding it once or twice a month. Conversely, if the plant has stopped growing, you must refrain from adding additional nutrients.
If you live in an area that enjoys all four major seasons namely spring, summer, fall, and winter, you have to schedule your fertilization practices accordingly. Remember, when growing in tropical areas, Monstera plants never experience cold or snowfall. Warm and humid conditions are best for a tropical plant and if the weather is favorable, a Monstera can grow year-round.
Hence, you have to focus on the growth rate of your Monstera before preparing a fertilization schedule. Have a look at the season-wise growth habit of the Monstera Deliciosa plant.
Spring: Spring is the time when houseplants like Monstera indicate the signs of new growth. In this season, your Monstera just wakes up from the dormant state. For spring, there is no need to fertilize the plant fully. You can fertilize the plant once a month in a ¼ to ½ strength ratio.
Summer: Summer is the peak time for fertilization. This is the time when your Monstera needs the additional nutrients most. In this season, Monstera plants grow rapidly. Your Monstera would be happy if you added nutrients to its soil every 2-4 weeks during the season. You can add nutrients at a ½ full strength ratio. Over-fertilization is harmful to a houseplant, so you need to be careful about this.
Fall: Fall is just the beginning of winter and most plants prefer to slow down their growth during this season. During this season, the temperature starts to drop and you must reschedule your routine accordingly. Like the spring, you have to increase the gap between the doses. Feeding the plant once a month with a strength ratio of ¼ to ½ will be a good practice.
Winter: Winter is the time of dormancy and your Monstera does not need any added nutrients in this season. This season is the sleep time for your Monstera and you have to abstain from feeding the plant in this state. Plant parents who live in warmer areas can consider gentle fertilization during the winter, as Monstera plants do not stop growing when grown in such an area. Also, plant parents who live in tropical areas can continue feeding their Monstera at a ¼ to ½ strength ratio.
Signs Your Monstera Requires Added Nutrients (Fertilizer)
You can prepare your fertilization schedule based on your Monstera’s growth habit. Apart from this, you have to be watchful for signs that indicate your Monstera is struggling for additional nutrients. Here are some common signs that tell your Monstera needs nutrients.
Yellowing Or Drooping Leaves:
Even though yellow and drooping leaves can be the reaction to many wrongdoings like lack of water, overwater, temperature, etc. these types of symptoms can also be caused by nutrient deficiency. If you find that most of the leaves of your green Monstera start turning yellow, especially in the pick growing season, your Monstera requires nutrients.
Well, slow growth can be caused by many other reasons. But, if you witness that despite enjoying a favorable growth atmosphere, your Monstera is not growing at the expected rate, you can narrow down the issue to nutrient deficiency.
What Kind of Fertilizer Should You Choose for Your Monstera Plant?
With so many variants of fertilizers available out there, choosing the right type of fertilizer for your Monstera can be a tricky task. However, we think you need to be a little bit familiar with the different types of fertilizers, as this can help you to choose the right one like a pro.
Liquid fertilizers are available in concentrated liquid form and are ideal for tropical houseplants like Monstera Deliciosa. It is quite easy to apply liquid fertilizer to a plant. You just have to include a few drops to the water before you apply the water to the plant. When shopping around you may find two different types of liquid fertilizers. Organic and synthetic are the variants you will come across.
This type of fertilizer is available in a granular or powder form. Like the liquid, you can also add this type of fertilizer to the water to make a solution. Granular is a synthetic fertilizer and contains micronutrients like potassium, phosphorous, nitrogen, etc. Granular synthetic fertilizer is strong and you can use this in the pick growing months.
You can get both synthetic and organic stick slow-release fertilizer for your Monstera Deliciosa plant. If you insert the stick an inch into the soil, you will find that the stick will dissolve within a couple of months. An organic slow-release stick can be a good option, as it is mild and low in salt concentration. If you are a busy plant parent, slow-release fertilizers can be a good option for you.
Read: How To Know If My Monstera Has Outgrown? Signs, Tips And Solution
Key Ingredients in Houseplant Fertilizers
As you are planning to feed your little Monstera, you must be aware of the ingredients available in different kinds of fertilizers. Here, we are going to break fertilizer down into two segments; synthetic and organic.
This type of fertilizer is produced in laboratories. Synthetic fertilizers contain ingredients like ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate, potassium chloride, etc. Synthetic fertilizers can be used for slow or quick release.
This type of fertilizer comprises naturally available ingredients. Some of the ingredients found in organic fertilizers are rock dust, composted manure, blood meal, bone meal, seaweed, etc. Organic fertilizers work slowly compared to synthetic fertilizers.
Key Nutrients in Houseplant Fertilizers
Nutrients available in houseplant fertilizers can be divided into two groups; macronutrients and secondary nutrients. Let us talk about them in detail.
Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous are some of the key nutrients a houseplant fertilizer should have. These nutrients ensure better health and growth for a houseplant like Monstera Deliciosa.
Calcium, sulfur, and magnesium are considered key secondary nutrients available in houseplant fertilizers. Although these ingredients are not as essential as macronutrients for your Monstera plant, such nutrients support the structure and help the plant in physiological processes like photosynthesis.
The term NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium and when you will look at the label of your fertilizer container, you will find a ratio-like number such as 1-2-2 or 20-20-20. The ratio signifies the quantity of each nutrient available in the fertilizer.
So, if you see a 20-20-20 figure printed on the container, you can assume that the fertilizer contains 20% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, and 20% potassium. When purchasing fertilizer for your Monstera, make sure the NPK ratio is balanced. You can also prefer nitrogen-rich fertilizer to help your Monstera sustain full foliage.
Monsteras that grow indoors often struggle for essential nutrients. Nutrient deficiency affects growth and can lead to many other issues like leaves yellowing and drooping. However, we can mimic Monstera’s natural habitat by providing the plant with all the essential nutrients it needs to support growth. Summer is the best season to feed your Monstera, while in winter the plant hardly needs any additional nutrients to survive. In peak season, you can feed the plant once or twice a month to support its spontaneous growth and well-being. We hope, the information we have shared will help you to become familiar with the fertilization practices. If you have any other better ideas, please share them with us.
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.