If you want to grow your own Monsteras, you need to know how to propagate Monstera plants from seed – and that’s what we are going to cover today. Many Monsteras are grown from cuttings, but it is also possible to grow this popular plant from seed, and this may prove a cheaper way to get one of these plants.
If you’re going to grow Monsteras from seeds, you’ll need to germinate them quickly after receiving them, as they do not last long. There are a couple of methods for doing this, including on a damp paper towel, in sphagnum moss, or by soaking them in water. Once they’ve germinated, you’ll need to nurture the seedlings with care.
How Do You Germinate Monstera Seeds?
You have three choices when it comes to germinating your Monstera seeds. You can soak the seeds in water, place them on damp paper towels and wait for them to split, or put them in wet sphagnum moss. All of these methods should result in a good rate of germination.
Method One: Paper Towel Germination
This method offers a bit more control than the other two methods, allowing you to watch what’s happening and how the seeds are progressing. You don’t need much equipment – just a tray, some paper towels, and some water in a plant mister.
You can follow the next 5 steps for paper towel germination:
1- Spread the paper towels out on the tray and then place your seeds on top of them. Make sure there is a bit of space between each seed.
2- Place a second layer of paper towels across the seeds, covering them up. Add another layer, so that two paper towels cover the seeds. This will protect the seeds from sunlight and help to keep them damp.
3- Use your plant sprayer to moisten the paper towels. They want to be thoroughly damp but not dripping wet.
4- Place the tray somewhere that enjoys bright light, but not too much direct sun. A lot of direct sun could damage the seeds.
5- Each day while you wait, spray the paper towels with water and check whether your seeds have germinated. In general, they will sprout within four days, but some may take longer.
Once they have sprouted, you can put them in pots and they should start to grow. Don’t leave them in the paper towels for too long; this is only suitable while they are germinating.
Method Two: Soaking Germination
If you don’t have or would rather not use paper towels, you can also soak the seeds to encourage them to germinate. To do this, take a bowl of warm tap water, and drop the seeds into it. They should be submerged in the water so that they can soak.
You should then place this in a reasonably warm location. It doesn’t need to be hot, but you don’t want the water to get too chilled, either. A sunny room should be fine.
Leave the seeds in the water for about 24 hours (you can do longer if you like, but not more than 48 hours total, as seeds need oxygen) so that they can swell and start to split. They can then be transferred to pots.
Method Three: Sphagnum Moss
If you have sphagnum moss, this can be a great place to both sprout and grow your Monstera seedlings. Tip the seeds into a container of moss, mist it lightly, and then cover it with a plastic bag to keep the moisture in.
Put the container in a warm, reasonably bright spot and wait for the baby plants to sprout. You should mist the container whenever it starts drying out, but don’t soak it or the seeds may drown.
You can leave the seeds in the sphagnum moss while they start to sprout and grow, and only transplant them into pots when they get too tall for the container. Many people prefer this planting method because it doesn’t involve transplanting the seeds into soil.
How Do You Plant Monstera Seedlings?
If you haven’t used the sphagnum moss, you’ll need to transfer the seedlings into pots once they have started to germinate. Like all seedlings, they will be fragile to start with and will need adequate light, water, and nutrients.
You will need a potting mix, and preferably one that is suitable for aroids. In their natural environments, Monsteras grow up tree trunks, and although they do have roots in the ground, they like plenty of airflow and loose, well-draining soil.
You can use standard compost mixed with orchid bark or vermiculite, as these will help to ensure that water doesn’t linger around the seedling roots and cause rotting.
Once you have filled the pot, scrape back a bit of the potting medium to around half an inch deep, and place one seed in each pot. Sprinkle some fresh compost or aroid soil over the top, covering the seeds with a light layer. This shouldn’t be thick, because the plant needs to be able to push through it to grow.
Next, water it well, but be careful not to wash the seed back out of the pot. You can use a plant mister or a small jug and a steady hand. Water each Monstera, and your seedlings will be ready to go!
How Do You Look After Monstera Seedlings?
Your seedlings are going to need:
- Bright, indirect light
The light is not immediately important, but you should still try to find a suitable spot. Do not leave the seedlings in the direct sun; it will kill them. Instead, choose a windowsill or another spot with indirect light, or put up a thin curtain to protect the little plants.
Next, think about temperature; you need to make sure that the plants are kept warm enough. Ideally, they should be stored at 70 degrees F or higher, as this will encourage germination and help them to grow quickly. If you cannot provide enough warmth, consider installing a small heat mat under the pots.
You may want to use the plant sprayer to water them, especially to begin with, so that the seeds don’t get pushed around in the soil by the flow of water. This would break the developing roots, so you want to avoid it.
Once the plants reach a couple of inches tall, they should have firm enough roots to be watered from a jug. Keep the soil damp but not sodden, and don’t allow young plants to dry out.
Humidity is also important. You may want to begin gently misting the seedlings with a plant sprayer to provide this, and some people even cover them with a clear plastic bag to trap the humidity around their leaves.
However, you must make sure you aren’t getting them too wet. They should dry out by evening each time, or they are at risk of rotting or forming fungal infections.
Keep your baby Monsteras in their seedling pots until they are large and strong enough to transplant. It may take quite some time for this to happen – you may not even see the seedlings appearing above the soil for a week or two. Be patient and nurture them.
When Should You Plant Monstera Seeds?
It is best to plant Monstera seeds in the spring; this is when the plants are naturally entering their growth stage, and there will be plenty of light and warmth to encourage good growth. Try to get your Monstera seedlings in their new containers around the start of spring so that they can make the most of the upcoming season.
However, Monstera seeds don’t keep well, so if you have bought some at another time of year, you may wish to go ahead and plant them even though the season isn’t right. You will probably still find that most of them germinate.
The seedlings may not do as well or develop as quickly if you grow them later in the year because they won’t have as much light. If you plant them in mid-summer, they should start well, but will then slow down for the winter. They will pick up again in the spring, however, so there’s nothing wrong with doing this if it suits you.
It’s best not to plant Monstera seeds in the winter, because two key conditions – light and warmth – may be much harder to meet at this time of year. However, if you wish to do this, you can keep the seedlings in a warm room and use a grow lamp to encourage them to sprout, and this may work reasonably well.
How Long Do Monstera Seeds Take To Sprout?
The sprouting time will vary from seed to seed. In some cases, Monstera seeds will push up through their compost very quickly after being planted, but others may take a couple of weeks to even start showing. On average, it should take between 10 and 14 days.
However, this is based on temperatures being above 70 degrees F. If you are keeping your Monstera seedlings in a colder environment, it could take longer for them to sprout, and you will need to be patient.
Don’t panic if your seedlings aren’t appearing as soon as you expected them to; just keep them warm and watered, and continue waiting. It is worth waiting about three weeks before concluding that a plant is not going to sprout.
If a seedling hasn’t come up after three weeks, gently disturb the compost over it and peer into the pot to see if it is sprouting. If not, it’s time to compost that one and focus on the others. You should always plant multiple seeds, as some will not make it.
If you find that the seed is sprouting after all, bury it again and continue to water and care for it.
Can I Get Seeds From A Monstera I Already Have?
If you have an established Monstera, you may be wondering how you can harvest seeds from it to grow babies. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that a Monstera grown in your home will actually fruit and produce seeds (although not impossible). You will probably need to buy seeds commercially.
If you do have a Monstera that fruits, you may see long, thin fruits that look somewhat like corn cobs. You can harvest seeds from these, but you will need to wait until the fruit is ripe first, or the seeds will not grow.
In general, you will only be able to harvest fruits from a Monstera if you grow it outdoors and you live in USDA zones 10-12 because it must be warm enough for the Monstera to survive and be pollinated.
Most people will therefore not be able to get seeds from their existing Monstera plant. However, you can take and propagate cuttings from your plants if you want to grow babies, and this is often much quicker than growing plants from seeds. Consider this as an option if you already have a Monstera.
Where Should I Buy Monstera Seeds From?
If you are buying your seeds, there are plenty of sources that you can use, but it’s important to be careful. A lot of misinformation and outright scams surround the sales of Monstera seeds, so you will need to choose a reputable retailer with lots of good feedback.
There have been instances of people receiving the seeds of other plants, seeds that have been stored for too long and won’t germinate, seeds that are small and weak, or even no seeds at all. By the time the seeds have failed, the seller has disappeared from the online space, leaving the buyer with no recourse.
In this video Baetanical amazingly explains how real Monstera seeds look like and how to avoid being scammed.
This is particularly problematic for anyone who tries to buy seeds for variegated Monsteras, and you should not buy from any seller that advertises such seeds, even if you are buying plain ones. It is not possible to grow a variegated Monstera from seed; these plants can only be obtained by taking cuttings from existing plants.
Anyone selling the seeds from them is attempting to mislead their potential buyers. The seeds may genuinely come from a variegated Monstera, but they will not produce variegated seedlings, and advertising them in this way is misleading.
If you are going to buy seeds online, check out a seller’s reviews, look at all their stock, and weigh up how reputable they feel. Avoid sellers with bad or no feedback, or those that don’t offer much information about their stock.
You should also familiarize yourself with what healthy Monstera seeds look like, and check that yours match this as soon as you receive them. If they don’t, make an immediate complaint.
You can safely buy Monstera seeds online if you take these precautions, but choosing the cheapest seeds without doing research into the seller is often a recipe for disaster.
How Much Do Monstera Seeds Cost?
Although prices vary according to location and demand, you will usually pay around $1 or $2 per Monstera seed, and most sellers provide them in groups of five or ten seeds. You should never plant just one; it may not germinate, or might die as a seedling, or may even fail in the early repotting stages.
Always plant multiple seeds; if they are all successful, you can gift or sell the excess once they are established plants.
You should keep an eye on the price when you are buying seeds. Although you might be excited by the idea that you have found bargain, low-cost seeds, this is a sign that something is wrong and you should treat the seller with extreme caution. Few people sell Monstera seeds for less than $1 each unless they are scamming.
It is also unlikely that you’ll find someone selling them in large amounts; most reputable sellers supply in multiples of five, but not in 100s. If you buy something very cheap or sold in bulk, you will probably find that you don’t get Monstera seeds. Be aware of this when purchasing.
You should also be wary of very high prices for “special” Monstera seeds – as mentioned, you can’t grow variegated Monstera from seed, and very high prices for other mutations are also signals that something may be wrong. Stick to the standard prices and you are more likely to get the seeds you want.
How Long Will A Seedling Take To Grow?
Growth rates can vary depending on how healthy the seeds are, how rich the substrate is, and the warmth, light, and other conditions. However, you should be prepared for it to take a long time for a seed to turn into a Monstera plant.
In general, it will take about three months for your Monstera to gain a few inches, assuming the conditions are reasonably good. You keep checking on your plant and providing it with light, warmth, and water, but growing from seed isn’t a quick way to get an established Monstera.
If you want a large Monstera more quickly, consider either buying a cutting or getting one from a friend or your existing plant if you have one. Cuttings “skip” part of the growth stage because they already have a stem and leaves. They also tend to grow more quickly because of this.
You can take a large cutting from an established Monstera, and this will do even better. However, it will take away from your main plant, and if you’re buying one commercially, it will cost more. Seeds are cheaper, but have a higher failure rate and take longer to grow into mature plants.
How Do I Repot Monstera Seedlings?
Eventually, your seedlings will get too big for their current container, and you will need to repot them. It’s not a good idea to do this too early, as the roots will be tender, so don’t rush to put them in a new container. Only move them when you actually need to because they are getting cramped.
Be aware that it is not unusual to lose a few seedlings at this stage, even if you are careful and you do everything correctly. The plants will still be fragile and the shock of being moved can cause problems. This is particularly true if the seedlings are still small when you repot them.
Prepare a pot a little bigger than the current pot for each of your seedlings. You should make sure this is clean and sterile, and then fill it with a similar potting mix to the one your seedling is currently growing in. Hollow the soil out to a couple of inches down (depending on how big your seedlings are).
Once you have this mix ready, water your Monsteras so that the soil is soft; this can help ease the transition out of the container. Gently scoop each plant out and put it in the hollow you have made, and then gently pile the soil up around the roots. Handle the seedling as carefully as you can.
When the seedlings are in their new containers, water them well to help spread the soil around their roots, and then put them back in their previous position, where it is warm and bright. The plants may look sick for a few days if they are shocked by the transition, but should soon pick up.
Keep them damp and watch for any problems.
How Soon Will The Seedlings Develop Leaf Fenestrations?
Once your seedlings have got bright green leaves growing, you may be waiting eagerly for those classic leaf fenestrations that Monsteras are so famous for.
However, Monstera leaves don’t usually start to split until the plant is at least two years old, and sometimes three years old. Up to this point, the leaves will be whole, and you may find that your plant doesn’t look that much like a Monstera.
Growing Monsteras from seed is an interesting process that will hopefully reward you with several healthy young plants. Make sure that you are buying the seeds from a reputable source, and treat your seedlings with care, keeping them warm, damp, and well-lit while they establish themselves.