The Most Common and Easy Way to Propagate Monstera Deliciosa (and Other Monsteras)

Basic Witch

In the last article, I talked about A Beginner's Care Guide for Monstera Deliciosa. This time, we are moving onto something more advanced: the propagation of Monsteras.

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Some propagated Monsteras. Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

What is propagation exactly?

Propagation is, per the dictionary,

"The breeding of specimens of a plant or animal by natural processes from the parent stock."

In layman's terms, propagation on a Monstera essentially makes a cutting from the original plant, and the cutting can grow its own roots, creating a new plant. It is a way for plants to reproduce asexually.

Sounds pretty simple, isn't it?

However, many things could go wrong when propagating a Monstera. And here is a step-by-step instruction for beginners on the most common way to propagate a Monstera.

1. Let's start from the top: When is the best time to propagate a Monstera?

It is generally good to propagate your Monstera when your plant is healthy and happy during its growing season. Monsteras grows typically from spring through fall. Do not propagate your Monstera if it already does not have enough leaves for it to photosynthesize.

A good rule of thumb is: if your Monstera looks full and green, then go ahead and propagate it!

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My "full and green" Monstera. A bit too full if you ask me. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro.

Of course, other reasons might prompt you to propagate your Monstera. One common reason is, if you have a variegated Monstera, normally, people propagate the most variegated leaf to preserve that variegation. We'll talk about the variegated forms of Monstera in the next article (<3).

2. What do you need to propagate a Monstera?

To propagate a Monstera or any other plants, you'll need:

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All the propagation tools you'll need. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro

A pair of clean preferably disinfected scissors

It is essential to properly clean the scissors. Sometimes, root rot happens when the scissors making the cutting is not sanitized.

A glass jar

It doesn't have to be a glass jar. It can be any shape or form of a water container to put your Monstera cuttings inside once it is cut off. I prefer something straight line-shaped because you do not want your Monstera to grow out its roots and get stuck in a narrow-neck vase. I also like a transparent container because you observe the growth of the roots, and it is pretty:).

Water (tap or filtered, depending on your area)

As discussed in A Beginner's Care Guide for Monstera Deliciosa, whether you should use tap water or filtered water to propagate your Monstera is entirely up to the water quality in your area. Usually, if your tap water is not directly drinkable, it is probably not suitable for propagating your Monstera. Plants like Monstera do not like too much chlorine in the water.

Soil mix and a nursery pot (for later when you are ready to pot your cutting)

Look for a well-draining potting mix. Typically, these kinds of soil are sold in bags at local nurseries or Amazon. If you want to be sure that it is well-draining, you could also purchase perlite and mix it into the soil. Drainage is vital for a new plant because it will prevent root rot.

I recommend getting a nursery pot from online or a local nursery. Since Monsteras are fast-growing, it is wise to have it in a temporary pot instead of an expensive one that you like and will soon be grown out of. Depending on the size of the cutting, you might need a pot ranging from 2" - 8" in diameter. I potted my two-leaf Monstera cutting into a 5" pot.

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My rooted Monstera variegata propagation in a 5" nursery pot. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro.

In general, I suggest potting your Monstera cutting in a smaller pot. It is easier to control the humidity level in the soil and eliminate the chances of root rot.

3. Where do you make the cut?

This is probably the most exciting and essential part of the propagation process. Making the cut in the right place could make or break your propagation!

I am sure you probably already know, the Monsteras have nodes. And on the nodes, is where the adventitious buds are. These "buds" are capable of developing new leaves or roots. So it is crucial that you cut BELOW at least one of these nodes. If aerial roots are growing out of the nodes already, congrats! You are one step closer to successfully propagating your Monstera. You just have to make the cut BELOW the aerial root for it to be part of your cutting.

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The two red lines mark the possible cut points to propagate. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro.

Pic of node & aerial root

A good cutting should at least have one healthy-looking leaf and one intact node. Of course, the more nodes and leaves included in a cutting, the higher the success rate is for the cutting to survive. Because more nodes mean more roots and more new leaves. More leaves mean more productive photosynthesis!

But be sure to leave some leaves for your original plant, so it can still photosynthesize!

  • A little unrelated, but: people sometimes sell these so-called Monstera "cuttings" with no node or a bad leaf online. Beware because after reading this article, you should know there is no life potential in these cuttings without a properly functioning node or leaf.

4. Change the water regularly, and wait—

Now you have a perfect cutting in the water in a glass jar (or any container of your choice), put near a bright window, not in direct sunlight. Besides waiting, you should also change the water in the jar every week, or the cutting might start to smell bad.

Usually, after two weeks or so, you should notice new roots growing out of the node of your cutting. Wait till a few roots are at least an inch long before you plant the cutting in soil. Not having the roots reach that length might make it hard for the plant to survive in the soil with an underdeveloped root system. Having the roots too long in the water, on the other hand, might make it hard for you to disentangle them when potting in the soil.

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My golden pothos propagation's rooting is over one inch, and it is ready to pot in soil. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro.

5. Potting your rooted cutting

Remember the soil and the pot in Step 2? Now is the time to get them out.

Fill your pot with a bit of soil. Hold your Monstera cutting so that the roots are below the rim of the pot. Fill the rest of the way with soil. Try to make the roots fan out rather than getting stuck in one wet clump.

Since your cutting's roots are used to being in the water, you'll need to water it very thoroughly. And water regularly after that, just like how you water your original Monstera plant.

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All my current propagations so far.

That's it, guys! I hope you can make as many Monstera propagations successfully as possible. They are great gifts during the holiday season.

Comment to leave any questions, I will try my best to answer!

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