Monsteras are among the most beautiful choices for an indoor plant if you don’t mind them rarely flowering.
The many species, cultivars, and hybrids of Monstera provide an array of colors, shapes and may even have fenestrations or variegation.
But fans of the Monstera plant will also point out they’re like Pringles: you can’t have just one.
The good news is that Monstera plants are among the easiest to propagate, allowing you to raise a huge collection over time.
Propagating Monstera Swiss Cheese Plants
There are four different ways to propagate your Monstera Swiss Cheese plant. While some require more skill than others, all of them can produce great results.
Propagating Via Air Layering
Air layering is a more advanced technique that many plant enthusiasts have never heard of.
Despite this, those with a steady hand and a little patience can enjoy this unusual propagation method.
You will need:
- A sharp, sterile knife
- Plastic wrap
- Small spray bottle filled with distilled water or rainwater
- Sphagnum moss
Pick a healthy stem (often it is Monstera deliciosa) that you wish to make into a new plant and locate a node just below it.
Make a small cut with your knife at the node and wrap that portion of the stem and the aerial root in damp sphagnum moss.
Complete the poultice by securing the moss with plastic wrap, making it airtight but not so tight you can’t get in to add water.
Gently unwrap the plastic every 2 to 3 days and spritz the moss with your spray bottle to keep it damp.
After about two months, the aerial roots will have developed inside the moss.
At this point, you may cut the stem at the node and plant your new plantlet in its own pot.
Propagating Through Cuttings
By far the most common method, cutting propagation is easy and can let you salvage parts of the plant you’ve removed during pruning.
You will need:
- A small pot filled with the same soil as the parent plant
- Rooting hormone (optional)
- Sterile shears or scissors
Choose a healthy lower leaf and cut it away just below the leaf node.
Be sure to make a clean cut, as the bruising or other damage can result in infection.
To speed up growth, dip the node in rooting hormone.
Next, stick your cutting into the pot, dampening the soil slightly before doing so.
Place the pot in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight and no drafts, keeping the soil damp.
In about 4 to 6 weeks, give your plantlet a gentle tug to ensure the roots are properly forming.
You should begin seeing new growth within 2 months of propagating.
Propagating Through Division
Division is another easy method of propagating, although dividing your Monstera is slightly different from clumping plants such as aloe vera.
For this method, you will preferably want to wait until it’s time to repot, so there’s less stress to the mother plant.
You will only need a sharp, sterile knife and an additional pot of soil for each new plant.
As the pot needs to be sized appropriately, you may wish to have a couple different sizes on-hand if you don’t have an estimate of how big the resulting plantlets will be.
Begin by watering the plant and giving it half an hour or so for the water to saturate the soil.
This makes the process a little easier.
Next, tip the pot on its side and gently coax the plant out.
Monsteras tend to have stems that merge just before the roots, making it a little harder to divide than clumping plants, which is why you need the knife.
At the spot you wish to divide, insert your knife and cut downward into the roots, being careful not to damage the leaves, stems, or individual roots as you do so.
Place each of the resulting plant cuttings in soil and into its pot, making sure each pot is only 2″ to 4″ inches bigger than the root ball.
Water your plants again and put them in a spot that has bright, indirect sunlight.
It will take about a month for the plant to de-stress (making sure it has the best care conditions will help with this), at which point you can start feeding it again.
A Note on Seed Propagation
It’s rare for a domestic monstera to bloom or produce fruit, but it’s worth mentioning this method because you can buy the seeds.
The seeds will usually arrive with instructions, and the process generally involves:
- Soaking the seeds.
- Planting them into small pots of sterilized soil.
- Covering them with plastic wrap and waiting.
The waiting is perhaps the worst part of this method, as it can be several months before the first leaves appear.
Between the long wait and the need to purchase seeds online (when you could buy another plant). Starting Monstera for seeds is the least popular method and is perhaps best reserved for when you’re unable to propagate using other methods (or are getting a rare species).
Can You Propagate Monstera in Water?
As with many other popular houseplants, your monstera cuttings can be propagated in water instead of soil.
This isn’t the most efficient method, but it will let you enjoy watching the roots develop and is a little faster than the soil method.
Pick a vase (any glass, jar, or cup will work as well) and fill it with rainwater or distilled water.
Stick your Monstera cutting into the water, being sure the leaf node is submerged, and place it in a warm spot with bright, indirect sunlight.
Water doesn’t provide oxygen as efficiently as soil, so you will need to replace it every 3 to 5 days.
You will see the roots begin to develop in 1 to 2 weeks in optimal conditions, but it might take up to a month in some cases.
You can keep your new plant in water or transplant it to soil once the roots are an inch or two long.
Be warned, it will have transplant shock and may display drooping leaves or even lose a leaf or two in the first month after transplanting.