Propagation

How to propagate a Monstera Deliciosa plant

Monstera plants, also known widely as Swiss Cheese Plants, are some of the most unique and striking houseplants.

How to propagate a Monstera Deliciosa plant

Monstera Deliciosa, also commonly known as Swiss Cheese Plants, is one of the most unique, popular and striking houseplants. Originating from the tropical rainforests, Monstera plants are loved for their large heart-shaped split leaves which dominate the room. Propagating a Monstera may feel a little daunting at first but if you have a strong and healthy mother plant it can be a really simple process. Monstera plants also grow fairly fast and they are quite resilient so are a great plant to propagate. 

In this post we will guide you through the complete Monstera propagation process; the various ways you can propagate a Monstera, the dos and don’ts, what tools you’ll need to propagate and things to look out for to ensure a successful propagation.

Why propagate a Monstera plant?

There are several reasons why you might choose to propagate your Monstera. Firstly, they don’t always grow how we want them to! They sometimes grow sideways, too leggy or tall. Propagating can help to keep your Monstera in the right shape for your space. 

If you notice that your Monstera is dying then sometimes the only option is to propagate the healthy part of the plant and give up on the rest. Although we never like this option, sometimes it’s the only way to keep at least some of the plant alive. 

And lastly, our favourite reason to propagate Monstera plants; get free plants! Propagating is a great way to multiply the amount of greenery in your home without actually having to spend any more money on plants. Monstera cuttings also make great gifts for friends and family so the reasons you might want to propagate one are almost endless…

Tools you will need to propagate a Monstera plant

Let’s start off with the easy part. It’s important to make sure you have all the right things before taking your first Monstera cutting!

 

  • Healthy and mature Monstera Deliciosa plant

  • Spare pot

  • Fresh soil and water

  • Newspaper or plastic sheet

  • Toothpick, plastic wrap and peat moss (if you are using the air layering method)

What methods can I use to propagate my Monstera Deliciosa?

There are three main methods of propagation you can use for Monstera Deliciosa; stem cuttings, air layering and division. Stem cuttings and division are definitely the more common propagation methods used and the ones we would recommend if you are fairly new to propagating houseplants. But you can have really great success with the air layering method and is perfect for plant parents wanting to do something a little different. Below you will find a step by step guide to each method of Monstera propagation.

Propagating a Monstera plant through the stem cutting method

This is probably the most straight forward method of propagation, it’s likely this is the route you’ll take for the first time.

 

  • 1

    Locate your stem cutting

    When taking a Monstera stem cutting you want to make sure that the part of the plant you are cutting is healthy to give you any chance of success. You also need to make sure this section of your Monstera has at least one node. Nodes are stem joints where the ariel roots grow out from. They are really easy to spot on Monsteras as they are just below each leaf on the main stem. Most nodes on a Monstera plant will have a long ariel root attached but it may happen that some of the newer parts of the plant just have a bump and no root yet.

    If you can, try to choose a section of the plant that contains a few nodes, one or more of which have mature aerial roots as this will help speed up the propagation process a little.

  • 2

    Make the cut 

    This is the scary part! Now that you have located the section of the stem, you need to cut it off! Use clean scissors/ shears or a knife to make the cut to avoid passing on dirt or any infection to the plant. Use your tools to make a clean cut across your plant in a diagonal way. This increases the surface area of the cutting.

  • 3

    Take off any lower leaves 

    As you will be placing your cutting in water for several weeks you want to carefully remove any leaves on the lower part of the cutting that may end up sitting in the water. They will rot if they are sat in water for a long period of time so best to cut them off now. If your Monstera cutting only has a few leaves then skip this step and make sure the water level isn’t super high.

  • 4

    Fill up your container with water 

    Next, you want to fill up a glass with fresh temperate water to place your Monstera cutting into. Make sure the water isn’t super cold or hot as this will shock or burn the cutting and cause it to die. It is best to use purified water so the levels of chlorine and fluoride aren’t as high as in the water straight out of the tap. Monstera plants aren’t super sensitive to this compared to other houseplants but if you can use filtered water or rainwater then go for it!

  • 5

    Place your Monstera cutting in water

    Make sure that the node(s) on the stem cutting is sat in the water so that the roots will start to grow out from there. Place your glass in bright but indirect sunlight. Intense light will damage the Monstera cutting and might mean your propagation isn’t successful.

    You can use a light monitor to figure out if your Monstera cuttings are getting the right amount of sunlight. You can also supplement sunlight levels by using an LED grow light which are great at encouraging growth in cuttings. We love this one which is available on Amazon here. 

    It’s at this stage that you might choose to use rooting hormone. This will help to speed up root growth on the new cuttings. We have always found this rooting gel to be successful – you can buy it on Amazon here. 

  • 6

    Change out the water regularly 

    It’s super important that you keep the water in your Monstera propagation station fresh so we recommend switching it out every couple of days. This keeps it free from bacteria and stops it from stagnating and smelling. Some parents believe that the water shouldn’t be switched out as this can remove nutrients from the cutting but we always recommend keeping it fresh as stagnant water breeds bacteria which can harm your Monstera cutting.

  • 7

    Be patient

    This is the point at which Monstera propagation can get a little boring. There is nothing left to do other than change out the water and wait for roots to grow. Don’t worry if this process takes several weeks or months as that is totally normal! Monstera propagation is very unpredictable and depends on a lot of things so just make sure your cutting is healthy and you should start to see new roots soon.

  • 8

    Plant your Monstera cuttings into potting mix

    Once the roots on your Monstera cutting have matured well growing in water you can pot your cutting into soil. We recommend using a high-quality potting mix to aid with drainage and aeration. Our top choice for soil would be this potting mix from Miracle Gro. Carefully place your cutting into the mix making sure not to damage the delicate newly formed roots and continue regular Monstera care.

Propagating a Monstera plant through the air layering method

This method of Monstera propagation can be a little trickier and fiddlier so we only recommend it if you are a slightly more experienced plant propagator!

 

  • 1

    Locate a healthy stem

    When choosing the air layering method you want to make sure you are using a healthy and strong part of the stem. Avoid any part of the plant that is yellow, brown or showing signs of pests/sunburn etc. This will impact how successful your propagation is so choosing the right part of the stem is key to this method of Monstera propagation.

  • 2

    Make a vertical incision into the stem 

    Using a clean knife make a vertical cut into the stem that is a couple of inches long. You want it to go about halfway through the stem. When making the cut it’s important you don’t slice all the way through to the other side of the stem.

  • 3

    Open up the incision

    We recommend inserting a toothpick into the centre of the incision to hold it open. This can be a little fiddly as you don’t want to poke through the stem of your Monstera.  

  • 4

    Attach damp peat moss to the side of the incision

    You want to tie the peat moss around the stem with the cutting in making sure it stays damp but not soggy at all times. Use brown string, plant ties or garden wire to secure the peat moss to your Monstera stem.

  • 5

    Wrap up the peat moss 

    You want to wrap a piece of plastic wrap around the peat moss and Monstera stem. Wrap it firmly around the stem but still leaving some air pockets around the peat moss. 

  • 6

    Once you see a new root you can cut off the stem

    After several weeks you should start to see new roots growing out of the peat moss. Once you see this you can slice the cutting off your Monstera plant, remove the film and pot the cutting into fresh potting mix. Handle your new Monstera cutting with care as the fresh roots will be delicate and easily damaged. 

Propagating a Monstera plant through division of the mother

You can only use this method if your Monstera has several stems growing in the same pot. If your plant is only one offshoot then you must use either the stem cutting or air layering methods.

 

  • 1

    Locate the various offshoots of your Monstera

    When looking for a part of the Monstera to divide it will become very obvious if there are various offshoots/stems. They will be completely separate and leaves will grow out from each of the stems.

  • 2

    Take your Monstera out of the pot

    Whilst the other methods of propagation you can do without even needing to get your hands dirty, with the division method you need to divide the root system so you’ll need to remove your Monstera from its pot. Carefully lift the plant out and shake off the potting mix around the roots. A good way to loosen the soil is to run your fingers through the roots to start to separate them. 

    Be careful not to damage the roots. Monstera plants have fewer but thicker roots in comparison to many other houseplants so damage to the root system can impact the plant’s health and future growth.

  • 3

    Separate the sections 

    You may have to trim off the odd root if they aren’t detangling easily but you should be able to carefully pull the sections apart from each other. It’s ok if you have to slice around the plant a little to separate them but just make sure that each part of the plant has a substantial amount of the root system to aid a successful propagation. 

  • 4

    Place in water or fresh potting mix

    Pot the main mother Monstera plant back into its pot (or downsize if you have taken a lot away from the plant) and decide whether you want to place the new plant in water first or straight into potting mix. This depends on the size of the Monstera cutting and the maturity of the root system. If the divided section has quite mature roots then it will be fine growing in potting mix straight away. 

  • 5

    Continue normal Monstera care

    Now that your new Monstera plant is happily in its new home with plenty of fresh potting mix, your propagation is complete! You can now care for your new Monstera plant like you would the other one, making sure it gets the right amount of light, warmth, water and humidity to thrive! 

Monstera Deliciosa Propagation FAQs

Here’s some answers to the most common questions we get on this subject, hopefully something here can help!

Common problems when propagating a Monstera Deliciosa plant

Propagating plants won’t always be successful and you’re more than likely to come across some issues along the way. But if you catch the problem early, and know how to fix it properly, you should be able to revive your cutting and propagate it successfully.

We hope you have found this complete guide to Monstera propagation useful. It is never an exact science and sometimes you have to just sit back and wait. But with the right care and the ideal environment, you shouldn’t have too many problems.

Check out our full Monstera Care Guide that has all the information on how to continue care for your Monstera cutting once it has matured.

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