Monstera deliciosa, often referred to in the gardening world as the Swiss cheese plant or the Split leaf Monstera, is one of the most popular houseplants around the world.
Interestingly enough, the holes in this plant’s leaves appeared as the plant adapted to its native habitat of tropical jungle floors to allow more sun light and rain to pass through to the rest of the plant and to reach its bottom leaves and roots! But your Monstera might not have any leaf holes and that’s perfectly fine – most plants will develop the holes as they mature.
This eye-catching plant is an Instagram celebrity, so it comes as no surprise that it is among the favourites of most gardeners.
Featuring an exquisite appearance through its unique foliage, this plant will make any room look more Instagrammable. But besides its decorative qualities, Monstera comes with other advantages as well – it is very easy to grow in your home as it requires little effort on your part to grow healthy and happy.
If you are familiar with Monstera plants and with their irresistible appearance and low-maintenance habits, it is only natural to want to keep it by your side for as long as possible.
Propagating is a perfect option to prolongue the life of your plants, to make more young Monstera plants to fill your home, or to create perfect gifts for your loved ones. So, now that you are here – let’s get to work!
When it comes to propagation, Monstera will make your job very easy even if you are only a beginner in the gardening world. There are several methods of propagating your Monstera plant, each coming with a few particular but simple steps and no extra money spent.
Keep reading to find out everything you might want to know about the ways you can propagate your Monstera plant!
Propagating Monstera Through Stem Cuttings
Without a doubt, the most common method to propagate your Monstera plant is using its stems for cuttings. This plant grows pretty large, so you will have plenty of propagation material at hand. Especially if your Monstera is old.
You can start taking cuttings from your Monstera during the spring and summer months, as this is the period when the plant grows actively. Also, you will want to take cuttings from new, young stems to increase your chances of success in terms of root development.
Take as many cuttings as you wish from your plant using a sharp and clean pruning shear. The cuttings should measure at least 5-7 inches (13-18 cm) in length and you will also need to include at least two leaves, a node, and an aerial root. You can obtain a node on each cutting by removing the bottom-most leaves.
To prevent the mother plant from developing any future disease, we warmly recommend you put a dash of ground cinnamon where you made the cuts. After this, you can start thinking about whether you want to root the cuttings in water or directly in the soil. The Monstera cuttings usually root fast and easy, thus you do not need to dip their cut ends into rooting hormone for better root growth.
If you opt for water rooting, you should keep the ends of the cuttings submerged for a few weeks or so, then transplant them into their individual containers. Change the water once every three to five days to keep the cuttings in a propagation medium that is always fresh.
Likewise, you should use rainwater or filtered water for the overall better health of your Monstera cuttings. Once you see a clump of roots showing up, you can transplant the new tiny Monstera plants in their pots filled with the same soil you already use for the parent plant. Keep the soil constantly moist to help the cuttings settle in their new environment.
If you want to plant the Monstera cuttings directly in the soil, the obvious way would be to skip all the water-growing steps. After you take the cuttings, plant them outdoors in the garden (if the climate in your area allows it) or in their own pots. In a container, the best growing medium for Monstera cuttings is a peat-based, well-draining potting mix. Outdoors, plant it in a sandy, heavy clay, or medium loamy substrate that comes with very good drainage.
Starting Your Own Monstera From Seed
Another great way to propagate your Monstera plant is by seeds. In general, Monstera seeds germinate within a few weeks from the moment of sowing. Keep in mind, though, that their seedlings will develop at an extremely slow pace.
And the most difficult part of this method is that it might be a fuss to wait for your Monstera to produce mature fruits from its flowers. But if you are lucky enough and it happens at some point, why not take advantage of it?
Once you collect the seeds from the fruits, you should use them right away for propagation. The Monstera seeds have a very short lifespan, so you will not be able to dry them or keep them through the winter for the next growing season. But before sowing the seeds, there are a few tricks you can use to kick start the germination process.
The first one would be soaking the Monstera seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours after you take them from the mother plant. The second is the paper towel germination. In this process, you must place the seeds in a single layer on a paper towel, cover them with another paper towel, moisten the seeds, and place the propagation party in a well-lit location.
If you do this, you can even notice the seeds sprouting within two to four days. After either of these methods, you must sow the seeds in fresh potting soil, then cover them with a thin layer of the substrate.
While lighting is not an issue for propagation, you will have to pay attention to the soil’s moisture. Make sure you water the seeds thoroughly whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. As long as you keep the propagation medium constantly damp, the seeds will reward you with Monstera seedlings in little to no time.
Propagating Monstera through Division
Once your Monstera plant reaches maturity, it becomes more than fit for propagating it through division. This method is the fastest and most efficient of all, giving you instant feedback and helping you spend less time for the same results.
The perfect time to divide your Monstera is in early spring at the beginning of its active growing period. It will be more likely to recover from root stress and continue its growth as if nothing happened.
A tip for better results and health of the mother plant – spoil your Monstera with a nice soak a week before the programmed date of propagation. This step will prepare the plant for what comes next.
When the time is right, remove your Monstera from its soil and use a sharp, clean knife to cut its root ball into two or three parts. Each section should have lots of roots and stems attached to it if you want the plants to grow nicely after division.
After this, plant the new Monstera fellows in their individual homes, then water them well for a great start. For optimal growth, you should plant the baby plants in pots that are 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) wider than the roots and come along with drainage holes at the bottom.
Air Layering a Monstera Plant
When it comes to propagating a Monstera, air layering is a preferred method considering the risks of making many cuts in the parent plant.
With this method, you will cut parts of your Monstera only when the new baby plant is more than ready to go in its container with its freshly-developed roots. Although this method seems a bit sophisticated for some gardeners, you will see that it is not as difficult as it sounds.
- First things first, look for a stem that contains a couple of nodes, since they are the emerging spots of the future roots. You can also opt for a leaf that grows out of a stem and features a short aerial root right below it.
- Once you find them, you must cut a small notch of about a third of the stem’s width and make sure you cut it just below that node or root.
- After this, wrap a one-inch (2.5 cm) layer of sphagnum moss around the stem where you made the notch. Spray the sphagnum moss with water until it becomes damp to the touch to increase moisture.
- Make sure you wrap the substrate in plastic to conserve moisture. For this, you can use twist ties to secure it. Keep in mind that you must spray the moss regularly to ensure it remains moist until roots appear.
With proper care, the roots should show up after a few months. When this happens, you can cut the stem right below the roots using a clean and sharp garden tool. Plant the young Monstera in a pot filled with fresh, well-draining peat-based potting mix.
At the end of this process, try to not get too excited about the results and forget about the mother Monstera plant. You should pat ground cinnamon on the wound to help it heal and also prevent any disease from entering the cut.
At this point, you are a master of propagating Monstera plants! No matter what method you choose to use, you will obtain as many attractive Monstera plants as you want. Still, you should know that it is best to avoid starting your own plants from seed if you have a variegated cultivar at home. In most cases, the new plants that will emerge from those seeds will not come true to the parent.
Other than this, you have all the freedom in the world to do as you please. And do not forget to enjoy the process and have some fun while doing it!