Once you’ve started to collect houseplants, you’re going to realize two things:
1) You want MORE
2) Houseplants can get pricey if you buy them all as mature plants.
This means it’s time to learn how to propagate houseplants!
Propagation is fun and rewarding because it allows you to clone your favorite houseplants, get more plants for (almost) free, and even give your propagated plants away as gifts! And if you’re really lucky, you might have some planty friend who will let you propagate their plants for your collection as well!
So how does this work? How do you propagate new houseplants from the plants you have?
The easiest way to do this with most plants is to take cuttings, or cut off a piece of the plant and allow it to grow new roots so you can plant it in soil.
It’s actually a simple process, but you must follow the steps carefully in order to get it right. But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it!
How to Propagate Houseplants with Cuttings
Step 1: Take your cutting
This first step can be scary, but don’t worry! It’s really simple once you get the hang of it.
To take a cutting, find a healthy, preferably young leaf on the plant that you’d like to propagate. It’s best to use a young leaf because these leaves are already growing, so they stand a good chance of growing new roots when you propagate them.
Once you’ve found your leaf, locate a nearby node. This part is crucial, because the cutting can’t produce roots without a node.
A node is where a leaf attaches to a stem or a branch attached to a trunk. On some plants, such as monstera deliciosa, you might even see small bumps on the stem near a node.
Once you’ve located the node, take a deep breath and cut off the leaf WITH the node, leaving at least an inch of stem.
Step 2: Place the cutting in water
Fill a clean glass or jar partially full of water and place the cutting in it, like you would with a cut flower in a vase. Make sure the stem is in the water, but don’t allow the leaf to become submerged.
Tip: Some plants root fairly easily on their own, but many plants require a rooting hormone to stimulate root growth. Try adding a little Propagation Promoter to your plant’s water to promote new growth!
Then, place the glass in a bright spot with plenty of indirect light. Check the water every day to make sure the stem is still immersed and add more as needed.
Step 3: Wait for roots
After about 3-4 weeks, you’ll start to see white roots forming on the end of your plant’s stem!
Step 4: Plant your cutting
When the roots on your cutting are about 1″ long, it’s time to plant! Simply plant the cutting in damp soil and give it a little water. To help your plant continue to grow, add some Propagation Promoter to your plant’s water to give your new little plant baby the nutrients it needs to grow quickly!
And that’s it! Continue taking care of your plant as you would a mature plant of that type and watch your new little friend grow!
Propagating is tons of fun and extremely satisfying. Here are a few tips to propagate successfully:
- Download our Free Propagation Guide
- Make sure your glass or jar is clean and sterile before you place your cutting inside. You don’t want your cutting to die from bacterial infection!
- Propagate during your plant’s natural growing season. For most plants, this is in the spring.
- If you happen to be pruning a plant anyway, try propagating the cuttings so no part of the plant goes to waste!
- Use a rooting hormone like Propagation Promoter, especially if you’re attempting to propagate a fiddle leaf fig.
- Consider a Houseplant Node Holder to keep your cutting in place
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