Monstera Propagation 101: Tips and Tricks
To successfully propagate monstera, select a healthy plant and understand the pros and cons of water vs. soil propagation. Water propagation requires placing cuttings in water until roots form, whereas soil propagation requires planting in well-draining soil. Water propagation allows you to visually monitor root growth but requires changing the water every few days. Soil propagation reduces maintenance but makes it harder to check root development.
Choose 4-6 inch stem cuttings with at least two leaves. Remove lower leaves, keeping only two intact at the top. Dip cut ends in rooting hormone (optional) and place in water/well-draining soil. Change water weekly and keep soil moderately moist. Roots typically appear in 1-2 months.
Once roots are 1-2 inches long, plant water propagated cuttings in well-draining soil and treat as mature monstera. For soil propagated cuttings, look for new leaf growth to indicate establishment. Provide warm conditions, humidity, and indirect light.
Common issues include rotting, drying out, and lack of roots. To avoid rot, change water frequently and use well-draining soil. Prevent drying by covering cuttings with plastic bagsand keeping soil moderately moist. If lacking roots after 2 months, take new cuttings and propagate in water to monitor progress. With the right technique and care, you’ll have thriving new monsteras in no time!
Choosing the Right Method for Your Monstera
When propagating monsteras, the two most common methods are water propagation and soil propagation. The best approach depends on your specific monstera type, availability of resources, and personal preference.
Water propagation involves placing cuttings in water until roots form, then transplanting to soil. It allows you to easily monitor root growth and ensure cuttings are properly hydrated. However, it requires changing the water every 3-5 days and cuttings can be more prone to rot if the water is not kept clean. Water propagation typically works for most common monstera types including Monstera deliciosa and Monstera adansonii.
Soil propagation requires placing cuttings directly into well-draining soil and keeping the soil moderately moist as roots form. It requires less maintenance but makes it difficult to check on root development and ensure cuttings do not dry out or rot. Soil propagation can work well for hardy monstera varieties acclimated to drier conditions. Types like Monstera siltepecana and Monstera dubs parkeri often root readily in soil.
For beginners, water propagation is typically the easiest method and most foolproof, allowing you to see roots emerging so you know propagation is successful before transplanting to soil. However, for monsteras prone to rot or accustomed to drier conditions, soil propagation may be worth trying, especially if you have experience with other houseplants.
No matter the method, be sure to take healthy 4-6 inch cuttings, remove excess leaves, and provide warmth, humidity, and indirect light. Changing the water/misting the soil and checking for root/shoot development weekly will ensure success. Within 1 to 2 months most monstera cuttings will have established roots and be ready for transplanting. With the proper technique and care, you’ll have new baby monsteras growing in no time!
Preparing Your Monstera Cuttings for Propagation
After selecting your propagation method, the next step is preparing your monstera cuttings. Choose a healthy, mature monstera with at least 3-4 leaves. Use sharp, clean shears to cut a stem section 4 to 6 inches long that includes 1-2 leaf nodes —where leaves attach to the stem. Remove excess leaves except for two at the upper end of each cutting, leaving them attached.
Trim each cutting just below a node at a 45° angle. This increases the surface area for roots to form. Dip the angled end of each cutting in rooting hormone (optional) to speed root formation before placing in water or soil. Change the water or keep the soil moderately moist.
For water propagation, place cuttings in a jar of filtered or distilled room temperature water. Do not submerge the leaves. Change the water every 3 to 5 days and monitor for roots. Rooting time varies but can take 1 to 2 months. Once roots are 1 to 2 inches long, plant in well-draining soil.
For soil propagation, insert cuttings into a rooting medium such as perlite, peat moss, or seed starting mix. Bury one node and the clipped end in the medium. Provide warmth and high humidity using a propagation dome or bag. Check weekly to ensure the medium remains moist but not soggy. Look for new leaf growth, which can take 6 weeks to 3 months for most monsteras.
Whether water or soil propagating, place your cuttings in a spot with bright, indirect light and temperatures of 65-80°F. High humidity of 80-100% will encourage rooting. Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to increase local humidity.
Avoid direct light which can scorch leaves. Lack of humidity is a common cause of failure to propagate, so mist cuttings, use a dome, or place pots on trays with pebbles and water. With the right technique and conditions, your monstera cuttings will root and thrive! Check on them regularly and enjoy watching your new plant babies grow.
Water Propagation vs Soil Propagation: Pros and Cons
When propagating monsteras, the two most common methods are water propagation and soil propagation. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so you can choose the method that suits your needs and experience level.
Water propagation involves placing cuttings in water until roots form, then transplanting to soil. Pros of water propagation include:
•Easy to monitor root growth and ensure proper hydration. Roots become visible in the water.
•Minimal chance of rot since cuttings are exposed to air. Requires changing water every 3-5 days.
•No special equipment needed. Can use a simple vase or jar.
•Higher maintenance since water must be changed frequently.
•Cuttings may be more prone to rot if water is not changed regularly.
•Some monstera types are more prone to rot in water.
Soil propagation requires placing cuttings directly in well-draining soil. Pros include:
•Lower maintenance since cutting is planted directly in soil. No need to change water.
•Works well for monstera varieties accustomed to drier soil.
•No need to harden off cuttings before moving to soil.
•Difficult to monitor root growth and ensure cutting does not dry out or rot.
•Requires close attention to moisture level which can lead to failure if over/underwatered.
•May require use of a rooting hormone to spur root growth.
For many home gardeners, water propagation is an easy, low-cost way to get started, allowing you to see when roots form before moving cuttings to soil. However, for rarer monstera types or those prone to rot, soil propagation may be preferable if you have experience with plant cuttings. Either way, with the right technique you can have success propagating your monstera!
Troubleshooting Common Monstera Propagation Issues
While propagating monsteras is often straightforward, issues can arise. Three common problems are: lack of roots, rotting, and drying out. By monitoring your cuttings regularly and taking quick action, you can get rooting back on track.
Lack of roots after 3-4 weeks can be caused by several factors:
•Incorrect temperature. Monsteras root best in warm conditions of 65 to 80°F.temperatures. Move cuttings to a warmer spot.
•Low humidity. Mist cuttings with a spray bottle or place pots on trays with pebbles and water to increase humidity to 80% or higher.
•Improper lighting. Check that your cuttings have bright, indirect light. Direct sun can slow rooting.
•Hard water. If propagating in water, switch to distilled or filtered water. Minerals in hard tap water can inhibit root growth.
•Outdated cutting. Take a fresh monstera cutting and propagate again. The older a cutting gets, the less likely it is to form roots.
Rotting may occur if cuttings stay soggy during soil or water propagation. To remedy:
•For water propagation, change water every 3 to 5 days and remove any dead or dying leaves. Ensure the container has drainage holes and cuttings do not sit in stagnant water.
•For soil propagation, allow the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Soggy soil lacks oxygen which propogated plants need to form roots. Repot if necessary.
Drying out can cause cuttings to fail, especially during the first few weeks. To increase humidity:
•Use a propagation dome or tent, or cover cuttings with a plastic bag. Vent the sides by opening the bag/tent flap daily to provide air flow.
•Group cuttings together to create a humid environment. The transpiration of multiple leaves will raise the humidity level.
•Mist foliage with a spray bottle. Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to increase humidity around each cutting.
•For soil propagation, check the moisture level of the rooting medium regularly to ensure it remains damp but not soggy until roots form.
With close monitoring and quick troubleshooting, you can get your monstera propagation back on track and growing healthy roots. Roots typically appear within 1 to 2 months for most home propagators. Enjoy the process and be patient! Your perseverance will pay off.
Caring for Your New Monstera Cuttings and Watching Them Thrive
Once your monstera cuttings have rooted and new growth appears, it’s time to care for them as young plants. Provide the following to keep your new monsteras flourishing:
•Bright, indirect light from an east or west facing window. Monsteras need lots of light to produce new leaves as young plants. Rotate pots weekly so all sides receive even light exposure.
•Warm temperatures of 65 to 80°F. Young monsteras grow fastest in warm conditions.
•Moderate humidity around 60%. Mist foliage with a spray bottle a few times a week or place plants on pebble trays.
•Water when the top few inches of soil are dry. Allow soil to dry out slightly between waterings but do not leave young cuttings bone dry.
•Fertilize during the growing season. Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer once a month during spring through fall. Dilute to 1/2 the recommended strength.
•Repot if necessary. If roots are crowding the pot, move up one size. Monsteras thrive when slightly root bound but require repotting every 2-3 years.
•Prune to shape. Once several new leaves have developed, you can prune your monstera to create a fuller, bushier plant. Remove any dead or dying leaves as well.
•Stake for support if needed. Some monsteras may require staking, especially after repotting. Use bamboo or wooden stakes and loosely tie the main stem to provide balance as the plant establishes.
With the proper conditions and care, your new baby monsteras will transition from cuttings to thriving juvenile plants. Enjoy watching the new leaves unfurl and your collection multiply! In a few years, you’ll have mature, vining monsteras to display.