How to Grow Monstera Deliciosa(aka Swiss Cheese Plant) from Seed
Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant, is one of those popular houseplants that you can’t miss if you’re getting into the houseplant hobby. They have gorgeous, iconic leaves that can grow bigger than your head, and just have that lovely ability to take over half a room(what else could a houseplant hobbyist want?!). The surprising but very much good news about these plants is they can be grown from seed, and what’s more, it’s not too difficult if you get the basics down right!
Germinating the Seeds:
You may or may not have read my first ever blog post on here, How to Grow Houseplants from Seed, it covers the basics of what most houseplants need to germinate.
The essential elements of growing the Monsteras, as with most other houseplants, are light, humidity and warmth, so the best setup you can have is a mini greenhouse with a heat mat and grow lights. If you don’t have a heat mat, place the seeds in an area that consistently stays around 70-85F, and if you don’t have grow lights, keep them in a spot that gets bright but indirect light(an east, west or north-facing window out of direct sunlight can work).
Once you have the basic set-up ready to go, here are the steps for actually prepping and planting the seeds:
1) Caring for the seeds: Getting Monstera Deliciosa seeds to germinate is actually the easy part, the hard part is getting the seeds fresh and healthy. You can usually tell if they’ll be viable based on appearances, Monsteras need to be fresh, the freshest seeds are hard and green/yellow/light brown. They’re tough to keep fresh, as you can’t let them dry out, but you can’t let them get too much moisture. A great way to store them is to place them in sphagnum moss in a fridge, that’ll usually keep them at a good moisture level and store them until you’re ready to plant them. In general, I recommend planting the seeds within a week of receiving them so you lower the risk of them losing viability.
If the seeds are a little dried out, that’s usually fine, if they really start to look like a raisin, have that super wrinkled appearance and look mostly tan/brown, then it may be a little late for them, but just a little wrinkling doesn’t damage the viability much.
2) Pre-soak: Pre-soaking the seeds is recommended but not required, especially if the seeds are extremely fresh. That being said, if you’re pre-soaking them, pour some hot/warm water in a jar, add the seeds and leave them in there for 24-48hrs before planting them. This’ll help break down the outer coating to make it easier for the seeds to germinate, as well as re-hydrate the seeds if they dried out at all.
3) Set-up: There are several different set-up methods that would work for Monstera Deliciosa seeds, you can reference this post I have here on houseplant seed set-ups. If you want to actually watch the seeds germinate, go with the paper towel method, otherwise the ziploc bag or the mini greenhouse setup would be best. I’ll continue on assuming the mini greenhouse method.
When planting in soil, whether you’re planting the seeds directly or after they’ve already germinated, you’ll want to use a peat-based potting mix moistened up with warm distilled water or rainwater.
Plant the seeds so they’re lightly covered with the soil, then cover the planter with a dome whether it’s a greenhouse dome, glass dome, or just a ziploc baggie you put over the planter. You can verify if the setup is at a good temperature and humidity if there’s condensation on the inside of the dome.
4) Maintenance: Place the planter in a bright and warm spot, and monitor to ensure there is no mold/fungal growth on the soil and that the soil remains moist(never soggy). The seeds should germinate within a month, and if given the right conditions, within 2 weeks. If you don’t see any activity within that timespan, dig around in the soil to see if you can find the seeds. In general, the warmer it is, the faster the seeds will germinate.
5) Seedling Care: Once the seedlings start to emerge, you’ll want to start acclimating them to fresh air, so start removing the dome for a couple of hours at a time and increase their time in open air so that eventually they’re fully acclimated to being uncovered. For further details on caring for the seedlings once they’ve germinated, read this post here.
Now that you have a bunch of happy Monstera seedlings on their way to growing their first leaves with fenestrations, you can start caring for them as you would an adult plant. Here are some care basics you should know for Monstera Deliciosa.
Monstera Deliciosa Plant Care:
Light: Keep your Monstera in bright, indirect light if you’re growing it indoors, and shade if growing outdoors. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves.
Temperature: You usually want to keep them in the range of 65-75F, they can tolerate temperatures above or below, but you generally want to keep temperature fluctuations to a minimum.
Soil: Well-draining peat-based potting mix.
Water: During the growing season, water them around once a week, so there’s enough time for the soil to dry out. As their growth slows down in the cooler months, water them less frequently. They can also benefit from occasional misting or being placed by a humidifier.
Fertilizing: They generally don’t need a lot of fertilizing so keep any fertilization down to 2-3 times during the growing season.
That does it for basic Monstera Deliciosa care and seed germination! Hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions, comment down below or reach out to me directly :)
Here are some other cool posts you may enjoy!