If you’re new to propagating monstera albos, you’re likely to run into node rot and root rot. These plants are incredibly notorious for rotting but there are precautions you can take to ensure a successful propagation of your monstera albo.
Propagation Steps to Prevent Node Rot on Monstera Albos
In this blog we will walk through various methods of propagations and what should be done at each step in order to reduce risk of node and root rot.
Sanitizing Cutting Tool (Pre-cut)
Whether you are using a knife, a pair of scissors, some shears or whatever cutting tool of your preference, the first thing you’ll want to do is sanitize them. There are many reasons why you’ll want to do this, one being it’ll prevent any diseases/bacteria that might be living on the blade to infect and kill your plant.
There are a few methods in which I’ll sanitize my blade. The easiest is washing it with hot water and soap. I will usually use a paper towel to lather the soap on the cutting tool. This helps remove any build up and kills any bacteria. I’ll always wipe the blade dry quickly so that this doesn’t allow for rust to grow. Just in case the cutting tool is prone to rust. I personally prefer stainless steal, but sometimes we just don’t know what metal is being used, or even the screws for that matter.
Another method is to use rubbing alcohol. I prefer to use the highest level that I can get, put it on a cotton pad and wipe my cutting tool before and after every use.
My last method, which is my favorite method, is to sanitize my cutting tools with a blow torch. This helps to ensure anything on my blade is dead and at the same time allow my blade to cauterize the plant so it can begin healing itself. BTW don’t burn the cutting’s ends. The plant is already experiencing enough trauma being cut, it doesn’t need to undergo burns.
Once you’ve sanitized the cutting tool, you’re ready to cut!
How to Prevent Node Rot After Cutting the Plant
You’ll want to make sure the cut is within the internodes and not on the node. You can identify the node by where the petiole, or leaf, connects to the main stem. This will ensure the auxiliary bud, which is where the new plant will grow from, is viable.
Putting cutting directly into water is fine with non-variegated plants, but in my experience, there is usually a 20% likelihood of node rot when you do this. Therefore, it’s important to let the cuttings callous over. Allow this to happen someplace dry, cool and out of sunlight. The last thing you want to do is let the plant dry out and have it struggle to put out new roots and new leaves.
There are other methods where people use wax and other types of solutions to close off the wound. I don’t believe this is necessary and can in fact be harmful if bacteria is sealed inside. So if you are looking to try this method, or if you’d like to take extra precautions with the cutting, you can wash them in a 50/50 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide.
Best Propagation Methods Preventing Node & Root Rot
With there being more and more information on new strategies on propagation, I will share with you trusted and true methods along with more innovative methods that use new materials in the hobby.
- Water Propagation with Air Stone
I wouldn’t recommend just water for propagating variegated plants, because there still a chance of node rot and even algae growing over your roots and suffocating your cutting. Although, the latter is usually because someone might be too lazy to change the water weekly, but it can happen. The best approach to water propagation is to keep air circulating the roots. So this helps prevent stagnant water, infuse oxygen and movement into the water and helps prevent rotting.
2. LECA Propagation
Since LECA will inherently have space between the clay balls, it helps aerate the roots without causing node rot. However, when using this method, it’ll be important to use bottled water or filtered water. Using fertilizers is something I don’t recommend until you have solid roots.
3. Pon Propagation
This stuff sells out pretty fast. If you don’t know anything about them, you can buy some here. It’s a great alternative to LECA and it has fertilizer, so there’s no need to balance the PH and there’s less dependency on liquid nutrients as it matures.
4. Sphagnum Moss Propagation
This stuff is great, but make sure the moss stays moist and it is never wet. The best way to use this is within an enclosed system. So a hydroponics dome, a terrarium, a giant jar, or even a clear storage bin.
5. Volcanic Soil/Clay Balls Propagation
If you’re into aquascaping, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t, then I would google, “aquascaping substrate” and you’ll find many different varieties of it. You’ll know when you read “volcanic” or “volcano” in the description and it’ll be black balls. These help aquatic plants thrive in nano tanks and they also help your plants root and grow! Just like LECA the clay balls will wick water up and around the plant.
6. Perlite Propagation
Perlite does the same this as LECA, so if you’re out of everything else and need to find something, perlite is wonderful for propagation.
Always use methods that you know you’ve been successful with and when trying something new, please consider using a more common plant when trying new methods of propagation. Many environmental factors will change the outcome of propagation, whether it’s season, humidity, lighting, heat, etc. I’d love to hear any missteps you might have made that can benefit the whole community.