Where to Cut Monstera to Propagate in Water: A Concise Guide

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Propagating Monstera plants in water has become a popular method for houseplant enthusiasts looking to grow new plants from cuttings. In this article, readers will find valuable information on where to make the ideal cut on a Monstera plant to ensure successful water propagation. Gaining a clear understanding of this process will help plant lovers nurture new, healthy Monsteras with ease.

Identifying Monstera Nodes

When propagating Monstera plants in water, it is crucial to understand the plant’s structure and identify the “nodes.” Nodes are the key to successful propagation, as they contain the necessary cells for new growth and rooting. In this section, we will discuss how to locate and identify Monstera nodes.

Monstera nodes are found along the stem, recognizable by the presence of a leaf or an aerial root. Visually, nodes appear as thick, knobby areas with lines or ridges, separating them from the rest of the stem. These points of differentiation are essential in the propagation process, as they are the source of new roots and leaves. Make sure you confirm the presence of a node before cutting, as cutting a stem without a node will not result in successful propagation.

To prepare a Monstera cutting for water propagation, follow these three points:

  1. Choose a healthy, mature stem with at least one or two leaves and a clearly visible node, ideally with an aerial root already emerging.
  2. Use sharp, clean shears to make a cut approximately half an inch to an inch below the node. This will ensure that the cutting has enough room to develop roots and promote new growth.
  3. Allow the cutting to dry for about 10 minutes to reduce the risk of infection or rot.

Once you have identified the Monstera nodes and prepared the cutting, it will be ready for water propagation. In the following sections, we will cover how to properly care for and maintain the cuttings while they develop roots and grow.

Tools and Preparation

Selecting the Right Tools

To propagate a Monstera plant in water, you’ll first need to gather the appropriate tools:

  • A clean, sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors
  • A clean container, such as a glass jar, vase, or clear bottle with a wide opening, for holding the cutting and water
  • Filtered or distilled water, to minimize potential harm from chemicals found in tap water

Choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the stem and future root growth of the Monstera cutting, but not so big that changing out water becomes cumbersome.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Tools

It’s crucial to clean and disinfect your cutting tools before propagation to prevent the spread of disease or infection. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wipe your pruning shears or scissors with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any debris.
  2. Soak the cloth or paper towel in isopropyl alcohol (approximately 70% concentration).
  3. Thoroughly rub the alcohol-soaked cloth over the cutting blades to disinfect them, removing any remaining dirt or bacteria.
  4. Allow the tools to air dry before using them to make the Monstera cutting.

Remember to clean your chosen container as well, using warm soapy water, and rinse thoroughly before adding your filtered or distilled water.

Ideal Cutting Points

Selecting an ideal cutting point is crucial when propagating a Monstera plant in water. To ensure successful propagation, pay attention to the “nodes” on the stem of the plant. Nodes are the small bumps found along the stem where leaves, aerial roots, or new branches can grow from.

To identify the best cutting point, choose a stem that has a healthy leaf and a visible node. Cut the stem about an inch below this node using a sharp and clean tool, such as pruning shears or a knife. Cutting below the node will give the plant adequate space to develop new roots.

When cutting, aim for a section with two to three leaves, but remove any excess leaves to prevent energy loss. The remaining leaves will perform photosynthesis, providing the cutting with the energy it needs to grow. Take note of these ideal cutting points when propagating your Monstera:

  • Cut one inch below a healthy node
  • Select a stem with a healthy leaf and a visible node
  • Aim for a cutting with two to three leaves

Properly identifying and cutting at these ideal points will increase the chances of successful propagation and promote healthy growth of your new Monstera plant.

Removing the Cutting

When propagating a Monstera plant in water, selecting the ideal cutting plays a pivotal role in ensuring successful growth. First, identify a healthy Monstera stem that contains a node, as the node is the key to generating new roots. The node is a small, bump-like structure on the stem, usually located where a new leaf or aerial root emerges.

To obtain the cutting, use a clean, sharp blade, or pruning shears to make a cut approximately one-third to half an inch below the node. Ensure that you make a clean and precise cut to minimize damage to the plant and promote faster healing.

Remove any leaves from the bottom section of the cutting, leaving only two or three healthy leaves on the top portion. This helps to prevent the leaves from rotting in the water and allows the plant to focus its energy on root production.

Before placing the cutting in water, rinse it gently to remove any debris or dirt. This minimizes the chance of bacterial infections and pests affecting the cutting during the propagation process.

Propagation in Water

Propagating Monstera in water is relatively simple, and requires just a few essential steps. The key is to locate a node on the stem and make a clean cut just beneath it.

Transitioning to Water

Once you have identified a node, which looks like a bump with a potential stem emerging, use sharp shears to cut no more than half an inch below it. After making the cut, gently clean the cutting and allow it to dry for approximately 10 minutes. Following this, place the cut end into a container with either tap or filtered water, ensuring that the node is submerged below the water level.

Providing Support

In some cases, the cutting may need additional support to keep it upright during propagation. Consider using a stake, chopstick, or other suitable object to help maintain its position in the water. Remember to be gentle, as even slight damage to the cutting may hinder the propagation process.

Monitoring Water Clarity and Level

Keep an eye on the water clarity and change it when it becomes cloudy. Additionally, monitor the water level to ensure the node remains submerged. When adding more water to the container, pour it so that it bubbles and splashes, as this will introduce oxygen and promote healthy root development. Alternatively, you can insert a straw into the water and blow a few bubbles to oxygenate it. For optimal growth, clean the developing roots at least once a month.

By following these steps, you are on the path to successfully propagating your Monstera in water, ultimately leading to a healthy and thriving plant.

Signs of Successful Propagation

As the Monstera cutting settles into its water environment, several signs indicate that the propagation process is working well. One of the first indicators of successful propagation is the appearance of new, healthy roots. These roots often emerge as white and delicate structures, extending from the node of the cutting placed in the water.

Over time, the water roots will become thicker and stronger, establishing themselves around the cutting, and providing stability to the growing plant. Keep an eye out for consistent root growth, as this is a positive sign of the cutting’s development. It is essential to maintain proper care for the cutting, such as refreshing the water regularly and providing adequate sunlight.

Besides roots, new foliage growth is another marker of successful propagation. As the Monstera cutting thrives in water, it will begin to develop new leaves, sprouting from the nodes on the stem. The new leaves will be smaller than those on the parent plant initially but will grow bigger as the plant matures. A steady increase in the size and number of leaves indicates a healthy propagation process.

In summary, successful Monstera propagation in water can be recognized by observing these key signs:

  • New, healthy roots growing from the node
  • Consistent root growth and thickening over time
  • New leaves sprouting from the stem’s nodes
  • Increase in leaf size and number

By monitoring these indicators, one can gauge the progress of Monstera propagation in water and determine if any adjustments to the process are necessary.

Transitioning to Soil

After successfully propagating your Monstera cutting in water, the next step is to transition the plant to soil. This process involves assessing root development and adjusting the new plant to soil conditions gradually.

Assessing Root Development

Before transferring the cutting to soil, it’s crucial to ensure that the roots are well-developed and strong enough to support the plant in its new environment. Check the root system regularly, and look for roots that are at least 1-2 inches long, with several smaller root offshoots. These signs indicate that your Monstera cutting is ready for the transition to soil.

Adjusting to Soil

When transferring the Monstera cutting to soil, choose a well-draining potting mix to create the optimal environment for root growth. It is advisable to follow these steps to make a smooth transition:

  1. Partially fill the new pot with soil – this will provide a stable base for the cutting.
  2. Place the rooted cutting into the pot, ensuring that the roots are spread out and in contact with the soil.
  3. Add more soil to cover the roots, firmly pressing it around the base of the cutting to provide support.
  4. Water the plant thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Position the plant in a bright location with indirect sunlight to encourage continued growth.

During the adjustment phase, monitor the new Monstera plant closely to ensure it adapts well to its new environment. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy, and maintain a regular watering schedule to promote healthy growth.

Common Propagation Mistakes

Propagating monstera plants in water is a popular method, but there are some common mistakes that should be avoided for success. Knowing where to cut the monstera and proper aftercare is crucial to ensure healthy growth.

One common mistake is cutting too far below the node. To prevent this, use sharp shears and make the cut no more than half an inch below the node. This will protect the fragile cutting and improve the chances of successful propagation.

Another issue is placing the cutting directly in water without letting it dry first. After cutting, allow the monstera cutting to dry for approximately 10 minutes before placing it in a container with water. This short drying period helps reduce the risk of root rot and promotes healthy root formation.

Using the wrong type of water can also be detrimental. For best results, use distilled water or tap water that has been left out for 24 hours to allow any chlorine to evaporate. The water should be changed regularly, especially when it becomes cloudy, to prevent bacterial growth and root rot.

Choosing the right container is essential as well. The container should be clean and large enough to accommodate the stem and roots comfortably. Moreover, it should have a depth that allows for the roots to grow freely without becoming cramped or tangled.

Finally, it is important to monitor the progress of the cutting during the propagation process. Watch out for signs of root rot or unhealthy growth, and take corrective action if needed. By avoiding these common mistakes and following the right propagation steps, you can help ensure that your monstera plant thrives.


Propagating monstera in water is a simple and effective process that allows for healthy root growth and easy monitoring. The key to success lies in identifying the correct site to make a cutting, as well as providing proper care and conditions for the young plant to thrive.

When choosing where to cut the monstera for water propagation, look for a section just below a node on the stem. Nodes are recognizable as bumps on the stem, and occasionally another stem may already be emerging from the node. Make the cut no more than a half an inch below the node, ideally including two to three leaves on the cutting. This ensures efficient photosynthesis to fuel the growing process.

Maintaining optimal conditions for propagation includes:

  • Selecting a clear container large enough to hold the cutting and provide space for root growth
  • Using clean water and regularly changing it to prevent stagnation
  • Positioning the cutting in a spot with indirect light, as direct sunlight may hinder root formation
  • Monitoring root development and transferring the plant to soil once roots are well-established

Adhering to these best practices will encourage a healthy monstera plant ready for transplantation or continued water-based growth. Experimenting with and perfecting water propagation techniques allows enthusiasts to create beautiful and thriving monstera plants in a simplified and easily-monitored environment.