brdpeng

Variegated Monstera Albo Variegata cutting help

Bernard Peng
2 years ago

Looking to this massive knowledge of this forum for some help.

I recently purchased this mostly white Variegated Monstera cutting which I've only had for a week. When it arrived barerooted, the leaves were a little beat up but the stem looked healthy & the roots looked good. I promptly planted in Al's 5-1-1 mix of bark, moss, & perlite.

In the week I've had it, it's sat in a West facing window. I've watered it twice, tilting the pot & using a wick to draw out any remaining PWT. The brown edges have continued to expand. The brown spots feel soft and not dry crunchy. I am at a little loss as to how to stop the brown edges from spreading...

1. Do you guys think this is mechanical damage, overwatering, or light issue

2. If/When the brown takes over the leaf, is the plant totally lost or will I still be able to get some new growth out of the remaining stem which has 2 nodes (pic 3).


Any help would be greatly appreciated! See below for pictures...


This is what the plant looked like once I replanted


This is what the plant looked like a week later (i've trimmed off some of the brown to see if it would stop, it has not...)


Here is a picture of the stem. The seller I believe cut off one of the petioles





Comments (122)

  • wayne low



    The end of my monstera stem keep turn soft and dark when i put in water, so sad, its dying.


  • petrushka

    cut off the dark part: the cut should be white. add 3% peroxide to water (about 1tb per 1 quart) to keep it free from bacteria. add a few drops of peroxide to water ev week.

    even if the tip goes dark it can still root after a while (it will happen in soil too, but you won't see it, so it won't make you sad ;)).

    darkening of the tip happens when I root many plants, I just cut off to clean part ev week and keep waiting for roots. they show up eventually. But it helps to have several root nodes to play with: at least 2 extra in case you need to trim too much. unfortunately yours is too short already: and your last node is rotting. not too good.

    it is much faster to get roots from a plant in the pot by wrapping moist sphag in plastic around the growing tip : 10 days and you get good roots. when you cut off the tip you can still wrap the moist sphag around where the last node is: that's where the roots will grow fastest. sometimes on a very fat stem I leave the cut open to the air to dry it up and dust it with cinnamon and push the sphag ball above it. it also helps to soak the large leaves periodically in water too while you wait for roots: the plant will take water thru pores on the underside of leaves.

  • petrushka

    if you do not have long fiber sphagnum moss you can wrap the bottom part in moist paper napkin and tent the whole thing in plastic to avoid moisture loss from leaves. just lay it down some place with good indirect light and check on it. the procedure is similar to sprouting seeds in moist paper napkin in a zip-lock.

    and it's better to soak paper in water with some peroxide as paper tends to mildew after a few days, so you'll need to change it.

  • wayne low

    No choice but to remove the node, i dont have a peroxide, 😢

  • Photo Synthesis

    Monsteras root so easily, you can just plant them and keep the soil from drying out. No need to go thru any extra steps. Seeing as how easily your cuttings soaked up the water they needed to plump back up, I don't think you'll encounter any problems from just planting them. I wouldn't cut away the nodes.

  • Photo Synthesis

    Ah, I just saw your previous post. I would cut away any soft parts and perhaps dust the fresh cuts with some ground cinnamon. This helps the cuts to dry out and seal properly after a few days to a week. The ground cinnamon has antibiotic and antifungal prproperties. Even if you don't use cinnamon, just let the fresh cuts dry out and seal properly on their own. After a few days or a week, just pot it up using a mix like the one I suggested. Monsteras are call "monsters" for good reason. Out of any plants, these are some of the easiest to root. No need for all of these complicated steps. Your cuttings were fine just the way they were when you received them, because the cuts they had then were already sealed over when you got them. But now that you cut them again, they have to start from scratch.

    Back when I had to repot mine, it had so many tangled roots, that I essentially just hacked away almost all of them and went about repotting it just like that. My Monstera responded by sending out even more roots without skipping a beat. These plants don't need special treatment, and they don't need to be coaxed into rooting either. They'll root perfectly fine without our intervention. No need to make it complicated.




  • wayne low



    The last node is rot, have to remove them. Sadly, now have to wait it dry again. And repot it. Wonder if monstera still will root this way. 😭. Hope it wont die

  • HU-680613652

    Hey, guys, I've just got this cutting yesterday and it was cut from motherplant three days ago. Since then, it has been in water. Should I keep it in water and wait for white roots to show, or should I plant it in soil? If so, what should the soil mix be and what ratio? I will get orchid soil, and I have potting soil and ceramsite. Also, should I be worried about the dark brown end of the cutting as seen in picture?





  • petrushka

    the brown end is ok: that's how it heals. it's just flat brown on the end without going up the side. it is also firm. the aerial roots still look good to me.

    since you have ceramsite (used for hydroculture) that will be the fastest to initiate more roots. you can just put it in pure ceramsite , but make sure it stays moist and both nodes with roots are under the surface. also tent the whole thing: then you won't have to top up and it'll be ok by itself for a week at least. if you do not add peroxide to water, you'll need to change it ev 5 days to keep it fresh. so you'll be doing hydro maintain 1-2" of water on the bottom at all times, moistening the medium from the top from time to time.

    or you can just wrap the bottom in long fiber moist sphag , the whole thing tented. that will be just as fast as hydro.

    I always prefer sterile medium for initial rooting (the mix will never remain sterile for long even when it is sterile at the start).

    if you put it in transparent plastic pot you'll see the roots. once you get roots about 2" you can transfer to the mix . depending on your light levels and temperatures/humidity you can use different formulas. if you are tropical and warm and humid you'll need the lightest mix.

    if you're indoors only or cooler, then it can be more moisture retentive.

    once the plant takes off it'll become big and top heavy (needs staking) and will take lots of water. so you'll need a big heavy pot and/or use 5:1:1 (see container forum) , especially if you plan to put it outdoors. so it all depends.

    for the young cutting general AV/cactus/palm mix cut 50% with large perlite/hydroton/coco chips will be perfectly fine.

  • HU-680613652

    Thnk you for your answer! It's the first time I'm hearing of rooting plants in ceramsite though. I am not sure how to do that and didn't find any help online. How is it done? It's the bigger diameter ceramsite, so I usually just mix it into soil for better drainage when repotting other plants.


    I tented the cutting and doing the hydro, since I don't have sphag. Should both of aerial roots be covered by water? If so, why not just one of them?

    You said you prefer sterile media, is that water, sphag or ceramsite?

  • petrushka

    m-m what's the diameter of yr ceramsite then? look up use of hydroton/leca/scoria(red lava rock) for hydroculture, it should be similar, as ceramsite is porous and wicks.

    the water is poured on top to moisten the medium and for a 12oz tumbler you need maybe 1-2" of water to collect on the bottom(no holes on the bottom, if you have holes, then you can put it into 1 2nd no-holes container). the water level does not come up to the top: to assure that as I said above you need to punch a hole in the hole-less container 1-2" above the bottom(similar to oyama pot). thus you create a very porous damp medium that roots love with lots of oxygen. it's sterile and excellent for fast rooting. these roots will not die when xferred to medium (done many times and watched them grow thru the transparent container). it's too much to go into detail here: you'll need to do some searching and reading on hydroculture.

    I have not used ceramite, but from a few searches it comes up that it is used for hydroculture, so definitely you can use it this way. hydroton is about 1/4, scoria can be bigger to 1/2 inch but still works.

    this is an example of how it is used, more detail. these are just some sites that come up from search, you can find many more. there is hydro forum on this site too. it's not complicated and it can be used to grow plants too, but best for smaller plants obviously, since the water container can be rather large for large plants, and medium is expensive..

    quote from Hossian (it is recommended to rinse it free of dust prior to use):

    structure similar to honeycomb, light texture, can float in the water in the water, is a very good substrate for soilless culture. The ceramsite has many micropores from the surface and inside, with a certain mechanical strength, water absorption, breathability, and strong fertility. Small particles piled together to form many cavities, breathable water, not compacted. When there is no dust in the dry state, it will not disintegrate after soaking and no mud will be produced.

  • petrushka

    >>You said you prefer sterile media, is that water, sphag or ceramsite?

    boiling water makes it sterile, adding peroxide is close to sterile: it kills bacteria.

    sphag is not sterile, but had anti-bacterial properties.

    ceramsite/hydroton/scoria can be sterilized by pouring a generous amt of boiling water thru it.

    soil mix can be sterilized by moistening and microwaving it for 3 min.

  • HU-680613652

    Wow, thank you for the information, this is very helpful! I am a novice in plant world, and even bigger one in propagation, but I am trying gain knowlage. :) thank you again.

    I have one more question, about the two aerial roots. Should they both be under water? Why not only one of them? :)

  • nilreyes

    HELP!!!! I don’t know what’s happening. Is this beyond help?


  • wayne low

    Seem like overwater it, my green monstera happened once, when i water too frequent. 😭

  • woodnative

    nilreyes what does the rest of the plant look like (stem, petiole, roots). Where and how are you growing it? How long have you had it? What did that leaf look like before? Hard to say without a LOT more information.....

  • nilreyes

    That’s the entire plant...only one leave. I had it for a year. I water it once a week I haven’t check the root system be a I’m afraid to pull it apar

  • nilreyes

    Here’s what it looked like when I got it a year ago...


  • petrushka

    @HU-680613652

    >>I have one more question, about the two aerial roots. Should they both be under water? Why not only one of them? :)

    it depends on what you plant in and how fast you want aerial roots to grow.

    but it's better to tent always for aerials to have high humidity:

    1. if you keep it in water and tented, it's ok for the 2nd aerial to be above water: it will extend towards it if humidity is sufficient.

    2. if you put in hydro media it needs to be below surface of media, but can be above it too. only the bottom 1-2" will have water, so it won't be in water , but it will be in media.

    3. if you wrap in moist sphag/towel both roots should be covered for highest humidity.

  • HU-680613652

    Thank you so much! I put both earial roots under water and hope for the best. :) i will change water every 5 days as you told. Me. :)

  • woodnative

    nilreyes..........it never put out any new growth?? In a year's time? Something is way wrong. I assume both those two original leaves are (were?) attached to a piece of stem. New growth should have emerged from that stem and continued growing. Maybe the original stem rotted away......and later the leaf(?). Do you have a closeup photo of the base of that leaf now? Is it still attached to anything??

  • nilreyes

    I’m afraid it’s may be beyond help. I can pull the plant apa to see the root but you might be right, it might be rotted

  • nilreyes

    Here’s the plant three days later. It’s getting worse


  • Cléia Bernard Marino

    Hi guys! I recently got a Albo node and had it in water for two weeks. The bottom got brown and soggy so I cut it off and let it callous. now I have it sitting on top of a mix of perlite and orchid bark, with a clear plastic bag over the pot to lock

    ij humidity. Do you think it’ll root like that? should I just go ahead and plant it? I don’t know what to do. Photo is prior to removing it from water

  • petrushka

    the cut always gets brown, but if the brown is not moving up the stem it's ok. you can touch it to see if it's soft. if it's hard no need to cut. the liquid the stem produces to heal turns brown with time. when rooting in medium it's better to let 1-2 leaf nodes to be covered , so they are continuously moist. if you prefer to keep it on the surface, it helps to pile up some moist long-fiber sphag around the stem. in my experience just locking it up in plastic clam shell or zip-bag with moist sphag (while it's getting good indirect light) is the fastest way to root without rot.

    2 weeks is not enough when you just have a stem: it takes 4 weeks without leaves, may be even more. and then it'll grow very small leaves and grow ultra slow the first 6 mo. you need to be patient.

  • Cléia Bernard Marino

    Thank you!

    does this look preferable? I have a zip lock bag over the pot


  • petrushka

    yep, that's good. you can cover the whole stem: some light will get thru the sphag. and it might develop 2 eyes from nodes.

  • Cléia Bernard Marino

    Thank you! How often should I air it out (remove it from the ziplock )?

  • petrushka

    don't need to air it out until the leaves appear. don't need to do anything , just check from time time to make sure the sphag is slightly moist. usually it remains moist for weeks, so very easy, no need to open the bag at all, unless something is goin wrong (rot or mildew).

  • HU-552492656

    Hello plant gurus. 2 days ago I got given this cutting. I’ve placed it in water and left it next to an East facing window. It has now developed some brown spots on the leaf. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?






  • HU-680613652

    I think the main problem is that it hqs so much white. It looks beautiful, but only the grean parts fotosintesize. In your case the little grean parts have to supply the whole leafs with energy and that is too hard, so it might be that the white parts are not being supplied enough. That is my guess.

  • HU-552492656

    Poor little green leaf. I’ve got a grow light. Do you think that will help?

  • HU-558649802

    I was just in the process of buying a monstera albo node about 3" long with no leaf and a very tiny arial root. The seller said just lay it on top of moist spagnum moss in a cup with a lid with holes in the lid. And it should sprout a leaf in about three weeks. It isn't cheap for this one node cutting. Do you think this will work? Prices are through the roof for these plants. Please let me know what you all think. After reading the comments with the problems about cuttings I am very hesitant. Lots of people are buying these, the seller sells them quickly. Any thoughts? please?

  • woodnative

    HU-552492656 yes too much white........cut all the white parts off. It may be too white to survive. HU-558649802 if you are familiar with growing plants, and the cut has a nice mix of green and white, go for it. If not, I would wait and get a rooted plant (best), top cut with a leaf or three, or at least a node with a good leaf. It depends on the cutting itself, your growing skills, and how patient you are.

  • Madison Schmidt

    Hello! I am sure this might be a tired question/subject but I am new to plants and don’t want to mess up too badly!


    I just purchased this monstera albo cutting and this is how she came. I’ve been reading all of these replies about leaves that are too white hindering the cutting’s growth, etc. And I’m just wondering if I should be removing some of the leaves on this? And I guess I’m also just wondering if it looks okay in general because like I said, I am new to plants and could have easily gotten scammed lol


    any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!!





  • woodnative

    Madison. Great plant it should grow well for you! Nice balance of green and white!

  • Madison Schmidt

    Awesome, thank you - that is a relief to hear! I thought it looked pretty balanced but couldn’t tell if I was just being hopeful! Do you think it’s fine to leave all 4 current leaves in tact or would it maybe benefit from cutting some? The internet is so helpful but all of the information can also be super overwhelming... haha

  • woodnative

    No reason to cut anything there..........leave it alone...........maybe repot in Spring...........

  • Madison Schmidt

    Okay great! Thank you so much for your help and your time!

  • 0ryx


    Hi guys,

    Have been struggling to find some advice for my albo. Bought 4 months ago with few roots, I rooted really well in water, added a little soil to water to 'acclimatise' and then potted in bark, peat and perlite. This brown spot appeared shortly after and keeps growing.

    Have checked the roots already and they seem fine. Any ideas?

  • woodnative

    Don’t you don’t say where you are growing this. I get these spots fairly commonly, on white or whiter parts, in winter when conditions are less than ideal ( inside my dry heated NJ home in a north window). Just cut the brown off.

  • petrushka

    are these juvenile monstera leaves in the foreground in the last pic? or is this a different plant, a philo? beautiful variegation!

  • nilreyes

    Petrushka- it’s looks like all one plant. I don’t think it’s a pothos.

  • woodnative

    Yup, a couple different pots of Monstera. Some more juvenile than others.

  • petrushka

    these are the most healthy monsteras I've seen indoors!

  • 0ryx

    I'm keeping it a few metres from an east-facing window. My house is pretty humid. It's sitting next to a big Monstera that's perfectly happy.

    I was just worried that the brown patch keeps growing and also has a touch of yellow outlining it, which I've seen on fungal infections. 😬

  • HU-680613652



    Hi, I have a question again. :D I have been keeping my cutting in water for it to root a little more. The areal roots grew quite much, but what are those little things pointed by arrows? Are they new roots comming out? They look a bit weird to me, but it's my first propagation. :)

  • 0ryx

    Those are the actual roots that will give your plant water and nutrients, the other roots are just used for climbing. So wait until the new roots are a couple of inches long before you plant.

  • HU-680613652

    Okey, super, thanks a lot :)

  • HU-426581214

    Hey experts! Any chance these guys will make it? Had a severe case of rot and had to cut a lot. I was stupid and tried to start the arial roots in soil leading to the rot. I’ve had em in an open container with sphagnum moss. I feel like the roots are shot....any tips?


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