Propagating Monstera without node is impossible, this article covers some other methods of propagating monstera. You’d also find out how to identify Monstera nodes and what makes them very vital in the propagation process.
The different species of Monstera are some of the biggest and most popular houseplants. They effortlessly stand out with their fenestrated, glossy leaves waving serenely in the air giving a home or garden the feel of a tropical island paradise.
With so much demand for the different species of Monstera, it’s not surprising that plant lovers are looking for new and easier ways to propagate them. The default propagation methods all involve using a node or nodes. After all, you don’t want to waste any pruned section if you can help it.
Propagating Monstera Without Node: Can it Be Done?
What are the odds that you ended up here because you tried propagating your favorite Monstera plant without succeeding? Very high most likely. Bet it was even more frustrating after seeing how somebody got new Monstera from cuttings they pruned from a matured plant.
The likely explanation is you tried propagating Monstera without a node or nodes. It is impossible to get a new Monstera plant from a ‘nodeless’ cutting.
This issue isn’t restricted to Monstera only. Almost all plants cannot be propagated without nodes. The exceptions are several species of succulent plants and cacti that can be propagated using ‘nodeless’ leaf cuttings. The snake plant and Chinese money plant are just two examples of plants that can be propagated without nodes.
So what is it about the nodes that make them critical to Monstera propagation and how do you identify Monstera nodes?
What are Monstera nodes?
In plants, generally, nodes are essential for the growth of new leaves, stems, and branches. Plant nodes contain all the vital cells necessary for the production of new roots, leaves, and stems. In a nutshell, without a node, new plants cannot be produced asexually or through propagation.
Like in most plants, Monstera nodes are located on the main stem or vine of the plant. The nodes are the little bumps along the generally smooth surface of the vine. They appear like a bulging ring around the vine where they are found.
In a matured Monstera plant, new leaves, aerial roots, and new stems all grow out of the nodes. The main vine usually has several nodes along its length. The smooth section between two successive nodes is known as the internode. While the ‘stem’ that connects the leaf to the node is known as the petiole. Aerial roots might also shoot out from certain nodes.
So if the petiole, with the leaf at the top, is pruned above the node for propagation, the cutting wouldn’t produce a new plant either in soil or water. You’d also get a similar result from a stem (internode) cutting without a node.
That said, a Monstera leaf cutting (petiole and leaf) without a node can survive in a jar of water for many months. It might even develop tiny roots that would help nourish and keep the leaf (or leaves) fresh for several months. But this leaf cutting would never develop into a new Monstera plant complete with roots, new leaves, and nodes.
Dunking a nodeless Monstera leaf into a jar of water is perfect for floral arrangements and decorations if the goal is not to get a new plant.
How to Get Monstera Cutting for Propagation
Getting the right Monstera cutting for propagation is simple. But several things could go wrong.
To be clear, you can either use a cutting that includes a couple of leaves and nodes or just the leafless vine with a node for propagation. But experts would readily tell you that it’s best to use a cutting with at least a leaf because it takes significantly longer to get a new plant using just a stem cutting without a leaf.
First, you need to have a sharp cutter. This could be a pruner, a pair of scissors, or even a shape razor. It is easier though to use a pruner or scissors since you want a quick, clean cut each time.
You also need to sterilize your cutter’s blades using rubbing alcohol, bleach solution, or even washing soap. Simply, clean the blades with your preferred sterilizer, rinse, and allow to dry before you start pruning.
Sterilizing the blades is necessary to prevent the transfer of harmful, disease-causing organisms from the blades to plants and between stems.
Then locate a node and make a clean cut (as opposed to a sawing motion) a few inches below it. To be clear, the internode is where you cut.
When it comes to the cut orientation, cutting at an angle of 45° is ideal. This maximizes the surface area making water uptake better and for faster root growth. But any kind of cut would be fine as long as it is a clean cut just a few inches below the node.
To ensure a greater chance of success, you want the pruned vine or cutting to include at least two modes and a couple of leaves.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if there is an aerial root on the cutting. You can even snip it off since it might later rot especially during water propagation.
Also, having many leaves on your cutting is not ideal because you want to focus most of the cutting’s resources on producing new roots instead of nourishing leaves. So two or three decently-sized leaves on the cutting are okay. Trim off the extra leaves if they are any.
You can now go ahead start propagating the Monstera cutting by dipping it in water or planting it directly on your well-draining potting soil. And when the new roots are a couple of inches long a few weeks later, transplant the cutting to your potting soil.
As long as you maintain the right growth conditions and observe the proper Monstera care routine, you should have several new plants in a couple of months.
Propagating Monstera Cutting Without Leaf
As already stated, a leafless Monstera cutting can be propagated; the downside is it takes longer.
If you end up with Monstera cutting without a leaf (perhaps sent to you by a friend or your purchase from a garden center), successfully transforming the stem into a new plant would take a lot of patience and care.
For this to work, you’d need to ensure that the growth conditions peculiar to Monstera are maintained at the optimal levels. That means, high humidity, moist growth substrate, and adequate airflow
First, ensure that the cutting (or cuttings) has at least a node. Instead of potting soil, using a different growth substrate like sphagnum moss or perlite would produce better results.
You also want to create a snug greenhouse for cutting using a plastic container. Put your growth substrate in the container (about a third of the container) and partially bury the cutting in it making sure the node(s) is/are completely buried.
Then close the container with its lid. This helps raise the temperature in the container. Water the substrate sparingly and make sure it is never completely dry but never soggy. For airflow, drilling a few holes on the lid would do the trick.
Depending on the growth conditions, roots would start sprouting after a few weeks. When the roots are about two or three inches, you can now remove and transplant the cutting to a pot.
The search for better and easier ways to grow new plants usually throws up questions like whether propagating Monstera without node is possible. It is not possible because only nodes contain the building blocks necessary for propagating new plants.
Except in a few cases, plant propagation, in general, is doomed to failure without at least a node on the cutting to be propagated. This is no different with all species of Monstera; and for better odds in terms of successful propagation, the Monstera cutting must include at least a couple of leaves and nodes.