I have sadly had a potted monstera succumb to rot. I tried taking clippings to no avail, but now that it's gone, I am wondering if it's safe to reuse the pot and soil with another plant?

Can the soil be reused? Do I need to give it some kind of treatment? Or is the nuclear method required (blow it all away)?

  • Rot is the natural decomposition process of soil. If it wasn't we would be buried in rubbish. Please explain what you mean. Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 0:28
  • To salvage the soil it might be worthwhile to set it aside under some clear plastic over the summer so the heat will hopefully eradicate weed seeds, fungi, and other pathogens. Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 0:35
  • @blackthumb; it is not necessary to add further information - root rot occurs usually due to overwatering, and does not mean the soil has 'rotted'.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 12:16
  • @Bamboo I feel we have different definitions of the word "rot", I'm using it in terms of soil life after the plants bring it up to the surface into itself. Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 13:58
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    @blackthumb the question is about a plant in a pot that got root rot... I am not entirely sure what your reference to plants bringing up soil life into the soil itself means, because garden soil is teeming with life anyway even without plants as such, but whatever you think it means, it does not apply in a pot because sterile potting soil will be in there, not garden soil.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 14:09

3 Answers 3


It is better not to use soil right now. Wait until it dries completely and plant something very hardy there. The pot is OK to use, just wash it with hot water.


If you had the plant for some time (like longer than a year) dispose of the soil anyway - it will be exhausted, and any new plant you want to replace it with, if it actually needs a bigger pot, should be repotted using new, fresh potting soil. If you have space outdoors, just spread the spent potting soil over the surface of the soil to get rid of it - thoroughly wash the pot which contained the Monstera prior to reuse. I'm assuming this pot has drainage holes...


To be on the safe side, best to assume that the "root rot" may be phytophthera, which is a common fungal disease that will kill a susceptible plant very quickly, usually in wet conditions. If hoping to replant in the same spot, certain precautions are necessary. There are fungicidal drenches that can be used, but those can cause other problems. Contaminated soil can be dug out and replaced with fresh after a short rest and ensuring good drainage. I wouldn't bother trying to sterilise potting mix if the affected plant was in a pot - just get rid of affected plant and soil (where they won't contaminate anything else), clean the pot and start afresh. This is for shrubs and smaller ornamentals, and based on years of personal experience and advice from professionals. The situation is more serious for crops, fruit trees and other mature trees - professional help would be needed there. Good advice so far, apart from the devils advocate stating "you need to qualify rot", etc - they just wanted a straight answer.

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