The Swiss Cheese plant, scientifically known as Monstera deliciosa, has taken the houseplant market by storm. With its ability to grow to impressive sizes, thrive in low-light conditions, and produce striking fenestrations (holes in its leaves), this plant has established itself as a must-have for green thumbs. Surprisingly, propagating the Swiss Cheese plant is relatively simple and can be done through two primary methods: cuttings and seeds. In this article, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on both techniques, ensuring successful propagation of this trendy houseplant.
Ways to Multiply Swiss Cheese Plants
Swiss Cheese plants can be propagated either by cuttings or seeds. While cuttings are the more common method, seeds offer an affordable alternative. Let’s delve into each technique in detail.
How to Multiply Swiss Cheese Plants from Cuttings
Propagating the Swiss Cheese plant from cuttings is remarkably straightforward. All you need is a healthy stem with a node and a leaf. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Locate a stem section containing a node. The node is often identified by a swollen portion of the stem, accompanied by a brown aerial root and another leaf stalk. If needed, refer to online videos for assistance in identifying a node.
- Carefully cut an inch or two below the node, ensuring the node remains undamaged.
- To root the cutting, you have two options: water or soil.
- For water propagation:
- Submerge the cutting’s node in a clear-walled container filled with water, ensuring the node is entirely submerged. Use a vessel that will keep the cutting upright.
- Ensure the water is not heavily chlorinated. If necessary, let tap water rest for 24-48 hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate, or boil it for 15 minutes and let it cool.
- Change the water weekly to maintain freshness and place the container in a well-lit spot, away from direct sunlight.
- Roots will typically develop within 2-4 weeks, depending on the plant’s vigor and environment. Look for strong, inch-long white roots.
- For soil propagation:
- Fill a container with moistened seed starting mix, light potting soil, or an alternative medium like rock wool or damp sand.
- Plant the cutting in the pot deep enough to cover the node where roots will form. If the stem is long, provide support with a stake until the new roots can take over.
- Firmly press the medium around the stem and place the pot in a bright location with indirect sunlight.
- After 2-3 weeks, check for root development by gently tugging on the stem. If there is resistance, your Swiss Cheese plant cutting has successfully rooted and is ready for potting.
- For water propagation:
How to Multiply Swiss Cheese Plants from Seeds
Growing Swiss Cheese plants from seeds allows you to embark on an exciting journey while saving costs. Follow these steps to germinate seeds successfully:
- Soften the Monstera deliciosa seeds by either soaking them or using the wet paper towel method.
- For soaking seeds, place them in a shallow bowl or glass filled with lukewarm water. Soak for 12-24 hours before proceeding.
- For the paper towel method, lay the seeds on top of two layers of wet paper towel, covering them with two additional layers.
- Keep the paper towels moist using a spray bottle. Sprouting should occur within four days.
- Prepare a seed starting medium or trays with well-moistened soil. A simple seed starting mix with added Perlite or moss will work.
- Pro tip: Pre-moisten your seed starting mix before planting the seeds for easier handling.
- Gently place the softened seeds in the medium and lightly cover them.
- Once the seeds have sprouted, provide them with ample light by using grow lights or placing them in a sheltered, sunny location.
- Maintain moisture in the soil, as seedlings are sensitive to dry conditions. To retain humidity, use a humidity dome or cover the container with a plastic bag for the first few days.
Tips for Successful Swiss Cheese Plant Cultivation
To ensure your Swiss Cheese plant thrives, there are a few essential care tips to keep in mind:
- Moisture: Keep the plant consistently moist, but avoid overwatering. Check the top inch of soil and water when it feels dry. Deep watering is preferable to frequent, light watering.
- Humidity: The Swiss Cheese plant hails from tropical regions and appreciates higher humidity levels. Mist the leaves frequently, place a small humidifier nearby, or group humidity-loving plants together.
- Support: As a natural climber, the Swiss Cheese plant benefits from having something to climb. Place a moss pole in the pot to create a vertical growth path for the plant.
- Pruning: Regular pruning helps control the plant’s size and provides opportunities for propagating new Swiss Cheese plants from cuttings.
- Repotting: Repot your Monstera every 1-2 years to accommodate its growth. This also allows for fresh soil, preventing the buildup of harmful salts and minerals.
By following these guidelines, you can successfully propagate and care for the Swiss Cheese plant, transforming your space into a lush green haven.
For more information on plants, gardening, and propagation techniques, visit the Ames Farm Center.