How to Repot a Monstera in 7 Easy Steps

Repotting your Monstera deliciosa, also known as Swiss cheese plant, is an important part of caring for this popular houseplant. With the right techniques and a little patience, you can successfully repot your Monstera in just 7 easy steps. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Step 1: Choose the Right Pot

Choosing the proper container is the first step to repotting your Monstera. Here are some tips for picking the ideal pot:

  • Size – Select a pot that is 2-4 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. This allows room for soil and growth. Avoid going too big too fast.
  • Drainage – Make sure the pot has adequate drainage holes on the bottom to prevent waterlogging. Monstera prefers free-draining soil.
  • Material – Pick a durable material like terracotta or ceramic. Plastic pots are not as breathable. Sturdy material supports the heavy vines.
  • Shape – An oval or rectangular pot will provide more stability than a round one. The shape offers room for the aerial roots.

For the healthiest Monstera, choose an appropriately sized pot with ample drainage and stability. This provides room to grow, prevents rot, and supports the plant’s unique shape.

Step 2: Select Appropriate Repotting Soil

Using fresh, high-quality soil when repotting Monstera is vital for proper drainage and nutrition. Here is what to look for when selecting soil:

  • Lightweight – Choose a soilless mix that is loose and lightweight. Heavy potting mixes will retain too much moisture.
  • Well-draining – The soil should be porous to drain excess water. Add perlite or pumice to improve drainage.
  • Nutrient-rich – Select a mix with slow-release fertilizer to provide nutrients for 6-12 months after repotting.
  • Peat-based – Aim for a mix with 30-50% peat moss which helps aerate the soil.
  • pH 5.5-7.0 – Monstera thrives in slightly acidic to neutral soil pH levels.

Getting the soil right goes a long way in keeping the roots healthy. Well-aerated, lightweight soil with nutrients prevents issues like root rot due to overwatering.

Step 3: Fill New Pot 1/3 Full with Soil

Now it’s time to prepare the new pot for your Monstera! Follow these tips when adding soil:

  • Fill the pot about 1/3 full with the fresh potting mix you selected. The roots will need room to expand.
  • Before planting, use your fingers to break up any clumps in the soil and loosen it up.
  • Lightly compress the soil with your hands to remove air pockets. Eliminate large gaps in the soil.
  • Option to add pebbles or gravel to the bottom of the pot for enhanced drainage.

Leaving ample room for the root ball and prepping the soil ensures the Monstera has space to settle in the new container. This step prevents issues like stunted growth from a pot that is too crowded.

Step 4: Remove Monstera from Current Pot

Removing the Monstera from its old pot is an important step that requires care. Follow these tips for safe extraction:

  • Loosen the roots by gently massaging the sides of the pot and turning upside down.
  • Place fingers on the top of the soil and flip the plant over to cradle it.
  • Carefully wiggle the pot off or use a knife to loosen stuck roots if needed.
  • Check for and remove any dead, rotting, or circled roots with sterilized pruners. Healthy roots are firm and white.
  • Rinse off the roots if the old soil doesn’t come away easily. Never forcibly pull on the stems.

Working slowly protects the tender new aerial roots that Monstera produces. Avoid ripping roots to keep the plant healthy and minimize stress.

Step 5. Inspect & Prune Roots

Before placing your Monstera into the prepared new pot, inspect the root system and prune any problem areas:

  • Examine for thick, white healthy roots vs. thin, brown, mushy rotten ones.
  • Remove any dead or clearly diseased roots with sterilized shears. Cut at least 1 inch above rot.
  • Prune away overgrown, tangled roots that may choke the plant.
  • Check for root circling the edges and loosen up with fingers.
  • Remove any old dry soil left clinging to roots with gentle rinsing.
  • Spray pruned areas with hydrogen peroxide & allow to dry before replanting.

Pruning away congested, dead roots revitalizes the plant and makes space for fresh root growth. Never cut away more than 1/3 of the root system at one time.

Step 6. Transfer Monstera to New Pot

Now you’re ready to move your Monstera into its new home! Follow these important tips:

  • Place the root ball into the prepared pot atop the added soil. Roots should have room to spread out.
  • Fill in around the roots with more fresh potting mix, working soil gently between and around them.
  • Add enough potting mix to cover all roots completely while leaving 1-2 inches space to the rim.
  • Compress soil lightly with fingers to remove air gaps. Do not pack it down hard.
  • Ensure the plant is at the same level in the new pot at it was originally. Do not bury the stem.

Settling your Monstera into the pot carefully prevents new damage and allows roots to begin growing into the fresh soil mix right away.

Step 7. Water Thoroughly in New Pot

The final step is to water your newly repotted Monstera:

  • Water slowly until liquid drains from the bottom holes. This helps settle the soil.
  • Add more potting mix if needed to fill in gaps from settling. Lightly compress again.
  • Allow any excess water to completely drain away from the plant. Never let it sit in a saucer.
  • Mist leaves with water to hydrate after repotting stress. Keep soil moderately moist.
  • Wait one week after repotting to resume normal watering schedule.
  • Pour water directly into the soil around the stems, not onto leaves, to encourage root growth downwards.

Providing a deep watering encourages new root growth into the fresh soil. Follow proper watering techniques to prevent issues like bacterial leaf spot from moisture on foliage.

Common Problems and How to Avoid Them

Repotting monstera deliciosa can be simple when done properly. Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Picking a Too-Large Pot – This can lead to waterlogged soil. Go up just 2-4 inches at a time.
  • Inadequate Drainage – Ensure the pot and soil mixture drain freely to prevent root rot.
  • Disturbing Roots – Work slowly and gently to avoid tearing delicate new roots.
  • Inadequate Watering – Water thoroughly after repotting and keep soil moderately moist the first few weeks.
  • Excessive Pruning – Never remove more than 1/3 of the root system at one time.

By carefully selecting the pot, soil, and following proper techniques you can avoid stressing your Monstera during repotting.

Frequently Asked Questions About Repotting Monstera

How often should you repot a Monstera?

Monstera deliciosa typically needs repotting every 2-3 years when the roots have filled out the current container. More frequent pot upsizing may be needed for younger, rapidly growing plants.

When is the best time to repot a Monstera?

Early spring is ideal as growth resumes and before the main growing period of summer. Avoid repotting during cold winter months or peak hot summer spells.

Can you use regular potting soil for Monstera?

Regular potting mix is usually too heavy and retains too much moisture for Monstera’s preferences. Opt for a lightweight, peat-based soilless mix amended with perlite instead.

Should you trim Monstera roots when repotting?

Gently loosening and spreading out the roots is recommended, along with pruning any that are clearly dead or diseased. Never cut away more than 1/3 of the overall root mass.

How can you tell when your Monstera needs a bigger pot?

Signs it’s time for a larger pot include roots growing out the drainage holes, slower growth, yellow lower leaves, or needing frequent watering as the roots have overtaken the soil.

Final Tips for Repotting Monstera

  • Quarantine new plants before introducing to other houseplants to prevent spreading diseases.
  • Sterilize pruning shears in diluted bleach to avoid transferring pathogens between plants.
  • Wear gloves when handling soil and potting mixes to protect skin from irritation.
  • Avoid repotting right after purchasing, allow the plant to acclimate for a few weeks first.
  • Provide bright, indirect light while Monstera establishes to avoid sunburn on new leaves.

With the proper supplies, techniques, time of year, and aftercare, repotting Monstera deliciosa does not need to be intimidating or difficult. Pay close attention to the plant’s signals, follow these steps, and you can help ensure your Swiss cheese vine continues thriving in its new container.

For more information, check out these additional resources:

  • American Society for Horticultural Science Guide to Repotting Monstera –
  • International Plant Propagators’ Society Tips For Monstera Potting –
  • The American Horticultural Society’s Guide to Healthy Monstera Soil –


Repotting a Monstera deliciosa properly is fundamental to maintaining a healthy, thriving plant. By choosing the right pot and soil, taking steps to carefully remove and replant the Monstera, and providing attentive aftercare, you can feel confident in completing this important gardening task. Follow the 7 easy steps outlined above, be patient with your plant, and you will have a beautifully repotted Monstera that will continue growing happily in its new home.