Rooting Monstera Cuttings indoors during winter in Northern Europe.
While I like rooting my monstera cuttings in a tropical tent, not everyone will have space in their home for a tent. Here follows a downscaled method that should be suitable to all homes and budgets.
3 key things are needed for success:
- Bright lighting
- A clear plastic bag larger than the cutting to be rooted;
- A heat mat 50cm x 25cm was used for this tutorial. The average price being around £18Gbp( €20 Euros , $25 American dollars)
- A piece of cardboard of the same size as the heat mat.
- A wide and deep glass jar
- A small light( LED is recommended).
- A thermometer;
- A window ledge (preferably North facing to avoid direct sunlight) with mains power available in the vicinity to connect the light and the heat mat.
Putting it all together
Place the cutting the thermometer into the jar and fill with water so that only the bottom half of the cutting is submerged. You might need to trim the aerial root(s) for the cutting to fit in the jar.
Cover the cutting with the plastic bag so that the plastic also covers the glass jar. Next, tie the string firmly around the jar, making a small depression all around the rim so that perspiration will drip back into the jar rather than escape around where the string is tied.
Place the heat mat where it will be located, placing the piece of cardboard beneath it to avoid it getting glued to the surface it rests on
Plug both light and heat mat to the mains and place the jar with the Monstera cutting on the heat mat, somewhere near the middle.
Position the LED light so that there’s a 15 to 20cm distance from light to leaf. A card board box was used here to elevate the light. In a sophisticated setting, you’ll have to improvise.
Last but not least, cut corners of the plastic bag, 1cm will do, for a bit of air flow.
Root growth signs should appear within the first 2 weeks. After 12 weeks plenty of roots should have formed and the moment to make the switch to soil ready. However, be in ni rush to do this. your cutting is safe in water. It’s best to wait till the beggining of March to do the switch.
To be continued!
Monitor for the first 24 hours. It’s unlikely that the temperature will rise above 30C, but if it does, then you might need to use a timer to turn the heat mat on and off occasionally to bring it down to the right range (or get a thermostat).
If you place the cutting by a south/west facing window, be careful that the cutting does not cook should direct sunlight dramatically elevated the temperature within.
An inexpensive timer is used here to turn off the light from 11pm to 6am.
My heat mat is left on 24/7.
If rooting the cutting during the growing season(spring and summer), just the jar by the window will work, although it might take longer than when artificial light and heat is used.
This post will be updated regularly. Links to rooting pictorials will be added. PLease take regular pictures of your rooting and growing process if you’d like it to feature here. Some root their cutting in moss; others directly in soil.
Water , although not the most straight forward method, allows you to see what’s going on without having to pull up the cutting regularly to see if it is rooting.
The switch to soil
So, after over 3 winter months rooting in water on the heat mat, our cutting has developed a good mass of roots. See pictures.
Now (March) it’s the time to gradually introduce it to soil.
I worked out that the best approach would be surrounding the water roots with sphagnum moss and sitting the cutting into a transparent pot half filled with moist soil –A transparent pot makes it easier to monitor what the roots are doing
This way, the roots works gradually mice through the moss and then down into the soil.
The amount of light and the temperature of the soil are the most important things to remember when growing this plant. Keep the soil at around 25c. So after moving it, we place back onto the heat mat so that there’d no change in the temperature range the cutting is already used to.
The roots should eventually move down into the soil. Keep the moss moist.
Once the roots have moved down into the soil, it will be safe to cover the moss.
Maybe the moss could be covered right at the start but i haven’t tried this approach.
Pictures show the switch in action.