In this article, we’d show you how to propagate Monstera deliciosa. You’d be amazed how easy the process is no matter the method you decide to use. If you have ornamental houseplants, the idea of cutting or pruning them might be scary.
For many newbie plant parents, this feels like killing them. But with a plant like the Monstera deliciosa that is considered one of the biggest houseplants, the choice is between allowing the plant to grow and overwhelm your home, or pruning to contain it. But if you want to propagate your Monstera deliciosa, you can’t avoid cutting it.
That said, propagating Monstera deliciosa is not really a case of biting a bullet, and hope nothing goes wrong. Propagation is actually quite easy if you can overcome that initial fear of cutting parts of the plant.
How to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa, also known as Swiss Cheese plant, can’t be propagated in 4 different ways: in water, soil, sphagnum moss, and air layering. All the propagation methods involve pruning the matured plant to obtain the cuttings that would be used.
The plant grows quickly shooting out lustrous vines and shiny fenestrated leaves. Without pruning, they can quickly crowd the space with leggy vines. Pruning is also vital to keep the plant fresh. You surely won’t be short of cuttings for propagation.
If you’ve already cultivated it, you’d know by now that they love just a little heat, humid conditions, well-draining soil, and indirect sunlight. These conditions must be replicated during propagation to get a healthy, new plant.
Items you’d need:
Before starting, make sure you have the following items handy
- Monstera deliciosa plant
- Sharp Cutter
- Alcohol to sterilize the cutter
- Jar of water
- Planter pot
- potting soil
- Growth substrate (sphagnum moss, perlite, etc.)
Getting your Monstera deliciosa cuttings
In all the propagation methods, you’d need to prune a part of the adult plant to obtain cuttings. Many folks can get confused about where to cut and the whole process might end in failure if you get this wrong.
First off, simply locate the nodes on the parent plant. The nodes are where leaves grow out from the main stem. In matured Monstera deliciosa, air roots also grow out from the nodes. The nodes are also sort of swollen, so it’s hard to miss them.
The space area between two nodes is known as the internode. Your cut should be made here. Essentially, the cut should be a few inches below one node and a few inches above the node below (or between two nodes).
That said, you could also have a cutting with two nodes. With two or more nodes, you have a greater chance of success.
You could cut or prune the plant using a pair of scissors, pruners, or small garden shears. Another option is a sharp razor blade if you are comfortable working with a razor or if the other options are unavailable.
Ensure the blades are clean and sterilized. Rubbing alcohol and soap can be used to sterilize them. Make sure to wash off the soap or alcohol and allow the blades to dry before you begin cutting the stems.
You can have as many cuttings as you wish depending on how many new plants you want.
Finally, keep in mind that you can propagate the plant anytime during the growing season in spring, summer, and early fall. Summer, though, is considered the best time.
Now you are done with the tricky business of obtaining the Monstera deliciosa cuttings, let’s start propagating!
How to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa in Water
This method involves dipping the cuttings into the jar of water so the nodes are completely submerged. Though any kind of water would be okay, filtered water is best especially if you are unsure about the quality of tap water in your area.
- Put your cutting in the jar of water. The leaf or leaves should hang over the lid. Make sure the jar is big enough to support the cutting.
Also, you want a jar with a wide opening so you can easily remove the cutting when the roots sprout.
- After about a week, tiny roots would start growing from the nodes. In a few more weeks, the roots should be long enough for transplanting.
You don’t have to change the water in the pot while the cuttings are rooting. You can add more water if you notice the water level has gone down below the nodes. But if the water becomes too cloudy at any time, you much change it.
To ensure success, cut out any submerged part that looks rotted. You can recognize this by the brownish or dark color. Healthy roots should be creamy. Simply remove the plant from the jar and use your cutter to prune off that rotting part. Again, make sure you are using sterilized cutters.
- The cuttings would be ready for transplanting when the young roots are at least 2 inches long.
- Next, put some potting soil in your pot.
To get the best, use high-quality potting mix purchased from a garden center. You can also make awesome potting soil at home using a mixture of one part peat moss, one part worm castings, and a bit of perlite to promote drainage.
You could also use lots of wood chips and bark, and some sphagnum moss to create your potting soil at home.
- Take out the rooting cutting from the water and place it on the soil in the pot. Then cover the new roots with more potting soil.
Ensure that the cutting is upright. You can use a stick to support the cutting in the pot if the possibility of toppling over is high.
- Water the soil and keep the pot in a bright, shaded area away from direct light.
Make sure the soil is never completely dry. The watering frequency would depend on the weather conditions. So it’s best to monitor the soil moisture level every two days. Simply stick a finger into the soil and water it if the top 2-inch is dry.
- When watering, make sure to stop when the excess starts coming out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
Sticking to this watering routine and maintaining the growth requirements mentioned above would ensure a healthy plant in a couple of months.
How To Propagate Monstera Deliciosa in Soil
Soil propagation is easier than water and takes less time for the cuttings to grow into a new plant. However, you won’t be able to observe the roots growing from the cutting.
The only indication you’d get that propagation is a success is when new leaves start growing.
- Plant your cuttings directly into your potting mix. Use the same potting soil in water propagation.
- Follow the same watering schedule described earlier.
- In about a couple of weeks, you should start to see new leaves. This indicates that you have successfully propagated the plant.
How to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa in Sphagnum Moss (Growth Substrate)
First off, keep in mind that you could also use perlite instead of Sphagnum moss for this method. Other growth substrates that could work just as well include pumice and LECA.
- Place your cuttings in a transparent jar and cover it with the Sphagnum moss or your preferred substrate. Make sure all the nodes are completely covered.
- Lightly moist the substrate with water. Don’t flood it with water or it might lead to root rot.
- The cutting would absorb the required amount of water necessary from the wet substrate and begin to root.
- in about 3 weeks, you’d see the roots peeking out of the Sphagnum moss. At this point, you can now transplant the cuttings.
- Before transplanting, carefully remove as much of the Sphagnum moss from the roots as possible. This can be slow and tedious so patience is required.
How to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa by Air Layering
In this method, you get to start propagating on the parent plant before getting your cutting. Essentially, instead of pruning the plant first and using the cuttings to propagate new plants, you start the propagation on the target and then prune when new roots sprout.
This method is great for folks who are scared of cutting their Monstera deliciosa. You’d still have the whole plant intact if you don’t get new roots as expected.
But the roots grow faster, though, because the vines use energy from the main plant.
- identify the vine you want to air layer. Make sure the vine has at least one node.
- Cut off all aerial roots because they would interfere with the process
- Next, fill a transparent plastic bag with Sphagnum moss. The plastic bag helps to keep the growth substrate in place.
- Wrap the bag around the chosen vine and secure it tightly to the stem with a twine. In this step, you have to ensure the substrate makes direct contact with the nodes. The plastic bag is only meant to keep your substrate in place.
How you secure the plastic bag and substrate to the vine is up to you. The most important part is that the Sphagnum moss makes direct contact with the nodes.
- Poke holes at the bottom of the plastic bag so that excess water can drain out. The holes also help with the airflow.
- Water the Sphagnum moss from the top. Ensure the substrate is always moist.
- In about a week, the new roots would start growing.
- Remove all the sphagnum moss around the roots.
- Now, carefully prune that section as you would a regular stem cutting as explained in the previous methods. Use a sharp cutter and be careful not to cut the new roots while at it.
- Finally, transplant the cutting as explained in the other methods using a similar potting mix and watering routine.
Despite its comparatively huge size for a houseplant, propagating Monstera deliciosa is quite easy. And with 4 different propagation methods, you are spoilt for options to pick and go with. You can propagate in water, soil, growth substrate like Sphagnum moss, or via the air layering technique.
No matter the method employed though, the stem cutting must include at least a node. You also have to replicate the standard Monstera deliciosa growth conditions that include well-draining soil, indirect sunlight, and high humidity.