Six months ago, I bought a Monstera albo online and talked way too much about it in this post. Fast forward to six months of sitting in water, I have officially moved my my cutting, named Marvin, from jar to soil. It’s exciting! And how fun! But scary! I documented everything so you can too because anything “Monstera albo propagation” related can be tricky. I know it’s not the sexiest title for a post but it is exactly the post all of you wanted.
Let’s dive in.
How Long Can a Cutting Stay in Water?
Ok, let me back up first. So if you haven’t read my Monstera albo propagation post yet, do that first. And if you are completely new to Monstera propagation, may I suggest this intro post which is also identical to Monstera albo propagation. Like I mention above, Marvin has been sitting plopped in water since October, so about 6 months. What did I do during that 6 months?
- I changed the water ONLY when necessary. I didn’t change it every week, it was more like once every two months so that any nutrients the plant made could stay in that water. I did, however add to the water every week, but only fully replaced it once. You’ll notice some green algae in the water and that’s ok. Let it be.
- The cutting stayed in full sun all the time. I never moved him or relocated him to any other area. The full sun undoubtedly helped with the insane root development he pushed out.
- I fertilized only twice during the 6 months and it was only when I saw another leaf developing. Otherwise I would have not fertilized at all. I use either Jack’s or Neptunes – I like both.
- I did check to make sure Marvin was still alive and doing well every single say because I’m a compulsive and ridiculous plant parent.
A question I get all the time, no matter the kind of Monstera, is how long can it stay in water? One month? Two months? Until the apocalypse? My answer, frustratingly, is never a timeframe, but more of a “root time.” The state to the roots will give the biggest hint as to when it’s time to switch from water to soil. They would be longer and white and not black or mushy. Below is after a couple months.
And now, this is what I see after six whole months of Marvin chilling in water. He had released a leaf is living his best life. Again, the algae on the roots is OK, don’t be alarmed.
Transitioning a Monstera albo Propagation from Water to Soil
So, first things first, make sure you have established it is time to plant. Again, those roots should be beefy and at least 6-10″ long, with additional aerial roots a bonus. Second, you’ll need to make sure you have a space and tools ready before planting. Monstera albos coming out of water are fragile and you want to be prepared.
What You’ll Need:
To transfer the Monstera albo cutting from water to soil you’ll need:
-an easy-to-clean surface
-a soil mix, or you can make one yourself like I’m going to do here (more on that below)
-pruning shears, these fancy ones are amazing and can be bought here
-a plastic pot or planter to put the cutting in
What You’ll Need to Do
And now, time to repot!
- Assemble the pot the cutting will go in.
Choose your pot first – you want something that is snug but has some room for the roots to grow. I’m choosing a 6″ pot for this Monstera albo propagation piece. For the soil mix, I have a blend of perlite, orchid bark and potting mix, which I combine using a 1:1 ratio of all of them to make my own blend.
- Prep the pot by putting enough soil in the bottom to provide a stable foundation for the cutting. I put about 1-2″ in.
- Lower your baby in!
While holding the cutting, lower it into the pot, leaving room at the bottom and using a scoop (or tupperware) to sprinkle in the soil mix. I’m holding the cutting with one hand and potting it with the other, just be gentle with those roots! No smushing!
- Secure the cutting and straighten.
Straighten the cutting and fill with additional soil until pot is full. Press down gently to secure it upright. Leave any aerial roots exposed and out of the pot, do not cut them off, I repeat, do not cut them off.
- Feed Him.
Add a tiny bit of fertilizer (I use Jack’s) to the water the cutting came out of. The fertilizer will give the plant a boost and I typically water newly potted cuttings with the water they lived in.
- You’re almost ready to flaunt your Monstera albo cutting.
Place the potted plant over a sink and water thoroughly with the jar water and supplement with water from the tap. Rinse off any dirt on the leaves.
Let the cutting FULLY DRAIN in the sink, then place in a nicer planter (unless you like the plastic pot aesthetic) and voila! Place the newly potted cutting in a bright and warm location.
Congrats you now have a potted up Monstera albo, ready to flaunt on Instagram and to all of your friends, both human and leafy. Marvin is very happy.
Monstera albo Repotting Questions
Have questions? Of course you do and that’s no problem. Here are some common questions I get about repotting cuttings:
Q: Why is there a chopstick in that plant?
A: Sometimes a plant needs a little extra stability after it’s planted and I just use an old chopstick and twist tie to give the plant a wall to lean on. Marvin was sitting a little lopsided, so he needed the help.
Q: How much do I need to water the cutting?
A: Monstera albo or not, all freshly planted cuttings need to be kept steadily moist. After all, they did just come out of a vessel with just water, so letting them dry out completely will just confuse them. Keep the soil gently moist and use a moisture meter if you don’t feel confident in your soil-moisture-detecting abilities. I’ve been watering Marvin once a week and he’s in a South window, which is very bright and warm.
Q: My Monstera albo isn’t growing any new leaves? WHY.
A: Monstera albos are notoriously slow growers, which grow at about 1/4 of the speed of regular Monstera. As long as your leaves and roots are healthy, you just need patience. And sun, they like quite a bit of sun.
Q: Why can’t I trim off the annoying aerial roots?
A: Aerial roots are used by Monsteras for nutrients and wrapping around trees and moss poles so once your baby gets bigger he’ll need those to give you bigger and prettier leaves.
Thanks for reading! Leave any questions below and I hope you have your own happy Marvin, too.