Monsteras are one of my favorite plants to propagate in water. The mother plant usually responds well to a haircut and cuttings take no time at all to grow roots in water (provided all the proper steps are followed).
Since they grow so fast, Monstera cuttings are perfect plants to give away to friends or even sell as starter plants. They are also one of the easiest large houseplants that you can grow.
In this post I will take you through everything you need to know about how to propagate a Monstera, including instructional steps, what to expect and tips for success.
Monstera propagation is nothing to be afraid of, in fact – it’s one of the best beginner plants to learn how to grow cuttings in water.
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First, double check this list of essential plant tools to make sure you’re not scrambling for something when you’re in the middle of an important & delicate job!
Step 1: Find the Node on a Stem
To take a cutting from a Monstera, you need to find a node. A node will be somewhere in the bottom two thirds of the stem.
There is usually a swollen area with a bump and sometimes an aerial root is already starting to grow out of it (looks like a little brown bump).
Nodes usually occur at an ‘intersection’ of two stems, which is another easy way to find a node.
Take very sharp scissors, shears or a box cutter to slice off a cutting about 2 inches below the node.
After taking your cutting, remove any other stems or sheathing from leaves growing.
Ideally you want one long stem and avoid any extra foliage to prevent unnecessary rotting.
Step 2: Place Cuttings in a Jar of Water
After you’ve taken your cuttings and cleaned them up, let them air dry for about 10 minutes.
Then, place them gently in a jar and fill with water a few inches above the node.
Try to make sure the cutting is suspended and not squished into the side or bottom of the jar as this increases the chance of rot.
I like to use vases that have a wider base and a narrower opening like these ones. This allows more room for the roots to develop and grow but keeps the stem upright.
Place your jar in a bright and sunny area (but avoid hot, direct sun). The sunnier the location, the quicker your cutting will root.
Ideally you want to change the water at least once a week to keep everything healthy and in optimal growing conditions.
When I change the water, I also like to gently rinse off my roots in case there’s any rotting plant matter hanging around.
If you forget to change the water weekly, it’s not a big deal to let it go longer, but you should be topping it up with fresh water as you go.
Step 3: Be Patient While Roots Develop
Expect to wait about 6 weeks before roots develop on your Monstera cutting before putting it in soil.
I usually recommend waiting at least 2-3 months to ensure a solid root system has formed for better chance of survival.
However, a Monstera can live in water for many months (if not years) as long as you change the water regularly, clean the roots and move the cutting into a bigger jar as it grows.
When there is a nice cluster of roots that’s filling up your jar, it’s ready to be planted in soil.
As long as you have about 5 roots that are several inches long, you can plant your Monstera cutting.
Keep the Roots Clean
While the roots are growing, keep an eye on them every week and don’t be afraid to snip off areas that look unhealthy.
As long as there are several healthy looking roots (white, yellow, light green, light brown), you can cut off roots that look like they’re rotting.
These are usually identified by being black, mushy or are much more slimy compared to the others.
Step 4: How to Plant a Rooted Monstera Cutting in Soil
You can move your Monstera cutting from water to soil after a couple months when several roots have grown that are at least 6 inches long.
Find a pot that’s a couple inches wider than the cluster of roots. Fill the bottom of the pot with a little soil, and then gently place the rooted cutting in.
Then, lightly fill the rest of the pot with soil. Make sure your pot has a drainage hole on the bottom.
Choose the Right Soil Mixture
Since Monsteras are an aroid plant, they need light, airy and breathable soil.
Whatever you do, please do not buy Miracle Grow. It’s low quality and mass produced and has caused a lot of issues for plant lovers in the past year.
To make things easy, I recommend buying the highest quality indoor potting mix that you can afford.
Then add to it using some of this mixture of coco and perlite already to go in one bag.
Step 5: Monitor Your New Plant
When you first plant your propagated Monstera, it will likely go into mild shock.
It’s been very cozy living in water for the last few months so it will take some time getting used to living in soil.
Because of this, you’ll need to keep the soil lightly moist pretty consistently for the few few weeks. I like to keep the water from the vase that the cutting was in and use that to water the plant.
Remember, the roots have been used to living in wet conditions 24/7, so dry soil will be too much of a shock. Don’t keep the soil soggy, rather a light watering every few days.
If the soil stays wet for too long, you run the risk of root rot which is when fungus gnats show up.
The first week or two the stems and leaves might look a little droopy, and that’s ok. It’s just a sign that it’s getting used to the change and should perk back up within a couple of weeks.
After a few weeks you should start to see new leaves sprouting!
If your newly propagated Monstera doesn’t seem to be doing well after a few weeks, the leaves are a telltale sign of what might be causing your plant problems.
Tips to Ensure Your Monstera Propagation is Successful
Propagate at the Right Time of Year
Spring is the best time (and probably only time) of year that you should take cuttings from a Monstera to propagate.
This is because it’s coming out of dormancy from the colder months and entering it’s strongest growing period.
This also ensures less of a shock to the mother plant. You can have success propagating in the early Fall, but it might be a bit slower.
You Can’t Propagate a Monstera Leaf
Roots will only grow from the node and nowhere else on a Monstera, so you will not be able to grow a new plant from a leaf.
I’ve known several people who have a large, beautiful leaf that’s full of gorgeous fenestrations and try to propagate it; but they just chop it off at the base of the stem and hope for the best.
While it will look pretty in a vase of water, it won’t grow any roots. You will have to find the node, which will look like an intersection in the stem with a brown bump.
If you can’t find any nodes on your Monstera, the plant might still be too young to propagate.
Place it in a sunnier location, crank up the humidity a little more and you should see nodes develop after a few weeks.
Brush up on my best tips for indoor plant care for beginners and you will be well on your way to a jungle full of marvelous Monsteras!
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