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Propagating Monstera: Taking Cuttings and Air Layering

Propagating Monstera can be very easy. You can grow a new plant from cuttings or by air layering. 

We will take a look at both of these  methods for Monstera propagation, and the best ways to successfully root new plants in this guide We will also have a quick look at whether or not you can grow this plant from seed.

Propagating Monstera From Cuttings

The most common and easiest method for Monstera cultivation is taking cuttings from an existing plant. 

Step One: Taking Monstera Cuttings

Unless you’re planning on growing your new Monstera from seed, through air layering or from a pre-made cutting you bought, you’ll have to start the propagation process by taking a cutting from an existing plant. 

Many plants, including the Monstera genus, are very prolific and will grow back even from a small trimming. Exactly what we need here!

Can You Grow Monstera From A Leaf?

A common question, as some florists sell decorative Monstera leaves. These keep for a long time and look great in bouquets or just a nice vase. That’s the good news about Monstera leaves.

The bad news is that no, you can’t grow a new Monstera from just a leaf.

Selecting Material for a Monstera Cutting 

Well, you can’t propagate Monstera from just any piece of the plant, but you don’t need much. Some cuttings are literally just a few inches of stem with no leaves (referred to as a node cutting)! A leaf or two is great and will make for quicker results, but too many and they might take energy away from the rooting process.

Also make sure the cutting has a root node, which is a little bump on the stem that new growth (in this case a root) can grow from. A piece with an air root also works.

How To Take Your Monstera Cutting

  • In order to take your cutting, you’ll need a sharp and clean knife. You can wipe it down with alcohol if you want to be sure it’s sterilized, but to be honest – I never bother. If you also garden, you could opt to use trimming shears.
  • Simply cut the stem to obtain a good piece of plant (I like to go with two leaves, a bit of stem and some nodes or air roots). The cut can be made anywhere: top, middle or bottom.
  • Voilà! You now have a cutting and you can move on to the actual propagation process.

Propagating Monstera and other houseplants involves choosing between water propagation and soil propagation. Both work perfectly fine, it just depends on your own preferences.

I’m a water propagator: I love having pretty vases with cuttings all over the house and keeping an eye on the developing roots!

Did you know? Although normal soil or water propagation are by far the most popular methods, there is a Monstera propagation method that doesn’t involve taking a cutting just yet. Scroll down to the bottom of this article to find out more!

Step 2: Rooting Monstera Cuttings

Once you have taken your cuttings, you need to decide whether to root them in water or in potting mix. 

How To Root Monstera In Water

The easiest way to root  a Monstera cutting is to simply place it in water. Even the first glass you find in the cupboard will do fine, although it’s a little more decorative to use a nice vase . As mentioned above, rooting in water is not just decorative, but also comes with the added advantage of being able to see how the cutting is coming along.

Fill the glass, jar or vase with water and place, pop the cutting in there and place the whole thing in a room temperature location that gets bright but indirect light. Direct sun is too harsh on a delicate cutting! All you have to do now is wait, changing the water every few days.

When you’ll start seeing roots depends on factors like the temperature, light and the cutting itself, so give things some time. Most cuttings start their root development after one or two weeks, but it can take quite a bit longer in some cases.

You can leave your Monstera baby in water pretty much indefinitely if you like the look. Most houseplant enthusiasts prefer to pot theirs, though, which you can do once the roots seem nicely established.

Remember: Your Monstera cutting  won’t be excited about being moved from water to a pot and can respond by drooping for a while. It might even shed a leaf or two during the adjustment period.

Just keep the soil lightly moist and give the plant some time. It’ll perk back up once its roots have gotten used to being in soil and there’ll be new leaves before you know it.

How To Root Monstera In Soil

RootingMonstera  in soil means you skip the additional step of moving your cutting from water to soil. It does also mean you won’t be able to see what’s going on with its roots, but some may find this option easier. 

Soil propagation can be slower, but it yields the same result if all goes well: a brand new Monstera plant.

  • Place your cutting in a pot with drainage holes. As discussed earlier, the soil should be able to drain excess water easily, but also stay lightly moist. An aroid soil is recommended.
  • Bonus points: dip the cutting in some rooting powder. Place the pot with the cutting in a clear plastic bag to help keep in humidity and warmth, or use a propagator.
  • Place the pot in a light and warm location and be patient. Even more patient than with water propagation, as cuttings develop their roots before they start producing leaf growth. As such, you won’t be able to tell whether your propagation has been successful until the first leaf pops up.
  • Keep in mind that the leaves on your cutting can go quite limp for a while, as they lack the ability to absorb water until their roots have established. Just keep the soil very lightly moist.
  • See a new leaf? Congratulations, you now have a brand new, functional Monstera!

Tip: Some like to give the cutting a light tug once in a while (resistance tells you that roots have grown), but it works best just to leave it alone.

How To Propagate Monstera In Moss, Perlite Or LECA

If you’ve obtained a delicate or more expensive Monstera cutting, like a variegated specimen, you can opt to propagate in sphagnum moss or pure perlite. It’s a bit more of a hassle, because not everyone has these media on hand and you do have to move the cutting to soil at a later stage, but it has a high success rate.

To propagate your Monstera in moss, you just need some sphagnum moss and a container. Lightly moisten the sphagnum moss, pop the cutting in there and then place the whole thing in a clear plastic bag to keep moisture and warmth in.

To propagate your Monstera in perlite (or LECA, which works the same), use a container without drainage holes. Fill it with your preferred material and a small layer of water at the bottom. The perlite or LECA will wick just the right amount of moisture to your cutting, without the risk of rot that you get with soil due to the presence of organic material.

With this method, too, you can opt to place the whole thing in a clear plastic bag or propagator. Some rooting powder can also prove helpful in speeding up the process.

Propagating Monstera by Air Layering 

Air layering involves tricking a plant into growing roots before you actually make the cut. 

This method is usually used for woody plants that are difficult to root using the normal methods, but Monstera, especially Monstera deliciosa with its thicker stem, is a great candidate too.

You’ll need rooting hormone, sphagnum moss, some plastic wrap and something like rubber bands or ties. Here’s how you do it:

  • Select the stem you want to remove for propagation. Find a node right below it. This is where the roots will be growing from!
  • Apply rooting hormone on and around the node. With many plants, you’d wound this area to stimulate rooting, but with Monstera that’s really not even necessary. Sticking to just rooting hormone lowers the risk of rot and disease.
  • Give your sphagnum moss a soak and squeeze it so that it’s moist, but not dripping. Apply a ball all around the area of the node.
  • Cover the ball with plastic wrap, sealing it, and use the bands or ties to keep the whole thing in place.
  • Wait a few weeks for root growth, keeping an eye on the sphagnum to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Because you used plastic wrap, you’ll be able to see the roots start to appear in the moss.
  • Once a good root ball has formed you can remove the wrap and moss. Pleased with what you see? Use a clean knife to make a cut just below the roots. See what we just did here? You’ve now got a pre-rooted Monstera cutting on your hands.
  • Plant the cutting in your favorite pot and soil type, placing it in a warm, high-humidity location that receives bright but indirect light. It can look a little sad at first, but because it’s already rooted, it should keep growing as usual.

Propagating Monstera From Seed

Monstera plants flower rarely when grown as houseplants indoors, and  their inflorescence isn’t spectacular even where they are grown outside in warmer climate zones. When grown outdoors, though, Monstera deliciosa not only flowers but also produces fruit. And it’s edible too, with the right precautions. While unripe Monstera deliciosa fruit can cause severe irritation to the mouth, a ripe piece should taste delightfully tropical.

The chances of obtaining seed from an indoor Monstera are pretty slim, because as mentioned above, indoor plants rarely flower, let along produce fruits containing seeds. 

If you purchase seeds online, however, or live in tropical climes where you can grow these species outside, you can try your hand at getting them to germinate at home. 

Keep in mind that there are many sellers out there that carry fake seeds advertising them as Monstera: a real Monstera seed will have the size and looks of something resembling a very ugly kernel of corn.

All these seeds need to germinate are a good soak, a little pot with sterilized soil each, and the humidity and warmth of a cling film cover. Light should be indirect with no full sun to avoid burning, or you can use an LED grow light. Once your seedlings have sprouted, you can remove the cling film.

Growing Monstera from seed is a long process and it’ll take months before you see the first split leaf appearing even in ideal conditions.But for the boasting rights you may consider this worthwhile. 

Monstera Care

Once your new Monstera is all established it should continue to grow with no problems. If this is your first plant of this genus, you might be wondering how to care for Monstera.

Take a peek at the full Monstera deliciosa care guide for everything you need to know about keeping your split leaf Philodendron healthy. For Monstera adansonii, there’s the guide to Monstera adansonii care.