Cutting and growing houseplants

The more plants, the better! You can super easily create your own urban jungle by cuttings and growing your own plants. Cuttings of plantlets is in difficult terms 'the vegetative propagation of your plants'. Sounds complicated, but the bottom line is that you can grow a new plant through your mature plant. The way you do this, again, depends on the type of plant.

Propagate plants and fill all the empty spaces in your house with the little baby plants, give them the proper care and they will grow into beautiful, mature plants. Cuttings are not only super cheap but also a perfect activity for all the plant geeks among us.

Ready to take on the cutting adventure? Read all about the different forms of cuttings and cultivation, which plants you can propagate super easily and what you need to be able to take cuttings from your plant.

Houseplant cuttings

There are many different ways to propagate your houseplant. Here we explain some of the most important cutting methods for houseplants!

Head cuttings

Head cuttings are an easy form of cutting. A head cutting is the part that is taken from the end of a branch or the top of the mother plant. The young parts of a plant. These cuttings are best cut straight, above a leaf of the mother plant. Make sure that the cutting is about 15 centimeters, depending on the plant. Remove the bottom leaves so that half of the cutting is empty.

Is your plant a difficult rooter? Then it is useful to wound the bottom centimeter of the cutting by making small cuts in it. An injured plant is triggered to develop and make roots faster. A head cutting can be placed directly into cutting soil or first allowed to root in water. Once the cutting has enough roots after about 6 weeks you can repot it in potting soil.

Shoot cuttings

A shoot of a plant is a new stem with leaves, which is formed by the sprouting of a bud. These young shoots make great cuttings! Choose a few shoots from the summer cutting and carefully tear them off without damaging the stem. Remove the excess leaves from the bottom of the cutting with a sharp knife and make sure the part of the cutting that goes into the ground is completely bare. Also trim the bottom of the stem with a knife and place your new cutting in a pot with potting or cutting soil. Make sure the bottom leaves are just above the soil and press the soil gently. Ready to see your new cutting grow!

Interplant cuttings

Interplanting is another way to propagate your plant. The principle is a bit the same as head cuttings, only here you don't use the end of the stem, but an intermediate piece. Make the cuttings up to 4 centimeters long and make sure that there is at least one leaf in it and that the stem at the bottom of the leaf is longer than above it.

Plant your cutting and cover the pot with a piece of plastic. This way you will create a pleasant climate for your new, small cutting!

Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings are a bit like head cuttings, except that you don't cut the cutting at the bud or leaf axil, but at the ground: as close to the root as possible. Also with this form of cutting you remove the lowest leaves and the top of the cutting. In this way you make sure that all energy goes to forming strong roots! Place the cutting in a filled pot with cutting soil and place them deep in the soil to just below the leaves.

Eye cuttings

An eye cutting is an eye in the leaf axil that has not sprouted. An eye cutting consists of a leaf, a bud in a leaf axil and a small piece of stem. Do you want to make an eye cutting? Then always choose a sturdy, young shoot from leaves that are fully grown.

This method is the same as that of interplant cuttings.

Root Cuttings

This method is often used for propagating garden plants, but could also be done with houseplants. Choose a healthy, strong donor plant and make sure you expose the roots. Then cut off two roots just below the top of the root ball, then place the plant right back in the pot. Cut the cut roots into pieces of at least 5 centimeters and put them upright in a pot with fresh potting soil. Make sure that the roots do not rise above the soil. Give them a little time and before you know it there are young plants growing from your cuttings!

Leaf cuttings

You can take leaf cuttings in different ways, depending on the plant you want to propagate. In any case, the leaf serves as a starting point for your new cutting! From the leaf a root will start growing again and the cutting can develop. The main methods of leaf cuttings are:

1. Cuttings with young plants on the leaf

This form of cuttings is completely natural and some plants take care of themselves. At the leaf's point of attachment a new leaf grows which will develop into a fully-fledged cutting. Once the cutting is fully grown it will fall off the mother plant and develop further in the soil. In no time a new, independent plant!

2. Cuttings with complete leaf and stem

The easiest form of leaf cutting! Cut a leaf, including the stem of about 5 centimeters with a sharp knife and place it in a pot with cutting soil. Make sure the cutting is placed in the pot at a slight angle and the stem is completely in the soil. The leaf will stick out a bit. Pay attention to the leaf itself and try to damage it as little as possible.

3. Cuttings with part of the leaf

This method is often used with houseplants with beautiful, large leaves. Take a leaf of a healthy plant that is fully developed and undamaged. Lay the leaf face up on a cutting board and cut off the leaf edges. Then cut the leaf up into 2 by 2 centimeter pieces and place them top side up on the cutting soil in pot. Give them a little water and you will see that after about one and a half to two months new cuttings will come up! A tip: put a glass plate on top of the pot to increase the humidity. They like it!

Laying off

A super easy cutting method is called 'layering'. Take an aerial root, branch or stem and bend it towards the ground as gently as possible until the top touches the ground. Make sure it hangs like this. The plant will notice that the tip is in contact with a new source of nutrients and will be eager to use it! From the branch, stem or aerial root she will shoot new roots into the ground which you can cut off from the mother plant after about a month. The cutting will have created enough roots to survive all by itself.

Tearing

A plant that consists of several stems can usually be divided well by tearing 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 rip your plant. Give the plant an extra sip of water a day before you get started.

Carefully remove the plant from the pot and gently untangle the roots. 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. 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!

Offshoots

Some plants make new baby plants themselves. We call these shoots. Sometimes even with roots and all. You can of course put these in their own pots! Take the plant out of the pot and try to damage the shoot including the roots as little as possible. You can also cut new shoots with a sharp knife from the mother plant close to the plants. Put the new cuttings in a pot with cutting soil and give them some water immediately. The first time you water your new plant from the top, but later you can also water from below on the saucer so that the roots also develop deep in the pot.

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What do you need to take cuttings?

If you are going to take cuttings it is best to do it in the spring at the beginning of a new period of growth. There is enough light and a pleasant temperature. In the months that follow your plant will get the chance to grow and develop. In the winter months the days are just too short to grow well and it can be too dry in the house. Therefore it is better not to make cuttings in the fall or winter.

Use soil for taking cuttings from your plants. This soil is often slightly finer than normal potting soil, so the fragile roots can grow undisturbed. It also contains few nutrients, because they are too aggressive for the little ones.

Besides cutting soil, spaghnum moss, perlite and water are also perfect for taking cuttings. Because the cuttings often do not have roots yet you need to keep them moist. Therefore you can also put them under a foil with holes, in a plastic bag (as a mini greenhouse) or in a greenhouse so little water evaporates. When the soil or substrate becomes dry you can spray the cuttings with the plant sprayer. After a while, usually when the roots are about 8 centimeters or longer, you can repot the young plants in pots with potting soil with more nutrition. You can also use cutting powder to make the cutting root faster.

For your cuttings you can use all kinds of handy tools that we sell in our shop!

  • Cuttings soil (or one of the other substrates);
  • Pruning shears;
  • Water meter;
  • Grow light;
  • Watering can;
  • Plant sprayer;
  • Moss stick or plant guide;
  • Terracotta pots

Tips for taking cuttings from houseplants

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.

Inexperienced in taking cuttings? Then start with an easy plant to take cuttings from!

Easy plants to take cuttings from

Some plants are harder to take cuttings from than others. The most popular plants are super easy to propagate so you can turn your house into a green jungle or do someone else a favor. Would you like to start with an easy plant that grows quickly and forms roots easily or do you have one of the following beauties in the house? Then we would like to give you a hand with your plant cuttings!

Monstera cuttings

A Monstera is super easy to take cuttings from. Monstera's make aerial roots. Depending on the species these are (long) roots that grow on the stems of the plant. To be able to take cuttings from a Monstera you need to have a leaf, a stem and an aerial root. To do this, cut about two centimeters below the aerial root. Use sharp scissors or a knife for this.

Now that you've cut your cutting, it's time to plant it! You can choose to put your cutting in water or plant it directly into the soil. Fill a vase with lukewarm water and put your cutting in it. Change the water every so often when it starts to get cloudy. The nice thing about taking cuttings in water is that you can keep an eye on the progress of the roots. Do you see that the roots are growing well? Then after a while it's time to plant the cutting in the soil. Keep in mind that your plant has been hanging in the water all this time and needs to get used to her roots in the soil. Keep the soil nice and moist during the first weeks: it will grow well!

You can also place your cutting directly into potting soil or cutting soil. Fill a pot with soil and make sure it is a bit moist. Stick your finger into the soil and make a hole that fits your cutting perfectly. Place the cutting firmly in the ground and give it extra love and attention in the coming time. In this way she will grow into a beautiful Monstera!

Pilea cuttings

The Pilea, better known as the Pancake plant, is hard to imagine life without! Taking cuttings from this popular plant is very simple. Did you spot a small baby plant at your Pilea? Then you've got your cutting! They grow completely separate from the mother plant. Dig out the little plant and cut it off as close to the stem of the mother plant as possible: this way you make sure you take along as many roots as possible. Pot the whole plant in a new pot with fresh potting soil and give it a splash of water. In no time your new plant will have baby plants of its own!

Banana plant cuttings

Do you have a Musa Dwarf Cavendish, or Banana Plant, at home that you shower with love and attention? If so, your banana plant may just be making a baby plant cutting! This cutting usually grows on the stem of the mother plant, forming its own roots. We know you're excited about this little cutting, but we advise you not to take it away from its mother too soon. When your cutting has about 4 to 5 leaves it's time: your plant is ready to be staked!

Remove the Banana plant from its pot and dig out the cutting as far as possible. Do this very carefully, without damaging the roots. Take a sharp knife and cut the cutting, as close to the large stem of the mother plant as possible. Make sure you cut as few roots as possible. Try to remove as much of the root ball as possible so you are left with a cutting with bare roots. Place the mother plant back in a larger pot with fresh potting soil so she can continue to grow nicely.

You can also place the cutting in its own pot. Give her a good splash of water. You can also put some cutting powder on the roots, so she gets an immediate growth boost. Give the mother and baby plant lots of attention and you'll see that in no time there will be two beauties shining in your home!

Sansevieria cuttings

The Sansevieria, or Queen's tongue, can be cut in two ways. From leaves or by tearing. Do you have a lot of patience? Then you can go for the first option. You cut a broken leaf of your Sansevieria in pieces of about 5 to 10 centimeters. Pay attention to what the top and bottom is. Dip the underside in some cutting powder and place them in the soil. This method requires a lot of patience: it can take up to a year for something to happen!

Not so patient? Then tearing is a better option. A Sansevieria grows its strong roots and leaves deep into the potting soil, with all leaves having separate roots. Remove the plant from the pot and carefully dig away some potting soil around the roots. Tear off the leaves you want to cutt, trying to damage the roots as little as possible! This feisty lady has strong roots that you can immediately put back into a new pot with potting soil. Give her a little water and your cutting is complete!

Succulents cuttings

Perhaps the easiest species to propagate: succulents! With the leaves of a succulent you can take cuttings. Carefully twist off a leaf and place the leaf in the soil. Eventually it will grow roots and even a new plant!

Do you have a large succulent in your home? Then you can also choose to stem cuttings. With a clean and sharp knife, cut off a side branch of the plant and you have a cutting! Before you plant your cutting it is best to let it dry for a while. This gives time for a crust to form over the cut, which reduces the chance of your cutting rotting. After drying, plant the cutting in a pot with potting compost or cutting soil, and you can start waiting for a beautiful succulent...

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Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!