Guide: Monstera Albo Propagation to Soil

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.

Monstera albo cutting in planter

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Monstera albo propagation

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.

Monstera albo roots

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:
-the cutting
-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

Planting tools

What You’ll Need to Do

And now, time to repot!

  1. 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.

  2. Prep the pot by putting enough soil in the bottom to provide a stable foundation for the cutting. I put about 1-2″ in.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Monstera albo cutting planted in soil

Thanks for reading! Leave any questions below and I hope you have your own happy Marvin, too.

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8 replies
  1. I been searching and reading everything I could on monstera albos. I finally bought/imported a full smaller plant thinking it would be so hard to care for it.

    It came wrapped in sphagnum moss, it was 7 days transit time. It looked great when I got it, no wilting and the roots looked healthy. From advise of another monstera albo grower I planted it straight into a chunky mix.

    A week later it looked wilted and the leaves started to curl so bad. I thought it was dehydrated and the roots weren’t taking in the water.

    The start of the 2nd week I took it out and the root were rotting. 😭😢 I was kicking myself so hard and all the emotions got to me. Yes, it is a plant but an expensive one at that.

    I decided to chop it up and prop it. Well……it has been a little over a month, and the 4 cuttings I have from it….one rooted. Has two roots about 2 inches. The other 3 cutting including the top cutting, nothing yet. I am so impatient and really beating myself up for spending almost $500 on a plant I clearly wasn’t ready for.

    I can think of so many what ifs but it is what is….I am learning and I go and I def learned my lesson.

    I’m sorry to written you this long a$$ comment, but any suggestions and or advice will be very much appreciated. I dont want to give up on my cutting and I know I just need to learn more patience.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this!

    Regards, Paulette

    1. Oh my Paulette, I’m so sorry but don’t fret! Albos take FOREVER. Just be patient. Also, and this is just something I noticed, Monsteras will root quicker if placed all in one container in water. I think the nutrients help each promote growth, so you could stick all of the non-root cuttings in together and plant that other one and soon as the roots are longer. As far as watering so you don’t have the same problem as before, albos are tricky and need to be very lightly moist at all times. Too wet and rot happens and too dry and they curl or become brown. I always recommend a moisture meter too for these just because they are temperamental. Also you might have too much chunk in your soil mix, make sure water is being soaked up when you water.

  2. Hello. I have a cutting that has been in water for about a month. No roots yet. I’m trying to be patient. I’m wondering if I should use some fertilizer. Which Jacks do you use?

    1. Hi Kim, I use this Jacks houseplant fertilizer and I do sometimes fertilize (verryyyy diluted) if the plant has roots already growing. I have tried and saw that adding fertilizer doesn’t help unless the cutting is in a very warm spot and roots have sprouted. It doesn’t take long though and yes patience is key!

  3. They are easy-to-care-for plants. After importing these plants, if the root is good, I will put them in the soil. Water propagation is only for the bad root after import

  4. I have a cutting which has established roots in water and I think it is ready to plant in soil. My question is how should I plant the cutting, as it seems to have grown roots along the cutting horizontally. Should I just plant the cutting lieing down, so that all the roots on the underside of the cutting are in the soil, or should I stick the cutting in the soil vertically, even though half of the roots would be exposed? Any advice you can give will be appreciated. Thanks

    1. HI Susan! That’s a bit tricky and w/o pics I can’t fully give you the best help (feel free to dm me pics on IG) but I would say any white, fine roots need to be covered in soil, but any aerial roots can be left above soil. Leaves/stems will find their way to grow towards sunlight and you can always repot slightly if things aren’t growing the right way, but I would make sure all white roots are under soil.

  5. Thankyou for your reply. The majority of roots are white, so I’ll give it a try at making sure they are all covered by soil. Thanks again

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