How to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa in 5 Easy Steps

The Monstera deliciosa, also known as the Swiss cheese plant, is a popular houseplant admired for its large, glossy leaves with signature holes and cuts. Propagating monstera plants is a great way to get new plants for free. With just a few simple steps, you can propagate a monstera deliciosa plant from cuttings or through other propagation methods.

Gathering Monstera Cuttings

The first step in propagating monstera deliciosa is to take cuttings from a healthy parent plant. Here are some tips for getting perfect cuttings:

  • Use a sharp, clean pair of scissors or gardening shears to remove cuttings. Make sure the tool you use is sterilized to prevent disease transmission.
  • Take cuttings from healthy stems with a few leaves and aerial roots. Cuttings should be 3-6 inches long.
  • Try to select cuttings that have 1-2 nodes where leaves emerge. Nodes are where new roots will sprout.
  • Snipping just below a node helps stimulate root growth. Always make a clean cut rather than tearing.
  • Take several cuttings to improve your chances of propagation success. 3-5 cuttings help safeguard against any that fail to root.
  • Use a narrow container or vase to hold cuttings until you are ready to propagate them.
  • Keep the cuttings hydrated by placing the stem ends in water so they do not dry out.

Preparing for Propagation

Before you begin propagating the monstera cuttings, follow these simple preparation steps:

  • Sterilize your propagation tools and workspace to prevent disease. Rubbing alcohol or a mild bleach solution work well.
  • Select a propagation vessel like a pot, jar, or vase. Make sure it is clean. Cache pots or mason jars work well.
  • Fill your vessel with propagation media. Sphagnum peat moss or perlite work perfectly. Keep it moist, not soggy.
  • Consider using a rooting hormone powder to speed up the rooting process. Dip the cut side of the cutting in it.
  • Have a thin plant stake ready to support the cutting and keep it upright.
  • Choose a warm area with bright, indirect light to house your propagation setup.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature around 70-80°F for optimal results.

Rooting Monstera Cuttings in Water

Rooting monstera cuttings in water is an easy propagation method. Follow these instructions:

  • Fill a glass vase or jar with room temperature filtered water. Use rainwater or distilled water if possible.
  • Make a fresh cut just below a node on the monstera cutting. Remove any leaves below the node.
  • Optional – Dip the freshly cut end in rooting hormone powder or gel. Tap off any excess powder.
  • Place the cutting in the water so the cut end is fully submerged. Use a plant stake to hold it upright if needed.
  • Maintain water levels in the jar. Add more water as it evaporates. Change the water every 5-7 days.
  • Place the jar in a warm area with indirect sunlight. Avoid direct hot sun.
  • Check for root growth weekly. Look for small white bumps emerging from the cutting.
  • Once roots are 1-2 inches long, transplant the rooted cutting into a potting mix.

Rooting in Soil or Perlite

Rooting monstera cuttings directly in a potting mix or perlite is another simple option. Here’s how:

  • Fill a small nursery pot with equal parts peat and perlite. Or use a propagation mix.
  • Moisten the potting mix so it is lightly damp but not soggy wet.
  • Optional – Dip the cut end of the monstera cutting in rooting hormone powder.
  • Poke a small hole in the potting mix with a pencil. Insert the cutting.
  • Gently firm the mix around the cutting. Leave 1-2 nodes above the soil.
  • Use a plant stake if needed to keep the cutting upright in the soil mix.
  • Water lightly to settle the soil. Cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse environment.
  • Place the potted cutting in indirect light. Maintain warm temps around 70-80°F.
  • Check for root growth in 3-4 weeks. Gently tug on the cutting to feel resistance from roots.
  • Once rooted, remove the plastic bag and care for the plant normally. Keep soil moist.

Propagating in Moss

Sphagnum moss is another excellent medium for propagating monstera deliciosa cuttings. Follow these simple steps:

  • Soak sphagnum moss in water until fully hydrated. Then squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Fill a propagation jar or other vessel with the damp moss.
  • Optional – Dip the cut end of the monstera cutting in rooting hormone powder.
  • Poke a hole in the moss using a pencil. Insert the monstera cutting.
  • Use a plant stake if needed to keep the cutting upright in the moss.
  • Cover the jar loosely with plastic wrap to maintain humidity.
  • Place the moss-filled jar in indirect sunlight and keep warm at 70-80°F.
  • Check weekly for root development. Look for new white roots emerging at the nodes.
  • Once rooted, transplant into a potting mix leaving the moss attached initially.
  • Keep the soil moist but not soaked as the plant establishes.

Caring for New Propagations

Once your monstera cuttings have successfully rooted, follow these tips for ongoing care:

  • Harden off new plants before transplanting. Place them outside in partial shade for a few days.
  • Transplant into a peat-based indoor potting mix amended with perlite for drainage.
  • Select a pot only 1-2 inches larger than the root mass to avoid overwatering.
  • Water thoroughly after transplanting to settle soil and eliminate air pockets.
  • Place in a warm spot with indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sun which can burn leaves.
  • Maintain moderately moist soil. Check every few days and water when the top inches are dry.
  • Mist leaves occasionally to increase humidity around the plant.
  • Stake and tie stems if needed for support as they grow taller.
  • Feed monthly during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
  • Propagated plants may not develop fenestrations in leaves until more mature. Be patient!

Common Questions

What is the best way to propagate monstera deliciosa?

The water method is often easiest for beginners since you can watch the roots developing. But propagation in perlite, soil, or moss also works well.

How long does it take monstera cuttings to root?

Rooting time varies based on conditions, but generally takes 4-8 weeks. Warmer temperatures, high humidity, and rooting hormone accelerate the process.

What causes monstera propagations to fail?

Cuttings failing to root is often due to dry soil, improper soil moisture, or temperatures that are too low. Avoid direct sunlight which can scorch leaves before roots establish.

Why does my propagated monstera have small leaves?

Newly propagated monsteras often start with smaller, juvenile foliage. Mature, fenestrated leaves develop over time as the plant ages and climbs upwards. Be patient!

Should I mist my new monstera propagations?

Light misting helps increase humidity while new cuttings are rooting. But take care not to overdo it once placed in soil, as excess moisture invites diseases.

When can I repot a newly propagated monstera?

Wait to repot monstera propagations until there is significant root growth, typically a few months after transplanting the cutting. Then repot into a slightly larger container.

Final Thoughts

Propagating a monstera deliciosa plant is a fun, rewarding way to get new houseplants for free. With a bit of patience and care, you can grow an extensive monstera collection. Be sure to take lots of cuttings and experiment with different methods to discover which works best in your environment. Keeping notes on what works well will set you up for propagation success!

Summary of Propagation Steps:

  1. Take healthy monstera cuttings with nodes and aerial roots.
  2. Prepare cuttings in water while gathering propagation supplies.
  3. Choose a propagation vessel and medium like water, soil, perlite or moss.
  4. Root cuttings in your chosen method by following the step-by-step instructions.
  5. Care for newly rooted propagations by hardening off, transplanting, staking, and providing optimal light and moisture.
  6. Be patient! Rooting takes 4-8 weeks on average. Enjoy your new monstera deliciosa plants!