My Monstera Deliciosa had been happy sitting in a shady room, but stubbornly refusing to cling to a pole I had given it to climb. In spring it reached a point where it looked so straggly and sorry for itself with aerial roots trailing everywhere that I decided it was make or break; it was time to try propagation to see if I could make some new, healthy, bushy plants.
The process is really simple. Taking a very sharp knife, cut the plant into pieces below a node or aerial root. Put the cutting in water, wait for new roots to form, and repot. I began this process in late spring.
Aerial Roots & Nodes
These are nodes; new roots will form here including aerial roots. Cut about 1-2cm below these nodes, making sure each new cutting has a leaf.
Put the cuttings into clean water in a clear jar or bottle. Top up and change water as needed. I had to use old milk bottles and cut up water bottles as I didn’t have enough vases to use for the amount of cuttings I made.
Wait for Roots to Grow
Leave cuttings in a south facing room, but not in direct sunlight. Eventually new roots will grow from the node. When the new roots are a reasonable size you can repot you new plants. I thought this would take 4-6 weeks, but it actually took about 10 weeks before I was happy that there were a good amount of roots and repotted the cuttings. I did try some cuttings using aerial roots as the roots. This does work, but the cuttings that just used a node looked a lot healthier after a few weeks of growth.
Pot Up Cuttings
I saw so many ideas for compost mixes that I got myself into a real mess with exactly what to put the cuttings in. I became convinced that if I couldn’t find specific compost my plants would all die! That’s obviously rubbish.
What you need is a light, loose compost. I used 3 parts houseplant compost, 1 part vermiculite, 1 part coir and 1 part Westland hydroleca clay granules, which I also added as a top dressing. This seems to be working well so far. I made this mix because it’s what I had available. But fundamentally plants want to grow. When I first took the cuttings and decided to repot the remaining pieces of the original plant that already had plenty of roots I used garden compost made for vegetables. It was all I had. Those divided parts of the original plants are still in that compost, and are growing fresh new leaves that look very healthy.
In time these leaves will split into the characteristic cheese plant shape.
My only problem now is what to do with all these plants?!