How to Propagate a Monstera Deliciosa (Step by Step Guide)


The Monstera Deliciosa is a robust growing houseplant with serrated leaves that could overpower your gardening corner in six months. Once it has outgrown the current space or is too old, propagation can help you regenerate this glorious plant. To propagate a Monstera, keep in mind the following steps: 

  1. Get a stem cutting with a few leaves and nodes or aerial roots. 
  2. Choose a medium between soil and water. 
  3. Put the cutting in water or soil and place the container in a warm and brightly lit place.
  4. Change the water in 3-4 days when using water. If you chose soil, keep it moist through regular watering.
  5. New roots can take up to a month to start appearing. 

It is the joy of every houseplant owner to produce the most beautiful plant. Instead of returning to the nursery for a new leafy friend, you can renew your garden by taking up the honor of propagating.

The Monstera Deliciosa offers multiple propagation options, each coming with a different level of ease and advantages. We will discuss each propagation method in detail to prepare you for one of the most rewarding activities for a houseplant owner. 

The two main propagation methods for Monstera are:

  • Through Stem Cuttings (most popular)
  • Using Seeds

Propagating a Monstera Deliciosa Using a Stem Cutting

Propagating a Monstera Deliciosa is a very feasible way of getting a new plant for a plant beginner. The stem is easy to root and will sometimes do it without your assistance or consent. However, to achieve the best results, here is a detailed procedure on propagating the Swiss cheese plant using stem cutting.

What will need:

  • A sanitized sharp knife a or scalpel
  • A stem cutting with a few leaves and nodes or aerial roots
  • Water or soil to use as a rooting or potting medium
  • Rooting hormone
  • Good timing: in spring or summer, when the temperatures are warm

The Swiss Cheese plant from which you will get the cutting must be healthy. This speeds up root development and will ensure that the stem does not decompose once buried in the soil. A sharp knife or scalpel ensures that the branch is not bruised or infected during cutting.

Steps to Propagate a Monstera using a Stem Cutting in Water

Identify a mature stem in the middle of the internode but below a mature node. You have to target the lower part of the branch that is older and easy to produce roots. The node should have a nub (an emerging aerial root) that is crucial for rooting purposes. The nub looks like a pimple and can be found at a petiole intersection.

Snip the stem at the internode using a sharp scalpel or scissors. A blunt cut damages the stem. It may infect the branch, causing it to decompose or slow down rooting once placed in water or buried in the soil.

Remove the extra leaves and any stalk beyond the third node. The leaves and stalk will draw nutrients from the stem, making it difficult to root. The branch may also continue growing and, in the process, damage your desired growth pattern by, for instance, developing to the side.

Drop your cutting in a glass of fresh water. The water should be warm and at room temperature. Use aged, rain, distilled, or filtered water to achieve the appropriate mineral combination and avoid scorching the freshly cut stem or the emerging roots.

Add rooting hormone (optional). While the Swiss Cheese Plant can root without hormonal assistance, its addition is recommended when propagating in the cold autumn or winter. The plant is usually in dormant mode and might find rooting to be complicated. You may also use hormones to stimulate faster rooting on any other season.

Position the stem so that the new buds will grow upwards. It will make potting easier once the stem has achieved the desired roots. The stem in a glass of water should be placed in a brightly lit spot that will stimulate the emergence of new shoots.

Propagating a Monstera Deliciosa in water may appear easy, but it requires a level of caution. Change the water every three to four days to ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients and protect the roots from rotting.

Depending on the health of the stem, availability of hormones, and nutrients in the water, you will begin to see roots emerging at the nodes within two weeks. Do not pot the plant yet because the roots are still weak to support the vigorously growing Swiss Cheese Plant. Allow two more weeks of root growth before potting.

Steps to Propagate a Swiss Cheese Plant Using a Stem Cutting in Soil

Stem propagation in soil is very similar to what you have seen in the water. However, a few steps will change, and a different type of caution is required. For instance, the stem is prepared in the same way as if it is being placed in water. The procedure changes when potting the branch and how you monitor the growth of leaves.

Let’s get down to propagating Monstera Deliciosa in the soil, shall we?

  • Identify a mature stem with at least three leaves or nodes.
  • Cut the lower part of the stem using a sharp knife, scalpel, or scissors. A brilliant-cut is more critical when propagating the Swiss Cheese plant in the soil because it is prone to contamination and rotting.
  • Remove extra leaves and stalk that might slow down root development by consuming the food stored in the stem.
  • Prepare the right potting mix, preferably loamy soil or African violet mix. Make sure that the soil drains quickly and is rich in organic nutrients.
  • Place the cutting in the soil and bury it between two and three inches. Since it is buried in the ground, lighting will be unnecessary.
  • Sprinkle the soil with water at room temperature and place it at a warm place.
  • You may add rooting hormone directly into the soil or water. It speeds uprooting because buried stems may decompose if they remain buried for too long.
  • Allow up to four weeks for new leaves to emerge. This is the only sign you have of a successful propagation process using soil.

Propagating Monstera Deliciosa in the soil is a bit tricky because you do not see the roots emerging and cannot remove the stem or dig into the soil to monitor progress. The best bet is to choose the right branch and provide optimum conditions for propagation. Rooting hormones will be your saving grace if you are propagating the plant during the cold autumn or winter. Immediately the new leaves emerge. You must provide the plant with the right conditions; else, it will wither.

It is advisable to propagate the cutting in the soil that will be used for potting. You avoid repotting when the roots are still delicate and disturbing your Swiss Cheese plant when it is still young. Since the plant does not experience repotting shock, it will grow faster and robustly.

Propagating in Water or Soil: Which One?

Water and the soil are great mediums for propagating Monstera Deliciosa. Both produce good results with little chances of failure. Amateur houseplant owners can also do both.

Using water is best if you want to see the development of the roots. Some owners feel more comfortable because they can check on the progress of the cutting. However, you have to deal with the inconvenience of repotting, which may slow down growth.

Propagating the soil comes with the anxiety of almost four weeks when you do not know whether the roots have emerged. However, once they appear, you will not have to repot your Monstera. Therefore, it can be seen as a faster way of propagating and growing a new Monstera Deliciosa.

Acceleration of Aerial Roots Growth with Layering

Air layering is a process of growing the roots without cutting the stem from the main plant. It offers higher chances of survival since the branch will have rooted by the time it is potted.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to accelerate root growth using layering.

  • You require sphagnum moss. You can use what was left during the making of a moss pole.
  • Identify a node right below the stem where you want to make your cut. It should be mature and healthy to avoid disappointment.
  • Make a minor cut using a sharp knife or shears, ensuring that these equipment are clean to avoid contamination. It works best if there are roots at the node, but it is not mandatory.
  • Wrap the moss around the node and cut area. Keep the knot loose so that the moss can maintain moisture.
  • Remove the wrapping every three to four days and spray the moss with clean water.

It takes several weeks for strong roots to emerge. You can now cut the stem from the main plant and pot it. It does not experience shock upon potting and will, therefore, grow faster.

Tips To Care for Propagated Monstera Deliciosa

  • Watering: monstera plants require moderate watering to keep the soil moist but not soggy. It is best done once a week or at most twice a month.
  • Light: this plan thrives under indirect bright light. However, please keep it away from the direct sun because it scorches the leaves. It will still thrive in dim light.
  • Humidity: it loves a humid environment that can be recreated by misting, plant grouping, using a pebble tray, installing a humidifier.
  • Temperature: the Monstera Deliciosa prefers warm temperatures between 65ºF(18.5ºC) and 85ºF(29.4ºC).

Monstera Propagation Troubleshooting

  • Decomposing stem: it arises from contamination or unavailability of the right weather conditions like moisture and warmth. You will have to replace the stem, use rooting hormones, or provide the requirements before the entire stem dies.
  • Slow rooting_ ensure that the environment is warm. You may also add rooting hormone in water or soil to catalyze.

Propagating Monstera Deliciosa Using Seeds

Monstera Deliciosa can also be propagated using seeds. The seeds are harvested from flowers that emerge at maturity, around one year after planting. The biggest challenge for the Swiss cheese plant is that it might not flower or produce healthy seeds in most indoor environments. It requires exceptionally optimum conditions to produce seeds.

Swiss cheese plant seeds have an extremely short lifespan. They do not tolerate cold temperatures and might not dry well. It results in eventual damage, meaning that you have to wait for another season. Such can be a frustrating wait for propagation.

If you are lucky with the Monstera Deliciosa seeds, you can place them in moist and warm soil like many other seeds. Do not worry too much about light. The seeds emerge because the plant has a way of growing towards darkness, searching for a place to climb. During the warm spring or winter, the seeds will germinate within three weeks and are ready for potting in your desired container. 

Still, this is a rare method of propagating the Swiss-cheese plant. It even happens rarely in the Central- and South-American jungle where the plant is native. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you propagate Monstera leaves without a stem?

Not all parts of a Monstera plant can be propagated successfully. Leaves without a stem attached will not reproduce. Aerial roots will also not propagate the plant if they are grown alone without a branch.

How long does Monstera Deliciosa propagation take?

The roots begin developing by the second or third week when propagated in water. However, the plant is not yet ready for potting. Allow the roots to grow for another 2 to three weeks. You can now comfortably pot the plant. 

When propagated directly in the soil, it takes 4-6 weeks for new leaves to begin emerging from the soil. You can now treat it like an already growing Monstera Deliciosa.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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