When to Move Monstera From Water to Soil? (And How)

Propagating Monstera in water is a lot easier than doing it in soil. Not only can you watch your roots to ensure they are growing and healthy, but you can also ensure that they aren’t overwatered or at risk of pests and root rot. 

However, you may want to move your Monstera from the water to the soil at some point. It may be a daunting process if you aren’t sure when to move your Monstera. Monstera cuttings should be moved from water to soil when the roots are 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length. 

However, you can also leave your Monstera in water indefinitely. It makes care a little easier for some and keeps the plant much smaller, which is a possibility. 

When to Plant a Monstera Cutting?

You will want to ensure your plant has roots before moving your Monstera cutting from water to soil. Generally, it will take at least six weeks for roots to develop, but most people suggest waiting a solid two to three months to make sure the root system is sturdy and able to get what it needs from the soil.

Another idea is to wait until the roots are at least 3 inches (8 cm) long before you move them from water to soil. 

How Do You Transition a Monstera from Water to Soil?

Moving a Monstera from water to soil is relatively easy, once you know what you are doing. The biggest thing to remember is that the roots will be much more fragile. Since water roots don’t have to fight through thick soil to get nutrients, they can be thin and much weaker in soil. 

Many gardeners who propagate in water for the first time will have problems trying not to break the roots. This can cause severe damage to the plant, so it is important to treat them with the utmost care. 

When you pick a pot, you want one only a few inches bigger on either side of your plant. Getting a pot that is too big can cause water to sit in the soil, causing wet feet and root rot. You also want to make sure that you use suitable soil. There are ones designed specifically for Aroids, which works well for Monstera.

Make sure that the soil is full of aeration. This will ensure that the weight of the soil doesn’t crush your roots.

When you move the plant from water to soil, start filling the pot lightly with soil. Then, carefully, move the plant from the water to the pot. Do it slowly and carefully to prevent breaking the roots. Then, once the Monstera is in the pot, you can gently start putting soil around it until it is full and your Monstera is adequately supported. You may have to press down the soil a little, but not too much. 

Do Monsteras Do Better in Water or Soil?

Monstera Plant in Hand
For the most part, Monsteras do better in soil than water. Soil contains the nutrients that plants need to grow; without that, they are severely hampered in terms of growth and longevity. 

Usually, the Monstera that grows in water will be smaller in size. This can be beneficial because if you live in a small space, you don’t want to have a large plant taking up most of the area, so growing your Monstera in water can be a good option

Can I Leave My Monstera in Water Forever?

Monstera can feasibly live in the water forever. However, since they lack soil and the nutrients that come with soil, the rest of their habitat must be very near ideal. 

For example, a Monstera needs bright but indirect light. They also can’t afford to be too cold. Another big thing to note is that Monsteras in water can’t grow as large as those in soil. While they can still generate new leaves, an old one starts to die off as soon as a new leaf grows. 

This is because your plant can only get so much from the water and doesn’t have enough energy to handle too many leaves at once. So what it does instead is grow new leaves and allow the old ones to die in return. 

This causes the growth and size to be limited, which isn’t necessarily bad if you want the beauty and uniqueness of a Monstera without the size.  

Monsteras in water also tend to have a shorter lifespan. Around two to three years is what most people get out of Monsteras that are in the water before they start struggling to grow and showing signs of stress. 

There are other benefits to keeping your Monstera in the water besides the size. Since there is no soil, it is impossible to overwater your plant, there are fewer pests, and you don’t get soil everywhere. If you get a clear container, you can also monitor the roots of your plant easier. Besides changing out water, your plant also doesn’t need much care. 

How Long Can I Keep My Monstera in Water?

Theoretically, you can keep your Monstera in water for as long as you want. Monsteras do have the ability to stay in water for all of their life. However, if you want to move it over to soil at some point, you don’t want to keep your Monstera in water for too long. 

More than three months after the roots start developing, your plant will struggle to switch from water to soil. That is because it will develop slightly different roots than it would in the soil, which makes it difficult for them to switch. 

How Long Should Roots Be Before Planting?

Root in water
The roots should be between 2 and 4 inches (5 and 10 cm) long in the water before you transfer them into the soil. You can wait until the roots get longer and keep your plant in the water, but it gets much harder at that point.

If you think you can move your plant into the soil and give them the proper treatment, you can leave your Monstera in the water for months. Then, just transfer them over when the weather will be more ideal or when the time works best for you. 

However, for beginners, we suggest you transfer the plant shortly after the roots reach the right length. This reduces the stress on your plant. And makes the chances of them surviving much higher. 

Are Water Roots and Soil Roots the Same?

There are a few major differences between water roots and soil roots. The first is that water roots tend to be thinner. Since water roots don’t have to push through the earth, they can afford to be thinner, more fragile, and softer. 

Water roots are also adapted to go underwater. This means they have adjusted to absorb air from under the water instead of under the soil. This is one of the reasons that water roots don’t get root rot as often as soil roots. 

Finally, the last significant difference is that water roots tend to be lighter, usually a white color, and have a lot more root hairs. Soil roots are usually yellow or brown and have fewer hairs. The hairs that the soil roots have are usually a bit thicker. A lot of the color of the soil roots is actually due to the soil, but not all of it. 


Monsteras are sturdy plants that can handle a variety of conditions. They do best in aerated soil with warm temperatures and lots of bright, indirect light. However, as long as they have the temperature and the light, they can also do fine in water. 

Usually, Monstera will be much smaller in water and may not have as long of life, but their care is often easier and much nicer than in soil, as root rot and pests are less likely to occur. 

Monstera should be moved from water to soil when the roots are 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length. This will prevent the roots from becoming stressed and only used to surviving in water, which at that point they will struggle to adapt to their new environment in soil.