Swiss cheese, scientifically known as Monstera deliciosa, is a plant that comes from tropical rainforests and gets its name because its leaves have large holes in them. This plant can be propagated easily, but how?
You can propagate your Swiss cheese plant via cuttings, seeds, or root division. It’s easy to propagate this type of plant—doing so via cuttings is one of the most popular and easiest methods.
In this article, we’ll break down all the Swiss cheese propagation techniques. We’ll also look at how to prepare the soil before planting a new Swiss cheese plant and which propagation technique is the most effective.
How Do You Propagate Swiss Cheese Plants
There are five ways to propagate a Swiss Cheese plant. Below is a rundown of them and
their pros and cons.
Take a cutting from your Swiss cheese plant, cutting the plant about one inch (2.54 cm) below the node. Then, simply put the cutting in water. You want the node to be covered by water, but remove any leaves that would be submerged as these would decay.
Make sure you keep the container of water in an area of the home where it will get a lot of sun and air circulation, this will encourage healthy growth.
After about a month, you should start to see roots forming on the cutting. This indicates that you can transfer the cutting into the soil.
- Doesn’t require any moss or soil, so it’s easy to do
- Can lead to root rot, so you have to be careful and monitor your cutting regularly
You can propagate a Swiss cheese plant in soil by taking a cutting from the plant and planting it in a potting mix.
- Start by trimming a six-inch (15.24 cm) cutting from the plant. You want to cut the stem below the leaf node, but make sure you cut off any leaves.
- Apply rooting hormone powder to the end of the cutting. Rooting hormone isn’t strictly necessary for a Swiss cheese plant but it can be good to apply to increase the effectiveness of the cuttings.
- Plant the cutting in a soilless potting mix. The container should be put in an area of the home where there’s bright, indirect light.
- Keep the potting mix moist but not soggy. Although Swiss cheese plants want to be well-hydrated, they don’t want to become waterlogged.
After a few months, you’ll see roots starting to grow on the plant and you can transfer the plant to a different pot.
- The rooting hormone helps to encourage the plant cutting to grow roots
- You can use sand or perlite as your soilless potting mix
- It takes a bit longer for the Swiss cheese plant to grow in soil compared to growing it in water
You can grow a Swiss cheese plant from seed. To do this, you should plant the seeds in a tray filled with seed-starting mix. I’d recommend the Espoma Organic Seed Starter Premium Potting Soil Mix, which is available from Amazon. It contains healthy ingredients, such as sphagnum peat moss and perlite, which promote the growth of roots. You want the seeds to be covered lightly with the mix.
To encourage the seeds to grow, cover them with transparent plastic to keep them warm.
Put the seeds in an area of the home that receives bright, filtered light.
After keeping the seeds moist for a few weeks, you’ll see them germinate. You’ll be able to transplant the plants within a few months.
- It’s easy to grow Swiss cheese plants from seed, but you’ll have to ensure the seeds are fresh as they don’t store well
- The plant will grow roots within a few weeks, so you won’t have to wait too long
- You’ll need a seed-starting potting mix for the seeds to grow successfully
This propagation method is when you wrap moss around a cutting that’s still attached to the plant. Get some sphagnum moss and make it moist before wrapping it around the plant’s stem.
Keep the moss in place by tying a bit of string around it. Put the cutting in a transparent plastic bag. Make a few holes in it so that the plant has enough air circulation, but tie it at the top.
Leave this somewhere in the home where it will be warm and receive bright, filtered light.
After a few months, the plant will start to grow roots. When you see roots, the cutting can be snipped off the plant and planted in soil.
- This is easy for anyone to do, even beginner gardeners
- You don’t need many supplies to air-layer your Swiss cheese plant
- Works well for plants that don’t grow easily from cuttings, Swiss cheese plants do grow easily from cuttings, so you don’t have to resort to air layering
Root division is when you cut the healthy root system of your Swiss cheese plant in half so that you can transplant half of the roots into healthy soil to grow a second plant from the original one.
To do this, you’ll have to unpot your plant so that you can access its roots. Once you’ve removed the Swiss cheese plant from its pot, use a sharp knife to cut its root into two sections. For this to be successful, you need to check that both sections have crowns. Then, you can plant the roots in new pots.
- If you have to repot your Swiss cheese plant because it’s getting too big for its current pot, this is the perfect time to divide the plant’s roots as you’ll have to repot the original plant anyway
- Cutting the root systems of the plant can be tricky if you’re a beginner
How to Prepare the Soil for Swiss Cheese Plants
When you’ve propagated your Swiss cheese plant and it’s started to grow roots, you can plant it in soil. Here’s how to prepare the soil you’ll be using for your plant.
- If you’re planting cuttings or the roots of a plant (because you chose the root division propagation method), you’ll want to plant them in nutrient-rich soil as Swiss cheese plants thrive in this medium. If you’re growing plants indoors, you should read our guide, Is It Possible to Use Compost For Indoor House Plants and Containers? This will ensure that you give your plant rich, healthy soil.
- Make sure the soil has a pH between 5.5 and 7.0.
- Let the soil’s top inch (2.54 cm) dry before you water it again.
- Put the plant in an area of the home or garden where it will get bright, indirect light. It doesn’t want light that’s too harsh as this can scorch its leaves.
- Fertilize your Swiss cheese plant about five months after you’ve planted it in soil. It wants a balanced liquid fertilizer. But make sure you dilute it by half so that you don’t give the plant too much as this can burn its foliage.
- This type of plant wants 50% humidity, so if you’re keeping it indoors and it’s not getting enough humidity, you should mist it every few days so that it gets the hydration it requires.
- If you’re growing your plant in a pot, for example, if you’ve propagated it from seeds, you should always make sure that it has drainage holes at the bottom. If the plant’s roots get too much water, this will stunt its growth and can cause root rot, a serious condition that’s usually fatal for plants.
The Most Successful Swiss Cheese Plant Propagation Technique
The most successful way to propagate your Swiss cheese plant is to take cuttings from the plant. This is easy to do and the benefit is that you can plant the cuttings directly into a soilless medium for it to get a good start on its growth.
By comparison, although you can make use of water propagation to grow Swiss cheese plants, there’s a risk of root rot with this method. By ensuring you take fresh cuttings from the plant, you will increase the effectiveness of your propagation.
Taking cuttings from the plant is beginner-friendly and easy to do. Once you plant them in a potting mix, you’ll be encouraging the plant’s roots to grow, which will also make it easier to transplant it at a later stage because the level of care will be the same.
Propagating a Swiss cheese plant is easy and there are different propagation methods you can try. These include
- Taking cuttings that are planted in soil or water
- Growing from seed
- Root division
- Air layering