Have you ever wondered how to propagate your Swiss cheese plant? Well, you’re in luck because it’s actually quite easy! In this guide, we’ll explore different methods to propagate your plant and create new additions to your home jungle. Whether you want to give your green thumb a boost or simply decorate your space with more plants, propagating monsteras will make you feel like a master gardener.
Rooting Cuttings in Water:
To propagate your Swiss cheese plant in water, all you need is a node and a leaf. Look for a little bump on the stem, usually near where a leaf starts. As long as you have a node, you can create new plants. Cut the stem about half an inch below the node and place it in a glass of water. Make sure the leaf remains dry. Put the cutting in a spot with dappled or bright, indirect sunlight and change the water every few days. Within a couple of weeks, roots should start to appear. Once the roots are a few inches long, plant the cutting in a small container filled with a light and airy potting mixture.
Rooting Cuttings in Soil:
Some debate exists about whether it’s better to propagate cuttings in water or soil. However, both methods work well for Swiss cheese plants. To propagate in soil, make a clean cut at least half an inch below the node. Plant the cutting in moist soil, deep enough that it stays upright on its own. Place the pot in an area with bright indirect light and keep the soil moist. It can take up to a month for roots to form. You’ll know the cutting has rooted when it resists a gentle tug. Once it’s rooted, you can either leave it in the same pot or transplant it to a slightly larger one.
Swiss cheese plants are known for their rapid growth, so you might find that your plant has outgrown its space. Dividing your plant is a great way to control its size or create new additions for yourself or to give away. Start by watering the plant well the day before you begin. Gently remove the plant from its container and knock away as much soil as possible. Look for natural spots where the roots seem to divide. You may need to tease the roots apart. Once you’ve found a good spot, use a clean knife or scissors to cut the sections apart. Place each section in its own pot, using the same potting mixture discussed earlier. Ensure the container isn’t much larger than the root ball.
Air layering is another method of propagation that takes advantage of the aerial roots that develop on Swiss cheese plants. It’s a convenient way to create new plants without needing a separate container. To air layer, look for a large leaf with a nearby node. Make a small notch in the internode, right above the node, using a clean knife or scissors. Moisten sphagnum moss and wrap it around the node and notch, securing it with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Keep the moss moist and after a few weeks, roots should begin to form. Once the roots are established, cut the new plant away and transplant it into a small container using the same potting mixture.
While propagating from seeds is an option, it’s important to note that indoor plants rarely produce fruits necessary for seed collection. Additionally, variegated plants cannot be grown from seeds due to their genetic mutation. However, variegated plants can still be propagated using other methods described earlier. If you do manage to obtain fresh seeds, moisten paper towels and place the seeds between them. Spray the towels with water whenever they start to dry out. After a few days, the seeds should sprout. Plant them in small pots using the potting mixture described before. Keep the soil moist and provide adequate airflow by removing any plastic coverings once the plant is a few inches tall.
Propagating a Swiss cheese plant is an enjoyable and rewarding process. Whether you choose to root cuttings in water or soil, divide the plant, air layer, or sow seeds, you’ll be delighted by the new additions to your home jungle. With a little patience and care, you can become a master gardener with the greenest thumb. So go ahead and give it a try – your plant family will thank you!
For more information and tips on growing Swiss cheese plants, check out the Ames Farm Center website.