The Monstera, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, is a luscious and trendy house plant, who has its roots in tropical southern Mexico. Although the Monstera will do exceptionally well planted in pots with the right conditions, he can quickly get out of hand. Growing chaotically, a monster Monstera will demand to be the center of attention.
There are a few options of how to handle a monster Monstera:
1. Let it have its rein of your home
2. Train it to climb a moss pole, to keep it a little more tame
3. Propagate it
The Monstera is an extremely resilient plant, pairing this with its tendencies for quick, it is the ideal candidate for all 3 propagating methods
You can also watch me propagate my monstera in our video on youtube! No matter which way you choose to make a baby plant, I always recommend making sure that your plant has a nice drink of water the day before, as you don’t want to start butchering a dehydrated plant.
Taking cuttings from an established Monstera, is the most common way of propagation. The MOST IMPORTANT part of this process is making sure you have a node. What is a node? They are the things that look like a giant zit coming out of your plant (in the photo below). This is where the roots will come out of. A cutting without these babies, won’t grow new roots, and it will just be a gorgeous leaf, for a short while. The goal should always be to get a piece of stem, for cutting, that has a node, an aerial root & at least 2 leaves. While this is not always possible, it is the most ideal situation to give your cutting the best chance to grow roots and survive.
Once you have made your cutting, you can choose to put it directly into soil, however, I recommend putting it in a glass of H20! This way, you get to watch the roots grow. When putting the cutting in water, make sure you are using filtered water. I usually buy a gallon of water from the grocery store, and use this for my cuttings, whilst my more established plants get tap. They can handle the extra stuff (Minerals and Chemicals) in tap water better. You can also choose to use rainwater in lieu of bottled water.
After your new cutting is secure in his new home, I recommend putting a dash of cinnamon (yes, just grocery store, ground cinnamon) on the mom plant, where you made the cutting from, this will help to prevent disease and other bad things from happening. Leave the cutting in water, for at least a few weeks, if not a couple of months, depending on the root growth you see in the water. While the cutting is in water, change the water every 3-5 days! Once a healthy amount of roots have grown, you can then place it in a pot with fresh soil. It is especially important while it is acclimating to soil, to not let it get too dry.
Separating is done by removing a section or piece of a plant from its parent. If your Monstera is in need of repotting – this is an excellent time to separate a portion of your plant, since you will be able to actually see the roots of your entire plant. Repotting one size up in pots is recommended once a year when its a baby plant. Once you get to the Maximum size you’d like to reach, you can just freshen up the soil yearly to give it nutrients. Adult Monsteras are usually okay even when they’re root bound! (Tip: the best time to do this is in the Spring!)
If your Monstera is not in need of repotting, you’ll need to get a little down and dirty, literally, in the dirt.
I started by shoving some of the dirt away from the part of my Monstera that I chose to separate. (I chose the one I did, because it was kind of an outcast from the rest of the plant). Then, I stuck my hand into the soil, between the ‘chosen one’ and the rest of the plant. Moving slowly, so you do as little damage as possible, you are going to begin separating the roots from the parent plant. Once you have separated them as best you can, under the soil, gently pull the piece/section out of the pot. You can then put this new plant directly into its own fresh soil & pot!
Air Layering is not risky business when you compare it to the other methods of propagation. This is because you don’t actually separate the propagated piece from the larger plant, until after it has its own root system growing in a little ball of moss. For this method, you will need some supplies. Some kind of rope/band/tie (I used garden twine), a type of cling wrap or plastic wrap, and some sphagnum moss.
Before you get started, soak the moss in some water and identify the stem & node you’re going to propagate. Once you have made your decision, cut a piece of plastic wrap/cling wrap (large enough to wrap a fist full of moss around the stem securely).
Wring the excess water from the moss (you want it to be wet, but not dripping), and press moss around the stem, and secure the moss with the plastic wrap, and then tie the bottom and top of the ball of moss. *Note: You will need to untie the ball of moss, to add water to it when dry, so I recommend tying at least the top in a bow, not a knot)
Once roots have formed in your moss ball, simply cut the plant below the roots, (follow the same tip from the cutting method, about putting ground cinnamon on the mom plant where you made the cut, to prevent disease) and plant it in a pot in new fresh soil, and let him grow! (You can choose to leave some of the moss with the roots when you plant it, so you don’t have to work to hard to get it separated from them.)
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