Propagation: Let's Cut to the Chase

Propagation is a technique used to grow new plants out of older, healthier ones. As the seasons change, you may want to take cuttings from some of your favorite outdoor plants so that you can grow them inside. Or maybe you want to share your favorite houseplants with a friend. Follow the steps below to learn how easy it can be to multiply your plants. 

Choose the correct plant for cuttings 

For best results, take cuttings from a healthy parent plant. Avoid plants with disease, fungus, or drooping foliage. Also, make sure that you are taking cuttings from a large enough plant so that the parent plant won’t be harmed by the process.  

Prepare a container for your cuttings 

Before your cuttings can grow roots, they must be stored in the proper environment. To construct a healthy environment, fill a pot with soilless potting mix. This will create moist conditions and optimal drainage. It is important to avoid standard garden soil due to pathogens that could kill your cutting before it roots. 

Cut the plant 

It’s time to cut! For the best cuttings, choose new, green, healthy stems that have a node (where a leaf will grow), because this is where the new roots will form. Then, using sterilized scissors, a razor blade, or harvesting shears, cut your stem right below that node. A good cutting should be between 4-6 inches, with at least one node and two leaves.  

After the cut 

To increase the chances of your cutting growing roots, cut through the middle of the node horizontally. Remove excess leaves so that there’s only 1-2 left on the cutting. Before you plant your cutting, make a hole in your potting mix that is just a bit larger than the diameter of the stem. Finally, add your cutting into the hole and firmly press the potting mix around the base of the stem. If you need to, you can plant more than one cutting in the same pot, but make sure they have adequate space.  

Cover the pot and monitor your cutting 

After you plant your cutting, place the pot inside a silicone bag or underneath a glass container. This will hold in heat and keep the humidity level high. Keep the set-up in a warm spot in your house that receives indirect light. Also, remember not to seal the bag completely, or prop the glass container up onto something so it is not laying flat on the table or counter, to avoid fungal rot. While you wait for your cutting to form roots, continue to check for rot and other signs of trouble. For the best results, keep the potting mix moist, but not soaking wet. Once your cutting is rooted, transplant it to its own pot.  


Try out our guide and let us know how your propagation process goes. Tag us, DM us, or send us an email with any comments or questions you may have!