tried propagating your houseplants?
Most people simply place cuttings in water and hope for the best. While
the shoots of some species will root in water, many
Even when a shoot roots in water, they must be repotted into soil quite
soon or they won't thrive.
are several ways to propagate houseplants, and each houseplant
responds best to a certain treatment.
stem cuttings are made by
clipping a 4- to 5-inch long
piece of stem from the parent plant, with leaves attached. Make the
lower cut just below a node, or the point of attachment of a leaf.
Remove any leaves on the bottom 1.5 to 2 inches of the stem. Dip the
base of the stem in water and then into a commercial rooting
hormone, which is usually a dry
Shake the excess
hormone from the stem. With a pencil, pen, or small stick, make a hole
in your potting media, and place the stem into the hole. This allows
the rooting hormone to remain undisturbed on the stem. Firm the media
and moisten it. Place your cutting in a warm place. If you are taking
cuttings from plants with sticky sap, allow the base to dry for a few
hours prior to dipping in the hormone to reduce infection.
use healthy leaves from the mother plant. For some plants, you can
simply stick the stalk of the leaf, its "petiole," into the potting
media. New roots and shoots will form from the base of the petiole. For
other plants, such as Bryophyllum, jade plant and begonia, you need to
lay leaf blades flat on the media, with their lower surface pressed
gently into the media for good contact. New roots and shoots will form
from the leaf, which eventually will decay.
Using just a leaf of some plants will produce only roots and no shoots.
In this case, a "leaf-bud cutting" is in order. Take a leaf plus its
nearest bud and a portion of the stem. Dip the stem portion into
rooting hormone, make a hole in the media with a pencil, and stick the
cutting into the hole.
Swordshaped leaves on plants such as Sansevieria can be cut into cross
sections, each of which is then placed in the rooting media. New shoots
and roots will form from the bottom, or basal end of each cutting.
When you propagate houseplants, you should not use garden soil unless
it has been sterilized. There are microorganisms in garden soil that
could damage your houseplants or reduce the possibility of successful
rooting. Use a mixture of sand and peat or of sand and vermiculite
in which to root cuttings, or a good potting soil blend. Do not add
fertilizer to the rooting media.
Whatever container you use for root cuttings, be sure it is clean,
particularly if you have used that container before. Wash it in soapy
water, rinse in clear water, disinfect in a 10 percent bleach solution,
rinse again and dry prior to use. After placing the cutting in the
media, firm and moisten it around the base of the cutting and cover the
container with plastic to maintain a high relative humidity. A plastic
sandwich bag works well placed over your container. Leave the bag loose
at its base to allow for some air flow.
Some houseplant species become overcrowded in containers. Simply
dividing the crowns into several segments provides plenty of planting
material to fill empty pots. Be sure the soil is moist when you divide
the clumps to help it remain intact against the root surfaces. Remove
the rootball from the container and gently tease apart individual
Source: Cheryl Moore-Gough
Montana State University Extension Horticulturist.
to Grow House Plants from Tip Cuttings
for soil moisture retention and aeration.
2oz container is enough for hundreds of plantings
Gardening the Organic Way
to Create a Natural and Sustaining Environment for Your Houseplants
Encyclopedia of House Plants