Getting to grips with propagation for the first time can be tricky. Especially if you’ve never done it before and aren’t sure where to start!
The Swiss cheese plant is a popular house plant that is super easy to propagate. For some varieties such as the variegated monstera plant, propagation is the best way to get another variegated Swiss cheese plant for your collection.
But how do you propagate a Swiss cheese plant?
Today, we’re going to cover everything that you need to know about propagation. We’re going to cover the 2 most popular propagation methods – using soil and water – so that you will know more about each method.
This will then help you to choose the best propagation method for your needs.
So let’s take a look at everything you need to know about propagation when it comes to the Swiss cheese plant!
Which Propagation Method Is Best For A Swiss Cheese Plant: Soil Or Water?
So before we take a closer look at propagation, we need to know a little more about each of the most popular methods.
There are actually 3 different methods for propagation when it comes to a Swiss cheese plant, but soil and water are more likely to be successful. The moss propagation method can be a little more temperamental.
But which propagation method is best out of the soil method and the water method?
It will all come down to your personal preference. There are benefits and drawbacks to both methods, and we will cover these in more detail down below to give you a clearer picture.
Advantages Of Water Propagation
One of the main advantages of choosing the water propagation method is that it is so easy to do. You don’t have to worry about using any complicated equipment, and virtually anyone can propagate a Swiss cheese plant using this method.
You can also closely monitor the progression of your Swiss cheese plant’s roots using this method of propagation. You will be able to see the roots starting to sprout and grow longer if you place your Swiss cheese plant cutting in a clear vase or container.
This is also a super clean method, with no large amounts of spilled soil getting everywhere when you propagate your cutting.
You can also leave your cutting in a vase for long periods of time, as long as you upgrade the container to a larger vessel as the roots grow larger.
Things To Consider With Water Propagation
You will need to ensure that you put fresh water in your chosen vase at least once a week. This will ensure that your Swiss cheese plant cutting is getting the fresh oxygen that it needs right at the roots.
Sometimes the cuttings that have been propagated using the water method have a difficult time adjusting to soil when it comes time to transplant them into a plant pot.
So you will need to ensure that you give the soil a thorough soaking after you have planted it. This will help the roots to acclimatize to the soil conditions.
It’s also worth noting that your Swiss cheese plant won’t be able to get all of the nutrients it needs using the water method. This can mean that roots will develop more slowly.
Advantages Of Soil Propagation
One of the best things about this method is that you only need to do it once. You won’t need to transplant the Swiss cheese plant after a couple of weeks once new roots have formed for the plant to establish itself.
This also means the roots are less likely to be disturbed than if you were to follow the water method and then transplant your Swiss cheese plant cutting.
Your new Swiss cheese plant cutting will also have all of the essential nutrients that it needs to thrive straightaway. The potting soil will have all of these nutrients that can promote the healthy growth that you’re after.
Some people find that it doesn’t take as long for solid roots to form when using the soil propagation method.
Things To Consider With Soil Propagation
You will need to thoroughly plan when and how you are going to propagate your Swiss cheese plant using the soil method. It will require ensuring that you have the right potting soil to hand so that the soil is moist but not saturated.
Things To Remember Before You Propagate Your Swiss Cheese Plant
Propagating your Swiss cheese plant is a fairly straightforward and simple process. However, there are a number of factors that you will need to consider before you get started.
Let’s take a look at these in more detail so that you will have everything you need right from the start.
Propagate During The Growing Season
It will be best to propagate your Swiss cheese plant during its growing season. This is typically around the summer and spring months. It will be best to do this as your Swiss cheese plant is more likely to develop the roots it needs in order to grow properly.
The Swiss cheese plant will likely go dormant during the cooler winter and fall months, which means it will take much longer for these roots to develop.
So by propagating during the spring and summer months, you will be giving your Swiss cheese plant more of a chance to thrive.
Have The Right Equipment To Hand
You will need to ensure that you have all of the necessary equipment to hand before you get started. This will make your life much easier in the long run, as you won’t have to pause at any one time to then go and source the right materials.
You will need a pair of sharp, sterilized shears, a pair of gardening gloves, and either a plant pot or a vase depending on which method you are opting for.
You can also use a sharp knife to make the cutting, but you will need to ensure that it has been sterilized using isopropyl alcohol first, and that it is sharp enough to make a clean cut.
Choose The Right Vase Or Plant Pot
No matter whether you are opting for the soil or water propagation method, you will need to ensure that you have the right vase or plant pot for the job.
You can also opt for a temporary home of a bottle or pot in the meantime, but it will save you a lot of time and hassle to have the right vase or plant pot to hand.
If you are opting for the water propagation method, you will need to ensure that you choose a large vase or water container that has around 4 inches of diameter around the mouth of the container.
This will allow you to easily remove the cuttings to either change the water, or remove them for transplanting.
If you are opting for the soil propagation method, you will need to choose a plant pot that has a drainage hole in the bottom.
This will allow any excess water to simply drain away from the base of the pot so that you can rest assured that the soil doesn’t become waterlogged. This can then prevent unwanted root rot from setting in.
Select A Well Draining Potting Soil
The potting soil that you use will be just as important as the plant pot you choose. You will need to ensure that the soil is well draining and gives your Swiss cheese plant’s roots the aeration it needs to stay happy and healthy.
It’s best to buy a ready made well draining potting soil so that you can rest assured that it will do its job effectively.
You can also add in perlite or peat moss into the soil, as this will help to aerate it enough for your roots to develop properly. Alternatively you can create your own potting soil using perlite, orchid bark, activated charcoal, coco fiber, and worm casting.
Buy A Moss Pole For Your Swiss Cheese Plant
Once your Swiss cheese plant has had time to develop its root system and new growth starts to form, you will need to ensure that your plant can grow properly.
This often means buying a moss pole that you can loosely secure your Swiss cheese plant to so that it has support.
Some people like to add the moss pole in after the roots have already established themselves. However, this can sometimes damage the roots, so it’s best to insert the moss pole as soon as you propagate or transplant your Swiss cheese plant into soil.
Choose The Right Stems
To make sure that you have the best chance of success, you will need to ensure that you choose the right stems to propagate. This will mean selecting a stem from the mother plant that has at least 1 or 2 leaves on it already, as well as at least 1 or 2 nodes.
It’s super easy to see where the nodes are on your Swiss cheese plant. These are the areas of growth where new foliage sprouts, and are typically displayed as light green splits along the stem.
Once you have selected the best stem for your needs, you will need to make a clean cut around 1 inch below the last node that you wish to include.
Ideally you will want to cut at a 45 degree angle, as this will give the internodes a larger surface area to absorb water, so that they can establish new roots quicker.
How To Propagate A Swiss Cheese Plant Using The Water Method
The best method for beginners to opt for is the water propagation method. This involves placing your cutting in a vase or bottle filled with water, and waiting a couple of weeks to a month for the roots to develop.
First you will need to make a clean cut along your chosen stem, including at least 1 to 2 leaves and nodes.
Make sure to remove leaves from the bottom of the stem if these would then be underneath the surface of the water, as these will start to rot over time. Make sure at least 1 node is underwater in your chosen vase.
Replace the water once a week to give the roots fresh oxygen, and ensure you place your Swiss cheese plant cutting in a warm part of your home that has plenty of indirect sunlight.
Once roots have started to develop, you can then transplant your cutting into soil. Alternatively you can leave your Swiss cheese plant cutting in water indefinitely.
How To Propagate A Swiss Cheese Plant Using The Soil Method
After making your cutting, you will need to prepare your plant pot full of potting soil. Make sure to half fill the plant pot with your well draining, aerated soil. You will then need to place your moss pole in place ready to give your cutting support.
Place your cutting in place, then add enough potting soil over this until at least one of the nodes is buried within the earth. If more leaves develop over time, you will need to loosely secure them to the moss pole you inserted earlier.
Make sure to water the soil thoroughly, and place it in a warm place in your home that gets plenty of indirect sunlight.
How To Look After Your Freshly Propagated Swiss Cheese Plant Cuttings
So after you have successfully propagated your Swiss cheese plant, you will then need to ensure that it gets the right amount of care that it needs.
How Often To Water Your Cutting
You will need to water your Swiss cheese plant cutting using distilled water at least once a week. You will need to ensure that the soil is moist, but not waterlogged.
Ensure that the excess water drains out of the bottom of the plant pot so as to avoid unwanted root rot or overwatering.
For water propagated Swiss cheese plants, you will need to change the water once a week. Make sure to remove any dirt or algae from the vase as they appear.
How Much Light It Needs
Your Swiss cheese plant will need around 10 to 12 hours of indirect sunlight every day. You should never place the plant directly in sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn.
You may also benefit from using grow lights to ensure that your Swiss cheese plant gets the right level of light every day.
Getting The Humidity And Temperature Right
Swiss cheese plants thrive in high humidity conditions. They will love standard house temperatures of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to place them in areas of at least 50% humidity.
Choosing The Right Fertilizer
It will be best to choose a fertilizer that promotes healthy root growth. Make sure to dilute it in water, and apply to your Swiss cheese plant’s soil around once a month.
Choosing The Right Potting Soil
Remember that you will need to select a potting soil that is well draining and properly aerated. If the soil is constantly wet and soggy, then you will need to re-pot your Swiss cheese plant in better draining soil.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take For A Swiss Cheese Plant To Form Roots?
It will ultimately depend on which method of propagation that you opt for. It can take up to a month for roots to develop using the water propagation method.
It will take a couple of weeks for roots to develop using the soil propagation method. Roots will need to be at least 2 inches long before you can transplant your Swiss cheese plant from the water into potting soil.
Will A Variegated Swiss Cheese Plant Grow From My New Cutting?
It is very unlikely for a variegated Swiss cheese plant to grow from a standard Swiss cheese plant cutting. This chance is around 1 in 100,000.
You’re more likely to get a variegated Swiss cheese plant if you take a cutting from an already established variegated Swiss cheese plant.