How to Repot Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) – The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide


Wondering how to repot Monstera deliciosa? This can be a concern for many new houseplant owners. If you’re anything like me, you absolutely love your Swiss cheese plant, and do not want to do anything that may harm it.

I put together this article to show you step-by-step how I have successfully repotted my Monstera without any issues. Hopefully this will show you how easy it can be and encourage you repot your own plant.

Monstera deliciosa plants can grow quickly and will eventually outgrow their pot. You will need to do this approximately every 2 to 3 years.

However, if you have a particularly vigorous plant, you may see other signs that you should repot it promptly. These include roots showing on the surface or coming through the drainage holes of your pot. The pot itself may also become misshapen due to the large root ball (this is what happened to my plant in the photo you can see above).

Steps to Repot Monstera deliciosa

Tools required

items required to repot a monstera plant including pot, soil and mosspole

Set up a workspace for yourself that is easy to clean. I used a table covered with wipe clean oilcloth. Alternatively, you can work outside if you don’t like the idea of soil being spilt indoors.

  • Pot – You’ll need a new pot that is at least one size bigger than the existing pot.
  • Support – Monstera deliciosa is naturally a climbing plant, so having a moss pole (or a pole made from coconut coir) is very useful as the plant gets bigger. Quite often these plants are sold without a means of support. Repotting is an ideal time to introduce a pole as there will be some disturbance to the soil.
  • Soil – These plants like a mixture of general-purpose soil and peat. I have used a 50-50 mix.
  • Pot cover – to enhance the appearance of your plant, you can place it in a pot cover (decorative pot). Check that it fits the size of your new pot.

Remove from old pot

removing monstera from its pot

Tip your plant onto its side and gently easy out of its pot. My particular plant was watered about four days before replanting. I find it easier to extract the root ball from the existing pot if the soil is not too wet.

If your plant is being particularly stubborn, you can run a blunt knife around the inside of the pot to free the soil. Try not to damage any roots during this process.

Examine the root ball

rootball of monstera before it is replanted

Once you have removed your plant, there is the opportunity to inspect the roots for any signs of damage or decay. Root rot can be an issue if the plant has been overwatered. If any of the roots look black and mushy you can cut them off at this stage. Healthy roots will look a creamy white colour.

Loosen the soil slightly around the root ball to allow the roots to spread once it’s been transferred to its new pot.

What to do with Monstera aerial roots

trimming aerial roots of monstera

Your Monstera plant is likely to have aerial roots which grow from the stem. In the wild these roots are used for support and to help the plant climb. They can become quite straggly and untidy in appearance. If this bothers you, by all means go ahead and snip them off. The plant will not suffer, and it can still gain nutrients by its actual soil roots.

Some owners prefer to keep the plant in all its natural glory, including the aerial roots. In this case you can either direct them down into the soil or train them around a moss pole to help with support.

Add soil to pot

filling base of pot with soil

Ensure your chosen soil has been thoroughly mixed through. A popular choice for Monstera deliciosa is a mixture of all-purpose potting soil and peat. Put a 1-2 inch layer of soil in the base of the pot.

Your new pot should have drainage holes at the bottom, to prevent waterlogging. If the holes are large, you can put something in place that prevents the soil from getting washed out. For instance, broken terracotta pots or coffee filter paper.

In my case, I now usually just place the soil mix straight in the pot. Not only does this save time, it makes it easier when you come to repot in the future. I have found that modern plant pots often have holes small enough to prevent much of the soil mix going through.

Place your Monstera in new pot

repotting monstera in new larger pot

It’s now time to move your plant to its new pot. Check that the height of the soil is at the desired level. It may be necessary to adjust the amount of soil in the bottom of the pot so that the level is correct.

Add support

placing moss pole for monstera

My plant came straight from a nursery and did not have any support, So I took the opportunity to add a coconut coir pole. This is an environmentally friendly material that can be soaked in water to provide the humid environment which these plants love.

Moss poles are also a popular means of support and work in a very similar way to coconut coir. Some people use metal or plastic supports. Whilst these will help hold your plant up, they will not provide a humid environment.

Inserting support pole while I repot Monstera deliciosa

I am experimenting with a type of support that can be slotted together. The idea is that as your plant grows, new sections can be added to the support.

This means less disturbance to your plant in the future. As it grows and needs a larger pole, you will not have to replace the pole and disturb the roots. Time will tell how successful this is in the long run.

Compact soil

compacting soil around replanted monstera

Fill in around the root ball with new soil and gently compact it down. Check that your support pole is in an upright position and close to where the main shoots are.

Train plant around support poll

training monstera on a mosspole

Use green plastic tags or gardening string to train your plant around its support pole. Do not tie these too tight or you risk damaging the stems.

You can also fix any aerial roots around the pole. This is a good way to ensure a tidy look to your plant.

Place in pot cover

repot monstera deliciosa - completed project showing plant in new larger pot

FAQ’s about how to repot Monstera deliciosa?

When should I repot my Monstera deliciosa plant?

Swiss cheese plants need repotting every 2 to 3 years. However, you may need to do it sooner than this if your plant shows signs of needing more room such as roots growing through the pot drainage holes or the pot itself being bent out of shape by the rootball.

My Monstera is too large to repot. What should I do?

Sometimes it can simply be unpractical to repot a large plant. In this case you can use a process called surface dressing. Remove the top inch or two of soil and replace it with new soil mix. This has the advantage of adding new nutrient rich soil to the plant.

When is the best time to repot Monstera deliciosa?

The best time of year to repot your Swiss cheese plant is when it is actively growing. This is in spring, summer and early fall (autumn).

About the author 

Paul - Better Houseplants

Loves orchids and foliage houseplants. Always trying to be a better plant parent. Let's get growing!

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