Monstera are hardy plants that can survive for up to 4 weeks without being watered. The larger and more established the plant the longer it can go without being watered. If you are going away for work on a long vacation deep water the monstera first and place it inside an outer pot without drainage holes.
This article will explore how to keep your monstera alive for as long as possible if you are going away and have no one to care for it.
These easy tips will give your monstera the best chance of surviving.
How to keep monstera alive without water
Keeping monstera alive for 4 weeks without being watered can be achieved if you follow these easy steps. While monstera hate being overwatered it is important to get them well hydrated before you head off. Here are my top 4 tips for keeping monstera healthy without being watered.
1. Presoak the monstera
If you are heading away for a number of weeks take your monstera over to your sink and water it thoroughly. Run the water across the top of the soil surface to moisten the whole pot.
You can also sit the monstera plant in a bucket of water with some added seaweed solution instead. Leave it in the water for 5-10 minutes to absorb and for the soil to stop bubbling.
Take the pot out of the water and allow the excess to drain outside.
2. Use a pot tray or outer pot
Place the monstera plant on a pot tray after you have soaked it in water. Use a small watering can to fill the pot tray ½ an inch full of water. Take care not to overfill the pot tray and make a mess.
Another option is to place the inner pot with drainage holes inside a larger indoor pot without holes. Layer a small amount of gravel in the bottom of the indoor pot and put some water in the bottom. The gravel will lift the inner pot up slightly so the roots are not sitting in water but allow them to gradually absorb it.
This will keep your monstera happy for up to 4 weeks without any additional water.
3. Place your monstera away from a window
Place your monstera in the coolest area of your house. Keep it away from the warmth of a window while you are away so it does not dry out too quickly. Placing your monstera in your bathroom is a great idea as this is usually the coolest area of your house.
When you get back from vacation or a work trip you can thoroughly water your monstera and place it back near a bright window.
4. Plant babysitters in hot weather
It can be more difficult to keep your monstera alive without water in the heat of summer. If you live in a hot region like Australia then you may need to invite a plant babysitter to visit your home after 3-4 weeks to water your monstera.
Plants can survive well when the weather is mild but if you expect extreme heat it can be a good idea to give your plant over to a friend to keep at their house while you are gone.
How often to water monstera
Monstera can be watered as regularly as each week over the warmer months or every 2 weeks when it is cooler. The best way to know if your monstera needs more water is to test the moisture in the soil with your finger. Feel the soil 1-2 inches down and add water if it feels dry.
Monstera like to dry out between watering so you will need to leave at least 3 days between each time you water. I have overwatered my monstera when I first got it and there ended up being a black patch on some of the leaves.
Solve this problem by slowing down the watering to at least half as frequently as you were. My monstera plant recovered well and you can remove any damaged leaves to neaten up the plant.
How to know if your monstera needs water
You can tell that your monstera needs water because the leaves will start to droop and the soil will feel dry. Monstera plants that dry out will end up with brown leaf edges. These damaged leaves can be removed once the plant has been watered.
If the leaves are drooping and the soil is wet then it could be overwatered. You can usually tell the difference as black marks will soon appear on the leaves and mold could grow on the surface of the soil.
Should you let monstera dry out?
Monstera like to dry out between watering so make sure you always check the soil moisture level with your finger before adding more. Monstera will benefit from regular water but too much can cause root rot, drooping leaves and black marks.
Monstera that are overwatered can end up with yellow leaves from a lack of nitrogen. Water with a nitrogen based fertilizer to replace this nutrient and help the plant to recover.
How long monstera can go without water | Summary
Monstera can go without water for up to 4 weeks if they are prepared properly. Deep water the soil, place it on a pot tray with added water and place them in a cool place away from windows. Bathrooms are the perfect place to keep your indoor plants while you are away. This area of your house stays cools and any water that you spill while watering will head down the drain.
Monstera are a fantastically hardy indoor plant that can survive for weeks without water if they are presoaked. Monstera will gradually absorb the water added over time.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.