Curious about how to propagate your plants?
Growing your own ornamental plants is a great way to grow them or to give them to someone as a gift. You probably haven’t done that before, but you can try it now! We’re doing a cutting swap this year, so if you don’t want to wait to find out more!
How to propagate with Stem Cuttings
Many common plants can be propagated using stem cuttings. Even though you can plant them directly in the ground, some people argue that it’s easier to place them in water first (probably because it’s impossible to forget to water them!). Plants like the Cascading Pothos, the Monstera Deliciosa, or the Magenta Triostar work well with this method.
- Step 1: Use a clean blade to cut a stem just below a node (the region between the leaves, aerial roots, and branches that may grow).
- Step 2: Place the cutting in a glass or jar with water. Do not submerge any of the leaves – they will rot. Remove any leaves that are submerged.
- Step 3: Place in a spot with bright indirect light and wait. You may want to replace the water every few days to keep it fresh. After a few days, roots should start to emerge.
- Step 4: Once the roots have grown to about an inch in length, gently place them in a small pot with soil, pressing down on the soil once it’s potted. Keep just moist to the touch for the first few weeks until the plant takes root.
Tip: You can dip cuttings in rooting hormone before placing them in water to increase the chances of rooting, but this is not necessary.
How to propagate with offsets
The mother plant can produce offsets (also referred to as “pups”) just below it. Small leafy shoots, referred to as offsets, are capable of growing their own roots.. The best plants to propagate with this method are Pilea and succulents. Once these offsets have reached one or two inches in height, they are easy to cut off and make new plants.
- Step 1: Cut an offset at the base or as close to the soil as possible with a clean blade.
- Step 2: Place the stem in a small glass or jar filled with water. Only the stem should be submerged — any leaves that are submerged will rot (you may need to remove some leaves).
- Step 3: Put in an area of bright, indirect light and watch it grow. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh. After a week or two, you should start to see roots emerge.
- Step 4: Place the roots in a small pot of fresh soil once they have grown to about an inch long, gently pressing down on the soil. Keep the soil moist for the first few weeks until the plant has taken root.
How to propagate by division
The roots, tubers or rhizomes of a plant can be easily separated in order to propagate it. Most of the time, you can just get your hands dirty by working out the roots and separating various pieces. These propagation methods have been used for plants like the Snake Plant, the Zanzibar Gem, and Desert Cacti.
Step 1: Take the plant out of its pot and spread out a few sheets of newspaper on the floor. Make sure the roots have a minimum of one piece of foliage on top of each root structure as you untangle and split them. It’s okay if some break.
Step 2: Once the roots have been divided, place the newly separated plants in fresh soil and gently roll down the soil so it is tightly compressed.
Step 3: During the first few weeks after the plant takes root, place it in a bright, indirect area with just a thin layer of water on the soil.
What’s the best way to know the plant has taken root? The plant should feel secure in its soil after a week or two. If not, it has not begun to take root yet and remains unstable.
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