Big vs. Small: What Kind of Pot Does a Monstera Need?

Monsteras are big and beautiful plants, and you may be thinking of going ahead and putting them into a large pot that they can grow into. However, this isn’t ideal for Monsteras. 

Monsteras prefer to remain in a smaller pot, a little root-bound instead of a large pot where their roots may stay wet.

Like with every plant, Monsteras get a little stressed when they get repotted, so it is important not to re-pot them too much. Once a year is the most they should be repotted. You also don’t want to go straight from a small pot to a larger one, especially if you want your plant to thrive in your home and grow its big, waxy leaves. 

That isn’t to say that your Monstera never needs to be repotted. They can get root-bound just like any other plant, and though they don’t mind being a little bound, too much can cause your Monstera to dry out too quickly and not get the nutrients it needs.  

Do Monsteras Like Big or Small Pots?

Generally, smaller pots are better for your Monstera than big pots. Bigger pots can cause water to sit in the soil, giving your Monstera wet roots and leading to root rot. However, too small of a pot can also cause issues. 

You don’t want your Monstera to be in so small of a pot that your Monstera gets severely root-bound. If you decide it is time to repot your Monstera, you generally only want to go up by 1 inch (2.5 cm) in size at a time. 

Does My Monstera Need a Bigger Pot?

Most plants don’t like to be root-bound or in a cramped pot. It slows the growth and causes problems with the plant getting enough nutrients. Repotting most plants before they get root-bound is essential to keeping them healthy. 

Monsteras are not one of these plants. Monsteras will not necessarily do better in bigger pots. If the pot is too big, your Monstera may struggle to grow or even get root rot. 

If you are unsure whether your Monstera needs a bigger pot, then you are probably fine leaving it in the pot it is currently in. 

Does a Monstera Need a Deep Pot?

A Monstera’s pot doesn’t have to be too deep. A good guideline is to ensure that there are 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of space between your plant’s roots and all edges of the pot, including the bottom. 

Having a pot this size should allow it to be deep enough that it won’t tip over from your Monstera’s weight, and it should allow you to put in a moss or coco coir pole if you want. 

This also prevents it from being deep enough that the water sits in the bottom of the pot. 

Are Terracotta Pots Good for Monstera?

terracotta pot
There are many different types of pots you can use for Monstera. Terracotta pots happen to be one of the options. Not only are they attractive and easily decorated, but they also have some other benefits. 

Terracotta pots aren’t ideal for everyone with Monsteras, though. They tend to be more porous than other pots, so they will facilitate faster water evaporation. This is an excellent option for people who tend to over-water their plants. 

If you tend to under-water your plants, you may want to go with a different pot type, like plastic, as it will hold more water and help prevent fast evaporation. 

Terracotta pots also work for colder climates where Monsteras wouldn’t need so much water, which can evaporate slowly over time. This is specifically for unglazed terracotta. Glazed terracotta can keep moisture in the soil longer, and water evaporates slower than in unglazed terracotta, and it can be used similarly to plastic. 

Terracotta also works well for more humid environments where the soil would struggle to dry out fast enough. 

However, if you live somewhere hot, dry, and sunny, glazed terracotta or plastic would be the best option, as it retains water longer, so your plant doesn’t dry out. 

If plastic and terracotta pots aren’t your thing, or you want to see more options available for your Monstera, don’t worry. There are all sorts of pots you can use, including:

  • Glazed ceramic pots
  • Self-watering pots
  • Fiberglass
  • Metal planters
  • Concrete planters

Out of all of those listed, most Monstera owners tend to find terracotta, ceramic, and plastic pots their top three choices. 

When Should You Repot a Monstera?

If you are going to re-pot your Monstera, it is best to do it in the early spring. You will want to do it before new growth starts, reducing the stress on your plant. 

As for whether or not your Monstera needs to be repotted, it is best to look at your plant. Usually, if your plant is too root-bound, it will start to wilt. Additionally, roots will be coming out of the drainage holes.

While a few roots just barely poking out of the drainage holes is fine, too many or long roots are a sign that your plant needs to be repotted soon. 

As a general guideline, repot your plant once a year while it is young and once every two or three years when it is mature. Remember, you only want to increase the size of your pot by an inch (2.5 cm) or so. 

Do Monsteras Go into Shock After Repotting?

Most of the time, Monsteras will go into shock after repotting. This is entirely normal, and you shouldn’t be too worried if it happens when you are moving your plant. If you take care of your plant before and after the move, they should recover quickly – in a week or two. 

If you want to minimize the stress and transplant shock that your Monstera goes through, there are some things you can do. 

For example, you may think transplanting during the winter, when the plant is fully dormant, is best. However, plants cannot react and adapt to change when they are dormant, so transplanting during their hibernation can cause serious injury and stress to your plant. 

However, doing it during summer can stunt growth. While you certainly can do it during the summer, most people prefer the end of winter to early spring. If done correctly, this allows your plant to recover from transplant shock before the growing season. 

Additionally, exposing the roots to cold air can worsen the effects of transplant shock or root rot, so transplanting in a warm environment or during a warm day is best. 

How Do You Know If Your Monstera Is Happy?

Looking at the leaves is the best way to tell if your Monstera is happy. The leaves are usually a plant’s first warning sign of something wrong.

Look specifically at mature leaves. A happy and healthy Monstera will have a rich green leaf that is large and waxy. There should be little to no discoloration on mature leaves or signs of damage or disease. 

It is important to look at mature leaves because young and new leaves will sometimes start lighter or with different colors until they mature. That is normal even in healthy plants, so you don’t want to confuse young leaves for injured leaves or a sign of an unhappy plant. 

Also, it is important to note that damaged leaves don’t often recover. If a leaf has turned yellow due to stress or environmental problems, the color rarely changes back to green. That is a sign that your plant was stressed in the past and not currently.

While you don’t want to look at young leaves, you want to rely on newer mature leaves as they will tell you how your plant is feeling now instead of how it felt in the past. 


Monsteras are a little more tolerant of being root-bound and in a smaller pot than other plants. They can generally handle being a little root-bound so long as they aren’t staying wet or entirely out of soil and nutrients. 

Monsteras prefer to remain in a smaller pot, a little root-bound over being in too large of a pot where their roots may stay wet, and only being re-potted when absolutely necessary.

When transferring a Monstera, you want to ensure you don’t increase the pot size too dramatically. Unless your Monstera was severely root-bound, you generally want only to go up one size or so at a time. This reduces the stress on your plant and the chances of it contracting root rot.

Following this tip about your Monstera’s pot size, will have it growing and thriving for years to come!