Published on May 22, 2020

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Photography by Seth Smoot

A monstera is the gift that keeps on giving, and not just because the lush tropical houseplant can reach up to eight feet in height, with leaves measuring two feet long, but because it’s extremely easy to propagate, or, in simpler terms, clone. Like most other aroids, such as pothos, philodendron, and anthurium, you can easily reproduce your monstera by growing a genetic copy in water. Because these plants originate from an ancestor that lived in swamps, they thrive in this type of environment when getting started. If you’re new to the process, it can seem like a mad scientist’s experiment, but really the plant does all the hard work. “It doesn’t need much help except good light,” says Andrea Grosu, the pro plant parent behind the popular Instagram account @basillicana. You just get to sit back and enjoy turning your space into an indoor jungle. Here’s what you need to know before you multiply.

The Supplies

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Photography by Andrea Grosu
  • A mature and healthy plant
  • Scissors 
  • A clear vessel filled with tepid water

Step 1: Make Your Cut

A monstera can be propagated by seed, suckers, or tissue culture, but taking stem cuttings is by far the easiest route. The first step is to identify one of the plant’s nodes. These are the points along the stem where the leaves are attached. “The node is the most important part to have a successful project when you’re propagating,” says Grosu (if you cut too close to the node, the new roots will not be able to develop). Using a sharp, sterilized knife or scissors, make your cut directly below the node. Try not to take a cutting that has too many leaves, she notes, as this will slow down the rooting and, if they’re low, can lead to some getting tangled up in the water. 

Step 2: Grab Your Vase

Place the plant cutting in the vessel (transparent glass is best so you can keep an eye on the roots). “You definitely don’t need anything fancy,” says Grosu, who is currently repurposing old jars for her propagating projects. Pour in tepid water until the roots and ends are completely covered. Put the container in a spot that gets bright-to-moderate indirect light. 

Step 3: Let It Do Its Thing

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Photography by Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images

Patience is a virtue when it comes to propagation. You’ll want to add fresh water every few days. Psst: Changing up the H2O speeds up the process, reveals Grosu. As long as there is no murkiness or fungi growing, you’re in the clear. 

Step 4: Pot It

You’ll know when your monstera is ready to be transplanted to a planter with potting mix when the rooting has thoroughly developed (the longer the roots, the better chance the plant will have at surviving). This will take around four to six weeks, the Sill notes in its propagation guide for beginners. “The transfer from water to soil can be a big shock for fragile roots—better safe than sorry!” says Grosu. When you do move it over to a pot, saturate the soil with fresh water and put it in bright, indirect light. Finally, care for your new plant baby as you would any other greenery and watch it grow. 

See more stories like this: 
This Is How You Get More Plants for Free
The Monstera Plant We’re Predicting Will Be Everywhere in 2020
The Best Houseplant for Your Myers-Briggs Type

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