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One delight of growing the various Monstera plants is the relative ease with which they can be propagated. The easiest way is to use part of a parent plant to create a whole new baby plant!
Monstera may be propagated sexually (seeds) or asexually (stem cuttings, suckers, and tissue culture). Monstera is commonly propagated by stem cuttings, which may be rooted first in containers or partially buried in the soil where they are intended to grow.
This article covers all the elements of propagating the different Monstera plants, both sexual (briefly) and asexual. To discover how to multiply your Monstera plants, read on. The information in this article applies to the following 10 Monstera plants.
- Monstera acuminata
- Monstera adansonii
- Monstera albo variegata
- Monstera deliciosa
- Monstera deliciosa Thai Constellation
- Monstera dubia
- Monstera lechleriana
- Monstera obliqua
- Monstera Peru
- Monstera standleyana
An Introduction to General Plant Propagation
Plant propagation may be classified into two types: sexual and asexual. Plant propagation in nature is usually done by sexual reproduction or the development of viable seeds. When exposed to the right circumstances, these seeds germinate and develop into adult, reproducing plants.
Horticulturists have created asexual propagation methods that utilize vegetative plant components over the years. This enables the reproduction of plants in unique ways that nature cannot match.
Seeds are used in sexual propagation to make new plants. Sexual reproduction is quite simple and frequently does not require any specific equipment. It is nature’s approach to obtaining many plants at a small cost.
Many seeds from hybrid plants are sterile and cannot be successfully grown from seeds. Monstera plants grown indoors do not generally flower, limiting seed availability. Also, Monstera seeds have a limited shelf life.
If you want to produce Monsteras from seeds, you’ll need to germinate them as soon as you get them because they don’t last long. There are several ways to achieve this: soaking them in water, moist paper towels, or coconut coir. You’ll need to take special care of the seedlings once they germinate.
Asexual plant propagation makes a clone, or an identical genetic duplicate, of the parent plant using the plant’s vegetative components. This has several benefits, including possibly copying the parent plant genetically.
In most circumstances, it enables plants to reach a size appropriate for transplanting in less time than if grown from seed. Asexual plant propagation is done in a variety of ways by gardeners. Examples of these techniques are taking cuttings, layering, division, grafting, blossoming, and generating new plants from tissue cultures in a lab.
When Should You Start Propagating Your Monstera?
At any time, your Monstera can be propagated! As long as the plant is actively developing, it is safe to propagate it. You may need to supply more lighting for your plants to thrive over the winter. In the worst-case situation, it will take longer for your cutting to grow throughout the winter.
What is the best place to cut your Monstera for propagation?
The first rule of Monsteras propagation is that you must always have a node! Without a node, you can’t propagate a Monstera. Understanding the components of a Monstera plant will facilitate better propagation success.
Anatomy Of Monstera Deliciosa for Propagation
Nodes are the ridges that run around the Monstera’s stem. Each node produces a petiole (the long green stalk that supports the leaf). There should be one node for every leaf; however, if the plant aborted or lost a leaf or a new stem developed from a previous cut, there may be a few more.
The plant’s nodes are the places where new branches can sprout. An axillary bud, the latent sprout of a new stem, sits just above each node, ready to be reawakened by a cut.
The axillary bud may appear as a round, pointed bump of the same color as the stem or be hidden within the stem. The bud is sometimes obscured by the empty sheaf left behind by a leaf.
You must cut the plant on the main stem on the internode, not on the petiole or leaf, to acquire a node in your cutting. A node will not be present if only a leaf is cut.
New branches can begin at nodes in the plant. An axillary bud, the latent branch of a new stem, sits just above each node, waiting for a cut to reawaken it.
The axillary bud may appear as a round, pointed bump of the same color as the stem or hidden inside the stem. The empty sheaf left behind by a leaf might sometimes conceal the bud.
The part of the main stem between nodes is called the internode. You must cut the plant on the main stem at the internode, not on the petiole or leaf, to obtain a node in your cutting. There will be no node if you only cut a leaf.
For example, Monstera Adansonii has anatomies similar to the deliciosa. In the same way that knowledge of one may be used to disseminate the other, knowledge of the other can be used to promote the other!
Choose What Type Of Monstera Cutting To Make
Next, you need to decide what kind of cutting to take.
Stem Tip Cutting
A stem-tip cutting is one in which the apical meristem and at least one fully expanded leaf are taken from the mother plant. After new roots form, an active meristem is already waiting to grow, which speeds up the process.
The most basic cutting is a top cutting, which only requires one snip. You remove the plant’s terminal bud, the growth point at the top of the stem, by separating the top from the bottom and cutting on the internode. This growth point appears as a sharp protrusion on the petiole of the newest leaf. Top cuttings are the greatest since they regrow the fastest, and the young leaves retain their maturity the longest.
After removing the top cutting, you can separate further cuttings from the stem’s center. Two snips are required for each center cut, one above and one below. Regarding leaf size and maturity, a mid-cutting will start developing a new stem from its node’s axillary bud; therefore, it will begin anew.
A stem cutting, also known as a node, “wet stick,” or “chunk,” has just nodes and no leaves. It is possible to propagate a Monstera Deliciosa without a leaf; however, photosynthesis takes longer without leaves.
Cuttings should be 4 to 6 inches long and taken from vigorous, healthy plants. Remove the cutting from the mother plant with a sharp, clean knife.
Use a rooting hormone that contains a plant-growth hormone such as IAA, IBA, or NAA to improve the rooting percentage and encourage more vigorous roots. Rootone® and Hormodin® are two popular choices that are available commercially. Always use rooting hormones according to the label directions.
What Is The Ideal Size Monstera Cutting for Propagation?
Two to three leaves, or two to three nodes, would be great for a cutting. The following are the reasons behind this:
- Once planted and reconnected to water, a cutting with more leaves can create more energy. This speeds up the development of the first new leaf or, if relevant, activates the axillary bud.
- You have a larger error margin. You still have a possibility for your cutting to grow if you get rot and lose a node.
- Your cutting will grow into a complete plant much faster. Single-leaf cuttings might seem strange in a container until they produce new leaves.
Aerial roots are more likely to be found in bigger cuttings. The newest node in a top cutting is usually immature and does not yet develop an aerial root. Including a few lower nodes with aerial roots will assist your cutting root faster.
I recommend waiting until all nodes develop their roots before splitting your cutting into single nodes to maximize the number of plants, such as with a variegated Monstera. Later, you can split them with less danger.
Monstera Propagation Stages
A cutting is a section cut from the plant, in this case, a Monstera plant. Your cutting will have no soil roots initially, but it may have aerial roots. Because aerial roots can’t support the plant, a cutting with aerial roots isn’t considered as not having viable roots.
Please note that your Monstera cutting is slowly withering while unrooted, like cut flowers in a vase. Until it develops roots, the plant is missing a critical element needed for photosynthesis: water.
Your plant won’t be able to feed itself for long if it doesn’t have access to water and light, and it will ultimately turn yellow – such is life without a source.
You must concentrate on establishing roots for your Monstera Deliciosa to survive the propagation process. The importance of developing roots as soon as possible cannot be overstated!
Cutting with Roots
The cutting is deemed rooted if it has grown a complete set of roots. As this essential part develops, a white, fuzzy root will emerge from the stem or an existing aerial root. The plant’s fluffy root hairs absorb moisture and nutrition. When this root reaches a certain length, it will create feeder roots from the sides.
The cutting is ready to be planted in the final medium after the main and feeder roots have grown to several inches. Once the roots have acclimated to their new environment and begun to develop anew, the cutting becomes established.
It’s important to remember that the transition from propagation media to soil might result in the death of certain roots – you can expect to lose a third of your new roots as you transition the plant from its propagation medium to a growing medium.
The precise amount is determined by how much you disrupt the roots during planting and how consistent the moisture level remains. Before planting, ensure your cutting has enough roots to last, even if it loses a few.
New Little Plant Growing
Your Monstera has started to grow new leaves at long last! This may occur if the cutting is kept rooted for an extended time before establishing it in its final media. If your cutting sprouts new leaves, it’s getting enough water to re-establish itself as a happy, healthy plant!
Are Areal Roots Needed?
Although aerial roots are not required for a cutting to generate roots, they are advantageous and will cut the unrooted phase in half, lowering the risk to your plant.
If your cutting has aerial roots, don’t chop them off, even if they’re in an unusual shape. Aerial roots that are fractured, mushy, or black should be taken out. The aerial root has deteriorated and should be cut out if it is a thin pale thread with the outer shell flaking off.
The new root will develop from the stem if the cutting has no aerial roots. Look for a white, crystal-like protrusion when propagating. This signals the emergence of roots.
Propagating Monstera Using Leaves
Monsteras are not able to be propagated without cuttings that include nodes. Plants that root most readily from leaf cuttings include African Violets and Sansevieria. These plants have soft, fleshy foliage and have developed the ability to reproduce themselves from leaves. Considering that some plants grow hundreds of leaves, you can appreciate the propagation potential for these species.
How Long Does it Take to Propagating A Monstera?
The time it takes to propagate a Monstera is determined by the cutting’s health and the method used to spread it, and it normally takes a few months.
- Here are some anecdotal instances of when the first new leaf will unfurl:
- 1.5 months for a top cutting with aerial root
- Three months from mid-cut to aerial root
- Cutting nodes with aerial roots takes four months.
Propagation Methods Using Monstera Cuttings
There are several methods for successfully propagating your Monstera into a new plant. All the strategies can be effective but have advantages and disadvantages.
The water loss will be limited if there is a high humidity level surrounding the plant. Airflow is critical for maintaining oxygen around roots and preventing root rot in a high-humidity environment.
Keep the cut ends of the stem as dry as possible to avoid stem rot. Suspending them out of the propagation medium is the best way to achieve this.
To avoid rot, many individuals overcompensate by reproducing their roots to become excessively dry, and dry plants are lifeless.
You don’t need to add fertilizers to the water to wet your propagation media until your cutting establishes roots since it can’t absorb them.
Once the roots have started to develop, you may supplement them with nutrients to help them grow more quickly.
Layering propagates new plants when seeding, cutting, grafting, and other methods are impractical or ineffective. It consists of rooting a new plant while the stem is still attached to the parent plant.
Because an entire branch of the parent plant is often needed to form a new plant, this method is useful for propagating only a few plants from each parent. Layering is simple to perform and can be done without any special equipment or structures. Methods of layering include simple, air, tip, and compound.
Air layering is known as growing your plant’s airborne roots into soil roots before cutting them. It can be accomplished by wrapping aerial roots in moss, directing them into moss on a pole, or planting aerial roots in a separate container containing soil or water.
Air layering is the ideal propagation technique because your cutting may produce roots while still linked to the parent plant. This eliminates the unrooted propagation stage, ensuring your cutting has the highest chance of succeeding. This is a technique I employ as frequently as feasible.
Pros: There’s a very slim danger of decay. Roots develop quicker because the cutting can access the plant’s energy. Cuttings have a very low risk of losing leaves or nodes.
Cons: It doesn’t function on top cuttings that haven’t yet developed aerial roots. Existing rootless cuttings or rehabilitating a whole rootless plant will not work.
Propagating in Water
The simplest way to propagate your Monstera Deliciosa is by using water! Fill a glass or jar halfway with water, drop in the cutting, and change the water every several days.
Keep the aerial roots in the water and the stem suspended above to limit stem rot risk. A fish tank air stone can be used to improve water oxygen levels. For healthy, low-risk cuts, this procedure is my first choice.
There is no biological substance in the media to spread illness. When taken out of the water, the roots do not suffer harm and spread quickly.
We use this hanging propagation station to decorate our home and clear up counter space near our bright kitchen window. Remember that the tube size best suits small Monstera deliciosa cuttings or any Monstera Adansonii cuttings.
Propagating in Soil
Many commercial nurseries that need to create new plants quickly plant their cuttings directly into the ground. This approach can work, especially if the cutting is fresh and healthy, but it has the greatest drawbacks.
This strategy is used for air stacking with plants that grow horizontally rather than ascending.
Benefits: There is no need for transplantation. Plants can benefit from soil nutrients.
Cons: It isn’t easy to keep balanced moisture levels, and there’s no way to detect if roots are developing or if there’s any rot. If soil is overwatered, it can turn anaerobic, and fungus or illness can be introduced into organic media.
Propagating in Cocunut Coir
In place of soil, coconut coit can be used. Coconut coir is moist and holds water well, making it ideal for retaining humidity around roots while permitting ventilation. Use a cover, such as a cling wrap, to keep humidity in the container.
This strategy can provide excellent results, but it is tough to master. People frequently have problems due to the moss being too damp or dry. This is how I do my air layering.
Pros: Maintains high humidity and moisture levels without using liquid water. It’s light and simple to mold around your roots, and keeping the stem out of the medium this way is easier. Roots have an easier time transitioning to their final growing space.
Cons: It’s easy to get excessively packed, and it isn’t easy to keep a regular level of wetness. There’s no way to detect if roots are developing or if there’s any rot. The removal of roots is both damaging and time-consuming. Fungus or illness can be introduced into organic media.
Propagating in Perlite
Perlite offers many of the same advantages as water, with the bonus of increased ventilation. Because perlite is porous and absorbent, it will transfer moisture to portions of the container that aren’t submerged. Keep a tiny water reservoir below the stem level in the container, and cover the top to keep the humidity around the roots.
If you don’t have perlite, you may use chunky, inorganic material, such as pumice or LECA. Perlite is my preferred material since it is lightweight and easy to remove the cutting to inspect it without causing too much disruption. The cutting will stand better with coarser materials (#3 or larger to minimize dust) – I employ this procedure for high-risk, dehydrated cuts.
Pros: It’s simple to keep roots wet at all times. No organic substance in the media limits fungus or pathogens. When pulling roots from perlite, there is minimal harm. Allows air to reach the roots.
Cons: There’s no way to detect if roots are growing or if there’s any rot.
Harvesting a Cutting
To begin, locate the area where you will be cutting. Make careful to leave as much space on either side of the node as feasible. If you get rot, you’ll have plenty of room to spare. Include where the axillary bud is located above the node and include it in the cutting.
Use a pair of clean, sharp shears to take a cutting off of your Monstera. Cut the stem without inflicting any crushing harm to maintain the tissue healthily.
Once you’ve made your incision, the most important thing is to start developing roots as soon as possible. Cutting at a 45-degree angle increases the stem’s exposure to water.
Treating the Cuttings Cut
Within minutes of pruning your cutting, you may observe the exposed tissue becoming a reddish-brown tint. Don’t worry; it only responds to the air as your blood does outside your body.
If you want to add rooting hormone to the cutting, now is the time. Monsteras naturally create this hormone, which tells the plant that it needs to grow roots, but you may speed up the process by adding it.
Rooting hormone is available as a powder or a gel. Because powder will wash away in a liquid, it is better for dry media (such as dirt).
Put a small amount of hormone into a second dipping container to prevent contaminating the original container with plant material. In the hormone, dip the cut end of the cutting. If there’s any leftover in the dipping container, I’ll add it to the water in the propagation media.
The end of the cutting will be naturally callous when exposed to air, forming a barrier to protect the plant from decay and infection.
Will Monstera Leaves Grow Back?
Don’t be concerned if you cut your Monstera for propagation, have a damaged stem, or break off the new growth point on a growing leaf. A new growth point will activate, resulting in the formation of a new stem.
Monsteras have a feature known as apical dominance, implying that each stem has only one active growth point at a time. It’s conceivable that your Monstera has numerous plants in the same pot if it’s developing multiple new leaves simultaneously.
The Monstera will spontaneously awaken a dormant axillary bud when the dominant growth point is damaged or removed. A new growth point will burst through the stem’s side and produce a new leaf.
Final Words on Propagating Monstera
Many plants will easily root in water; however, the roots that form can be extremely fibrous and stringy. Plants rooted in water often have difficulty becoming established after being transplanted into a container.
The propagation medium should be thoroughly moistened before use. Organic materials, like peat moss, have a waxy outer coating that resists wetting – it’s why I prefer using coconut coir. Be sure to apply water slowly to obtain uniform distribution.
Light is an important environmental factor in plant propagation. Generally speaking, low light levels cause plants to root slowly. However, high light intensities can stress cuttings, causing them to burn or drop leaves. Diffused sunlight generally provides enough light for optimum rooting without causing injury to the cuttings.
Since cuttings do not have roots, they cannot replace the water lost through transpiration. Therefore, maintaining high humidity around the cuttings is important to reduce the amount of moisture lost to the atmosphere.
Adequate ventilation is also required to avoid disease problems. The plastic covering should be placed so air can flow freely around the cuttings as they root.
For best results, maintain day temperatures at 70°F. During winter, soil can be as much as 10 to 20 degrees less than the air temperature, so provide bottom heat when possible. Ideal rootzone temperatures for most plants are approximately 70-75°F.
Rooting hormones are often used to promote root formation, and these materials provide additional auxin, a naturally occurring plant hormone responsible for root development. The basal end of the cutting is dipped into the chemical before sticking it into the propagation medium.