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House Plants/New Monstera plant


QUESTION: I've just purchased a Monstera plant and was looking to move it into a Terra Cotta pot of the same size, 9", moslty because the soil seems to be very heavily packed into the plastic pot that I bought it in.  After finding your site and all your Q & A, I'm reconsidering moving out of plastic planter as I don't want to upset it.  Should I leave it alone for now and leave it in the plastic?  If I should repot, can you recommend if I just keep the same soil or use different soil?  Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Courtney,

I'm glad you contacted me BEFORE you went ahead with the repotting.

Like most potted plants, your Monstera prefers to remain quite tightly potted. When kept moderately potbound, it will grow faster and you will reduce the risk of over watering and root rot.

I suggest that you place a good sized saucer under the plastic nursery pot or insert the plastic nursery pot inside a larger decorative planter. When you water, it is important to water thoroughly so that a small amount of water trickles through the drain holes into the saucer or outer planter.

When a plant is potbound, it is pretty hard to over water. In general, it is best to allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering thoroughly as described above. Plants that are moved into larger pots tend to retain water much longer and are much easier to inadvertently over water. That is why I don't recommend repotting prematurely.

I usually recommend repotting only when it is necessary to water the plant thoroughly more than twice per week. At that time, it is best to move it into a pot one size larger using soil that matches the existing soil as closely as possible.

I have written a detailed article on repotting that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and NOMINATION for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok!  Thank you so much for the answer.  I guess I'm a little worried as I bought the plant not from a nursey but from an Ikea  store, so I'm just wondering if the soil mix that it is in is sufficient for the plant.  There is a layer of very loose dirt/soil on top of the soil that the plant is potted in.  Should I just leave everything as is?

Thank you again!  I greatly appreciate your help!

Hi Courtney,

Thank you for the top ratings. Much appreciated!

Virtually all commercially sold potted plants are grown in nurseries, usually in Florida and California. Ikea, like Home Depot, Lowes and other big box stores, purchases their plants from the same wholesale nurseries. Most nurseries use the same basic potting mix or some variation of it. So, there is no reason to be unusually concerned about the soil from an Ikea store.

Loose soil on the surface serves no useful purpose so it can be removed.

Let me know if you have further questions.

~Will Creed  

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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