How to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa in 5 Easy Steps
Monstera deliciosa, also known as the split-leaf philodendron or Swiss cheese plant, is one of the most sought-after houseplants, rising in popularity because of their lush, interesting leaves and dark green color. And what's great about monstera? They’re easy to propagate into new plants that you can add to your collection or share with friends.
There are a few different ways to propagate Monstera deliciosa, and we're here to show you how.
- Monstera is a popular houseplant native to Central American rainforests.
- You can only propagate Monstera deliciosa cuttings if the cutting has a node.
- A propagated node can grow new roots in about a month, but new leaves might not appear for two or three months.
When to Propagate Monstera
The best time to propagate a mature monstera plant is during the spring and summer. This is also the best time to prune back leggy or overgrown plants. If your cutting includes a node, you can use the pieces you prune off to propagate new plants. It’s still possible to propagate this plant in fall or winter, but the process might take longer.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Sharp, sterilized shears or pruners
- Sharp, sterilized knife or pruners
- Coarse potting mix with good drainage
- Rooting hormone powder
- Sphagnum moss
- Clear plastic bag
- Twist ties or twine
How to Propagate Monstera With Stem Cuttings
A popular way to propagate monstera is by rooting stem cuttings in a coarse, well-draining growing medium. You can root cuttings in perlite alone, amend standard potting mix with a few handfuls of perlite or orchid bark for drainage, or make your own propagation mix by combining equal parts peat moss, perlite, and organic compost.
Prepare the Pot
Fill the plant pot half full with growing medium so there's one inch of space between the soil level and the top of the pot. Lightly moisten the growing medium.
Take a Cutting With a Node
Examine the mother plant and choose a healthy-looking stem with a node (the bumpy area on the stem that can produce new growth), at least one aerial root, and at least two leaves. Make a clean cut directly below the node or below an aerial root.
Dip the Cutting in Rooting Hormone
Dip the tip of the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder to promote faster, more vigorous root growth. Tap the cutting to remove excess powder, a light coating is sufficient.
Plant the Cutting
Use your finger or a pencil to poke a hole in the center of the growing medium. Plant the cutting so the node is one inch below the soil surface. Coil any aerial roots around the top of the pot and cover with another layer of soil. You can cut back aerial roots instead if they’re too large to fit in the pot.
Monitor the Cutting
Put monstera stem cuttings in a warm place with bright, indirect light. Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. After a week or two, you can allow the top layer of soil to dry out between waterings to avoid root rot.
How to Propagate Monstera By Air Layering
Another way to propagate monstera is air layering, which allows new roots to grow before separating a new plant from the mother plant. It’s a lower-risk way to propagate because you don’t have to worry about the cutting rotting or failing to root, and you can see root progress without removing the cutting from the growing medium.
Prepare Sphagnum Moss
Soak a handful of sphagnum moss in water for at least 15 minutes before you plan to propagate so it can become saturated.
Make the Cut
Identify a healthy monstera stem with a node. Using a clean, sharp blade or shears, make a cut about one-third of the way through the stem just below the node.
Apply Sphagnum Moss
Give the sphagnum moss a good squeeze to remove excess water. Wrap the moss around the cut and the node so that it’s about one inch thick. Wrap the moss in clear plastic and use a twist tie at either end to secure the moss to the stem. Make sure the plastic fully encloses the moss to hold in moisture.
Monitor Root Growth
Keep an eye on the moss for the next several weeks and mist it with water if it begins to dry out. Over the next couple of months, roots will grow into the sphagnum moss, which you should be able to see through the clear plastic.
Caring for Your Cuttings
In ideal conditions, cuttings should root in two to four weeks. Gently lift the cutting out of the growing medium with a trowel or spoon and look for firm, white roots. New leaf growth also indicates that the cutting has rooted.
If you’re propagating your monstera by air layering, you can care for the plant as usual while the new roots grow.
When to Transplant Cuttings
Once your monstera cutting has rooted and is showing new leaf growth, you can transplant it into a pot one size larger and care for it as usual.
If using the air layering method, wait until the new roots are about an inch long before removing the cutting from the mother plant. At that point, you can make a cut below the new root growth to remove the new plant. Plant it in a pot and care for it as usual.
Where do I cut on monstera to propagate?
Cut just below a node to ensure that your cutting will root. Cuttings without a node will not root.
Can you root monstera cuttings in water?
Yes, you can root monstera cuttings in water, but the root system will not be as strong as a cutting rooted in soil. Follow directions for propagating monstera with stem cuttings, but place the cutting in a jar of water rather than a pot of soil. Ensure that the node is below the water level. Change the water when it gets cloudy. Transplant when new roots are about an inch long.
How long does monstera take to root in water?
Monstera cuttings can root in water in two to four weeks.