Easily Propagate Monstera Adansonii (Swiss Cheese Plant) With These Tips
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Monstera adansonii (Swiss Cheese Vine) is a relatively easy plant to propagate through cuttings and in this article we’ll show you step-by-step how to use this method of propagation to generate yourself many, many new Monstera plants.
We’ll be testing the two easiest and cheapest ways that help cuttings develop and thrive, Monstera adansonii propagation in water, and Monstera adansonii propagation in soil, by recording and showing you how our own cuttings develop.
There are alternative growing mediums such as LECA which are suitable for cuttings to establish root systems but this product isn’t always readily available to everyone so we’ll focus on soil and water for now.
To have the best chance of a successful Monstera propagation you’ll want to have a healthy adult plant to begin with. If you have a Monstera plant that has leaves which are drooping or falling off you might want to address why this is happening (using this troubleshooting guide) before attempting to taking any cuttings.
Tools you will need to propagate monstera adansonii
To propagate your Monstera adansonii all you’ll need are the following tools on hand:
- An extremely sharp and sterilised knife/blade
- A glass jar with filtered water or rain water
- A small pot with fresh soil
Tip: Propagation in the world of plants refers to the process of producing more plants. Plant propagations is separated into one of two categories, either assexual or sexual. The term ‘assexual’ describes reproduction where plant material such as cuttings of leaves, stems or roots, bulbs and runners produce a genetic replica of the parent.
How to take a cutting from monstera adansonii
To take a Monstera adansonii cutting, first locate a mature section of the vine. That is, one which has a stem at least the thickness of a drinking straw. Cutting an immature section of the vine will risk a poor success rate as the plant tissue to.
Look for a section of the plant that has a few leaves and a small brown node underneath where those leaves meet the stem. Monstera nodes are thin brown rings on the main stem that indicate where an old leaf used to wrap around the stem.
You might notice an aerial root already protruding from the plant stem.
Using a sterilized knife or clippers, make a cut a little below a node. Stem cells concentrated around the node will then be activated to regenerate tissue as a response to the plant being damaged. These are the cells that will trigger the formation of a new root system.
Your cutting need only be an inch or two in length. Leaves on the cutting should be minimised in number and size to allow the new plant to focus energy on root production instead of supporting foliage with little or no ability to take on board water.
Monstera adansonii propagation in water
Propagation in water is a good method for less experienced (or more curious) gardeners because it allows you to get a clear view of the root system as it begins to grow and develop.
It’s also a pretty quick method of propagation, as our experiment with spider plant babies showed.
To plant your cutting in water, simply fill a glass jar about halfway with rain water or filtered water and place them cut side down in the water. Its as simple as that! Adding rooting hormone solution into the water would of course help but its not essential.
You can put one clipping or a few into a single jar as you begin propagation (just be aware that the roots will intertwine when growing and when it comes to separating plants from one another you risk damaging them).
With the cut end of your clipping submerged in water, place the jar in an area that gets a moderate amount of sunlight. You want your clipping to get plenty of sun, but never exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat.
Now you must wait for the clipping to start growing roots!
- If you notice that the water level is dropping in your jar, top it off with room-temperature filtered water.
- Change the water in your jar completely every two to three days to keep fungi or debris from building up and affecting your plant growth.
- Anytime that you notice a murky color or floating debris in your water, change the water completely right away!
Although you can leave your plant growing in water, if you do decide to move your clipping over to soil once it begins growing, wait until the roots are at least an inch long. You should notice your clipping meets this benchmark within a month or two.
To pot up your water grown Monstera clipping, put a little fresh potting mix in the bottom of a clean, well-drained pot. Set your clipping in the center of the soil and add more soil around the plant until the roots are covered.
When your plant roots are completely covered with soil, thoroughly soak the potting soil from the bottom up (i.e. sit the pot in a pool of water and allow the soil to soak it up through the drainage holes). Now set the potted clipping somewhere where it will get a moderate amount of indirect sunlight.
Do not water your clipping again until the soil has fully dried out.
A little note on water
You may have noticed that we always refer to filtered water when it comes to propagating or even just watering your plants. The reason we suggest this is because the level of chlorine and other contaminants in tap water can vary from country to country, occasionally being high enough to take a toll on your clippings.
You may also have noticed that we always refer to room-temperature water. This is just as important for your plant as filtered water as adding water that is too hot or too cold will shock your plant and interrupt the growth cycle. You may even wind up killing your clipping by accident.
Monstera adansonii propagation in soil
To plant your cutting in soil, take a clean plant pot with good drainage and add a little potting soil to the bottom. Then put your clipping in the center of the plant pot, and add more potting mix until the node on your clipping is under the soil.
Once covered with soil, saturate the soil with room-temperature filtered water and put your planted clipping somewhere that it can get moderate indirect sunlight. Your clipping will suffer like any mature plant if placed in extreme or direct sunlight, and you are unlikely to see any growth.
After potting your Monstera Adansonii clipping, root growth should develop in the first month, but to be safe, you should wait two months before assuming that your clipping has taken root. Write the planting date on a label or the calendar to keep track.
While your Monstera clipping is growing roots, be sure to keep the soil moist. The vine is naturally found in the tropics of Central and South America so can handle a little more moisture than many house plants.
Depending on the level of sunlight your clipping receives, you will need to water your Monstera once a week to once every two weeks.
Note of caution: take care when sourcing cuttings
When propagating your plants, it is important to use care both with your mother plant and your cuttings. This not only means considering feeding, watering, and sun exposure, it also means being careful not to over-strip your mother plant in an eagerness to grow too many cuttings.
To maintain a healthy mother Monstera Adansonii plant, take only a few clippings at a time. A rough rule is to take off no more than 25% of the plant mass at any one time. After collecting cuttings, make sure to give the mother plant time to recover before propagating once again.