3 Easy Ways to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa
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One of the best and most accessible parts of owning Monstera deliciosa plants is propagating and caring for them. They are effortless to multiply (using a part of the parent plant to develop a new and healthy plant) and cared for in perfect lighting conditions.
In this guide, we’ll cover how to propagate Monstera deliciosa through cuttings and seeds and what are the best ways. By reading our guide, even beginners can successfully take cuttings and grow their free new plants as much as they want in their plant collection.
About Monstera Deliciosa
The Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) is an evergreen climbing vine native to tropical rainforests of Central America, including Mexico and Panama. This tropical plant is famous for its small rounded, heart-shaped to big perforated leaves, produced on the long stem-like petioles.
Juvenile Monstera deliciosa plants lack their distinct foliage fenestrations, deep lobes, and large size. Therefore, it is confused with the Philodendron plants, also the Araceae family member. As the Monstera deliciosa plant grows older, it develops deep holes in its large, glossy, and dark green leaves to pass through more light and rainwater to the rest of the plant and its aerial roots.
The aerial roots help the plant cling to nearby tree trunks and reach a height of 70 feet to search for light and food. In their natural environment, Monsteras are considered invasive plants. As indoor plants, Monstera deliciosa grows to 8 feet long and does not produce blooms and edible fruits as it does produce flowers and fruits in the wild.
Other members of the Araceae family in the genus Monstera have similar growth characteristics and aerial roots like Monstera deliciosa, such as M. adansonii. So it can be propagated similarly to the Swiss cheese plant.
Monstera plants have two types of roots: aerial and lateral roots.
The aerial roots that grow from the above-ground stem serve the purpose of moisture uptake from the air and assist the plant in anchorage to support like a moss pole. While the lateral subterranean roots are the underground roots that help the plant to anchor the ground and absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil.
What to Consider Before Propagating Your Monstera
The key to successful Monstera propagation is choosing healthy cutting (piece or part of the plants rooted to create new plants true to their parent's characteristics), the right container size, and high-quality rooting material. Monstera cutting should have a node and auxiliary bud to produce new growth. Otherwise, the cutting will not root, and the best time to take a division is in the active growing season of the parent plant.
Tools and Materials we need:
- Sharp and sterilized shears
- Moss pole or trellis
- Plastic wrap
- Sphagnum moss
- Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA)
- Rooting hormone
- 8 inches container
- Parent plant
- Soilless potting mix
Can you propagate Monstera Deliciosa from aerial roots?
The aerial roots of Monstera deliciosa do not produce any new growth, and they are only here to support the climbing growth habit of this tropical plant. If your cutting has aerial roots, it will not produce roots but assist it in nutrient absorption and may speed up the rooting process. So do not prune them, and if these aerial roots are in shriveled form, brown, and black, cut them off to prevent the rotting of tender cutting.
Can you propagate Monstera from Monstera leaves?
To propagate any plant through cuttings, division, and layering, it must have a node (a point where a petiole and leaf develop) to produce a new plant successfully. Any plant cutting without an auxiliary bud and a node like leaves will not root and establish a new plant. Therefore, a leaf and petiole of Monstera deliciosa will not grow because of no node and auxiliary buds.
Best Ways to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa
This tropical foliage plant can be propagated through stem cuttings, air layering, and seeds. To propagate Monstera deliciosa through any of these methods, follow these guides.
Propagate From Stem Cuttings in Soil and Water
Propagating Monstera deliciosa through stem cuttings is the easiest and most rewarding way because it roots quickly and gains one foot of growth per year. Also, the stem cutting must include one leaf and two to three nodes with auxiliary buds from where new development will appear.
To propagate Monstera deliciosa through stems cuttings in soil and water, follow these steps;
- Locate a healthy stem from a mother plant with a node and axillary bud near a leaf petiole.
- Cut the selected stem about 1 to 2 inches below the growing node with a shear along the internode. Ensure the Monstera deliciosa cuttings are 8 inches long and have one leaf for photosynthesis.
- Dip the cut end of the stem cutting into the rooting hormone solution for 30 minutes.
- Insert the prepared cutting about 2 inches deep into the rooting material for root development. The rooting material can be a soilless potting mix (spaghnum moss and vermiculite), compressed peat pellets, and water.
- Examine the cutting daily and moisten the rooting medium for root development. To maintain high humidity, use plastic wrap to cover cutting because a highly humid environment is critical for healthy roots.
- Once the cutting has developed roots within 14 days, wait for the roots to reach 1 inch long.
- Then transplant the rooted cutting into a container filled with high-quality potting soil mix. Plant your rooted cutting in a clay pot (not a plastic container) and place it in bright indirect sunlight.
- Otherwise, direct sunlight will burn its tender growth and new roots with rapid drying of potting mix.
- When your rooted cutting establishes a healthy root system, it is time to permanently provide your new plant with a larger container for a more extended period (two years). So, repot the actively growing new plant to a container slightly larger than the root ball. The best time for repotting the established new plant is late winter or early spring, and choose the container with one drainage hole and 2 inches wider than the root ball.
Water Propagation of Monstera deliciosa stem cutting:
- Place the stem cutting into a glass jar as the cut end touches the bottom. Now add clean water up to the middle of the jar and situate it in a bright indirect sunlight location of your home.
- Change the water every other day and observe cutting for new roots.
- Within three weeks, you’ll see new roots emerging from the bottom end with young leaves.
- Once the root system is about one to two inches long, transplant it into a potting soil mix, then follow a proper care plan of watering once a week with eastern sunlight exposure.
Healthy root development in cuttings relies on a rooting medium!
Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate (LECA) is an excellent rooting medium because it provides consistent moisture and good aeration to the Monstera deliciosa cutting, ensuring a healthy root system development. It also prevents the cutting from damping off because of its good drainage—the perfect rooting material for the variegated Monstera cutting.
Perlite is another lightweight rooting medium that provides good moisture and oxygen for cutting. It makes one of the best media when combined with peat moss in equal quantities.
Vermiculite provides constant moisture to the Monstera deliciosa cutting for its water-retaining properties and helps in more rapid root growth. It does not cause the drying of cutting.
Potting soil also works as an excellent rooting medium but needs more frequent watering to stay moist. It also provides support to the cutting and good drainage. However, too much water application can lead to the rotting of the plant material.
Water can be used as a rooting medium for the Monstera deliciosa cuttings because it provides a clear sight of root growth. However, it tends to rot the development due to bacterial growth when not changed every other day.
Use high quality rooting medium.
To ensure the successful cutting rooting and development into a new plant, always root the division in a high-quality rooting medium (LECA, perlite, potting soil), not in water. It is because the cuttings rooted in water develop a weaker root system, not making a healthy new plant.
Where do you cut Monstera stems for propagation?
You can take three types of stem cuttings for Monstera deliciosa: top cutting, middle cutting, and bottom cutting. The top cutting consists of one snip with a terminal bud (the top part of the growing stem) and a pointy bump near the petiole of a new leaf. It is made by cutting above the internode, and the best to root quickly and develop new stems.
When is the best season to propagate?
Monstera deliciosa can be propagated through stem cuttings at any time, but the best season is spring (the active season of growth). It provides the cuttings enough time to establish a robust root system and gains a few feet of development before entering the dormancy stage.
How long does it take to propagate Monstera?
Montera deliciosa takes 2 to 3 months for the nodes to develop new leaves with 1 foot of growth in the first growing season.
Propagate By Air Layering
Another best method for the propagation of Monstera deliciosa is air layering (it involves rooting a healthy plant while the stem is attached to the parent plant). This propagation process is easy and quick to perform without needing special tools and equipment. To propagate Monstera through air layering;
- Select a Monstera stem with one leaf, node, and axillary bud. Make a slanting cut halfway in the stem with a sharp knife to remove a strip of bark.
- After removing the bark, apply a rooting hormone to the wounded area.
- Take a handful of the water-soaked sphagnum moss and pack it around the hormone-treated area.
- Wrap a transparent plastic sheet around the moist sphagnum moss and tie both ends with a rubber band.
- Observe the layered Monstera stem every four days for moisture and root development. It will take a month or more to develop new roots.
- After the new roots appear, separate the rooted branch from the mother plant and place it in an 8 inches container filled with potting mix.
Grow Monstera From Seed
Monstera deliciosa can be grown through seeds, but stem cuttings and air layering are the most successful and quick to produce a new plant. However, the variegated monstera of this split-leaf philodendron is hard to get through seeds. This color variegation of their foliage is a natural mutation that changes the amount of chlorophyll pigment.
To propagate this plant through seeds;
- Soak the seeds in warm water for 12 hours before sowing to hydrate them and speed up germination.
- Sow the seeds in a starter tray filled with moist soilless potting mix and pack it in a plastic bag to conserve moisture and maintain high humidity.
- Position the tray in warm and bright indirect light.
- Observe the trays daily for moisture and sprouting. The seeds will germinate within three weeks.
- Once the seeds germinate with new growth and tiny shoots with true leaves, remove the plastic bag. Allow the seedling to grow by providing regular watering and ideal lighting until the 8 to 9 inches Monstera plant develops and is ready for transplantation.
Where can you buy Monstera seeds?
You can buy the Monstera deliciosa seeds from Neverland, but they do not have a longer shelf life, so plant them as soon as possible.
Monstera Deliciosa Cutting Care
A good Monstera deliciosa cutting care involves;
- Keep the cutting in bright indirect light out of full sun location.
- Maintain high humidity using misting and humidifier because the cutting does not have a root system and is prone to excessive drying and wilting.
- Wrap it in a plastic bag after misting it to keep it hydrated. Use filtered water for misting.
- Place the cutting and its rooting medium in an east or north-facing window for best light exposure. Do not expose the cutting to the west and south-facing window locations.
- Never place the plastic-covered cutting in direct sunlight because the heat builds up and burns the leaves.
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