We've said it before and we'll say it again. REPOT YOUR PLANTS!
Last week we looked at ferns, next up - Monsteras and philodendrons (and a few more aroids to boot!)
This is a big old group and a definite contender for some of our the most loved houseplants going. We're talking cheese plants, devil's ivy, heartleafs and pothos in all of their many, many variations.
Hailing from tropical forest climates, these plants grow quickly, shooting out aerial roots to climb over the forest floor and pull themselves up tree trunks as they search for those lovely warm rays. Whilst they don't have quite the same environmental factors to contend with in our homes, they do still grow pretty enthusiastically without too much effort on our part, and giving them a helping hand with a bit of a trim and a good repotting is only going to make them even better.
Just like us, plants need food, nutrition and space to grow, and repotting is one of the best possible things you can do to meet all of these needs.
If you've got a relatively young plant, then chances are you're going to need to repot annually. These bad boys grow QUICK in their youth and have sone nice chunky roots, so sizing up slightly each year will help keep your plant happy.
Even if you're plant doesn't need a bigger pot, a yearly redressing of soil is always recommended to help replenish nutrients to get you the biggest greenest leaves possible.
Soil.Ninja's Monstera and Philodendron mix is great because it has a really well balanced composition of bark and pumice means that the air craving roots will never go without. The addition of activated charcoal helps fend off any risk of rot from the occasional overwatering and keeps that risk away during the winter months when watering is pulled back.
So how to repot? First of all don't panic, these are amongst the most forgiving of plants so even if you've never repotted anything before you'll be absolutely fine.
We always recommended taking off any unhappy looking leaves before you start. You can take cuttings at this point too, more on how to do that here. If your aerial roots have gotten out of hand, you can also snip them off.
Firstly, get your new pot ready with a layer of clay pebbles and a layer of monstera and philodendron soil. If you're adding a moss pole for support, add that to pot now too so you can place your plant around it.
Carefully loosen the plant out of its current pot. If it is particularly rooty, you may need to tease or even cut them away from the pot. Cutting is an absolute last report, but if you do have to do it, use a sharp clean knife and try to make minimal cuts, as close to the pot as possible. Once it's out of the pot, loosen the roots with your fingers and pop it into the new one. Backfill the sides with more soil, gently firming up to about an inch from the top of the pot. Give it a drink and watch it flourish
Soil.Ninja's monsetra and philodendron mix is also great for Chinese Evergreen and Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma (aka mini monsteras, but not actually monsteras at all!)
Not sure what soil is right for your plants? Check out Soil Ninja's amazing plant index to find out!