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Failproof Way to Grow Your Monstera in Water

Monstera is a type of evergreen tropical shrub and vine. Although they’re native to Central America, they can be grown in virtually any indoor environment around the world.

What makes Monstera stand out as a plant are its unique and natural leaf holes called “fenestrations.” It is believed that these gaps developed to increase how wide the leaves can spread while decreasing how many cells are supported by sunlight.

Over 40 different species are cultivated as houseplants today. The most common is the Monstera deliciosa, it can grow large leaves with holes, hence it’s also known as the split leaf philodendron. Another common monstera is the Monstera adansonii, or Swiss cheese plant, which is more viney then the monstera deliciosa. Monstera Dubia, and variated varieties are loved by many.

What You’ll Need to Grow Monstera Plants

These members of the arum plant family can grow leaves that reach up to two feet across, especially the monstera Deliciosa, when planted outside in growing zones 10 and 11. 

When Monstera deliciosa plants grow indoors, they prefer indoor temperatures that range from 60°F to 75°F. Higher humidity levels are ideal for houseplants, so a reading of 50% or higher is helpful.Monstera’s grow best in bright indirect light, be it indoors or in a shaded area when growing outside. 

If the air inside is too dry, you will see brown spots on the heart shaped leaves' sides or tips. You can correct this concern by lightly misting the plants a few times per week.

Monstera plants prefer a stable environment, so you'll want to keep them out of any draft areas. That includes vents that provide heat or air conditioning.

These plants have aerial roots. They tend to hold onto others as they stretch to the sky. You can encourage this trait by having having a moss pole for it to grow up on and adding some diluted fertilizer to not overpower the monstera deliciosa.One other interesting fact, is that they actually can grow a small edible fruit, however the monstera deliciosa is a plant you have for it’s beauty, even a really healthy plant won’t produce anything really worth eating.

Can a Monstera Grow in Just Water?

It is possible to grow a Monstera Deliciosa in only water. You’ll need to take the following steps to ensure the environment is stable for the plant so that it follows its natural growing phases.

  • The water must be changed frequently to ensure it provides a healthy foundation for the plant.
  • If you transplant the Monstera from soggy soil to 100% water, the soil should be cleaned off the roots.
  • A fertilizer with a hydroponics rating needs to be added according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the product.
  • Place the items in a watertight container that keeps the fluid and plant stable.

You don’t need a fancy setup to get started growing Monstera in just water. A glass with something from the tap is good enough for a small plant. 

How to Grow a Monstera in Water

The key to growing the split leaf philodendron in water is to be patient while cleaning the roots. 

When you transplant it to a container that contains only water, it will grow a different set of roots. The plant will not get enough oxygen if you leave soil on them while using this technique. This issue leads to the development of root rot within a few weeks. 

Once you've removed the soil from the Monstera's roots, you'll want to consider these additional tips to ensure a successful experience.

Increase the humidity levels, temperature, and light in the growing area. These elements give the Monstera extra energy to deal with the shock of being placed in a new container. 

Use the fertilizer correctly. It helps to wait until the plant establishes its water roots before feeding it some extra nutrients.

Think about the container size and how big the plant will become. It cannot stay in a vase or glass forever.

The best fertilizer for a single Monstera is a seaweed emulsion, kelp mix. If you plan on growing multiple plants in only water, you’ll want to consider a full hydroponic setup. 

A few drops of liquid fertilizer in the container are often enough to inspire rapid growth, bigger leaves, and a healthier monsteraf plant. You can find our favorite hydroponic nutrients here.

How can Monstera Live in Water?

All hydroponic systems include a reservoir, a nutrient source, and the water the plant needs. You can incorporate an air pump and grow light for added support.

Plant roots seek nutrients from the soil. When you use a hydroponic process to encourage growth, the nutrients must come from the water instead. 

That means everything the plant needs to survive must come from the water. The container and system used to grow Monstera will dictate the process.

Many people allow the roots to dangle in the water when growing Monstera deliciosa. It creates another visual element for the indoor décor while helping you see the plant's progress.

Another option is to use a soil substitute, such as coconut fiber, lecca or perlite, but then you’re not using 100% water to grow the plant. All monstera’s we’ve tried, even the swiss cheese plant monstera have done great in water.

How Do You Make A Monstera Grow Faster in Water?

Monstera plants are very similar to pothos. That includes the Pothos Snow Queen, Glacier Pothos, and the rarer Jessenia Pothos. 

Its growth habits get supercharged when favorable conditions exist. There are six areas to emphasize if you're growing Monstera at home to ensure you can help the plant proliferate.

  • Use Indirect Sunlight. Monstera plants prefer bright sunlight that comes at them indirectly because of where they grow naturally. It helps to keep a curtain between a window and the plant for the best results as you don't want direct sun. If you use grow lights, keep them at an appropriate distance with low light. When it gets too much, white, brown, or dark spots develop on the leaves.
  • Cycle the Water. The filtered water in your container should be cycled out at least once per week when starting to keep everything fresh got your indoor plants. If it becomes stagnant, there won’t be enough oxygen to support fast growth. 
  • Keep the Humidity High. If your indoor humidity levels fall under 40%, it will be harder for the plant to grow. Moving the container to your bathroom is an easy way to accomplish this need. You can also spray the leaves or purchase a humidifier to operate in the room.
  • Clean the Leaves. When the leaves are fully grown, they can catch dust and debris in the environment. If this layer gets thick enough, it can stop the Monstera from receiving enough sunlight. A lightly moistened, soft microfiber cloth or paper towel will take care of the issue and help prevent yellowing leaves.
  • Upgrade the Container. As the plant grows, it will need more space for its roots. Once you notice that growth is slowing or stopping, it's time to consider investing in something larger.
  • Fertilize Monthly. Monstera thrives when it has access to a 3-1-2 mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Continue to give it a monthly nutrient update until you reach the end of the growing season in autumn. Neem oil can be great to use as a natural pesticide as well.

What Varieties of Monstera Will Grow in Water?

All varieties of Monstera grow in water successfully, split leaf philodendron being our favorite. Hurricane plant varieties and even the highly sought after variated plants. Monstera adanosonii being one of the best one to propagate. We even grow the Pink princes philodendron 

With a proper hydroponics setup, you can grow any of the Monstera varieties in only water. Some species grow faster than others with this method, but you can still include this beautiful plant in almost any room when the conditions are right. 

Benefits of Growing a Monstera in Water

Although hydroponics is typically more expensive than placing a Monstera deliciosa plant in a pot with some soil, this method of growing it in water comes with several potential benefits worth considering.

Hydroponics Benefit

Why This Hydroponics Benefit Matters for Monstera

More Space

It takes less room to grow Monstera using hydroponics techniques than it does to use soil. This smaller footprint is due to the roots not needing to spread out to find nutrients.

Less Water Use

Growing Monstera in water uses less than if you grow them in soil. It only takes 2% of the resources to use hydroponics for this purpose compared to traditional gardening or cultivation methods. 

Faster Growth

Hydroponics create ideal growing conditions for Monstera plants. You place the nutrients it needs in direct contact with the roots, helping them to grow quickly. The rate is up to 50% quicker than other cultivation methods.

Better Health

You are in control of the growth foundation when using just water to grow Monstera. When you use soil, several unpredictable factors can impact the process.


When you stay on top of the water cycling and fertilization needs that this plant needs when growing hydroponically, the growth patterns become predictable. As the growing season draws near, you’ll see Monstera start developing leaves to unfurl.

Ease of Access

If you have a small Monstera, it doesn’t take much effort to build a growth foundation. Grab a vase or jar, clean the roots, and place the plant in the water. Almost anyone can do that.

Microclimate Creation

Hydroponic growth areas contribute to higher indoor humidity levels. Since Monstera plants like a moist environment, you can set the stage for year-round health regardless of what is happening outside. 

Most people have the basic supplies to start a Monstera in just water at home. The trick to a successful start is to use a clear container to ensure the filtered sunlight exposure maximizes photosynthesis opportunities, this works great for the swiss cheese plants and other monstera’s as well.

Can You Grow Monstera in a Fish Tank?

If you have a spare aquarium at home, you can grow Monstera deliciosa or a monstera adonsonii in this container. You’ll want to take the lid off the fish tank to ensure the plant has room to spread out and grow.

Small aquariums (under ten gallons) are appropriate for one Monstera plant.

Generally, you can grow one plant baby Monstera for every 10 to 15 gallons of aquarium space. That means you could grow up to 12 Monstera in a 120-gallon fish tank. 

The benefit of using an aquarium is that humidity levels around the plant stay relatively high. Just remember to keep any fish out of there since they’ll eat the roots, especially monstera adonsonii.

Some Monstera plants need help staying stable and upright while growing in a fish tank. A small stake tied to the glass wall is usually enough to provide the necessary support.

Benefits of Growing Monstera Indoors

  • Fewer bugs affect an indoor Monstera Deliciosa, especially when it is placed in a container with only water, amazing for indoor plants. 
  • Adding greenery to a room creates a relaxing experience because you’re closer to nature. 
  • It works to purify the air, targeting benzene and formaldehyde. 
  • People who work around houseplants can maintain their focus levels better. 
  • Although Monstera plants prefer high humidity levels, this plant is also an epiphyte. It will help reduce excess moisture in the room.
  • Monstera Deliciosa plants are known to absorb odors. 
  • They grow great in bright indirect light and low light.

Common Issues and Solutions for Growing Your Monstera

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Growth Problem

Solution for Growing a Healthy Monstera

Yellowing Leaves

Monstera leaves start turning yellow because the plant is experiencing stress. It might need more nutrients or have too much fertilizer in the water, so correcting the supply will solve the problem. Direct sunlight or not getting enough of it is another yellowing trigger.

Curling Leaves

The leaves begin curling for all Monstera varieties when there isn’t enough moisture or humidity. It can also be caused when temperatures become too high. You’ll want to correct the environmental issues to resolve this problem. 

Root Rot

If you grow Monstera deliciosa plants in only water, rot can form when soil remains on the roots. This problem makes it harder for new roots to develop, starving the plant of oxygen. Remove the affected parts, provide fresh water, and eliminate any lingering soil, much less root rot. Double check that your plant is getting enough indirect light, when in doubt a little brighter light is a great place to start.

Drooping Leaves

When growing a Monstera hydroponically, its drooping leaves typically indicate the plant is too close to a heat source. Try placing it in a different spot in the room with medium indirect light.

No Split Leaves

Monstera plants grow a few leaves before you start seeing the first splits appear. Mature plants may keep each leaf intact if there isn’t enough sunlight available to use.If they get pests use a natural pesticide like neem oil.

Monstera plants are fun to grow in just water and will be a favorite for most plant parents! When you find the correct container, they make an elegant addition to any room, they became so popular during covid people were celebrating monstera monday. If you follow the tips found here, you'll take the next step forward in having a quick and successful growth experience.

A Step by Step Video Guide on Propagating a Monstera

We are always happy to help with plant care. Feel free to reach out to us with questions via the chat to the right.