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Water rooting monstera not working

Celia Lin
6 years ago

I had a monstera that was doing very poorly and getting quite leggy. I replanted one part with a good root, and that one is doing fine.

I wanted to try to see if a part of the stem would water root, but it’s not doing well. The leaves are turning yellow and dying, from the lower leaves up.

I cut the stalk right below a node, but I see no root growth.

It’s been in the water for about 2 months.

Is it possible to water root it from the stalk? Any suggestions to improve outcomes? Should I just keep waiting?

Comments (12)

  • Photo Synthesis
    6 years ago

    These monsters root so easily that there's absolutely no need to root them in water. Just plant them and they will take care of the rest.

  • Celia Lin
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Thanks Photo Synthesis!

    I did that for a few weeks prior to water rooting, had the roots in soil that is.

    It was definitely dying in the soil so I took them out. The leaves were dropping immensely, shriveling and turning brown and yellow. After I put it in the water it bounced back a little.

    Any hope for this plant? Is it just a waiting game?

  • Photo Synthesis
    6 years ago

    It wasn't dying in the soil, it's just that their large leaves require lots of water. Plant it up in a pot and keep it well watered. It'll send out new growth from the leaf nodes, even if all of the leaves fall off. However, if it does lose all of its leaves, it won't require as much water. But don't let the soil dry out either. These plants are monsters, that's how they earned their name. It'll start growing again.

    Celia Lin thanked Photo Synthesis
  • tropicbreezent
    6 years ago

    That's correct, once you cut the stem there was nothing the plant could do to support those leaves so it had to drop them.

    Celia Lin thanked tropicbreezent
  • Jean
    6 years ago

    On the next cutting, reduce the existing leaves y cutting off the tipmost half. And increase the humidity by creating a mini-greenhouse. I used to use an old large aquarium set on its side, with the open top (now a vertical side) "closed" with a piece of poly sheeting. Easy to vent when needed, and/or work with the cutting.


    In bright light but never direct sunlight.

    Celia Lin thanked Jean
  • brwndot
    6 years ago

    In a similar situation right now, Celia. Was gifted a monstera cutting in Hawaii and transported it back to cold, snowy Ohio. It made the trip but I've been propagating it in water with fears about rot. May stick it in soil thanks to the above comments. Will also try to increase humidity and mimic that tropical climate.

    Celia Lin thanked brwndot
  • Photo Synthesis
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You don't have to worry about humidity. Mine does just fine during the winter months despite my gas heating essentially stripping the moisture out of the air. Even though these plants originate from tropical rainforests, they are remarkably tolerant of low humidity levels. Of course they love the humidity, but they won't fuss over there not being any. Just pot it up in a fast-draining soil mix and keep it well watered. No need for trying to propagate it in water.

    For my Monstera, I prefer using 50% Miracle Gro orchid bark, and 50% Miracle Gro Cacti & Succulent soil. In their natural habitat, these plants grow up the sides of trees and get rained on all of the time. This is why I use orchid bark, it opens up the soil mix and let's the roots breathe, no matter how much I water it.

    ^^^ See what I mean? This plant grows roots like there's no tomorrow. When I repotted mine, its roots were so intertwined that there was no hope of untangling them. So I just chopped off about 3/4's, or roughly 75%, and repotted it using the 50/50 soil mix that I mentioned earlier. It didn't phase my Monstera one bit, as it just kept growing and filled up the entire pot all over again. Once it's completely filled in the whole pot, I've noticed that it will cease growing any more roots in the soil and will continue growing aerial roots as the plant gets taller.

    Celia Lin thanked Photo Synthesis
  • brwndot
    6 years ago

    Super helpful - thanks, PS. Will pot up this weekend and keep moist.

  • brwndot
    6 years ago

    @Celia - I took PS's advice and put my cutting in soil. It's only been a week or so and there's already a little nubbin. It's well on its way and I'm much less worried about rot. Hope you'll give it a try.

    Celia Lin thanked brwndot
  • Celia Lin
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Hi Guys! Thanks for the tips and assurance, and your wonderful monstera stories.

    Literally 2 days after I posted, the monstera in the water sprouted roots! AND the one in the soil (already had roots) put out a new leaf. Both in the same day.

    Ask and you shall receive :)

    I will plant the water rooted one when I get a chance, hopefully soon.

    The one in the water is not very shapely. Any advice on improving its gangly-ness? Once it looses the lowest leaf it will be less spread out, perhaps that will help.

    Might just be a waiting game as new leaves come in.

  • Haley Darnell
    2 years ago

    Hello everyone! I seriously need some of you to advise me on monstera care. There’s so much on the internet, it’s overwhelming! I recently inherited two monsteras from my neighbor who passed away. I could not transport the pots to my house because they were massive, so I cut below the biggest nodes on each plant and brought them to my house to water root. After about a month, they are not rooting and actually seem to be drying up and dying. Help please! I’m so scared I am going to kill them.