Ask a Question forum: Monstera Thai Constellation water propagation - help and advice needed

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Malaysia
bowie54
Jul 2, 2020 11:23 PM CST
Hi Everyone! Need your advice on saving my Monstera. A friend gave me this cutting about 2.5 weeks ago and i've left it in a the vase with water placed on a table near to a north facing window.. I have changed the water every 3-7 days and have submerged the cutting in rain water or tap water left out for 48 hours.

Cutting has 3 leaves. 1 Big, 1 medium and 1 new leaf. The young leaf deteriorated after the 1st week and is showing brown edges on the top leaf. The big leaf is beginning to turn a little black on the edge of one of its upper leaf.

The aerial root has turned black and is somewhat mushy. I noticed white spots on the node which i thought could be new roots but as time passed, they turned brown as well.

The plant might have suffered some shock when i changed the water and cleaned it and removed old sheath and dirt from it.

What should i do to keep this plant going? Appreciate your inputs and advice!



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[Last edited by bowie54 - Jul 2, 2020 11:36 PM (+)]
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Wiltshire, England
Mischyf
Jul 3, 2020 3:29 AM CST
I'm sorry to say I think your cutting is rotting. I'm not sure it can be saved if it's gone mushy. Looking at it, I'd say it's too far gone to be saved.
Hoping others have better news for you Sad
Malaysia
bowie54
Jul 3, 2020 5:31 PM CST
Mischyf said:I'm sorry to say I think your cutting is rotting. I'm not sure it can be saved if it's gone mushy. Looking at it, I'd say it's too far gone to be saved.
Hoping others have better news for you Sad


Hi. The only thing that is mushy is the aerial root. What if I cut it off and put the stem in soil ?

Anyone got a suggestion please ? Confused

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jul 4, 2020 8:19 AM CST
You might try wrapping your stem cutting in damp sphagnum moss that is then wrapped in clear plastic to retain the moisture of the moss damp around the node.

However you do it, it will take time and patience.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jul 4, 2020 8:34 AM CST
Sphagnum moss os a better rooting media than water
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Malaysia
bowie54
Jul 4, 2020 10:26 AM CST
WillC said:You might try wrapping your stem cutting in damp sphagnum moss that is then wrapped in clear plastic to retain the moisture of the moss damp around the node.

However you do it, it will take time and patience.


Thank for the comment and advice WIllC. I appreciate it. Being new to this forum I wasn't sure if anyone else would reply and read somewhere that i should put in soil to save it. Confused Being worried about my plant, today I made a mix of 40 % Potting Soil 40% Peat Moss and 20% Perlite and put the cutting in soil. Right now i feel regretful for this decision as i saw your post a little too late Crying

I'm going take your advice as well as Gina's to pick up some Sphagnum moss first thing tomorrow morning and put the cutting into Spagnum Moss. Should i pick up some fungicide or rooting hormone as well?

I'm not sure how to wrap the stem in Sphagnum moss and plastic. The 2nd picture is from a youtube video i found, would that work with the top covered? How do you recommend to do this?

Sincerely appreciate your advice and help for the next best course of action to save this plant.

Thank You!



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Malaysia
bowie54
Jul 4, 2020 10:36 AM CST
Gina1960 said:Sphagnum moss os a better rooting media than water


Thanks very much Gina. Do you think I should treat it with Captan or use a rooting hormone to save it?

Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jul 4, 2020 10:53 AM CST
I would treat it myself just as a preventative measure. When you place it in the moss, it doesn;t have to be kept sopping wet...just damp. You can refresh it as needed with a spray bottle.
The problem with trying to root Monstera in water is that they will usually start to rot before the roots get good enough to support the plant, and even when the water roots do form they are too fragile to just plop into soil, many people lose the water roots to rot after planting.
Its a little inconceivable to me that someone sold you a cutting with that much leaf material and only one small adventitious root, from your photo it almost looks like a top cutting, they could have been a little more generous and given you 2-3 roots then you could have just planted it into your soil mix
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Malaysia
bowie54
Jul 4, 2020 11:15 AM CST
Gina1960 said:I would treat it myself just as a preventative measure. When you place it in the moss, it doesn;t have to be kept sopping wet...just damp. You can refresh it as needed with a spray bottle.
The problem with trying to root Monstera in water is that they will usually start to rot before the roots get good enough to support the plant, and even when the water roots do form they are too fragile to just plop into soil, many people lose the water roots to rot after planting.
Its a little inconceivable to me that someone sold you a cutting with that much leaf material and only one small adventitious root, from your photo it almost looks like a top cutting, they could have been a little more generous and given you 2-3 roots then you could have just planted it into your soil mix


Ok Gina. Thank you for the inputs. Clearly, i should have been smarter when receiving these cuttings. Gonna take your advice and pick up some supplies 1st thing tomorrow Mormont. Fungicide the cutting and use rooting hormone and wrap in damp Shapnum moss.

Is it ok to wrap the stem cutting in shagnum moss Into the same vase I used for water?



Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Image
tapla
Jul 4, 2020 12:06 PM CST
Something I wrote about rooting in water:

Rooting in Water
Though roots form readily and often seemingly more quickly on many plants propagated in water, the roots produced are quite different from those produced in a soil-like or highly aerated medium (perlite - screened Turface - calcined DE - seed starting mix, e.g.). Physiologically, you will find these roots to be much more brittle than normal roots due to a much higher percentage of aerenchyma (a root tissue with a greater percentage of intercellular connected air spaces than normal parenchyma).

Aerenchyma tissue is filled with airy compartments. It usually forms in already rooted plants as a result of highly selective cell death and dissolution in the root cortex in response to airless conditions in the rhizosphere (root zone). There are 2 types of aerenchymous tissue. One type is formed by cell differentiation and subsequent collapse, and the other type is formed by cell separation without collapse ( as in water-rooted plants). In both cases, the long continuous air spaces allow diffusion of oxygen (and probably ethylene) from shoots to roots that would normally be unavailable to plants with roots growing in hypoxic (airless - low oxygen) media. In fresh cuttings placed in water, aerenchymous tissue forms due to the same hypoxic conditions w/o cell death & dissolution.

Note too, that under hypoxic conditions, ethylene is necessary for aerenchyma to form. This parallels the fact that low oxygen concentrations, as found in water rooting, generally stimulate trees and other plants to produce ethylene. For a long while it was believed that high levels of ethylene stimulate adventitious root formation, but lots of recent research proves the reverse to be true. Under hypoxic conditions, like submergence in water, ethylene actually slows down adventitious root formation and elongation.

If you wish to eventually plant your rooted cuttings in soil, it is probably best not to root them in water because of the frequent difficulty in transplanting them to soil. The brittle "water-formed" roots often break during transplant & those that don't break are very poor at water absorption and often die. The effect is equivalent to beginning the cutting process over again with a cutting in which vitality has likely been reduced.
If you do a side by side comparison of cuttings rooted in water & cuttings rooted in soil, the cuttings in soil will always (for an extremely high percentage of plants) have a leg up in development on those moved from water to a soil medium for the reasons outlined above.

Al
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jul 4, 2020 1:36 PM CST
tapla said:Something I wrote about rooting in water:

Rooting in Water
Though roots form readily and often seemingly more quickly on many plants propagated in water, the roots produced are quite different from those produced in a soil-like or highly aerated medium (perlite - screened Turface - calcined DE - seed starting mix, e.g.). Physiologically, you will find these roots to be much more brittle than normal roots due to a much higher percentage of aerenchyma (a root tissue with a greater percentage of intercellular connected air spaces than normal parenchyma).

Aerenchyma tissue is filled with airy compartments. It usually forms in already rooted plants as a result of highly selective cell death and dissolution in the root cortex in response to airless conditions in the rhizosphere (root zone). There are 2 types of aerenchymous tissue. One type is formed by cell differentiation and subsequent collapse, and the other type is formed by cell separation without collapse ( as in water-rooted plants). In both cases, the long continuous air spaces allow diffusion of oxygen (and probably ethylene) from shoots to roots that would normally be unavailable to plants with roots growing in hypoxic (airless - low oxygen) media. In fresh cuttings placed in water, aerenchymous tissue forms due to the same hypoxic conditions w/o cell death & dissolution.

Note too, that under hypoxic conditions, ethylene is necessary for aerenchyma to form. This parallels the fact that low oxygen concentrations, as found in water rooting, generally stimulate trees and other plants to produce ethylene. For a long while it was believed that high levels of ethylene stimulate adventitious root formation, but lots of recent research proves the reverse to be true. Under hypoxic conditions, like submergence in water, ethylene actually slows down adventitious root formation and elongation.

If you wish to eventually plant your rooted cuttings in soil, it is probably best not to root them in water because of the frequent difficulty in transplanting them to soil. The brittle "water-formed" roots often break during transplant & those that don't break are very poor at water absorption and often die. The effect is equivalent to beginning the cutting process over again with a cutting in which vitality has likely been reduced.
If you do a side by side comparison of cuttings rooted in water & cuttings rooted in soil, the cuttings in soil will always (for an extremely high percentage of plants) have a leg up in development on those moved from water to a soil medium for the reasons outlined above.

Al


THANK YOU for reiterating this. THANK YOU THANK YOU!
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jul 4, 2020 1:40 PM CST
You do;t have to actually WRAP it tightly. Just put a little pre-moistened moss in the bottom, hold the cutting in place and pack moss around it not too loose but not too tight. It would contact the nodes and structures but not be constricting.

Remoisten moss by soaking in a bowl of water and taking it by the small handful and squeezing most of the water our then apply around the plant.

Yes you can use the same container...a clear one os best so you can look and see what is going on better
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Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Image
tapla
Jul 4, 2020 1:58 PM CST
Thanks for the kind words, Gina.

This is one of the easiest plants to root in a solid medium. It readily forms adventitious roots and has preformed root initials, so, if you stick it (did you know that's a horticultural term - put it in a medium) in a moist medium and give bright indirect light - it will strike (another hort term - it will root). The propagule was already 3/4 of the way to a viable organism when it was separated from the parent plant.

Also, the OP puts him/herself at a distinct disadvantage by leaving so much foliage on the propagule. It would be much better if the propagule only had 1 leaf - the youngest - even then, if that leaf is overly large for a propagule, it might be best if that leaf was cut in half. Keep in mind the propagule has to be able to replace all water lost by way of respiration. When the leaf surface area is large enough to cover the dining room table, there's a good chance things won't end well.


Thumb of 2020-07-04/tapla/0ccd18 Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex)



Thumb of 2020-07-04/tapla/aefbe9 Mexican petunia cutting, ready to stick

Al

Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jul 4, 2020 4:48 PM CST
I agree. But those of us who have been growing and propagating plants for 40 years do things differently from the Internet Influencers who today preach to the new growers on platforms like Youtube and Instagram. In the past, when I sold something like an Alocasia or a Colocasia through the mail, the buyers were a lot more savvy and did not mind if you cut the leaves off the plant and left only the last emergent leaf. Because they know that a plant has to divide its energy. It can support the leaves, or, it can manufacture new roots. Which do yo want? ROOTS of course. The plant will re-leaf after it is established. But the grower now cannot fathom sacrificing those pretty leaves. When I have suggested to people in the same situation as this OP that they should either remove leaves, or, at the very least, bisect the leaves, this is met with great trepidation. We always did this, to root plants. But thesis not the 'new way'. And everyone expects a 100% PERFECT PLANT because they are paying a ton of money for some of these plants. A leaf gets creased and damaged during shipping?? They want a replacement or a refund.

I don't propagate this plant specifically (variegated Monstera) by mid-stem cuttings. I ONLY propagate my variegated Monsteras from side shoots. My plants are almost 20 years old, and they do produce side shooting plants. I take these off in order to keep the main plants more compact in their allowed space. I pot up the well rooted side shoots and after they have been allowed to make a really extra good root system I plant them wherever I want a new plant to start climbing .

Most of these cuttings being sold at astronomical prices right now are sold by what we call 'node flippers'. They import a batch of usually single node cuttings from Asia, because Asia and the Netherlands are tissue culturing the variegated Monstera right now, and resell them almost immediately to unsuspecting buyers. They have barely had time to recover from overseas shipping, then they are put in a box and resold. Its not surprising that many have already had rot start.

I do sell plants myself. But I make certain they have a good root system and are healthy before they leave me. If they are a bare root top cutting, I make certain that the buyer knows that and how to root them so they will prosper.
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Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Image
tapla
Jul 4, 2020 7:34 PM CST
I know what you mean, Gina. I'm actually appalled at some of the comments on forum sites that get passed off as advice. Stick to your guns. I think reasoning people are influenced most by whomever has the most credibility. If we know our stuff and don't cave to the temptation of operating at beyond the limits of our knowledge, the credibility and the accompanying ability to influence others to make good decisions will come.

BTW - you probably know many of the "variegated" monsteras now available have been chemically treated during tissue culture, and the variegation diminishes with senescence?

Al
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jul 4, 2020 7:57 PM CST
I have heard this. My plants are all about 20 years old. They are from a completely different time period so to speak. I was having a conversation with someone who lived in Colombia and does research on aroids particularly Anthuriums and when he looked at some of the photos of my older plants that I have been growing since about 2002-2008/9 he was amazed. He said that he believes that some of my plants are as he phrased it a 'much more pure form' of the plant than those on the market today because they come from before there was a lot of TC and they were not hybridized with other things inadvertently. There have come to be so many accidental bench hybrids with things, especially ones like Anthurium crystallinum, that you don;t even know what you are looking at anymore.

I have heard that Costa Farms has obtained a patent and is planning to TC the Thai Constellation form of M. deliciosa and market it to box stores. It was supposed to happen in 2020 but there was some sort of setback and now is slated for release in 2021.
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Name: Al
5b-6a MI
Image
tapla
Jul 4, 2020 9:05 PM CST
I'm not all that into houseplants - most of what I know about plants is a byproduct of my efforts to gain proficiency at the art/science of bonsai, but I think I did read where the TC Constellations are already hitting POS and secondary markets - would have been the same place I learned about chemically treating monstera during tissue culture to induce a variegation which tends to disappear over time. Happy 4th!

Al
Malaysia
bowie54
Jul 5, 2020 2:01 AM CST
Gina1960 said:You do;t have to actually WRAP it tightly. Just put a little pre-moistened moss in the bottom, hold the cutting in place and pack moss around it not too loose but not too tight. It would contact the nodes and structures but not be constricting.

Remoisten moss by soaking in a bowl of water and taking it by the small handful and squeezing most of the water our then apply around the plant.

Yes you can use the same container...a clear one os best so you can look and see what is going on better


Thanks very much. Mission completed Smiling
1. Removed from Soil
2. Rinsed the stem cutting and roots
3. Dipped in powder rooting hormone
4. Placed cutting in moist Shagnum moss

Attached is the picture. Its my first time dealing with this medium. The humidity where the cutting is at is about 60% and temperature is 84 Deg Farenheit. Would you add more moss to vase it or is it ok?
How often should i spray moisten the moss?

Thank You! So much for your advice.

Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers!
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[Last edited by bowie54 - Jul 5, 2020 2:02 AM (+)]
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Malaysia
bowie54
Jul 5, 2020 2:09 AM CST
tapla said:Something I wrote about rooting in water:

Rooting in Water
Though roots form readily and often seemingly more quickly on many plants propagated in water, the roots produced are quite different from those produced in a soil-like or highly aerated medium (perlite - screened Turface - calcined DE - seed starting mix, e.g.). Physiologically, you will find these roots to be much more brittle than normal roots due to a much higher percentage of aerenchyma (a root tissue with a greater percentage of intercellular connected air spaces than normal parenchyma).

Aerenchyma tissue is filled with airy compartments. It usually forms in already rooted plants as a result of highly selective cell death and dissolution in the root cortex in response to airless conditions in the rhizosphere (root zone). There are 2 types of aerenchymous tissue. One type is formed by cell differentiation and subsequent collapse, and the other type is formed by cell separation without collapse ( as in water-rooted plants). In both cases, the long continuous air spaces allow diffusion of oxygen (and probably ethylene) from shoots to roots that would normally be unavailable to plants with roots growing in hypoxic (airless - low oxygen) media. In fresh cuttings placed in water, aerenchymous tissue forms due to the same hypoxic conditions w/o cell death & dissolution.

Note too, that under hypoxic conditions, ethylene is necessary for aerenchyma to form. This parallels the fact that low oxygen concentrations, as found in water rooting, generally stimulate trees and other plants to produce ethylene. For a long while it was believed that high levels of ethylene stimulate adventitious root formation, but lots of recent research proves the reverse to be true. Under hypoxic conditions, like submergence in water, ethylene actually slows down adventitious root formation and elongation.

If you wish to eventually plant your rooted cuttings in soil, it is probably best not to root them in water because of the frequent difficulty in transplanting them to soil. The brittle "water-formed" roots often break during transplant & those that don't break are very poor at water absorption and often die. The effect is equivalent to beginning the cutting process over again with a cutting in which vitality has likely been reduced.
If you do a side by side comparison of cuttings rooted in water & cuttings rooted in soil, the cuttings in soil will always (for an extremely high percentage of plants) have a leg up in development on those moved from water to a soil medium for the reasons outlined above.

Al


I agree This makes sense. Thank you Tapla. For sure I am gonna steer away from water the next time
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Jul 5, 2020 5:48 AM CST
tapla said:I'm not all that into houseplants - most of what I know about plants is a byproduct of my efforts to gain proficiency at the art/science of bonsai, but I think I did read where the TC Constellations are already hitting POS and secondary markets - would have been the same place I learned about chemically treating monstera during tissue culture to induce a variegation which tends to disappear over time. Happy 4th!

Al


I don't grow houseplants either. All of mine either make it outside in the yard, or I have a large greenhouse they live in. Its planted and allowed to rum kind of wild so that it looks as much like a rainforest as possible. We have a great summer climate for that here, extreme heat, high high humidity. Minimal effort to heat in winter.

Did you also happen to read about the elusive Philodendron 'Pink Congo' fiasco? A while ago a new pink philodendron took the market by storm. It was the only pink to come along since Pink Princess, which proved to be a little disastrous over time because most of them eventually revert to green, making people who paid a couple hundred dollars for one pretty sad and mad. Then along comes Pink Condo. It started selling immediately for extravagant prices (much like these Variegated Monstera cuttings), Then people started to notice that over time, it began to lose that nice bright pink coloration until eventually they were left with a green plant. It came out later that the TC company had done the same thing...treated the plants chemically during the TC process to produce the pink color, which was only transient. It was a pretty bad scam. Lots of mad people because again, these were selling for hundreds of dollars a plant.

Its almost gotten to be that you have to have a botany degree to make a good decision of what to buy anymore.
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