How to Propagate Monstera Plants From Cuttings
Are you thinking of propagating your Monstera to create some additional plants for yourself or other houseplant loving friends? Monstera propagation is fairly straight forward, and even novice gardeners can propagate them with success. In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Madison Moulton explains how to propagate monstera plants in five simple steps!
If you’re an avid houseplant collector or even a newbie in the indoor gardening world, you will certainly recognize a Monstera when you see one. This genus is packed with interesting plants that each feature holes or splits in the leaves known as fenestration – one of the reasons why these plants are so famous.
From the tropical jungles of Central and South America, Monstera can be found growing up trees in their native habitats. They use aerial roots to climb, as well as soil roots down below, classifying these plants as hemi-epiphytic.
With many popular species to choose from and lush leaves that look good year-round, there is no reason not to add at least one Monstera to your houseplant collection. But if you want to grow more than that and don’t have the budget for a trailer full of plants, there is another option – propagating. Let’s dig into the five easy steps to propagate Monstera!
If you’d rather watch a video over reading a step-by-step guide, we’ve made a helpful video walkthrough for you to watch. However, if you prefer to read, keep scrolling to learn about propagating Monstera through cuttings!
There are many different types of Monstera plants, and all are loved for many reasons, the top of which is their stunning looks. The massive leaves of this plant scream tropical paradise and look wonderful in any space or design. They are also relatively easy to grow once you get to know them, loving moisture, warmth, and high humidity.
Along with other houseplants, Monstera plants also deliver many benefits to the health of your home. They can improve mood and concentration as well as increase productivity. They even have the ability to clean the air in your home.
Luckily, there is an easy way to get tons of Monstera without spending a cent. Not only does propagating allow you to maximize the Monstera space in each room of your home, but it also saves you money.
Due to their widespread popularity, mature Monstera can be quite pricey and rare species even more so. But, when propagating, one is all you need to deliver a seemingly endless supply of plants year after year.
Propagating is also one of the most rewarding activities for indoor gardeners. We don’t often get the chance to grow from seed or watch young plants rapidly develop. Watching roots grow from cuttings provides the same sense of achievement. Plus, the process itself also comes with a host of mental health benefits, from calming to a sense of achievement and more.
The propagating process isn’t always pretty. However, when it comes to the large leaves of Monstera, cuttings are a feature in themselves. Monstera cuttings can be continuously used as a décor piece, transplanted and replaced every month or two when the time is right.
There are several ways to propagate Monstera, each with its own pros and cons. Flowering Monstera can be propagated from seed. However, this process takes a very long time when compared to the other methods and isn’t as reliable. Flowering also doesn’t happen often when growing indoors.
Layering is another recommended method said to be better for the health of the plant. This involves wrapping a stem in moist moss around an aerial root or a cut in the stem, encouraging roots to develop over several months. But it can get quite technical and typically takes a little longer for roots to develop.
Since Monstera cuttings root so readily in water or soil, this is by far the easiest and most common propagation method, the one we’re going to look at here. Propagating from cuttings delivers quick results, doesn’t require many tools, and looks great at the same time.
The best time to propagate Monstera is during the active growing season of spring and summer. Early spring is best as this avoids temperature extremes and gives the cutting the best chance of rooting.
You can technically propagate any time of year, but root development may be much slower in the cooler months. This may lead to complications when transplanting later on.
To propagate from cuttings, the first thing you’ll need is a parent plant. Make sure your chosen Monstera is healthy and shows no signs of disease or pest problems. If you propagate at this time, it will only spread the problem to the new cuttings.
Also, avoid taking cuttings if you are experiencing growth issues like stunted growth and yellowing or browning leaves. Trimming healthy leaves at this time may lead to additional stress. Only remove cuttings when your plant is struggling if you are sacrificing the parent plant to make new, healthy Monstera from the available leaves.
Next, you’ll need a pair of sharp pruning shears or a sharp craft knife. The sharper the tool, the cleaner the cut, allowing the parent plant to heal much quicker and avoiding any permanent damage. Make sure the tools are clean as dirty gardening tools can carry harmful bacteria and diseases that not only spread to the cutting but to the parent plant too.
If you’re rooting in water, also grab a tall glass or vase to rest the cuttings in. It should be clear so you can keep an eye on root growth and the quality of the water. To go straight to rooting in soil, you’ll need a large pot and a light propagating mix. I use a combination of equal parts coconut coir and perlite, but you can also find premixed propagating mixes available online.
Propagation From Cuttings in 5 Steps
As previously stated, propagating Monstera through cuttings is the easiest way to produce a new plant. The process is simple, just follow these five steps and you will have a brand new Monstera to add to your collection.
Step 1: Choose the Right Stem
The first step in the propagating process is to identify the perfect stem. Above all else, it should be green and healthy with no yellowing or browning in the leaves. A healthy stem will produce healthy roots, whereas an unhealthy or damaged stem may produce no roots at all.
It’s also best to look for a stem that has aerial roots. Although it’s not essential, these roots will give you a better chance of success in propagation. You can cut large sections of the plant to split into individual cuttings, each with its own aerial root, or you can simply remove one stem from the main plant to root.
Step 2: Trim With Sharp Shears
Grab your shears or craft knife to get ready for the next step, taking the cutting. Once you’ve identified the perfect stem, you’ll need to remove it from the plant as neatly as possible. This keeps the plant and cutting looking tidy while making recovery far quicker.
Blunt tools can damage and crush the essential transport systems of the stems. This can create problems with healing and later growth and potentially expose your plant to problems with pests and diseases.
Remove the cutting just below the point where the leaf and aerial root emerge – the node. Don’t cut too close to the node to avoid damage as this is where roots will emerge from. If your cutting has multiple nodes, split them up so each cutting has a root and one or two leaves. Two leaves are preferred but a cutting will still develop roots with one if that leaf is healthy.
Remove as many cuttings as you would like to propagate at one time. Never remove more than one-quarter to one-third of the parent plant as this can lead to shock, making recovery and later growth more difficult.
Step 3: Root the Cutting
With each cutting prepared, you’ll need to decide whether you are rooting in water or in soil. Rooting in water is generally preferred as it allows you to keep an eye on root growth. However, rooting in soil produces stronger roots that adjust much better to soil growth later on.
Rooting in Water
To root in water, fill your chosen container with filtered, distilled, or rainwater. Tap water is also usable but can contain compounds that may inhibit or slow root growth, depending on where you live. The glass should also be cleaned with soap and water to prevent bacterial growth in the container.
Then, simply pop the cuttings into the glass so the leaves are resting out of the water. Only the bottom section of the cutting needs to be exposed to the water – the rest can be left above the water line. Pop multiple cuttings into the same glass for a full-looking feature while you wait for roots to grow.
Rooting in Soil
To root in soil, fill a medium-to-large container with your prepared propagating mix. Make a hole in the center and plant the cutting, pressing down around the base to anchor the cutting. The container should be deep enough to hold the cutting without the weight of the large leaves causing it to tip over.
Once planted, water it immediately to moisten the soil and encourage root growth. Avoid getting any water on the leaves as this can lead to rotting. You can also moisten the soil before planting to make anchoring easier and limit any disturbance to the cutting after settling.
No matter the method, move your container to a warm, bright and humid area out of the path of direct sun. These conditions will encourage new roots to develop.
Step 4: Post-Propagating Care
For cuttings in water, you’ll need to top up the water every few days as it evaporates. Make sure the node is always below the water line – otherwise no roots can develop. Around once per week, replace the water completely and clean the container. This ensures there is also plenty of oxygen in the water and stops bacterial build-up that can inhibit root growth.
In soil, keep the soil consistently moist by watering every couple of days. Don’t overwater as waterlogging will cause the stems to rot. Also don’t allow the soil to dry out completely as moisture is required for roots to develop.
Keep the cuttings in bright indirect light for the strongest growth. With only one or two leaves, the cutting will struggle to develop roots in low-light conditions.
Step 5: Transplanting
Once the roots are an inch or two long, or the cutting resists movement in soil, you are ready to transplant. Prepare a container with houseplant potting mix that drains well and then make a hole in the center, burying the cutting and its new roots.
Make sure the roots are spread outwards and not bundled so they can expand into the new soil. Water immediately after planting to settle the roots.
You may notice a period of slow growth after planting, especially when rooting in water. The cutting needs time to adjust to its new conditions before growth can kick off again. Keep all environmental conditions the same to limit changes and the cutting should start developing new leaves in a couple of weeks.
You can also keep your cuttings in water over the long term if you would prefer not to transplant them. This makes for a wonderful indoor feature in a decorative vase but does come with some upkeep. As the water lacks nutrients, you will need to add a few drops of fertilizer to the water to feed the cutting.
You’ll also need to change the water often to prevent bacterial growth. Keep in mind that the longer you keep a cutting in water, the more difficult it will be for the roots to adjust to growing in soil.
That’s how easy it is to grow a brand new Monstera plant from scratch – no budget required. It’s one of the simplest houseplants to propagate with leaf or stem cuttings, allowing you to create many new houseplants for your own garden, or to give away to other plant enthusiasts. Whether you opt for rooting your cuttings in water or soil, you’ll be able to fill your home with healthy Monstera in no time.