How to propagate your plants: four easy ways to make more houseplants!
Plant propagation is a super simple way to expand your houseplant collection. Besides that, it’s also super fun to do. Propagating means that you can grow a new plant through your mature plant. The way you do this depends on the type of plant you have. Are you curious about how to propagate your plants? Read on to learn four simple ways to propagate your favourite plants!
Instructions before propagating your plant
No matter what method of propagation you use, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind when you start propagating. The most important thing if you are going to cut your houseplants is the basics! For most plants, the best time to take cuttings is in the spring. There is enough light and warmth for your cuttings to root and grow properly. Do you have a greenhouse or a grow light? Then you can also take cuttings in the colder period!
Before taking cuttings it is also important that the mother plant is strong and healthy. This will make it easier for your cuttings to grow. Always use clean material when taking cuttings: this prevents diseases, fungi or bacteria from other plants being transferred to your new, young cutting. Every plant species has an ideal type of potting mix that works best for her. We’ve shared everything about the perfect potting soil mix on our blog.
Different ways of propagating
There are many different ways to propagate your houseplant. On this PLNTSdoctor page we explain all methods for cutting houseplants. In this blog, we highlight the most common ones and give you a step by step guide on how to propagate via this methods. Ready to go on a cutting adventure?
How to propagate with stem cuttings
Propagating with stem cuttings is probably the easiest way to reproduce most common plants. This propagation method is a bit like propagating with head cuttings, except that you don't cut the cutting at the bud or leaf axil, but as close to the root as possible. Though you can place them straight into soil, some like to let the cutting root in water first. When the roots have grown an centimeter or two you can place it in soil. Monstera, Pothos, Begonia, Dieffenbachia, Syngonium, Senecio and Yucca are plants that are mostly propagated using this method.
Step 1: cut off a stem close to the roots and just below a node.
Step 2: place the cutting in a small glass with water. Make sure only the stem and node are in water, not the leaves as this cause them to rot.
Step 3: place the cutting in an area with bright and indirect light. Now, the hardest part, wait till you see roots begin to sprout. This may take a week or two. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh.
Step 4: carefully place the cutting with roots in a small pot with the right soil and keep the soil moist: your plant is very used to water so this is important for the first few weeks! You can also put your cuttings directly in sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss can hold up to 20 times its own weight in water! This keeps the potting soil always moist, which is perfect for cuttings. When the cutting is rooted it is advisable to move it to soil.
How to propagate by root division or tearing
A plant that consists of several stems can usually be divided well by tearing or dividing it. It may sound a little scary, but tearing is a simple way to propagate a plant with immediate results. If your plant is getting too big for its pot and needs to be repotted anyway, that's a good time to divide your plant using this tearing method. Give the plant an extra sip of water a day before you get started.
Step 1: carefully remove the plant from the pot and gently untangle the roots.
Step 2: shake the soil out of the root ball and carefully pull the plant apart from the center in two or more pieces. You may not be able to pull the roots completely apart. Cut them carefully with a clean and sharp knife.
Step 3: place the loose parts in new pots with fresh potting soil and give the plants a good splash of water. Sometimes it seems like your new plants won't survive, but often that's because the roots haven't fully recovered yet. Give them some time and you will see that your new plants will recover completely!
How to propagate offshoots
Some plants grow offshoots, or tiny mini plants next to the mother plant. These offshoots are small shoots that are capable of growing their own roots. The Pilea and many succulents can be propagated by this method super easily.
Step 1: take your plant out of her nursery pot and loosen the soil. Gently cut the offshoot as close from the mother plant as possible, while trying to keep her roots intact.
Step 2: place the offshoot with roots in some fresh cutting soil and give your new baby plant some water!
You can also put your offshoot in water first before placing it into soil. This way you can keep a close look at the growth of the roots. Follow the same steps as you do with stem cuttings. Keep in mind to keep the soil moist, as your plant is used to a watery base.
How to propagate from leaf cuttings
When you are using the leaf cutting method, you can use a leaf to make a whole new plant. This method is mostly used for plants like a Sansevieria or Zamioculcas.
Step 1: cut off a leaf from the stem and leave it to dry a couple of hours.
Step 2: place your cutting in moist soil and make sure to keep most of the leaf above the soil. You have to place the plant in the same direction as it was growing before you cut it. So look closely what is the top and bottom of the plant! You can let your leaf cutting also root in water. This way you can check the growth super easy!
Step 3: after you have planted your leaf, make sure to keep it in a warm place and water according its regular requirements.
Many succulents can be propagated via this method also.
Ready to try out these plant propagation techniques? Hopefully we’ve inspired you to get creative and double the amount of plants in your home. We also have some great propagation tools to make sure that your new plants will grow into beautiful mature plants!
PLNTS instantly make Renée happy as she's always on the hunt for cool plant trends. Inspiring our community with interior tips, surprising DIY's and fun lists is what she does best!