Propagating cuttings from plants can be difficult at the best of times.
It takes a little bit of time and energy to create a situation where you can grow an entire plant for just one small section of it, with the end result being either a beautiful and verdant piece of vegetation or an absolute failure.
This can be doubly true for plants that need a special eye kept on them anyway, like monstera.
These large, evergreen vines are known for their broad, waxy, and unique looking leaves and the fact that, once they have matured, they can make any home look like a jungle.
However, when people talk about propagating these plants, many of their plant parent friends get a bit nervous, as they rightfully should.
It can be a difficult endeavor, but one well worth the time and effort.
With that said, we are going to provide you with the guide to grow these marvelous plants from a single cutting and all the ways it can be achieved easily.
Should I Propagate My Monstera Plant?
Absolutely, if you have a healthy monstera plant, and you want another or your friend is letting you take a cutting of their plant, you should definitely do it.
The most obvious reason is that you can have your own beautiful jungle plant in your own home, but there are a few other reasons as well.
The first is that you can obtain a brand new free plant from a single cutting, instead of being forced to buy a brand new one.
This is not only cheap but also a great way to have an excess of monstera plants, which brings us to our second reason.
You can give these plants away as presents.
Monstera are expensive plants and many people would love to have them, so giving them away not only shows the effort you put into growing one, but it also provides a loved one with a unique and thoughtful gift that they would have otherwise not been able to get.
One of these cuttings might mutate into a variegated monstera plant, which is a marbled or speckled monstera – basically a normal green one with white coloration.
These are exceedingly rare and fetch a high price. By growing and selling one, you could make a pretty penny.
That is true with most of these cuttings actually, you could sell them and pocket some money in the meantime.
Since they go for a fairly high price as normal (rather than the variegated version), they are worth making the effort to propagate them.
How Do You Propagate A Monstera Plant?
The method that you propagate a monstera is the same with any plant, really.
You need to make a cutting in a certain place that will allow roots to grow when you place it in water and provide that cutting with enough nutrients.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do that:
Find Out Where The Node Is
First, we need to identify the node itself.
If you don’t cut at the right angle on the right position of the node, then your plant won’t grow roots, the stem will simply die, and you will be left with nothing but a wilted stem and leaves.
Of a leaf stem that comes off the main stem of the plant, there will be various different internodes and nodes.
Most of this stem is forest green, but the node will be a bumpy, little green circular ring spanning the width of the stem, and it will be the place where the leaves and stem (and future roots) originate from.
Consider Your Cutting
When you are considering which cutting to take, you need to think of a couple of things. The first is that the stem does not have more than 2 leaves on the cutting that you plan to take.
The stem will have to survive and begin to grow roots which takes time and energy, the latter of which a stem will struggle with if it has to keep alive multiple leaves, which in turn will affect the former.
If the cutting you planned has more than two leaves, then find another cutting to take from the monstera or try to divide the cutting into two smaller cuttings, but only if you are confident you have the ability to do so and that you can keep them both alive.
Cutting The Node From The Plant
When you reach this stage, make sure that the knife that you use or the shears that you use are incredibly sharp and can make a clean cut.
If you do not and the cut is very jagged, the cutting will struggle to fight off infection and grow roots.
You want to cut the node at a 45-degree angle, an inch below where the node is situated.
This will maximize the surface area of the cut, making it easier for the plant to absorb water and allow for faster root growth.
Cut too low or high and roots won’t grow.
Cut at the wrong angle and the plant won’t have enough surface area to keep its internal functions going. It is a skill that is difficult to master, but well worth mastering.
After you have made the cut and have your cutting, then you need to remove any sheathing that may be still on the stem.
If you are not confident in this, you can leave it on, but it will probably rot in the water.
If you do leave it on, just keep a close eye on the cutting for a few days and when it starts to rot, take the sheathing off and leave the rest of the plant intact.
After this process, it is time to begin the propagation process itself. You can propagate the plant in one of two ways: in a water medium or in a soil medium.
Propagating The Monstera In Water
Before placing the cutting into its water setting, you can decide to trim the aerial roots on the cutting to make it easier to fit into the jar or vase you want to put it in.
These are an above ground root that is thick, woody, and comes off the stem of certain plants.
While in the wild, they will seek out moisture, sunlight, and nutrients for the main body, they are not useful in a setting where the plant already has that and their continued attachment may cost the plant resources in maintaining them.
After this, arrange the cutting in your chosen vessel in a way you want to place the cutting in the soil after it has finished propagating.
Once the root system has become developed, this will be impossible to do, so do it at this stage and try to keep the cutting in this position.
Finally, pour in the water. Make sure the water covers the node and any aerial roots you kept on. The water should be filtered water, if you can get your hands on it.
Also, make sure to replace the water every three to five days or when the water has become murky.
Check on your cutting every day to make sure everything is running smoothly. Between two and four weeks later, you should start to see some new root development, which is a good sign.
Once your roots get to be at least two inches long, then you can plant it in potting soil. This normally takes another two to four weeks.
Propagating The Monstera In Soil
This process is basically the same for water propagation, excluding the trimming of the aerial roots, as most normal pots should be able to hold the whole cutting without any difficulty.
Still, we will cover it for the soil process, so it is easier for you.
Fill your chosen pot up to halfway with soil that is good for a monstera plant. This should be soiled that is well-draining and has good aeration.
Then, you should place your cutting into the soil. As before, you should place your cutting in a position that will be the position and direction in which the cutting grows.
Once the cutting is in your chosen position, you need to put more soil in the pot until the nodes are fully covered. If your cutting is too big for your pot, or it is unable to hold itself upright, then you can put a trellis or a moss pole into the pot and leave them in the pot until the roots have made a solid foundation for themselves.
Lastly, you need to water the plant thoroughly. You should keep watering the plant until water starts draining out the holes of the bottom of the pot.
The Potential Third Option For Propagation: Air Layering
There is another option for propagating your monstera plant, and that is a process called air layering.
In this process, you are trying to force the potential cutting you are going to take to develop roots before you actually take the cutting.
It is a bit fiddly and can mean you don’t end up with the result you want, but it can also be well worth it.
First, you need to cut the stem below the node as before, but this time you are simply sounding it, instead of severing it completely – aim for cutting halfway through.
Get a plastic bag that is filled with damp sphagnum moss – make sure it is damp, not wet – and wrap it around the wound before securing it with plastic ties.
Poke holes into the bag, so oxygen flows through it, and check once again that the moss is not too damp – otherwise this will root this stem.
Once the bag is secured and has a good air supply, check it once every two to three days and spray it with distilled water during that time to keep it moist.
After a month, open up the bag and check for any new root growths on the stem. If you are successful, there should be some there.
There may be some rotten roots, but you shouldn’t worry about this and instead cut them away, as they will affect the plant’s continued growth.
Use a pair of sharp clean shears or a sharp knife to sever the rest of the stem from the parent plant, making sure to include the roots and the node.
Finally, plant your cutting into the soil as you would at the end of the other propagation techniques.
While this method is interesting, it is best used for larger plants or more mature large plants.
The size of the stem will dictate whether this method works and without a wide or large stem, it simply won’t, unfortunately.
What Affects A Propagation’s Success?
A lot of factors that affect your plant’s success will be outside of your control and be dictated about the environment and climate of where you live.
However, you can mitigate these factors by picking a time and place where you are propagating your plant:
It is always best to propagate your plant in the seasons when monstera is actively growing.
Since these times of year are the points when the growth hormones of plants are spreading through their bodies, encouraging them to grow more or become more active.
The points when this happens is during spring and during summer.
Winter is the worst time to try and propagate, because the plants lie dormant, and the stem will most likely wither and die, before it ever gets to the root growing stage.
Temperature And Light
Monstera plants love warm temperatures, and cuttings will do best between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius (73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
This is because they are native to much warmer regions than other plants and so cope well with warmer climes.
Similarly, they are also from forests with bright, but not direct sunlight. As such, direct sunlight can actually burn the plants and make them wither.
Keeping them in a place that is in bright, but never in direct sunlight, is definitely for the best, especially for a young and vulnerable cutting.
Definitely try to avoid temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit).
Bacteria love high temperatures, and they will begin to congregate around your vulnerable cutting if you let them.
Monstera propagation can seem scary at first, but it is a deeply rewarding and challenging experience.
The effort may be long and slow with some bumps in the road here and there, but the rewards can be incredibly pleasant and monetarily rich to you, your friends and your family with plenty of lush, green plants decorating your home.