A Monstera, or a Swiss Cheese Plant, is among the most popular houseplants because it’s fairly easy to care for. The plant is low-maintenance, great for beginners, and can be placed virtually anywhere inside your home.
So, you might be thinking, can Monsteras live in water? We’re happy to report that, yes, they can!
These plants can live in water as long as they’re taken care of correctly, given the right amount of sunlight and the occasional fertilizer.
While most people assume that propagation is the only use of placing a Monstera deliciosa in water, it can actually live in this medium too.
Surprisingly, you can grow most Monstera varieties in water for quite a long time. Many people opt for growing them there indefinitely because the roots adapt quickly to this environment.
When growing them in water instead of soil, Monsteras adjust and develop thinner roots.
These plants are known for their resiliency and flexibility, which is why it’s loved by beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts alike.
Provided it’s well-taken care of, this plant can live in water permanently.
Since these plants can live in water, should you grow them there? Is this medium better than the usual soil setup?
Well, that’s up for debate. Some argue that nothing can beat growing this plant—or most houseplants, for that matter—in soil.
A Monstera in the optimal environment—usually a nutrient-rich potting soil mix—can grow up to 15 feet tall even when kept indoors!
However, they still sprout quite well when they aren’t under the best growing conditions. They won’t get to that maximum height and width, but they won’t wilt either.
Growing these plants in the water will likely hinder them from reaching their greatest heights, but that’s not a problem for certain plant parents. Some prefer a Monstera that isn’t too big—especially if it’s kept in cozier living spaces.
Another reason someone would prefer this way of growing a Monstera is that it minimizes the mess from using soil and eliminates the need for watering. This houseplant, in particular, loves moisture, so you’d be watering as often as every one to two weeks if it was planted in soil.
So, should you grow Monsteras in water? We’d say it’s ultimately down to preference.
You might want to move a Monstera from water to soil for two reasons. The first is if you’re only propagating the plant in water and will eventually put it in a pot.
Luckily, this houseplant is quite easy to propagate in water as long as you choose a healthy cutting to place in water. To do this, find a node, cut just below that, and then expose the root nubs.
You can then place this in water and wait until the roots grow before transferring it to the soil. A good rule of thumb is if you see around 6 inches of root growth in your cutting, then it’s time to move.
This could take several weeks or longer, depending on the environmental conditions.
The second reason why you’d move a Monsetra from water to soil is if you feel like you want your plant to grow larger than it is. As we’ve previously mentioned, water may not permit the plant to grow to its fullest potential.
One of the most important steps to do is to use an adequately-sized pot for your plant to avoid root rot or blocked drainage holes. A pot that’s wider and slightly longer than your Monstera’s clump of roots should be good enough.
It’s also best to use a fast-draining mix for the soil.
Needless to say, there are a few different things you should do when you grow your Monstera in water instead of soil. Below are some tips to succeed at this.
While growing a Monstera in water eliminates the need for watering, you still have the responsibility of changing out the water regularly. Ideally, you should replace it every 3 to 5 days—sometimes even earlier.
Change the water any time you notice any cloudiness, regardless of how long it’s been since your last change. We recommend using a clear vase so you can check the water’s turbidity easily.
While you can use tap water, it’s best to use purified water to ensure that there are no traces of chlorine, calcium, or other minerals. Constant exposure to unwanted minerals can stunt your plant’s growth and may even stop it altogether.
Just because your houseplant is in a pot vase of water and not a pot of soil doesn’t mean its light requirements are any different. Similar to other tropical plants, your Monstera would need bright indirect light.
Even if they’re often found outdoors in warmer areas, avoid putting them in direct sunlight because this can scorch their beautiful leaves. It can also increase the temperature of the water and make it intolerable.
Their ideal place inside the house would be near southeastern or eastern windows where they can get the light they need.
On another note, this houseplant doesn’t fare well in freezing temperatures. It’s best to keep them in a warm and humid area where they can get the shaded sunlight that they need.
Since we can’t really use your typical fertilizer for a Monstera living in water, we can turn to hydroponic solutions. Soil provides plants with many natural nutrients—such as nitrogen and phosphorus—that plain water can’t.
Hydroponic systems recognize this. That’s why they utilize different liquid fertilizers and solutions to deliver most of the macronutrients a plant would need.
However, note that these solutions heavily depend on what type of hydroponic crop or plant you have. Make sure you look for one that’ll work for your Monstera.
Because you’re growing your Monstera in water, it’s prone to algae build-up in the root area. That’s why it’s important to check the roots often and give them a good clean when necessary.
Be careful when handling them because the roots are typically thinner and more delicate when grown underwater. You can use a steady but gentle stream of water from a kitchen hose to remove any algae or dirt on the roots.
Making a habit of checking often also gives you a chance to remove any damaged roots before they can affect the entire plant. In addition, this will let you keep a closer look at any discoloration in the area.
A healthy Monstera will have white to beige-colored roots. There shouldn’t be any yellowing.
To sum up, if you’re thinking, can Monsteras live in water? The answer is a resounding yes.
Because these houseplants are generally quite resilient and can adapt to different environments, you can grow them in water for a long time!
However, this does come with a few pros and cons. For instance, there’s a significant chance that your Monstera won’t get to its maximum size when grown in water.
That said, even if it isn’t on soil, it still retains the beauty of its leaves regardless of size.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.