Monsteras have been blowing up the damn internet for a couple years now, and it seems their popularity isn’t dying down anytime soon. Me? I’m not mad about it. I absolutely love these tropical babies and my house is riddled with them. Whenever I have people asking for cuttings, this is always the top pick.
Luckily Monstera plants are incredibly easy to propagate and genetically designed to fill back in quickly when cut back. I’m going to go over a few tips and tricks to propagate a Monstera Deliciosa plant, rooting it, and replanting it to create an entirely separate plant.
Propagation is a big word for a process that’s actually very simple. All it means is that you take a cutting from a large plant, encourage it to grow roots, and then place it in its own pot to grow.
The process of Propagating Monstera Deliciosa requires minimal tools and only a few minutes of your time. Even better, the Swiss cheese plant is one of the easiest common house plants to propagate.
If you follow these steps, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed.
Methods to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa
- Stem Cuttings
- Air Layering
Cuttings root more easily in spring and early summer.
Stem Cutting Propagation of A Monstera Deliciosa:
The best way to propagate monstera is to take a stem cutting.
Look for a node along a leaf stem near the bottom of the plant.
Nodes are little bumps along the stem that can turn into a leaf, or aerial roots while on the plant.
Cut just below this node.
Use rooting hormone on the cut area and insert the stem into soil or water. It should grow roots.
Plants started in water need to be potted in soil before the roots are too large.
Division Propagation of A Monstera Deliciosa:
Monstera often produce small plants around the main plant also.
To propagate, remove plant from the pot, gently wash away the soil, then separate the young plants by clipping them off the main root system. Divide and repot.
How to Air Layer Monstera
Monstera will throw out areal roots, on side branches, which can be used if present.
If not just go ahead without them.
Steps to Air Layer Propagate A Monstera Deliciosa:
Time needed: 14 days.
How to easily Air Layer Propagate A Monstera Deliciosa.
- Select an aerial root approximately 1 inch long anywhere on the stem.
Locate the node just above it.
- Make an incision into the stem just below the aerial root you have selected.
- Cut into the stem about one-third of the stem’s diameter.
- Cut again just below the previous cut so that a small notch is created.
- Wrap the entire stem with floral or sphagnum moss.
Be sure the aerial root, a node, and the cut are all covered with a 1- to 2-inch layer of moist moss.
- Enclose the moss in plastic, leaving about 2 inches additional plastic on each end.
- Secure both ends of the plastic to the stem with twist ties or a suitable substitute.
You will have to open the moss to water and check on roots, so make it easily accessible.
- Keep the moss moist until roots develop; do not allow it to dry out.
- When roots are present, sever the stem from the rest of the plant.
- Plant the rooted stem into potting soil.
If you were a bit confused by the steps above here is a great YouTube video that explains in detail how to Air Layer Propagate A Monstera Deliciosa.
Propagation Factors For Success
Overall Monstera cuttings are very tolerant of growing medium, position and conditions but there are definitely variables you can tweak to increase either the likelihood or speed of success.
Time of year
You don’t need to specifically time when you take a cutting but bear in mind that your cutting may be slower to get started in winter when plants are usually dormant.
The first thing to say, is that patience is key. Some of cuttings will root straight away and throw out new leaves in quick succession. Others can go through a long dormancy period. Often Spring will kick start previously dormant cuttings.
See below about how to check that your cutting is still healthy despite it doing bugger all!
Light and warmth
Monstera cuttings benefit from warmth and brightness and will sprout fastest on a warm, bright windowsill. I’ve seen suggested that Monstera cuttings need a heat pad to start them off but in my experience that is not true. However, it is possible that a heat pad might speed up the propagation process.
If in soil they also need to be kept nicely moist but not wet – they don’t like wet feet and will rot. Feel their soil once a week and if it feels dry give them a light drink. There is no need to cover them with a plastic bag as is sometimes suggested.
Size of cutting
Longer or larger stem sections with more nodes tend to produce more new growth with multiple new stems sprouting. This is important as Monstera is a vine plant and grows along one long stem. If your cutting develops leaf sprouts on multiple nodes these will each develop as a stem leading to more bushy growth at a compact size.
Hormone rooting powder
In all honestly, Monstera cuttings are so incredibly easy to root that I don’t recommend using hormone rooting powder.
The advantage to propagating in water in a glass jar is that you can see any new growth immediately. However larger cuttings that include leaves and aerial roots are probably best going straight into soil.
You can use regular tap water but be wary if your tap water is very hard and do not use artificially softened water. Rain water or distilled water is also be fine. Submerge most of the stem section in water, leaves and roots quite happily sprout in the water.
Use a light, free draining potting compost and as the plants got older use a more hummus rich mix.
The easiest way and most space efficient way to pot cuttings in soil is to plant stems vertically with just the top inch above the soil.
I worried that some stem nodes needed to be above the surface in order to sprout new leaves but that wasn’t the case at all. New leaves sprouted under the soil level and had no problem pushing to the surface before unfurling.
If you have multiple stem cuttings sharing a pot, then as soon as they start developing new growth you should pot them up on their own. My experiences suggest that Monstera are fairly robust and don’t not object to being disturbed if you handle them carefully.
You don’t need to leave any of the original stem cutting above the soil level and can bury it all for a neater look.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I propagate Monstera without a node?
Propagating a Monstera with just a stem and no nodes is not possible. A stem itself is not sufficient.
At least one node is necessary to successfully propagate a Monstera plant.
You can however put a leaf with a petiole in a vase and it will look good for months.
Can you propagate monstera from a leaf?
When you say propagate from a leaf, I’m assuming you mean cut a leaf in half and set it into the soil, like you can do with a snake plant, African violet, or begonia.
For a monstera leaf, that doesn’t work. To propagate monstera, you need a piece with a node.
Where do I cut my monstera to propagate it?
Anywhere that gives you a segment which contains a leaf and a root.
Here’s one I did about 6 weeks ago.
Propagation Problems Troubleshooting
Being me, I couldn’t let well alone and kept digging up my cuttings – hence why water works better for me! What I noticed was that I could tell which cuttings were doing OK because they remained firm and a bright green color.
You will be able to see when your cuttings are getting close to sprouting because the stem will look increasingly swollen and bumps around the nodes will look more pronounced.
Cuttings not doing well may start to rot and go black and squishy. In which case trim off the black until you have firm flesh and repot in fresh soil and don’t let it get as damp – if the cutting is only small you may need to throw it all away.
Alternatively, rinse and repot in water as this will let you monitor them more closely. You may find that switching mediums is effective at halting rot.
Cuttings that lose their fresh green color and start to go wrinkled are drying out from not enough moisture. To resolve this, water well, place in a well lit position and consider repotting in water rather than soil.