Many times, people ask us can we use cactus soil for monstera because both plants have many similarities. The simple answer is you should not use succulent soil for growing monstera plants.
No doubt monstera and cactus both need warm weather and well-draining soil to grow. But monstera plants also need constant moisture in the soil. They also need soil that can support their growth.
In this article, we will talk about the best soil for monstera plants. If cactus soil is not good for them then what are the other options. To know more on this topic read the below sections.
Before deciding about the best monstera soil. You need to understand the requirements of this variety of houseplants.
To better understand we need to check their natural growing environment. These tropical plants grow in the jungle soil and we need the same soil.
But it is not possible to bring jungle soil at home. But we can choose a soil that has all the jungle soil-like qualities.
Therefore, the monstera soil must be well-draining with excellent aeration properties. It also contains a good amount of organic matter like the jungle floor.
Compost is a good form of natural and pure organic material. It is a kind of superfood for monsteras.
Ingredients of Monstera Potting Mix
You can buy the ready-to-use soil from Amazon or from your local garden store. This is way more convenient than making it at home for beginners.
But if you have recourses and good knowledge of potting soil ingredients then you can make it at home.
The soil must contain regular soil + peat + sand + compost in equal parts. This type of soil drains extra water in minutes and also holds a good amount of moisture.
Compost gives good nourishment to your young monsteras.
Role of Organic Material
Organic material like peat, compost, or coco coir does two things. One, it absorbs a good amount of water. This reduces the stress on plant roots and reduces their workload.
The roots grow quickly and freely.
Secondly, organic matter contains many essential nutrients. Over time the material starts breaking down and releasing nutrients.
Your monstera absorbs these natural nutrients and grows dense and beautiful. The slow release of these nutrients makes a chain supply.
This way your plant always has all the essential nutrients and never goes out of stock.
Essential nutrients are the pillars of a healthy growing plant.
Crushed Barks and Wood Chips
Jungle soil has wood chips and bark in large quantities. This helps plants to hold something when they grow large.
If you add these things to your potting soil. Your plant will stand strongly in the pot. It feels like home even in the plant container.
This also increases the aeration and reduces the chances of root rot. Another benefit is this material adds nitrogen and other trace elements to the soil.
Can I Use Cactus Soil for Monstera Plants?
Cactus soil contains a large amount of sand which is not good for monstera. Moreover, succulent soil does not contain organic material which is an important source of nutrition in the case of monstera.
The monstera roots do not find bark and wood chips in cactus soil to hold.
The result is your monstera plant becomes unstable and falls over the pot. This is the first reason why you should not use cactus soil for monstera.
The next thing is the pH of the soil, monstera likes to grow in slightly acidic soil. The broken stems of different plants release acid into the jungle soil.
But in the case of cactus plants, the soil does not contain acid materials.
A little bit of acidity increases the absorption power of monsteras and your plants grow healthy in a few days.
The cactus soil is compact in nature their roots can handle the pressure. This compact nature of potting soil is deadly for the monstera.
They have soft roots and the tightly packed soil increases the root stress and chances of root rot.
Home-made soil for monstera
Monstera cannot handle too many salts in the potting soil. This increases the acidic value and harms the soft roots.
There are many formulas that you can use to make monstera soil at home. No formula is better than another. To avoid all this stress, you can use ready-made potting soil.
Regular soil, compost, and coco coir must be the ingredients. Actually, replace the coco coir with perlite. Because the coir can rot and perlite is a stable material.
It is natural and absorbs a good amount of moisture without being wet.
The main aim must be to increase the nutritional values of the soil and also increase drainage and aeration.
If you have other ingredients like hummus, charcoal, and peat. You can use them to make monstera soil. As I said there are many formulas for making soil for monstera.
Perfect pH for Monstera Soil
The pH range for monstera soil is 5 to 7 pH. But the plants grow fast and perfect when the pH stays around 6.5.
Monstera needs a good amount of nutrients to produce beautiful glossy leaves. The acid in the mix breakdown the organic material and this releases the nutrients.
When a plant has a ton of good amounts of nutrients it grows fast and excellent.
If you are using peat and coco coir then you do not need to add any other acidic material. Because these two substances have some acid in them.
Over time they release this acid into the soil and make it slightly acidic.
In comparison, the peat has more acid in it than the coir. But it does not matter which one you use. If you are using coir then use more and if peat then uses a little less.
If you are adding both the materials then add in equal quantities. This will keep the pH of the soil stable.
I hope now it is clear that you must not use cactus soil for monstera plants