Monsteras have been blowing up the dang internet for a couple years now, and it seems their popularity isn’t dying down anytime soon.
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 4 Proven Methods to Propagate a Monstera Deliciosa plant, rooting it, and replanting it to create an entirely separate plant.
Monstera Care Basics
Monstera deliciosa (monstera) is a climbing vine that can be grown in its natural form on a stake or pole.
It is widely available as a popular houseplant at many garden centers and grown as a cluster of multiple vines to create a full shrub-like appearance. Monstera has dark green leathery foliage with deep lobing, capable of growing up to 36” wide.
Fenestrations (natural holes) form at the leaf mid rib, and radiate out, increasing as leaf size progresses, giving the plant a ‘swiss cheese look’.
In total, there are more than 48 species of Monstera plant, with a bit different characteristics and general looks. However, you can usually see about 10 Monstera varieties you can grow indoors. Popular cultivars include ‘variegata’, ‘albo variegata’, and ‘Thai constellation’.
Two different species of Monstera are cultivated as houseplants – Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii.
Monstera adansonii is distinguished from M. deliciosa by having longer, tapering leaves, as well as having completely enclosed leaf holes.
Before you consider propagating your mother plant it is a good idea to ensure that the original plant is in good condition with healthy roots and strong growth.
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 monstera propagation 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.
4 METHODS TO PROPAGATE a MONSTERA DELICIOSA
- Water Propagation
- Soil Propagation
- Air Layering
Cuttings root more easily in the spring and early summer months. You can propagate your Monstera during the winter months but root development may take longer longer due to the shorter amount of natural light available.
Step 1. Descide Where to Cut
The best way to propagate a Monstera is to take a stem cutting.
In order to do this, you need to remove a stem cutting with a lower single leaf. You can find it right below a leaf or stem itself. Once properly propagated, this cutting will grow new roots, and allow you to plant another beautiful new Monstera.
One thing to note here is that cutting off the leaf won’t be enough to propagate a Monstera plant. Instead, a cutting you take must also have a part of the stem.
Apart from that, the cutting should include a root node, which is a part that will turn into roots, once the plant is propagated.
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.
Propagating Monstera and other houseplants involves choosing between water propagation and soil propagation. Both work perfectly fine, it just depends on your own preferences.
Step 2. Choose Your Method of Propagation
Use rooting hormone on the cut area and insert the stem into soil or water. It should grow roots.
The simplest way to grow a new Monstera plant is to simply propagate the cutting in fresh water. For this purpose, you can use basically any glass of water, vase, or container filled with water.
The plant will look good, and if you use transparent vase or glass, you can easily see if your method works properly.
All you need to do is put the cutting you had taken before in a jar, glass, or some sort of vase, fill it with fresh water, and find a good location with bright light for your cutting to live.
To avoid root rot be sure to change out the water that your cutting is in weekly. Its a good idea to clean the vase and rinse the cutting, then refill with clean water. Ensure that your water level always covers the node and cut end of the plant.
Plants started in water need to be potted in soil before the roots are too large.
Growers who plant straight into soil tend to do so for convenience. You get to skip a step since your cutting will eventually have to go into a plant pot anyway.
Although it takes longer for your cutting to establish its roots in soil, once it starts growing, you won’t have to interrupt it at all.
The drawback of planting in soil is that you have no idea what is happening with the roots.
Tugging on the cutting to see whether it’s anchored itself will upset the new growth, and it will be several weeks before the plant gives you any outward sign that it’s happy.
Because the leaves can only take up water through roots, a monstera cutting planted in soil might droop for the first few weeks, whereas you may see new leaf growth on a cutting placed in water.
Take a peek at the full Monstera deliciosa care guide for everything you need to know about keeping your Monstera healthy!
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:
How to easily Air Layer Propagate A Monstera Deliciosa.
Total Time: 14 days
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.
Division Propagation of A Monstera
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.
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.