Whether you call it the swiss cheese plant, Monstera deliciosa, or that big plant with holes, there’s no denying its popularity. If you already have one of the plants in your home, the good news is that you can create new monsteras via propagation! We’re going to cover a few different Monstera deliciosa propagation methods and tips to increase your chances of success.
Propagating Monstera deliciosa Basics:
- The two best ways to propagate a Monstera deliciosa plant are stem cutting or air laying.
- Both methods involve encouraging new roots to grow from a stem node and take a few weeks to a few months.
- Successfully propagating Monstera deliciosa plants is considered moderately challenging and requires a degree of patience!
Why Propagate a Monstera deliciosa Plant?
Propagating a monstera plant will allow you to turn one plant into two! You can keep the second plant yourself or give it to a friend.
And if you’re going to be trimming your monstera plant anyways, you might as well use the cuttings to propagate new plants!
Level of Difficulty
Monstera deliciosa plants are moderately challenging to propagate. If you don’t follow a proper method or are impatient, your propagation methods may fail.
Can Monstera deliciosa Plants Grow in Water and/or Soil?
While fully grown Monstera deliciosa plants should be grown in soil, you can propagate these plants in soil or water. However, the propagation method you choose will impact whether you should propagate your plant in soil or water.
Can You Propagate Monstera deliciosa from Just a Leaf?
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to propagate these plants using just a leaf. Along with a leaf, you’ll also need a node where the plant can root and form new leaves.
You can place cut monstera leaves in water, just don’t expect them to form roots.
When you propagate Monstera deliciosa via cutting, you can expect the cutting to form visible roots within one to two months.
For more, see our in-depth guide to Monstera plant growth expectations.
Propagation in Water
The easiest and most popular way to propagate a Monstera deliciosa plant is by rooting cuttings in water. By rooting the cutting in water, you can clearly see the progress. Additionally, the cutting will be less prone to developing disease than if you root your cutting in soil.
If you’d like to use this propagation method, follow these steps.
- Examine your plant.
To successfully propagate your monstera, you must take a cutting containing at least one node. The node is the portion of the stem where leaves and aerial roots emerge.
Before you take a cutting, consider how many plants you’d like to propagate. Each cutting that contains at least one node can be propagated to form a new plant. However, you can also propagate a single cutting that has more than one node.
It is OK to have a leaf on a cutting, but it is not necessary. Aerial roots are also fine but not essential.
- Take a cutting.
Once you’re located where you will cut your plant, take the cutting. Make sure to use a sharp and sanitized pair of pruning shears to obtain a clean cut.
Be careful not to cut off the aerial roots.
- Divide the cutting.
If you’d like to propagate more than one monstera plant at once, you can now further divide your cutting. Use your shears to cut the stem, so each segment has at least one node.
- Place the cuttings in water.
Once your cuttings are ready, place them in a jar filled with a few inches of water. You can place multiple cuttings in one jar or place each cutting in an individual container.
The water should cover only the bottom few inches of the cutting.
- Set the jar in a proper environment
Place the jar somewhere that has bright yet indirect light. The temperature should be between 60ºF and 85ºF.
- Change the water.
It’s best to change the water every few days. This will help prevent the buildup of bacteria.
- Wait for roots to form.
One of the most complex parts of propagating Monstera deliciosa plants is being patient! You should notice your cutting begins to form roots in anywhere from two to four weeks.
At this point, you can transfer the cuttings to a soil-filled container or leave them in the water.
Propagation in Soil
This method is very similar to propagating in water. However, instead of placing the cutting in water, you’ll place it in soil.
While you’ll have to work a bit harder to maintain a proper moisture level, you won’t have to worry about moving your rooted cutting to potting soil.
- Locate where you should take a cutting.
Just like when you take a cutting to propagate in water, you will also want a cutting that has at least one node. Your cutting can also have aerial roots and/or leaves, although this isn’t necessary.
- Take a cutting.
Use a sharp and sanitized pair of pruning shears to take a clean cutting.
- Divide the cutting.
If your cutting has more than one node, you can divide it into multiple cuttings. If you do this, ensure each segment has at least one node.
At this point, you should also remove unnecessary leaves. The cutting should have a maximum of three leaves.
- Place the cuttings in soil.
You should place each cutting in its own pot. The pot should be large enough to hold the cutting, but not much bigger.
Make sure to use a well-draining and well-aerated soil mix. Components such as perlite and pine bark fines will help increase both aeration and drainage.
- Place pots in a bright and warm environment.
Place the potting cuttings in a place where they will receive bright yet indirect light. Aim to provide moderate to high humidity and a temperature between 60ºF and 85ºF.
- Keep the soil moist.
Now comes the tricky part – keeping the soil moist but not saturated!
Soil that is too dry can lead the plant to dry out. However, soil that is too moist can lead to fungal and bacterial diseases.
A good rule of thumb is to water when the top inch of soil is dry. The environment will impact the time it takes for the soil to dry. However, you can expect to water your cutting about once a week.
Propagation by Air Layering
Air layering involves rooting aerial roots while they are still attached to the mother plant. Once these roots are secure in their new home, you can take a cutting.
To use this propagation method, your Monstera deliciosa plant will need to have aerial roots.
- Locate aerial roots.
Before starting with this air layering, you’ll need to locate some aerial roots. These roots form at the plant’s nodes and typically look like light brown spaghetti.
The aerial roots you select to root will be the bottom of your new plant. That means you may want to select a node that’s towards the top of the plant if you don’t want to drastically alter the plant’s size.
- Wrap the area in sphagnum moss.
Once you’ve found some aerial roots, you’ll need to wrap the area in moist sphagnum peat moss. Before adding the moss, soak it in water for about 30 minutes.
Add the moss, so it completely covers the aerial root and node. Next, wrap the moss, node, and root in plastic wrap. You may need to secure the plastic with rubber bands or twist ties.
- Keep moist.
The goal is to keep the moss moist but not wet. Generally, you’ll need to remove the plastic and mist the moss with water a few times a week.
- Remove the rooted portion from the mother plant.
Over the next couple of months, the plant will form new roots. At this point, it’s time to remove the rooted portion so it can live on its own!
Remove the plastic wrap, then gently place the moss and roots in a pot. Next, use a sharp and sanitized pair of shears or a knife to cut the stem just below the roots. Finally, fill the remainder of the pot with an appropriate Monstera soil mix.
Best Time of Year to Propagate
You can propagate a Monstera deliciosa plant at any time of the year. However, spring is the best time to propagate.
Light, Temperature, and Humidity Considerations
Monstera cuttings and potted monstera plants have similar environmental requirements.
Position your Monstera cutting in bright but indirect light, and make sure to never expose the cutting to direct sun. Keep the temperature between 60ºF and 85ºF, and maintain moderate to high humidity.
Moisture and Watering Cycles
If you’re rooting your cutting in water, you don’t have to worry about moisture levels. That’s one benefit of this method!
However, if you are rooting your cutting in soil or propagation via air layering, you’ll need to keep the media moist. With that said, you don’t want it to become too wet, as this can lead to disease issues.
The Growing Medium
If you’re rooting a stem cutting in soil, you want to ensure the potting mix has excellent drainage.
One option is to purchase pre-mixed potting soil, and then add extra perlite or pine bark fines to increase drainage. Mixes such as Noot Organic The Mix and Fox Farm Happy Frog (via Amazon) can be good starting points. A good rule of thumb is to mix in one part of perlite for every three parts of potting mix.
When to Repot
Since your cutting will take a while to develop a robust root system, you likely won’t need to repot it for a few years. If you see the roots growing out of the container, it’s time to repot.
For more, see our in-depth guide to repotting Monstera plants.
Things to Watch Out For
If you’re rooting a cutting in soil or sphagnum moss, you’ll want to make sure the media remains moist but not saturated. Saturated soil or moss can lead to disease issues or rotting roots or other issues like yellowing leaves or brown spots on your monstera plants.
You may also need to provide some support for your Monstera plant as it grows. For more, see our guide to staking and supporting Monstera plants at home.
You should also watch out for common sap-suck pests, including spider mites, aphids, and thrips. If you notice these pests, you can wipe them off with a soapy towel.
Common Problems, Questions, and Remedies (FAQs):
How Long Does It Take a Monstera deliciosa to Root in Water?
It typically takes a Monstera deliciosa cutting a few weeks to begin forming roots. The cutting will likely be ready to move to a container filled with soil mix within one to two months.
Can a Monstera deliciosa Live in Water Forever?
While Monstera deliciosa plants can live for a long time in water, they will eventually begin to decline due to a lack of nutrients. You can apply liquid Monstera fertilizer to supply nutrients.
However, as plants grow larger, they may have difficulty supporting themselves.
How Long Does It Take Monstera deliciosa to Propagate?
While the process of taking a cutting or setting your plant up for air layering is quick, you’ll need to be patient after the initial steps.
If you’re propagating your monstera from a stem cutting or via air layering, new roots will begin to form within a few weeks.
Are Monstera deliciosa Plants Hard to Propagate?
No, Monstera deliciosa plants are not difficult to propagate. As long as you know the proper steps, you can successfully propagate these plants.
Can You Grow a Monstera deliciosa from a Broken Leaf?
You cannot propagate a new plant from a broken Monstera deliciosa leaf. The leaf needs to have a piece of stem and a node attached for successful propagation.
Can a Monstera deliciosa Grow From One Leaf?
It depends. While you cannot propagate a new plant from just a leaf, you can propagate a new plant from a stem cutting with only one leaf. However, the stem needs to also have a node.
Why is My Monstera deliciosa Not Rooting?
It will take a few weeks for rooting to begin. If your cutting is still not rooting, it may not be in a great environment. Ensure the air is warm, the light is bright yet indirect, and the soil is moist.
When it’s time to propagate, remember that roots form from nodes. So make sure to choose a piece of stem with a node, no matter what propagation method you use.