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How To Propagate Monstera

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Looking to bring some tropical elegance into your home? You can’t go wrong with the Swiss Cheese plant, also known as Monstera Deliciosa.

Instead of going out and buying two, three, or more to spread them all around your house, just propagate the one you have. Don’t worry, it’s really easy, and you can probably do it with items you have laying around your house.

Here we’ll share with you several ways you can propagate your own Monstera plants. Before long, you’ll have so many that you’ll be sharing them with grateful friends and family. So come along, and let’s get into it!

Before We Get Started Propagating Monstera Plants

Monstera leaves being propogated in pitcher
Monstera leaves being propogated in pitcher

If you just brought your Monstera home, you’ll need to let it grow a little bit before you start snipping parts off it. Young plants need time to grow before they can be propagated.

Also, if you brought it home and repotted it, you’ll need to let the roots expand a bit and let the plant get situated in the new pot.

When you do start propagating, make sure you only cut 25% or less of the entire plant. Cutting too much off the original Monster will weaken it, and may stunt the growth.

Multiple Propagation Methods

There are several ways you can propagate a Monstera Deliciosa plant. When you repot a larger Monstera you can separate it into two plants, you can air layer them or cut off nodes with aerial roots.

You can propagate them in water, in soil, moss, or even clay beads. All you need is a container and some kind of medium.

Monstera Propagation Via Division

Materials Needed:

  • Pots – Since Monstera plants have large leaves that make them top heavy, you’ll need heavier pots that don’t tip over easily. Terra cotta and ceramic pots work well.
  • Gloves – Monsteras contain a lot of oxalate crystals in the sap that can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
  • Monstera soil – These tropical plants are very susceptible to root rot if they are overwatered or sit in wet soil for too long. A very well draining soil such as Gardenera Premium Monstera Potting Soil is a great choice for repotting these plants.
  • Fertilizer – A good all purpose fertilizer is recommended.

Oftentimes, nurseries and big box stores sell multiple smaller plants in one single pot to make it look bigger without waiting for the time it would take a single plant to grow.

I like to repot my houseplants as soon as I can when I get them home. They are typically root bound, or placed in soil that has little to no nutrients.

In the case of Monstera plants, there could be several plants in one pot. With your gloves on, go ahead and carefully pull it from the pot. Shake off as much soil as you can, and inspect it. Here you can find individual plants and separate them off.

Place the separated smaller plants into new pots with a good Monstera compatible soil, and care for them as usual. It’s always a good idea to give them a dose of fertilizer when they are repotted, trimmed, or otherwise disturbed.

Monstera Propagation Through Cuttings

Materials Needed:

  • Pots – Since Monstera plants have large leaves that make them top heavy, you’ll need heavier pots that don’t tip over easily. Terra cotta and ceramic pots work well.
  • Gloves – Monsteras contain a lot of oxalate crystals in the sap that can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
  • Monstera soil – These tropical plants are very susceptible to root rot if they are overwatered or sit in wet soil for too long. A very well draining soil such as Gardenera Premium Monstera Potting Soil is a great choice for repotting these plants. You can also use moss or clay beads.
  • Fertilizer – A good all purpose fertilizer is recommended.
  • A vase and water – Monstera plants can be started in clean water if you choose.
  • Clean and sharp scissors or pruning shears – Be sure to clean these with rubbing alcohol or a weakened bleach solution to make sure you don’t accidentally introduce fungus or pathogens. 
  • Rooting hormone (optional) – If you have rooting hormone already, it doesn’t hurt to use it, but it’s not an absolute necessity.

While this type of propagation can be done at any time throughout the year, the best time is during a period of growth. Try to propagate your Monstera during spring or summer when the plant is active and growing. It will help keep it healthy after getting cut.

On larger Monstera plants you can propagate nodes from the plant. Just like Pothos and other vining plants, just look for an area on the plant that has aerial roots, or small projections that indicate an aerial root will start growing here.

In their native lands, these aerial roots help keep the plant anchored to the tree it’s growing on. And if they reach the ground, they grow new plants.

You can plant a node that only has one leaf, but if you can find a node that has two, three, or more leaves, the propagation has a better chance of succeeding. The plant is able to make more food through photosynthesis and has more leaves if something happens to another one.

With your gloves on, and using your cleaned pruning shears, carefully cut the node about one to two inches below the root node. If you have a rooting hormone, you can now apply it.

Again, that step isn’t necessary. When you’re not using rooting hormone, it’s recommended to let the cut end dry out a little and “scab” over before putting it in water or a growing medium.

Water Propagation

Once you have let your cutting “scab over” go ahead and place it in a vase with enough water to cover the roots by an inch or two. Any long aerial roots can be carefully curled around at the bottom.

Place the container in an area that gets plenty of indirect, bright light. You’ll want to pour out and refresh the water every couple of days so that it doesn’t get stagnant and slimy.

After a few weeks, or when you see new root growth of a few inches, it’s ready to be placed in a pot with Monstera soil. Now just care for it normally.

If you don’t see roots showing up after two to three weeks, don’t get discouraged, it may take longer. As long as the leaves and stems are looking good and not wilting or turning black, your Monstera cutting is healthy.

Just a quick note here; when you transplant your Monster from the water-filled vase to soil, it may experience transplant shock. The leaves may wilt and look sad, but be patient.

The roots take some time to adjust from a life of constant water to a home of soil, air, and moisture. Give it a few days and it should bounce right back and start growing again.

Monstera Moss Propagation

Sphagnum moss is a great way to propagate Monstera plants. It’s light, airy, holds moisture well, and allows plenty of tiny air pockets for the roots to breathe. For added aeration, it’s recommended to mix in plenty of perlite, the chunky kind if you can find it.

Propagating Monstera Deliciosa plants in sphagnum moss helps develop stronger roots from the word go, so they are less likely to experience transplant shock when you transplant them. When roots aren’t constantly submerged in water, they are woodier and stronger.

Sphagnum moss has been getting a lot of negative press lately for being very bad for the environment. It grows so slowly that it can’t keep up with harvesting, and it releases a lot of carbon back into the environment, so it’s not great to use a lot of it.

If you’d rather use an alternative, try out coconut coir. Coco Coir Bricks are just as light and airy as sphagnum moss and make for a great seed starter and propagating medium. I’ve personally used this product and fell in love with it instantly.

Coconut coir is just the outer, fibrous husk of coconuts. It’s sustainably harvested, and much better for the environment.

When using coconut or moss, be sure to keep an eye on the moisture level as it can dry out quickly. When it’s completely dry, it’s difficult to dampen it completely again. Watering from the bottom can help with this problem.

For the first week, be sure to keep the soil consistently moist. After that, let the top inch or two dry out before giving the plant a deep watering.

When it’s time to water it, the best way to water a Monstera is from the bottom. Soak it in a larger bowl or a sink for a few minutes then let it drain out very well.

You can also propagate your Monstera cutting directly in the soil if you’d like. You’ll just have to water it more frequently at first, but then you can reduce the waterings after about a week has passed.

If you have that rooting hormone, now is the best time to use it. You can’t see the roots develop, and root rot can set it pretty easily here. Rooting hormone will help the roots grow and settle in quicker.

Propagating Monstera Cuttings In LECA

You may be wondering (like I was when I first heard of it) what the heck is LECA? It’s clay beads that you can find in your local nursery or home improvement store.

LECA stands for lightweight expanded clay aggregate. These are small clay rounds that hold water and expand slightly when they are soaked. They can be used in place of soil, but they really shine when you’re propagating Monsteras.

Since Monstera plants can easily get root rot, you have to be careful with watering. With LECA, all you have to do is soak the beads and let the plant drink when it needs it.

Just water the pot when the beads look dry, they absorb as much water as they need and the rest drains out. Monstera roots aren’t sitting in water and get as much as they need.

How To Use LECA

Use a clear vase, jar, or pot so you can see how much water is inside. Add about an inch or two of clay beads, then place your cutting on top of that. Carefully fill in more clay pebbles around the cutting.

Once the plant is nice and stabilized, pour in water until it just reaches the bottom of the cutting. You don’t want it soaking. The LECA will draw water up to the roots.

As you see the water level dropping through evaporation or plant usage, add more. When you see a few inches of roots growing around the clay rounds you can take the Monstera out and put it in soil.

If these clay balls sound like something you’d like to try, find them here: 2 lbs xGarden LECA Expanded Clay Pebbles.

Propagation Of Monstera Plants Through Air Layering

Materials Needed:

  • Sharp knife – A razor knife or box cutter is best. You need to make a small, thin cut on the plant.
  • Gloves – Monsteras contain a lot of oxalate crystals in the sap that can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
  • Sphagnum moss – A very small amount for each air layering attempt.
  • Plastic wrap – Use what you have in your kitchen, or you can purchase plant specific, clear plastic wrap.

Air layering is a safer, yet more technical way to propagate your Monstera plant. It doesn’t involve any trimming off of parts of the plant until a good set of roots has already been established.

Find a node that has an aerial root. Since you have to cut it, thicker stems are much better for air layering.

Before taking the knife to your plant, be sure to clean it with alcohol or bleach as we discussed with the scissors or pruning shears.

Make a small vertical cut in the stem right near the node. You only have to cut about a half an inch in length and don’t do more than a quarter of an inch deep.

This little cut isn’t essential, but it helps to encourage the plants’ natural rooting hormones to develop quick root growth.

Now moisten a handful of sphagnum moss and squeeze the excess out. It should be moist but not dripping.

Completely cover the node you have selected with the moss, then cover it with the plastic wrap. The plastic wrap doesn’t need to be excessively tight, it only needs to hold the moss to the stem.

You’ll also have to gently open up the plastic so you can mist the moss occasionally. When it starts to dry out, give it a light misting to maintain a moist environment.

You should start to see roots developing after a week or two. When you see good root development, cut below the roots and plant in a pot.

Monstera Cuttings After Care

For the first week after you have transplanted your cuttings (unless you are using the water method) keep the medium consistently moist. Place the cutting in a bright, warm, and humid area, but not in direct sunlight.

A room that has a western or southern facing window is great, but keep it out of direct sunlight. You can place them in northern or eastern facing windows as they get milder, morning sun.

Propagation of Monstera Deliciosa in the fall or winter is possible, but you’ll need supplemental light for a few hours per day.

No matter what method you use to propagate your Monstera, be sure not to cut too much of the original plant off. Only cut about a quarter of the total plant off when using cutting to grow new plants.

Once you pot your cutting into its new home, be sure to use a pot that is only about 2 inches wider than the root ball. It may be tempting to place it in a large pot and forget about it, but a lot of soil holds a lot of water, which can lead to root rot.

Video on propogating Montera leaves


Why is my Monstera cutting turning black?

Black on any part of your cutting is typically a sign of rot. Not all cuttings will be successful, so don’t get discouraged if you see this.

Rot is caused by too much water and not enough air circulation. Letting the cutting “scab” over or get calloused before putting them in water or soil can help reduce rot. This only takes a handful of minutes.

If the rot isn’t set in, you may be able to let the soil dry out a bit and the plant may heal itself, but usually once rot sets in, you’ll have to start a new cutting.

What is the most successful way to propagate a Monstera plant?

There are several ways to propagate a Monstera. You can air layer, place cuttings in water, or place them in soil. Each has its own pros and cons. Water propagation may be the easiest initial method, but you’ll have to transplant it later, and the plant can go into a state of shock when this happens.

The soil method may take a little longer, and the plant can be more susceptible to root rot from this method.

Air layering is probably the safest way, but it requires more steps than the previously mentioned methods.

Can you propagate Monstera Deliciosa plants from a leaf?

To propagate a Monstera plant, you need an aerial root, and/or a node from the stem. Just a leaf won’t grow another plant. It may be tempting to try when a leaf inevitably gets broken off or falls off of the original plant. Without a node, the plant doesn’t have the means to grow another plant.

What time of year is best for propagating Monstera plants?

When Monstera plants come out of dormancy and start actively growing, it’s the best time to propagate them. The spring and summer months are the best times to propagate these plants.

Propagation during fall and winter is possible, but it’s more difficult. The plants will need supplemental lighting, high humidity, and warm temperatures to grow.

Final Thoughts On Monstera Propagation Methods

There are several ways to propagate new Monstera plants. As long as you have a node, and a few leaves you can grow new plants.

Monstera plants are relatively easy to propagate and new plants can be grown in water, sphagnum moss or coconut coir, soil, or LECA balls. Keep an eye out for root rot, and once new roots emerge and get established, you can transplant your Monstera to a pot.

Be sure to start propagation during the growing months, keep the medium moist for the first week, and don’t place them in direct sunlight. Following these simple steps will net you plenty of new tropical Monstera plants.

Good luck, and happy growing!

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