Monstera adansonii, also called swiss cheese plant and sometimes mini swiss cheese vine, is a close relative to Monstera deliciosa that has smaller leaves, and a tighter vining habit. Straight up, Monstera adansonii is one of the coolest office plants out there.
In fact, vining house plants have had a recent explosion in popularity. This booming popularity and the fact that everyone was stuck inside during covid has made propagating your own house plants at home a thing.
(Propagating plants is way cooler than making sour-dough btw..)
Whether you want to propagate to slang plants in your local parking lot, expand your indoor garden, or just want to give gifts to friends and family, this guide will give the vital tips needed to successfully and easily propagate your Monstera adansonii.
Ok, lets get into it!
Monstera adansonii Plant Care is Super Important
The first thing to figure out is whether or not this beautiful vining plant is ready to be propagated. If you need more comprehensive care tips, check out our Plant Care Guide!
Monstera adansonii has a natural habit of growing long vines and in the wild of South America, this vining habit allows them to grow from the rainforest floor upward to reach the canopy. This plant will also form root systems at its nodes to help anchor the plant to the trees or any other surface it is growing on. A plant node is the point where a leaf, flower, or bud connects to the stem.
On Monstera adansonii plants, the nodes are where the new leaves connect to the main stem. This location is often also accompanied by a small brown nub, which is the beginning development of one of these anchor roots. These nubs should make the nodes very easy to identify, and are the key to why Monstera are so easy to propagate, as they easily form new roots.
In order for your plant to be propagated some of the vines need to be cut and each piece that is cut will require at least two nodes so that new roots and stems can emerge from them. Your vines will need to also be long enough that you can trim them without cutting off more than 25% of your plant as removing more can be harmful.
Monstera Adansonii Propagation Methods for Beginners and Pros
There are several methods to propagate vines, with air layering and cuttings being the two most popular methods. Each of these two methods have good success rates and are easy to do at home. There are a few differences, the biggest being the ideal seasons to start each process and the amount of time it will take to do each. There are advantages to each method and each offers different advantages depending on your needs.
What is "Air Layering?"Air layering is when a small amount of a moist material such as sphagnum moss is wrapped around a node that is then wrapped in plastic and kept moist. This will cause the node to form roots in the sphagnum and once they are formed the vine can be cut just below the node and transplanted.
Air layering has the highest survival rate because the segment of vine is only trimmed off once roots are already established, and if roots fail to form it can be repeated until they do. Wrapping small segments of your plant with moist sphagnum has very little risk of harming the plant or causing rot.
This method works best when the stems are wrapped in fall and then cut in spring after roots have formed. This technique will take longer than cuttings and it is more difficult to produce a large amount of separate clones, as it works best with larger segments of the plant.
What you'll need:
- Some long fiber sphagnum moss
- A spray bottle with clean water in it
- Some plastic wrap
- Twist ties, fishing line, or string
- A pair of scissors, pruning shears, or a knife
- Rooting hormone (Optional)
How to Propagate Using Air Layering
Locate a node on your plant that has the section you want to propagate. Ideally the section you are removing has several nodes above it on the plant. Choose a section with at least 2 nodes (the one you are rooting as well as another node that can sprout a new growth point). You can root multiple nodes on one vine, and later cut them into separate plants. You can root nodes with leaves as well as nodes that have already lost their leaves. The process of air layering is best started in the fall, as it will allow you to remove the vine in spring, but air layering can safely be done in any season.
Take some of the sphagnum moss and wet it either using the spray bottle or by dipping it in water to moisten. Once the moss is well hydrated, wrap it around the node you want to root. You want to make about a 2 inch sphere of moss with the plant stem going directly through it. The moss may be able to hold on its own but you can also wrap it with a string of fishing line. If you need to hold together the sphagnum clump, tie it together loosely so as to not put too much pressure on the moss.
Make sure the moss is moist throughout the clump, as it can be hard to hydrate sphagnum moss when first using it. Once your clump looks satisfactory you can take a piece of plastic wrap and cover the moss loosely with the plastic. This will aid in retaining the moisture on the moss, as it can easily dry out in household humidity due to how exposed it is. You can secure the plastic with twist ties or other faceners placed above and below the clump of moss.
Be sure not to over tighten them too much around the stem of the plant. Now that you have made the sphagnum clump you will need to keep it moist, this can be done by gently unwrapping the plastic and using the spray bottle to rehydrate the moss once or twice a week. It will take several weeks for roots to form in the moss. When watering you can check the process by gently moving the moss aside to see if roots are emerging from the node.
Wait until the node has formed roots that are about an inch long. At this point it is safe to cut the stem off the plant. When you cut the stem you can use scissors, pruning shears, or a knife to cut it. Be sure to clean your cutting implement well before cutting the stem. It is best to cut about half of an inch below the node in one smooth cutting motion, avoiding fraying or crushing the stem.
You can take the rooted section and pot it immediately in either a temporary pot to allow it to root more or plant it immediately into the final pot you plan to use for your plant. Plant the rooted segment in a regular indoor potting mix or any other Monstera potting mix.
There are some additional steps you can take to speed up the process of your Monstera adansonii forming new roots. Before placing the moss you can make a small cut on the stem right next to the node, this cut should only be a couple of millimeters deep and should be right next to the node. This small cut will aid the plant in forming new roots, and if you use a rooting hormone will allow the hormone to enter the plant more easily.
A rooting hormone is a powder or gel that will chemically induce the plant to produce roots. If you apply a rooting hormone it will greatly increase the speed the roots grow and more roots will be produced. Adding the rooting hormone is easy– simply apply a light dusting of the rooting hormone on the node before wrapping it in sphagnum.
This is helpful regardless if you decide to make a small cut at the node as well, but may be more effective with the cut. If you are having difficulty getting your Monstera to root from air layering, a rooting hormone may help as well.
What are "Cuttings"?
Cuttings are segments of vine that have been trimmed off with the lowest node placed into soil or water and allowed to root. Once rooted the cutting will form a new growth point from one of the upper nodes and continue growing as a new plant.
Cuttings are able to root quickly and from a new independent plant after only a few weeks, but they also suffer from a lower survival rate. By limiting the amount of nodes on each cutting to the minimum you can also propagate many clones by cutting back a vine. Shorter cuttings will also have a lower success rate as they have less material and energy to establish themselves.
Stem cuttings are also very sensitive to high humidity and over watering when first establishing themselves and will require careful care while rooting. Root rot can be a serious risk at this stage. This method is best performed in spring with the cuttings establishing themselves in summer or when the have access to bright, direct sunlight. If your Monstera is stuck in low light conditions during this phase, it will be a sad little plant baby and wont grow nearly as fast.
Here are the tools you will need:
- A pair of scissors, pruning shears, or a knife
- Small pots with drainage holes
- Fresh soil
- A plastic bag or container to place the cuttings in
- Rooting hormone (Optional)
How to Propagate Monstera Cuttings
Locate the nodes that you want to root, when making this selection, be sure to choose segments with at least 2 nodes. There will be better success rates with larger segments and a section with 6 nodes is ideal, as they will have ample energy to form new roots and leaves. Taking cutting off of your plant is best done in spring, but can be done in any season with lower success rates in the fall and winter then in spring and summer.
Clean the cutting implement well, this helps prevent any fungus from entering the wound. Cut at a section just under the node you want to root, cutting about half of an inch under the node. When you cut the stem do so in one smooth action and avoid fraying or crushing the stem. The sharper your tool is the better, as it will produce a smooth and clean cut.
Prepare small pots for rooting your cuttings in. Ideally these will be 2-3 inch pots like the ones seedlings are started in. Use an inorganic starting soil such as perlite, hydroponic soil, or vermiculite. Using inorganic soils reduces the risk of mold. As an alternative method you can prepare jars that have a couple of inches of water in them, Monstera cuttings can be rooted in water as well, but there is a slightly lower success rate using the water propagation method.
After you have cut the segments you want to propagate from the mother plant, cut off the Monstera leaves on the bottom half of the section you are propagating, because these lower nodes will be used to form roots. If you are using a rooting hormone, dip the bottom end of each cutting into the hormone. This will seriously improve root growth.
Caring for Cuttings
Place the cuttings into the soil, being sure to completely bury the nodes you want to root. Loosely pack the soil around the nodes and make sure each cutting is secure. If you are using a jar of water, simply place the cuttings into the water making sure the nodes are below the water surface. Be sure to keep the water clean and change it regularly.
The fresh cuttings are very sensitive to humidity and water, it is important to keep the soil moist at all times and to keep the air humidity around the cuttings high. A common method to do this is to cover the cuttings with a bag or a plastic container. You can also place them into a terrarium to boost the humidity. The cuttings will take several weeks to root, and after three weeks you can check if roots have formed by gently removing some soil and observing the nodes.
Time to Repot
When your cuttings have formed roots that are at least an inch long you can transfer them into a more permanent pot with indoor potting soil. When first transplanting them cover the new growth with a bag to further protect it from low humidity until fully developed leaves form.
Monstera Adansonii Care
The first step to propagating your Monstera is making sure it's nice and healthy. Does your plant need direct or indirect light? Do you need a humidifier? How do you recreate the Amazon at home? We have answers to all these questions and more. If you need a bit of guidance, check out our complete collection of Plant Care Guides!
Treat yourself to the sweet plant baby you deserve,
Pick up one of our beautiful house plants today!