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Propagating Monstera: How to Grow Your own Swiss Cheese Plant

Propagating monstera plants is an exciting and rewarding process for plant enthusiasts. Monstera deliciosa, commonly known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, is a popular choice for indoor gardening due to its distinctive, perforated leaves and easy-to-care-for nature.

Learning how to propagate monstera plants can not only yield new plants for your collection but also help maintain and shape your existing plants for optimal growth and aesthetic appeal. Keep reading to learn more about the propagation process and how you can propagate Monstera in your own home!

propagating monstera

Ideal Time for Propagation

Monstera deliciosa, commonly known as the Swiss cheese plant, can be propagated relatively easily. However, to ensure success, it’s crucial to choose the right time of year for propagation. In general, the best time to propagate a mature monstera plant is during the spring and summer months. This is also the ideal time to trim back leggy or overgrown plants.

During spring and summer, the warmer temperatures and increased sunlight naturally support plant growth. This results in a more conducive environment for developing roots in monstera cuttings. Plant cuttings are more likely to thrive during these seasons, making this the optimal time for propagation efforts.

It is still possible to propagate monsteras during the colder fall or winter months. However, the process may take longer, and the chances of successful propagation may decrease. As daylight hours and temperatures decline, monstera plants’ growth slows down, causing the root development of cuttings to take longer as well.

Ingredients for Successful Propagation

A young caucasian woman holding monstera monkey mask sprouts to sort preparing to pot in a clay flowerpot. An urban gardener sitting surrounded by houseplants in preparation to pot monstera stem cuttings with roots.

When propagating a monstera plant, there are a number of key ingredients that will increase your chances of success. In order to increase the odds of propagating a healthy and thriving monstera plant, it is essential to pay attention to the following:

Nodes and Aerial Roots

Providing a healthy cutting is the first and foremost step toward successful propagation. Choose a stem that has at least one node, an aerial root, and several leaves. A healthy cutting with a strong node and aerial root ensures a higher chance of establishing roots and growing into a new plant.

Water and Soil

Two popular methods of propagating monstera plants are through water and soil. While many people choose to propagate their cuttings in water, using filtered water helps reduce the chlorine content that could be found in tap water.

Alternatively, the soil method involves directly planting the cutting into a well-draining potting mix, which may include ingredients like perlite and sphagnum moss to ensure proper drainage and adequate root growth.

Rooting Hormone

To encourage the growth of new roots, some people use rooting hormones, which can be found in a powder or liquid solution. By dipping the base of the cutting into rooting hormone powder, it can stimulate the growth of roots, creating a strong and stable foundation for the new plant.

Light and Temperature

Providing the right environment plays a crucial role in the overall success of propagating a monstera plant. Place the cutting in a warm location with indirect light, as too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn or the cutting to dry out.


Once the cutting has begun to establish itself and new growth starts to show, it will benefit from adding fertilizer. Choose a well-balanced fertilizer to encourage the growth of both foliage and root systems.

By carefully considering the ingredients and conditions needed for successful propagation, you can confidently start a new monstera plant from a cutting and watch it grow into a beautiful addition to your garden or home.

Step-by-Step Process of Propagation

Sprout homeplant monstera monkey in glass jar. Preparation for transplanting a houseplant using water, shovel, rake and flowerpot. Concept of home gardening.

Monstera propagation is a straightforward process that can be achieved through several methods such as cuttings, air layering, and division. This section will cover the main steps, providing a clear and concise guide.

Cuttings and Rooting

  1. Begin by selecting a healthy Monstera stem with at least one or two leaves and a node or aerial root. The node is the point from which new roots and growth will emerge.
  2. Use a clean and sharp pair of pruning shears to make a cut below the node, creating a stem cutting.
  3. For water propagation, place the stem cutting in a container filled with water, ensuring that the node is submerged but the leaves remain above water. Alternatively, for soil propagation, plant the stem cutting in a well-draining potting mix, with the node buried beneath the soil surface.
  4. Place the container in a warm and brightly lit location, avoiding direct sunlight as it may cause leaf burn. Maintain high humidity and keep the soil or water slightly moist. When using water propagation, change the water every 3-4 days to avoid rotting.
  5. Monitor for new root development, usually occurring within a month. After 3-4 weeks for water propagation, or when ample root growth is evident in soil propagation, carefully transplant the rooted cutting to a larger pot with proper potting soil.
  6. Monitor for new growth, like leaves, which may take 2-3 months to appear.

Air Layering

  1. Identify a healthy stem with at least one internode, the section of the stem between two leaves.
  2. Make a small upward cut about halfway through the stem, just below the node.
  3. Insert a toothpick or small twig to keep the cut open, allowing new rooting and prevent healing.
  4. Wrap the cut area with moist sphagnum moss, and then secure it with plastic wrap to maintain moisture.
  5. Keep an eye on the wrapped area, occasionally misting it with water to maintain humidity.
  6. After 4-6 weeks, new roots should form, and the stem can then be cut below the air-layered section and planted in an appropriate potting medium.


  1. Carefully remove the entire Monstera plant from its pot, exposing the root system.
  2. Locate a section with multiple leaves and roots, referred to as a shoot. Ensure you have a healthy root and leaf combination for successful propagation.
  3. Using a clean pair of shears or a knife, separate the chosen shoot from the mother plant, retaining as many roots as possible for the new division.
  4. Re-pot the mother plant and the new division into their respective pots, using a well-draining potting mix. Water them thoroughly to assist in settling the soil around the roots.

Caring for a Propagated Monstera

Caring for a propagated Monstera involves several essential steps. After successfully propagating your Monstera deliciosa, it’s crucial to provide proper care to ensure your new plant thrives.

Proper care starts with the root system, as Monstera plants develop aerial roots from which they obtain nutrients. Keep these roots covered to encourage new feeder root growth.

Whether you’ve chosen water or soil propagation, make sure the plant’s roots receive the right balance of nutrients, air, and light. In water propagation, you can place the cutting in a jar filled with water and change the water regularly to prevent damage or root rot.

Monsteras require ample sunlight for photosynthesis, so positioning your propagated plant in an area with indirect sunlight is essential. Direct sunlight may burn the leaves, so ensure they receive sufficient filtered light. Monitor your Monstera’s growth and adjust its location as needed. Too much sunlight may cause the leaves to turn yellow, while insufficient light may cause elongation and a lack of holes in the leaves, a Monstera’s signature characteristic.

Providing adequate support for Monstera plants is crucial as their leaves and branches grow. A moss pole or trellis can provide structure while allowing the aerial roots to attach themselves. As your propagated plant grows, secure the branches and petiole to the support, ensuring they’re upright and positioned for optimum growth.

For a propagated Monstera, the right soil mixture is crucial for proper root development. A mix of peat moss, orchid bark, and perlite helps retain moisture while allowing adequate air circulation around the roots. It can also provide essential nutrients for growth. Fertilize your propagated Monstera with a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season, following the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution.

Be mindful of the temperature and humidity requirements for your propagated Monstera plant. A warm and humid environment will promote growth, but be careful not to place it too close to a heating vent or drafty window that may disrupt the ideal conditions. Regularly check the plant for any signs of pests or diseases and address any issues promptly to protect its overall health.

Don’t forget to monitor your propagated Monstera’s new leaf growth, as this is an indicator of the plant’s well-being. Proper care, nutrition, and a suitable environment will all contribute to a healthy, thriving propagated Monstera.

Problems and Solutions While Propagating Monstera

When propagating monstera plants, you may encounter certain problems that need addressing. To ensure healthy growth and success, here are some common issues and their solutions.

Problem 1: Infection or disease due to unsterilized cutting tools
Solution: Always use a sharp knife or pruning shears and sterilize them with a diluted bleach or alcohol solution before use to minimize the risk of infection or disease on the plant.

Problem 2: Choosing the wrong time to propagate monstera
Solution: The best time to propagate monstera plants is during the growing season, which is typically late spring or early summer. During this time, the plant’s metabolism is active and growth is more rapid, leading to higher chances of successful propagation.

Problem 3: Difficulty in retaining variegation while propagating
Solution: To increase the chances of maintaining variegation, carefully select a stem with the desired variegation patterns and ensure that it has at least one healthy node. Variegation may not always transfer successfully, so patience and multiple attempts may be necessary.

Problem 4: Root rot in water propagation
Solution: When propagating in water, use a clear container or vase to monitor root growth. Replace the water regularly to maintain cleanliness and minimize the chance of rot. Aerate the water occasionally to provide the cutting with more oxygen, promoting healthy root development.

Problem 5: Dryness or stress from insufficient humidity during air layering
Solution: When using the air layering method, cover the exposed stem area with a plastic bag to maintain humidity and reduce stress on the plant. Monitor the moisture level inside the bag and mist the area if necessary to prevent the cutting from drying out.

Problem 6: Insufficient surface area for root growth in soil propagation
Solution: To improve the chances of successful soil propagation, remove old sheathing from the cutting before planting it. This exposes more surface areas for root development and encourages better growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Monstera Obliqua Green leaves on Background

Where do you cut Monstera for propagation?

When cutting a Monstera for propagation, it is important to locate a node, which is a small bump or swelling on the stem where new growth emerges. Look for a healthy stem with at least one to two leaves and an aerial root near the node. Use a sharp, clean pruning tool to make the cut just below the node. This will give the cutting the best chance to develop healthy roots and new growth.

Can I propagate my Monstera in water?

Yes, propagating Monstera in water is a popular method because of its simplicity. To do so, place the freshly-cut stem with a node in a container of water, ensuring that the node is submerged. Keep the water clean by changing it every few days, and place the container in a spot with bright, indirect light. The cutting should start to develop roots within a few weeks.

Is it better to propagate Monstera in water or soil?

Both water and soil propagation methods can be successful for Monstera. Water propagation has the advantage of allowing you to visually monitor root growth and keep the cutting free from pests and diseases. Alternatively, propagating in soil can provide the cutting with more nutrients, potentially promoting faster growth and development. Ultimately, choose the method that best suits your preference and available resources.

What is the most successful way to propagate Monstera?

The most successful way to propagate Monstera is through stem cuttings with a node. This method involves taking a healthy stem with at least one to two leaves and a node from the mother plant, then allowing the cutting to root in water or soil. This technique provides the cutting with the necessary structures to develop new growth and establish itself as a separate plant.

Propagating Monstera in sphagnum moss vs perlite?

Both sphagnum moss and perlite can be used to propagate Monstera. Sphagnum moss provides a moist, well-aerated environment for the cutting to develop roots and can prevent rot. Perlite is a porous material that promotes good drainage and air circulation, allowing roots to grow healthy and strong. When choosing between the two mediums, consider factors such as moisture retention and availability, as both can lead to successful propagation.

You’re Ready to Propagate!

Propagating Monstera is a great way to add to your home garden without a lot of additional costs! The Swiss Cheese plants are super popular due to their look and low maintenance, and now you can have a whole house full of them!

Now that you’ve gotten the hang of it, check out our propagation hub to try your hand at propagating other popular house plants!