Everything You Need To Know About Monstera Nodes

  • Time to read: 11 min.

Monstera deliciosa is a gorgeous plant with sturdy growth, broad leaves, and delicious fruits. However, the plant is expensive, and it may not flower or grow fruit as an indoor houseplant. Luckily, you can grow the plant indoors or outdoors and propagate it using Monstera nodes.  

Monstera nodes are the most significant part of the plant for a gardener. You can use Monstera nodes to propagate and have as many babies as you want. Also, you may never have to buy a Monstera again once you master the art of using its nodes.  

Monstera deliciosa is a hardy plant, and it can grow rapidly in the right conditions. Using Monstera nodes to propagate is the most affordable and practical way to grow the prized houseplant. This guide discusses everything you need to know about Monstera nodes. 

Photo 221622943 / Monstera Nodes © SappheirosPhoto | Dreamstime.com

What Are Monstera Nodes?

Monstera nodes are distinct parts of the plant’s shoot or stem that serve as the origin of the growth of leaves, branches, twigs, and aerial roots. A Monstera node is the hub of most cellular activities, and it is an integral structural component of the plant as it grows. 

All plants with stems have nodes

The nodes serve as the junction where new or subsequent growth begins, and the space between two Monstera nodes is an internode. The internode is essentially the part of the Monstera stem between two nodes. 

Visualize a Monstera stem as similar to a vertebral spine. The spinal column in vertebrates comprises a series of vertebrae or individual bones. Likewise, a Monstera stem contains several nodes. 

Thus, the Monstera nodes are crucial for physical structure & support.

However, Monstera nodes have a more significant function of carrying out the biological processes to grow leaves, aerial roots, branches or twigs, and develop the stem further. The nodes host all essential biochemical processes, much like how a seed serves as the origin. 

The Location of Monstera Nodes

Any part of a plant’s stem branching into twigs, leaves, and other shoots is a node. Usually, you will find several nodes on a Monstera deliciosa stem, depending on its age or maturity, height, and foliage. 

Even small Monstera cuttings can have several nodes within 1” (25 mm)

Photo 209045628 / Monstera Nodes © Dominique James | Dreamstime.com

Generally, you will find at least one Monstera node near its base above the soil. Subsequently, you will find other nodes as you move up. All Monstera nodes don’t necessarily branch out to new shoots, twigs, leaves, and aerial roots, but that doesn’t imply the stem has no or fewer nodes.

The evident locations of Monstera nodes are the intersections or junctions, of course. You will find specific parts on a mature or growing Monstera stem that have two or more protrusions forming new stems or branches, growing leaves, and aerial roots.

Monstera deliciosa is a native of tropical rainforests, growing around and under evergreen trees. 

Since evergreen trees have large canopies, the dense foliage above prevents the smaller plants like Monstera deliciosa from receiving sufficient sunlight. Thus, Monstera grows vertically by taking the support of taller and bigger trees, similar to how a climbing plant or vine grows. 

Monstera nodes are the origin of the aerial roots that can cling to a structure or adjacent plant to support its vertical growth. If you see signs of aerial roots protruding from somewhere on a Monstera stem, that is undoubtedly the location of one of the nodes. 

The Appearance of Monstera Nodes

Monstera nodes don’t have a stagnant appearance as the shape, size, color, and other characteristic features change with age and vary among the species. The definitive sign or appearance of Monstera nodes is some sprouting or visual distinction from the rest of the stem. 

You may find a slight protrusion or bulge at a particular part of a Monstera stem. 

If a node is already budding, you will see tiny petioles or stalks, a small new shoot, or a mini aerial root. Some Monstera nodes may develop a ring-like appearance that may turn brownish.

Monstera nodes are not a geometric point on a stem. While an aerial root may originate at a particular place, the underlying node is actually much bigger. Thus, the general practice is to consider at least 1” (25 mm) above and below a sprouting root as a complete node. 

Monstera nodes usually have a brown shade on mature plants, green hues on younger vines, or other colors for variegated species, such as albo borsignia. You may not feel any structural or textural differences in a node unless it sprouts. 

Use the appearance and location to detect & cut.

How To Propagate Monstera Nodes

The most effective way to propagate Monstera is by using cuttings that include at least two complete nodes. Propagate Monstera leaves or stem cuttings will not lead to glorious houseplants if they don’t have nodes with multiple growth points. 

One node may develop several aerial roots or a network, but a bud will only lead to one leaf. 

Thus, you will have a Monstera leaf, not a plant that continues to grow. The following stepwise guide elaborates on every aspect of how you should propagate Monstera nodes. 

How To Cut Monstera Nodes

Here are 3 things to remember while cutting Monstera nodes:

  1. Always retain at least 1” (25 mm) stem below the node based on the cut.
  2. Ensure a clean cut. Do not compress, suppress, squeeze, or tear the stem. 
  3. Include as much shoot as you can, be it leaves, aerial roots, or stem parts. 

Retaining 1” (25 mm) or more is easy if you have a mature Monstera that has grown sufficiently tall. Exercise care when you cut Monstera nodes from a younger plant. However, a mature plant poses a greater challenge when you wield a blade that is not very sharp. 

Check the Monstera node cutting at ~3:25s in this video to see the precise point:

You may find thicker stems somewhat difficult to cut unless you have a sharp knife or shears. Or, you may use a thin razor blade if you are comfortable with it. A slender and sharper blade is better to conveniently slice through a Monstera stem, even the thicker shoots. 

Weak shears or blunt knives may cause some degree of suppression or squeeze. 

You don’t want to damage the Monstera nodes or the rest of the stem of the mother plant. Also, do not root or plant a Monstera node immediately after cutting. Let the severed part callus for a while.

The Ideal Time for Monstera Cuttings

A good time to cut Monstera nodes is when you see some aerial root sprouting from the stem. This stem portion should have at least another node if it does not have a reasonably long stem with several leaves, petioles, or twigs. 

The ideal time to cut Monstera nodes is when you see some aerial root and the part of the stem has a few buds. The new leaves will provide nourishment to the Monstera cuttings when you put them in a water container to develop their roots and later when you plant them in soil or pots. 

Scenarios When You Should Not Cut Monstera Nodes

Many plants have distinct growing and dormancy periods, depending on seasons, immediate surroundings, and other conditional factors. However, Monstera deliciosa does not have a dormancy phase. 

Non-bulbing aroid plants don’t go dormant at any time of the year. 

Yet, you may encounter phases when a Monstera would not grow optimally. Monsteras that are grown as houseplants generally don’t grow as fast or as expected in the winter months. Also, a lack of adequate light, heat, humidity, and nourishment may impair growth and development.

Any growth impairment will not stay restricted to the leaves, stems, and aerial roots. 

The effects will percolate to the Monstera nodes, too. Ideally, you should not cut Monstera nodes when the growing conditions are not identical or close to what the plant needs.

You may encounter these growth-related scenarios if you live in a temperate zone. Even if you see an aerial root protruding from a Monstera node, avoid cutting it in the fall and winter unless you have a setup with grow lights, humidifiers, and misters, or a greenhouse.

The other scenario when you should not cut Monstera nodes is if the plant is infected. 

Monstera is a tough houseplant but not immune to insects, pests, or bugs, and rotting. Don’t propagate a rotting Monstera node, and if a leaf is rotten to an extent, remove it and then use the cut node. 

How To Root Monstera Node Cuttings

Many gardeners have unique approaches to deal with cuttings, to root, or to plant. You may have distinct preferences, too. So, let’s discuss all relevant options to root Monstera node cuttings. 

You may choose among 3 mediums: 

  • Water 
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Soil 

Some people may pot Monstera node cuttings directly into a pot with appropriate soil. However, you must ensure that the new roots actually grow and develop before you can move the cuttings to its semi-permanent home. 

Thus, you should choose a temporary propagating medium. 

You can use a transparent container to place the Monstera cuttings and fill it up with sufficient water to submerge the node with roots completely. The transparent container could be glass or plastic, as long as you can see through to observe the roots sprouting and growing over a week.

The other option is to use sphagnum moss. Some people also refer to it as peat moss, but sphagnum is not identical. Use a container of appropriate size, depending on the size of your Monstera node cuttings. 

Fill it up with moist sphagnum moss, and place your cuttings inside. 

Both water and sphagnum moss are temporary growing mediums. You can plant the Monstera node cuttings in a pot or at your outdoor garden when there are sufficient and strong roots to firmly uphold the stems, leaves, and subsequent growth. 

Watch this video to propagate Monstera node cuttings using water and sphagnum moss:

How To Plant Growing Monstera Nodes

The temporary medium to grow roots from Monstera nodes is a relatively simple step. Mostly, you have to wait for the roots to sprout, develop, and form a network, which could take up to two weeks. Planting and growing Monstera node cuttings thereafter is a slightly complex process. 

Here are 3 things to remember while planting or potting Monstera node cuttings:

  1. Monstera deliciosa requires nutrient-rich soil, especially if the cuttings lack leaves. 
  2. The soil must be well aerated for efficient drainage but not dry. 
  3. Adapt your potting strategy based on the subspecies or variegation. 

Get an Appropriate Pot

Choose a pot that can conveniently house the Monstera node cuttings with well-sprouted roots. Account for the space the houseplant cutting needs to grow for at least a few months. Frequent repotting is not recommended as houseplants are not always invulnerable to such shocks. 

Choose the Right Soil

You may use cocopeat, compost, and regular potting soil in equal proportions. If your Monstera cuttings need some support, place a stick or moss pole firmly into the soil, but exercise caution not to damage the young roots underneath. Also, you may consider perlite to improve drainage.

Facilitate Sufficient Light

Place the pot at a bright spot in your house, which could be next to a window or outdoors where the plant can receive sufficient indirect sunlight. Excessive or direct sunlight is not necessary. 

Lack of sufficient indirect light or its intensity and exposure duration every day will impair growth. 

Since Monstera plants can survive under the shade of enormous evergreen canopies, you don’t have to keep one out in the sun for entire days. Four to six hours of indirect sunlight and similar exposure to artificial lights will suffice. 

Otherwise, you need to use grow lights for 10 to 12 hours.

Prevent Temperature Extremes

Monstera deliciosa thrives in the tropical climate. Thus, the plant is naturally uncomfortable in cold settings. Try to regulate the temperatures between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C) for optimum growth. Both light and temperature are critical elements for propagating Monstera. 

Ensure Adequate Humidity

Monstera is sensitive to humidity, but not to the extent as it is to light and temperature. Your Monstera node cuttings will propagate well if you can attain anywhere from 40% up to 80% humidity. You may use a humidifier or mister if the air is extremely dry. 

Cover the propagating Monstera cuttings with a plastic wrap if you use mist for humidity. Wrap the entire pot tightly, and it will retain the moisture inside for the plant to thrive, but don’t overwater to compensate for humidity. 

Here’s a timelapse video of variegated Monstera nodes propagation:

3 Tips for Proper Monstera Node Propagation

Like all houseplants, Monstera node propagation may run into a few hurdles. You can rely on the process of elimination to detect the causal problem. Discoloration of Monstera leaves, a few not opening, stems tilting due to lack of support, and other visible issues are common. 

Prepare a checklist to verify if the growing condition is alright and whether or not the plant has a disease.  

1. Prevent Rotting and Infections

Remove rotting leaves, twigs, or stalks as soon as you notice them, including aerial roots, as they have a tendency to rot as well. Detect signs of infection as early as possible. Monstera plants have broad leaves so cleaning the dust off the blades routinely is a necessity. 

Protect the houseplant from typical infections. 

Monstera leaves attract grasshoppers and are particularly vulnerable to spider mites, scale insects, and fungal leaf spots. Some infections can spread rapidly and damage the Monstera nodes. You won’t be able to use an infected Monstera node for propagation. 

Use a clean cloth to wipe the dust off the leaves and keep the houseplant away from other species that may be infected, and use a sterilized blade while cutting Monstera nodes. Also, remedy any infections or infestations early with neem oil, rubbing alcohol, or other organic solutions. 

2. Regulate the Environment When Propagating 

Monstera nodes, the baby roots, and the growing shoots are not as sturdy as the mature plant. 

A grown, nourished, strong, and well-pruned Monstera can endure fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and light to an extent. However, the propagated Monstera nodes are sensitive.

Regulate the propagating and subsequent growing environment by maintaining the temperature, humidity, and light. You may use grow lights if you cannot facilitate 4 to 6 hours in indirect but bright sunlight. 

Also, isolate the Monstera nodes throughout the propagation phase. 

3. Prepare for Rooting or Replanting Shock

Monstera deliciosa nodes and propagated babies may experience rooting or replanting shock. Don’t worry if the growth is limited or not per your expectations for a few days. Also, Monstera deliciosa cuttings don’t grow identically, as some may propagate faster than others. 

Final Thoughts

Monstera nodes host intense biochemical activity. They are one of the easiest to propagate among all popular houseplants. 

Yet, you may have some trouble with a Monstera node cutting, especially if it is bought from a nursery or online store. Using Monstera node cuttings from your houseplant or one that you have seen growing is a more surefire option. 

Verify the quality and species when buying Monstera node cuttings online or from a nursery. Clean the pieces before propagating, rooting, and potting, and check for diseases, rotting, and other problems. Ensure proper propagating conditions as discussed in this guide.  

Sources

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