Learn How to Propagate a Monstera Step-by-Step

By: Matt Slaymaker
January 9, 2023
How to Propagate a Monstera
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The Monstera is an attractive houseplant, popular for its striking large, lush green foliage with eye-catching holes or splits, hence, known as a Swiss cheese plant. There are different Monstera varieties, which have many beneficial properties. The plant can increase the humidity in indoor spaces and also purifies the air, thus, alleviating respiratory problems.

Therefore, propagating this beauty is a rewarding experience and a great way to expand your plant collection. So, if you're interested in multiplying this gorgeous tropical variety, this article provides step-by-step instructions on how to propagate a Monstera Swiss cheese plant in soil, water, and by air-layering.

Is It Good to Propagate Monstera?

Yes. Propagating a Monstera Swiss cheese plant is easy and can be achieved through several proven techniques. It’s always a good idea to multiply and grow new Swiss cheese plants that you can add to your indoor jungle. Additionally, Monstera propagation promotes healthier new growth for the freshly pruned mother plant. Lastly, you can share propagated cuttings with friends and family - a thoughtful and sustainable plant gift. This helps spread the joy of plant parenthood while fostering a sense of community among plant enthusiasts.

When Can You Propagate Monstera?

You can successfully propagate Monstera plants, be it Monstera deliciosa or Monstera adansonii, at any time of the year with proper care and attention to their growing conditions. However, the ideal time is spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. The warm seasons offer optimal conditions for root development, including increased warmth and humidity, which promote quicker and more successful Monstera Swiss cheese plant propagation. 

Consider misting your plant every 2-3 days and providing sufficient light to promote growth.

Swiss Cheese Plant Propagation: Tools & Supplies

Propagating a Swiss cheese plant requires a few tools and supplies. Here’s a detailed list of what you need:

  • Sharp pruning shears or a knife
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
  • A clean pot or container with drainage holes
  • Fresh, well-draining potting mix (for soil propagation)
  • Clean water 
  • Transparent plastic bags or plastic wrap
  • Sphagnum moss (for air-layering)
  • A humidity tray or humidifier

Remember to clean and sanitize your tools before use to maintain a sterile environment for your Swiss cheese plant cuttings. This prevents diseases from spreading and promotes successful growth. Also, follow proper safety measures to avoid any injuries during propagation.

How to Propagate a Monstera Swiss Cheese Plant

Monstera deliciosa propagation can be accomplished through three common methods: soil propagation, water propagation, and air layering. Each method offers unique benefits and requires specific techniques to ensure successful propagation.

Can You Propagate a Swiss Cheese Plant in Soil and How?

Propagate Swiss Cheese in Soil

Yes. Soil propagation is the most common and straightforward method that involves rooting a stem cutting of a Monstera plant directly in a pot filled with moist, well-draining soil. This provides a stable environment for root development. Here's how to propagate a Swiss cheese plant in soil:

1. Prepare the Cutting

Cut a healthy stem with at least one node and aerial root using sharp pruning shears or a knife. That's about 1-2 inches below the node.

2. Fill the Pot With Well-Draining Soil

Select a pot that's around 5 inches deep with draining holes. Fill the pot with well-draining soil, then water it to prevent your cuttings from drying out.

3. Plant the Cutting

Dip the cut end of the stem in the rooting hormone to promote faster root development. Then, use a pencil or your finger to make a hole in the soil. Insert the Monstera cutting into the hole and cover the node and the stem's bottom with the soil. Gently pack the potting soil around the cutting to ensure it stands straight.

4. Place the Pot in a Warm, Humid Location

Select a window where your Monstera cutting will get plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Check if the soil is dry every few days by sticking your finger around 1-2 inches deep into the potting mix. If dry, water the cutting to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

5. Check for New Growth on Your Cutting

Since your cutting's base is covered in soil, knowing if the roots have formed can be challenging. But you can tell by looking for new, bright green leaves sprouting from your cutting.

Propagating a Monstera in soil takes a bit longer than water propagation as it can take two months or more to see new growth. Tug on your cutting after a month to see if the roots have developed. Do so gently to prevent damaging the delicate baby roots.

How to Propagate a Swiss Cheese Plant in Water

Propagate Swiss Cheese Plant in Water
Source: The Spruce

Water propagation offers a visually appealing way to observe root development and is suitable for those who enjoy watching plants grow in water. Here's how to propagate a Monstera in water:

1. Choose a Sharp Knife and Disinfect It

Disinfect your tool  with rubbing alcohol to prevent the spread of any diseases. You don't want to transfer pathogens to your plant.

2. Select the Parts You Want to Cut

Pick a healthy stem with several leaves and nodes/aerial roots. Remove any damaged and yellow leaves.

3. Cut Directly Below a Node  

These are the foundations for your propagation. Remove any empty sheathings from the leaf stems once your pieces are cut. These will rot in the water, and you don't want that

4. Dip the Cuttings in Water

Fill a container wit water and place your Monstera stem cutting inside. Remember that they grow roots fairly quickly, so if you choose a vase with a narrow neck, you may have a little trouble pulling them out in a few weeks.

5. Provide Bright, Indirect Light 

Place the container in a warm spot with filtered light and change the water every 3 to 5 days. Roots should continue developing in about 2-3 weeks!

The process takes about fifteen minutes. While Monsteras can remain healthy in water for several months, it is best to plant them in soil around the three-month mark.

Monstera Swiss Cheese Plant Propagation by Air-layering

Propagate Swiss Cheese by Air-layering

Air-layering is suitable for larger Swiss cheese plants with established stems. It offers an easy way to propagate a Monstera without cutting it. Here's how to do it:

1. Select a Node

Identify a healthy node on the stem where roots will form. This is typically a point where a leaf emerges from the stem.

2. Make an Incision

Using a sharp knife, make a small upward cut just below the selected node, cutting through the bark and into the cambium layer. This encourages the formation of roots from the wounded area.

3. Apply Rooting Hormone

Apply rooting hormone to the wounded section to stimulate root development. Rooting hormone can expedite the root formation process.

4. Enclose the Wound

Surround the wound with moist sphagnum moss, ensuring it remains moist. This creates a humid environment that promotes root growth.

5. Wrap With Plastic

Wrap the moss with plastic wrap or a transparent plastic bag to maintain moisture and create an environment for root development. This also helps to secure the humidity around the wounded area.

6. Check for Root Development

Over the following weeks, roots will develop under the moss wrapped around the stem. Monitor the plant regularly to ensure that the rooting medium remains moist.

7. Separate the New Plant

Once roots have sufficiently developed, carefully cut below the rooted area and remove the new plant with its roots intact. Be careful not to damage the newly formed roots during the separation process.

Monstera Propagation: Aftercare Tips

Congratulations on your successful Monstera propagation! Now, you need to provide your new Swiss cheese plant with proper care to ensure its continued health and growth. Below are a few tips to guide you:

  • Fertilization: Feed your young Monstera plant with a liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/2 strength every 2-4 weeks during the growing season. This provides essential nutrients for robust growth.
  • Watering: Keep the potting soil moist but not waterlogged. Let the topsoil dry between waterings. Overwatering causes root rot, while underwatering can lead to dehydration.
  • Temperature and light requirements: Provide your young Monstera with bright, indirect light and maintain a temperature of 65 to 800F to encourage healthy growth. Avoid exposing your baby Swiss cheese plant to direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.
  • Humidity: Maintain a humid environment around your Monstera plant, especially during dry seasons or indoor environments with low humidity. Place a humidifier or humidity tray nearby or regularly mist the leaves to achieve this.

How to Propagate a Monstera: FAQs

Q: Where do you cut a cheese plant to propagate?

A: Cut about 1-2 inches below a node on a healthy stem with at least one aerial root. Nodes refer to the points on a stem where leaves emerge, containing the necessary tissue for root development.

Q: What kind of soil does a Swiss cheese plant need?

A: Swiss cheese plants thrive in a well-draining potting mix. A mix of perlite, peat moss, and pine bark is ideal to ensure adequate aeration and moisture retention.

Q: Can you propagate Monstera in moss?

A: Yes, Monstera can be propagated in moss through air-layering. This involves wrapping a node on the stem with moist sphagnum moss to encourage root development before separating the new plant.

Q: How long does it take to propagate a Swiss cheese plant?

A: The time it takes to propagate a Swiss cheese plant varies depending on the method used and the environmental conditions. Generally, baby roots take between 1 to 2 months to develop, but it may take longer in some cases.

Conclusion

Propagating Monstera is very easy using the 3 common methods - in soil, in water, or by air layering. You can expand you tropical plant collection in no time by applying any of these techniques. In addition, consider growing a few easy-going plant varieties to complement your Monstera, such as a range of palm trees, a lucky money tree, or a few stunning snake plants. All of them are an excellent choice to grow as companion plants for your Swiss cheese plant to create a lush and diverse indoor jungle.