Sometimes our plants need to be pruned down, or you just want to grow some more of your favorite plant, or share the love with somebody else. Propagation can be so fun when it goes as planned, and a nightmare if not. Here are some few tips and tricks to make the propagation as smooth as possible.
Something to know is that there are different kinds of cuttings, which all have their own ways to grow. Here are some of our favorite cuttings:
Head cutting: A very easy form of cutting. It’s the part that is taken from the end of the branch, or on the top of the plant. These are typically the best to take cutting it straight over, this gives it the best chance to grow roots.
Interplant cutting: A similar principe like a head cutting, only here you take a part that’s, you guessed it, intermediate. Make sure to leave at least one leaf and that the stem underneath the leaves is longer than above it.
Eye cutting: Consists of a leaf, a bud in an axil and a part of the stem from a plant. The eye is referring to the unsprouted buds. The process is similair to the interplant cutting. Make sure to take cutting from a strong, developed plant.
Stem cutting: This type of cutting takes place as close to the root as possible. It doesn’t include any leaves, as you push the cutting to prioritize the root growth with its energy. Place the cutting in moist soil. Make sure to place it low in the soil.
Leaf cutting: Can be taken in many different ways, depending on what kind of plant you are working on. The leaf will serve as a “base” for your new growth, and roots will develop. Here are the different ways to do it:
1. Cutting with young leaves: It’s a natural process that also happens on a plant self. The leaf’s attachment point is where a new leaf will grow, and ultimately become a new plant.
2. Cuttings with grown leaf and stem: This is as easy as it sounds. Simply cut off a leaf including its stem, and place it either in moist potting soil, or in water to grow roots. And watch it grow!
3. Cuttings with part of the leaf: Often used with plants that have bigger leaves. Simply cut of a healthy leaf, place it on a cutting board and cut the leaves in smaller sizes. Place the cut leaves in an angle in the moist potting soil. Key for growth is humidity on this kind of cutting, so make sure to supplement as much humidity as possible! (without causing rot).
Shoot cutting: Is the phase that has developed longer than the eye cuttings, where the buds have grown out to be shoots, new growth. Carefully tear off the shoot at its end without ruining the stem, and place it in moist soil. Be careful as it is very fragile.
Root cutting: Not the most common cutting for houseplants, but for sure also one to consider. Expose the roots of a healthy plant and cut the roots into smaller pieces. Make sure they are big enough, and that they are standing upwards and under the new moist soil.
HOW TO PROPAGATE:
Make sure to do this process in the late winter, early spring so that your cutting will have the best conditions to promote growth. This is the natural growing part of the plants cycle, and it will therefore be more motivated to grow strong. Take the cuttings the same way you would prune healthy cuttings and have a new home ready for your fresh cutting.
You can put some cuttings firstly in water to promote root growth or directly in soil. It’s important that it’s humid enough as the cutting technically is “dead” when you cut it off the mother plant. You can therefore make a mini greenhouse using plastic wrap and water, or simply use moist soil. Too much moist and humidity can also cause rot so be careful. Another tip is to use cutting powder when you pot it in soil, this is some nutrients that will promote growth at the roots as well.
Make sure to use sterilized, sharp knives or scissors. This is to make sure there is as less damage to the cuttings as possible, as well as making sure there is no contamination of diseases to the mother plant.
Always make sure that the cuttings are strong enough, long enough (more energy that’s inside the cutting), and that you make sure to have the right conditions for the cuttings. This is in a large part humidity, good temperature, and good nutrients.
Propagation is fun, start trying with plants you know are easy growers and get inspired! The great part about it is that you still get to have a healthy mother plant in case it goes wrong. It’s very inspiring to see a new plant grow because of your green fingers, so don’t be scared, and just try it out.