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It is so easy to propagate Monstera deliciosa (the Swiss Cheese Plant). You can quickly grow them from cuttings and have a room full of monsters in no time. It is recommended that you tie a stem cutting to propagate your plants, according to online tutorials.
Propagating Monstera Without Node – Is it possible?
No. Without a node, you will not be able to grow Monstera deliciosa in a cutting. Nodes are the structures that allow for new growth. Monstera leaves can be kept in water for long periods of time, and they can grow roots. However, new stem and leaf growth cannot be achieved without a node.
You might be tempted to propagate a monstera using a leaf. This is especially true if the leaf has been accidentally damaged and you want to save some. Unfortunately, a new plant won’t grow. You will not have more than one leaf unless you include a node. Below, I will describe what a node looks like and why you need it to clone your Monstera.
What is a Monstera Node?
Nodes and internodes are the basic components of all plant stems. A node is where new growth occurs (think buds, leaves and aerial roots). The areas between the nodes and internodes where nothing emerges are called internodes. The key to reproduction is the nodes.
What does a Monstera node look? Every new Petiole (the stem connecting the leaf to its stem) is attached to a Node. Every place a leaf, branch, or new stem appears is there. A node is also possible if you can see a button with a brown or white color sticking out from the area. A node can also be used to detect the presence of aerial roots.
Monstera node function
The nodes contain all the cells that are responsible for creating new life. Nodes are therefore the key areas of the Monstera stem where all new growth, including leaves and aerial roots, originates.
Also, Monstera’s nodes are compared to human or animal wombs. These are reproductive organs that produce offspring.
How do you identify a Monstera node?
Monstera nodes bulge and have bright green circular rings that make them easy to distinguish from the rest.
A node will also be present in the area where stems split into two petioles, or where aerial roots can be seen.
Is it possible to propagate a leaf without nodes?
Without a node, a monstera leaf will not grow to full-size. A petioled leaf, however, can keep fresh for several months in water. You can use it to decorate your home or in a bouquet along with other cut flowers.
Monstera deliciosa is one of the rare plants that can produce new plants from a single leaf. A node is a piece of tissue that contains the necessary tissue to grow a second plant with a stem or more leaves.
A leaf cut without a node won’t grow into a new tree.
How to choose the right cutting for propagation
You should aim to cut the stem about an inch below the node. For best propagation results, ensure that the cutting contains at least one leaf and two aerial roots.
To prune the parent plants faster, use a pair sharp shears. Illustration courtesy of njaes.rutgers.edu
To maximize the surface area and increase water absorption, cut at a 45-degree angle. This will allow for faster root growth.
How to correctly cut a node
You now know how to identify Monstera nodeweed and can use this knowledge to make cuttings that will grow into new plants. Once you have created the right cutting, you can root it and eventually grow a monstera.
Although it is technically possible for monstera to be propagated from pieces of stem and a node (these are often called “wet sticks”) this method is not reliable and time-consuming. Monstera grows best if there are at least one leaf, and preferably an aerial root. This article will provide information about growing complete plants from these cuttings.
The first step is to determine the area that you will be cutting for propagation. You will see the “V” shape that I described earlier, where one leaf splits from another or the main stem. To ensure that the node is included, you will need to cut 2 to 3 inches below this “V”.
There will be plenty of areas to cut if your plant is already very large. When deciding where to cut, think about how you want your mother plant to grow. Also consider the shape that you would like. You must have at least one node in your cutting. However, it is better to have several nodes on one stem with one to three leaves.
Use a pruning shears or a sharp knife to cut below the node. To avoid spreading disease or infection to the plant, sterilize all cutting tools. To clean my scissors, I use a bleach solution that is one-third bleach and nine percent water.
For best results, make a quick and precise cut. You should not move the saw as it will create jagged edges. Your cutting should be just below the node/aero root. It should contain everything it needs to grow into a fully grown plant (leaves and stems).
You can also remove smaller leaves at this point, so that energy is focused on the largest leaves. Some prefer to remove the aerial roots before rooting cuttings. However, either method will work. You can leave the aerial roots as they are if you like them. If you don’t like the look of an aerial root, leave it.
Rooting Monstera cuttings
You have two options when it comes to rooting your Monstera cuttings. They work equally well, but water propagation is more beneficial because you can watch the roots grow.
Let your stem cuttings dry for at least a few minutes before you place them in soil or water. This will allow the cut to be covered slightly and prevents rotting.
Make sure to prepare a tall container for rooting in water. This can be done with a tall flat vase or jar. Before adding water, arrange the Monstera stems inside the container. Wrap aerial roots in the bottom of the container if they are present. The leaves should not be lower than the waterline.
For propagation, I prefer to use filtered tap water. But you can use any kind of water. After your cuttings have been placed, gradually add water to submerge the nodes.
Your Monstera should be able to grow roots up to two- and three inches in length after about a month. The baby plant can now be planted in the soil. Make sure to use a potting soil with good drainage and place the plant in a small container that has at least one drainage hole.
You can root your cuttings in soil by using a potting mixture that drains well. Small pots work best in the beginning. You can always expand the pot later. However, if the container is too large, the soil will retain too much moisture. Monsters don’t like too much moisture.
A little rooting hormone can be applied to the cuttings before they are planted. Monstera cuttings do not require rooting hormone, but it can speed up the growth of new roots.
Place the cutting so that nodes and aerial roots (if any) are below ground. Your cutting should be planted deep enough to allow the plant to stand upright. To prevent your Monstera from tipping, stake it until it is established. You can water the plant thoroughly and add more soil as needed.
No matter whether you plant your cutting in soil or water, new roots will develop in a matter of weeks.
Basic care for Monstera cuttings
Adult monsteras love bright, indirect lighting. Cuttings also have to meet the same requirements. Water propagation requires that water be changed at least once per week, preferably every few days or when it becomes cloudy. Your location might be too sunny if you notice algae growing in your container.
After changing the water, rinse the roots gently and inspect for any unhealthy areas. Anything that is soft or brown should be removed. You should see clear indications of which parts are healthy and which are not.
Cuttings that have been rooted in soil are more difficult to track. New growth will be the first sign that the cutting is successfully rooted. If the cutting is turning yellow or curling, your Monstera will tell you. If your cutting doesn’t display any of these signs when it is planted, you can assume that everything is fine below the surface.
What can you expect from your new cut?
Monstera cuttings once rooted will start to produce new growth within a few months. Monsteras can quickly grow if given the right environment. You will soon have a beautiful new plant.
For a year or so, young plants won’t have any fenestrations. These are the slits and holes that Monster is famous for. As the plant grows older, the leaves will become larger and more reminiscent of the Monstera that we all love.