Image by Carl Lewis
By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) is a creeping vine that is commonly grown in tropical-like gardens. It is also a popular houseplant. While the plant’s long aerial roots, which are tentacle-like in nature, will generally take root in soil with ease; propagating Monstera deliciosa by other means can also be achieved. In fact, Swiss cheese plant can be propagated through seeds, cuttings or air layering.
How to Propagate a Swiss Cheese Plant by Seed
Monstera deliciosa propagation can be done by seeds, germinating within a few weeks. However, the seedlings are extremely slow to develop. In addition, the seeds may be difficult to come by, as it can take anywhere from a year or more before mature fruit is produced by flowers. The small, pale green seeds also have a very short shelf life, unable to dry well or handle cool temperatures. Therefore, they must be used as soon as possible.
Seeds can be started much like any other plant, gently covering them with a thin layer of soil. They should be kept moist but don’t worry too much about light. They have an odd way of growing away from light, instead reaching towards dark areas in search of something to climb on.
Rooting Swiss Cheese Plant Cuttings
Monstera is more commonly propagated by stem cuttings. Swiss cheese plant cuttings are easy to root. With cuttings, you have the option of rooting them in water first or simply sticking them straight into the soil. Cuttings should be taken just after a leaf node, removing the bottom-most leaves.
Then either root the swiss cheese plant cuttings in water for a few weeks and transplant to a pot or partially bury the cuttings directly in the soil itself. Since they root so easily, there’s no need for rooting hormone.
Other Methods for Monstera Deliciosa Propagation
You can also propagate a Swiss cheese plant by dividing suckers into foot-long sections. These can then be gently pressed into the soil. Once they sprout, you can transplant them wherever you want.
Air layering is another method for propagating Monstera deliciosa. Simply wrap some damp sphagnum moss around the stem where an aerial root and leaf axil are located. Tie a piece of string around it to secure it in place. Then enclose this in a clear, plastic bag, with air vents, and tie it off at the top. You should start seeing new roots appear within a few months. At this time, you can clip it off and replant elsewhere.