In general monsteras are easy to propagate by rooting stem cuttings in water, then moving them to soil. We cover water, soil, leca, and moss propagation methods…
The monstera deliciosa aka the Swiss Cheese plant is a striking and bold shaped leafy beauty that is relatively easy to propagate. I absolutely love these classic plants. There is nothing quite like propagating a new monstera and seeing it’s first leaf unfurl. There are a few possible monstera propagation methods and we’ll go them all through below…
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How To Propagate Monstera
You can propagate a monstera by water propagating a cutting, soil propagation, separation at the roots, air layering, or by using sphagnum moss. Firstly we’ll cover the really easy water method…
Tip: to reduce the chance of rot, always wait a couple of hours after taking your cutting before putting it in it’s medium, so that the cut wound can heal over.
See also: Monstera Pinnatipartita Propagation, Water Propagation, Monstera Adansonii Variegated, Monstera Trellis, Monstera Soil, Monstera Deliciosa Care, Monstera Standleyana, Monstera Acacoyaguensis, Monstera Siltepecana, Monstera Subpinnata Care, Variegated Monstera (Category).
Monstera Propagation In Water
Probably the easiest way to root a monstera cutting and the best propagation method in terms of success, is to water propagate them. They take quickly and you can see the root growth. I’ve propagated many of these plants and I find I get the most success with water propagation.
Here’s how to do it step by step:
- Locate your cutting: find a branch that includes at least 1 or 2 leaves and it must have a node. The nodes are the parts where the plant branches, and roots will grow out of these. Sometimes they have a root growing already.
- Make the cut. Cut just below the node so you get a branch with a few leaves and a node where the roots will grow from.
- Wait a couple of hours to let the cut heal over. This reduces the chance of rot. Leave it 3 or 4 hours for a small to medium cutting or half a day for a cutting off a big plant.
- Put the cutting in a jar of water (I use filtered tap water), make sure no leaves are under the water, but the node is well submerged. The leaves can rot if they touch the water.
- Keep the cutting in bright but indirect sunlight and keep it topped up with water. If the water turns cloudy, replace it and check for rot.
- Roots should develop after a couple of weeks.
- After a couple of months the roots of the cutting should be big enough and the monstera will be ready to pot up in a good nutrient-rich potting soil.
You can grow a monstera in just a far of water, they look great too, so this method is a really easy and visually pleasing method.
How To Propagate Monstera In Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum moss is a great medium for encouraging lots of root growth as well as speedy growth. This method is most popular with variegated monstera enthusiasts as it reduces the likelihood of root rot, and one with a very high success rate of successful rooting.
Propagating monstera in sphagnum moss is relatively easy, follow these steps:
- Take a good cutting (with a node and at least one leaf).
- Let the cutting callous over for a few hours to reduce the chances of rot.
- Put the node in a jar or cup filled with wet sphagnum moss.
- Some people recommend using a diluted fertilizer at this stage or a rooting hormone, but I have never done this I´ve got good results with just sphagnum moss soaked in water.
- Soak the moss, squeeze off most of the water, and then gently and wrap it around the node, then put that in a cup and fill it with more damp sphagnum moss.
- Leave the cutting to root in plenty of indirect sunlight. Don’t let the sphagnum moss dry out or get too wet – keep it moist by spraying it occasionally or lightly watering it.
- You should be able to see root growth (if you use a clear container) through the moss after a few weeks.
- You can then pot the plant up into good potting compost if you like, or keep it in moss.
Propagating Monstera In Soil
Steps to propagate a monstera cutting in soil…
- Take a cutting, using a clean knife. Aim to get a branch with 2 or more leaves and a node.
- Let the cutting callous over for a few hours as you want the wounds to be sealed to avoid rot in the soil.
- Get a pot with good well draining potting compost and plant the cutting in a hole what well covers the node, then firm it in.
- Water it slightly and put it in a warm spot with a lot of indirect sunlight (but no direct).
- Keep it humid to encourage quicker rooting, you can do this by putting a the cutting and pot in a bag that’s taller that the top of the cutting, but leave the bag slightly open so some air can circulate.
- It should be well rooted in one to two months, then you should start seeing leaf growth from the top in 2 or 3 months. At this point you can treat it as a juvenile plant.
- Water it when it dries out and also be careful not to overwater it.
For more on buying or making your own soil, see our guide here: Monstera Soil.
Monstera Propagation By Separation At The Roots
Separating is a really easy method of monstera propagation if you have a bigger, crowded plant. You just dig down into the pot and carefully remove one of the smaller pups. You remove it with it’s root system and it is then you have a fully rooted plant ready to be potted up into another pot. Easy!
Tip: let the cuttings callous over for an or so before potting them up (as well as the main plant). We always recommend this as it will reduce the chances of rot considerably, so don’t want soil in the open wounds.
Air Layering A Monstera Delicosa
Air layering is the propagation process of making the plant start rooting at the node whilst still on the plant. It is a good method for rooting bigger plant branches whilst still on the mother plant. It seems daunting to cut into your plant, but do not worry, it is easy once you’ve done it once….
To air layer a monstera:
- Get a clean knife scrape the green flesh from around the node to expose the whiter harder stem underneath a couple of centimeters (1/3 inch) above and below the node (under an inch in either direction). Be careful to not damage the inner part of the plant stem.
- Get some soaked sphagnum moss and make a ball around the node to cover the exposed area in the wet moss. This will encourage root growth at the node whilst still part of the plant.
- Wrap the moss ball with plastic wrap, food wrapping or a plastic bag.
- Tie the bag on above the below the node as tight as you can to keep air in and out but without damaging the plant.
- Every week open it up and spray it with water and then re-wrap it.
- In a month or two you should have a really healthy root ball, and you can then cut below the node to get the whole branch above it as a well rooted cutting ready to plant up in soil.
How To Propagate Monstera Wet Stick
If propagating monstera plants from just a node, or ‘wet stick’, your best bet is to put in a bag or tupperware container of moss, but only partially bury it, lightly cover it in a small amount of moss. This will keep it moist but give it plenty of air, and should encourage rooting while discouraging rot. Let fresh air in every day or two and keep it in medium indirect sunlight. Monstera albos often get propagated this way as they are so expensive, even the nodes are sold. It is a fairly slow method to be honest and certainly not 100% successful.
How To Propagate Monstera In Leca
You can propagate monstera in leca realy easily. Take a cutting with at least one leaf (preferably two) and a node, cut it just below the node. Then leave the cutting for half a day so that the wound where you cut can heal over. Plant the cutting in a jar of leca, making sure the node is well buried. You can then fill the cup up with water. I always fill it up to just over the node, to start the node off water propping. Then you want to keep the water level about an inch or 2cm below the node and let the leca wick up the water as it needs it.
Be careful of the plant for the first month until the roots grow as the cutting can easily be pulled out of the leca if you are not careful, it’s best to wait until you get new growth / new leaves from the top of the plant and you can see root development too.
Propagation Of Other Monstera Varieties:
How To Propagate Monstera Siltepecana
Th best way to propagate monstera siltepecana is with nod cuttings with at least one leaf and one node. Propagate them in sphagnum moss or perlite to get air and moisture to the roots and keep the risk of rot low.
How To Propagate Monstera Adansonii
Monstera adansonii is super easy to propagate, I water prop them and keep them in jars, they look great. For more on them see our guide here: Monstera Adansonii.
How To Propagate Monstera Dubia
I like to propagate dubia in bulk, I take a plant that has a ot of leaves and then I cut the whole plant back to the soil so the long stip of leaves comes off. Then I then cut the stem between each leaf, so each leaf is separated. The nodes are under each leaf. Then I get a take out container of moist sphagnum moss and put each leaf on the surface of the moss and push it down a bit so the nodes are in the moss. Keep it moist and it should root in a few weeks. For more on the dubia, see our guide here: Monstera Dubia and our Monstera Dubia Propagation Guide.
Monstera Propagation FAQs
It is absolutely fine to propagate a monstera without an aerial root. I chop them off before propagation in any case.
You want the cutting to be well rooted to pot it on. This is normally about a month to a month and a half. I like to root mine in water, but you don’t want them to stay in water for too long as they develop different roots in water than in soil, so I get them started in water for about a month and then move to soil, moss or leca once it has put out some new roots, but I don’t wait too long after they have a few roots. This is why rooting them in a clear cup is great as you can see the root growth.
The best way to root a monstera cutting is in water, letting the wounds from the cut callous over for a few hours first, so water cannot enter the cuts. Once rooted you can move it to soil
Yes, you can grow monsteras in water alone, if they have started life in water as a cutting.
Monsteras grow and root quickly and are not very fussy, so they propagate easily and quickly.
You cannot grow a new monstera from a cutting without a node. You can have some success if you have a node without a leaf, but not the other way around. The reason for this is the roots grow from the node. But if you do have a cutting from a plant without a node it will live in a vase of water, and you can can use it as decoration, it just won’t root.
The best time to propagate is around easter time which gives ideal conditions and plenty of time to grow over the whole growing season.
You can keep a Monstera Deliciosa leaf in water by placing the leaf cutting in a jar, it is a good way to display these beautiful leaves. But unless it has a node on the stem it will not turn into a full plant.
You can propagate a section of monstera without even having a leaf, as long as it has a node. This is a great way to rejuvenate an old leafless monstera stem. You just need to make each node into a separate cutting, so you have a really small section of just the node, then put it in wet sphagnum moss for a month and it should develop roots and leaves. Make sure the pot you put it in is covered but has a few air holes in it. This way the cuttings should be moist enough but not rot. If you see any mold in it then make more air holes and air the container regularly. I’ve had a lot of success with this method when pruning back bigger plants and using the nodes from the unwanted stems.
You want to leave your cuttings and nodes to heal over for 3 to 5 hours (depending on the width of the stem). It’s a good idea for the open wounds to seal up as it massively reduces the chances of rot if water soil cannot get in.
A good way to make your monstera bushier is to take cuttings and once they are established you can plant them back in with their parent plant. This works well with a lot of monsteras and other plants too like pothos to make them fuller and bushier.
It is possible to propagate a monstera from seed but it will take a few years for it to reach a mature plant. The best way is to propagate from a cutting.
Monstera Propagation Root Rot
One of the things to watch out for with Monsteras is root rot. It is a killer that can be easily avoided. Pay special attention if you have an expensive variegated monstera! Root rot occurs in over watered or waterlogged soil. So the best way to avoid this is to get the cutting started in water or sphagnum moss. Then put it in a well-draining soil after that. And most importantly don’t over water it! Put your finger in the soil before watering it, and only water it if all the soil down a finger depth is dry, if any is still damp then leave it a bit longer.
I you do get root rot, take the plant out of the soil and let it dry. Trim off some of the affected roots if you can. Then repot in dry soil.
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