Summer propagation guide: unlocking the secrets to successful houseplant propagation
Propagating your houseplants must be the cheapest way to expand your ever growing PLNTS collection and besides, it is so much fun! You get to witness how just a piece of a plant can grow into a whole new plant itself. Even though we have been going around with plants for quite some time now, they never stop fascinating and amazing us with their capabilities.
Some plants can be propagated very easily and some are more difficult, you might wonder why that is. There are many aspects involved, like the overall health of the mother plant, how clean your tool is and what time of the year it is. In this blog we will give you the golden tips to be able to successfully propagate your own plants at home. We’re ready when you are!
We PLNTSlovers call spring and summer the growing season, this is because we can see our plants thrive and flourish during this time period. We get longer days and better weather, which benefits our plants immensely. This is generally the best time to take cuttings. But the absolute perfect time frame is just a bit smaller. We recommended taking most cuttings on the highest peak of the growing season, which occurs in early summer, which could be seen as the end of May and in June. Since your plant is already working very hard to create new growth, the chance you will take a cutting that is super healthy is the largest.
The days are also long and usually the temperature is quite warm, which benefits the plants growth in general, as does it benefit the growth of your cuttings. It makes sure your plant receives the amount of light she needs to be able to create energy and grow for you. Just keep your cuttings out of any direct sunlight, since this might cause scorching on the delicate leaves.
Increasing the humidity for your cuttings can also benefit the growth of the cuttings, since summer can be quite dry. This can simply be done by a pebble tray, a humidifier or by growing them in a greenhouse.
When you have had some unsuccessful cuttings, it can be scary to try again. If this has happened to you, we will tell you about 3 different ways to propagate your plants that involve low risks, woohoo!
You can use a method called air layering to let the part you would like to take as a cutting, develop roots before taking the actual cutting. Since the cutting already has established some roots, the chance of making this specific cutting successful is far higher than of an unrooted cutting.
You can achieve this by looking for the node on your houseplant or where your plant may already have created some tiny aerial roots. Pack this part of the plant with a thick layer of damp sphagnum moss and wrap it with plastic wrap to hold the moisture. Check the moisture once a week and if needed damp it again. After a few weeks your plant should develop roots and when these are long enough you can cut the plant as you normally would. Instead of your cutting still needing time to root, you can place your rooted cutting directly in some soil. And there you have a successful cutting!
Another great way to propagate your plant is by division. Instead of growing a whole new plant out of a small piece that you have cut off, you will ‘rip’ your plant into two pieces. This can be a bit scary, but it is okay if some roots don’t make it. It is best to untangle the roots as much as possible before pulling the plant apart. But this method will ensure that both of the plants will have an established root system.
Due to our lovely growing season, some houseplants will produce offshoots. Think of Snake plants, the chinese money plant or the aloe vera. These teeny tiny baby plants grow besides the mother and use their energy to be able to grow. Once the offshoot has developed a little, you can decide to remove it from the mother plant. If this can be done with some roots from the mother plant, that would be the best. If not, you have a bigger chance of the offshoot not making it, but it is still more than possible to grow this baby out to a full grown plant!
Tender, love and care
As PLNTSparents we need to be tender towards our green babies and this might be the most important factor when growing plants or cuttings. By being patient and caring for your cuttings, you will have the best chance of getting a successful propagation. If you are growing your cuttings on water, make sure to change the water regularly, or to keep the substrate moist when you decide to go for one of those. Always make sure that you are meeting the needs of your specific plant, since they can really differ per species. By providing them what they really need, the chance of having healthy plants from which you can take super healthy cuttings will increase immensely!
That were all our tips and tricks to propagate your PLNTS successful this summer! Do you think you might try out one of these tips? If you are, let us know! We would love to know what works for you and if you might have any additional tips. If you have something cool to share through Instagram, you may always tag us with the hashtag #PLNTS. This makes sure we can enjoy your content as well! Oh , and if you are curious to what tools can help you during propagating your plants, you might want to see this blog, The perfect tools to use for making cuttings!
Carlijn is probably one of the biggest plant geeks ever. She is always on the lookout for new gems and loves to share all her plant knowledge, tips and inspiration with our community!