How to propagate houseplants from cuttings

How to propagate houseplants from cuttings

Maybe your amigo has a few babies sprouting off, and it's time for them to leave the nest. You don't want to live with your parents forever do you? Neither do they! In this blog we will explain in 3 basic steps the best way to take cuttings from your green friend, and how to make that cutting grow into its own amigo. If you haven't improved your plant mom/dad skills after this, we don't know how to help you.


Step 1. Learn about the plant you want to take cuttings from

Not all plants can be propagated in the same way. Before you get started, it is important to know which plant you are going to take cuttings from and how to do this. 

The most famous categories are:

Plants with a trunk such as the Ficus, Yucca or Dracaena

With amigos like Johnny and Mona, you can choose to cut off the branches at the beginning of the stem. Does your amigo have no branches? If the trunk is not too thick, you can cut a piece off the top. Make sure you cut a piece that is between 10 and 20 centimeters. Depending on the thickness of the trunk, it is best to use pruning shears. You can then put these stems in potting soil. It may seem a bit fierce to make your amigo a bit smaller, but no worries, it will grow back! 

Plants with aerial roots such as the Monstera and the Scindapsus Pictus:

Some amigos like Alfredo have aerial roots on their stems to help them retrieve nutrients and water from the air. If you want to take cuttings from a plant with aerial roots, it is best to cut the stem just below the aerial root. The length of the aerial root does not matter much, even a very small piece of aerial root is enough to make your cutting grow. 



Succulents such as the Peperomia

Many succulents can be taken from cuttings by removing a leaf from the trunk and carefully sticking it into the soil. You have to be patient with this however, because the leaves have been removed from the mother plant, so this baby amigo has been wounded. Before you put it in the soil, it needs time to grow a crust so that it is less susceptible to rotting. Therefore, it is best to leave your baby amigo on kitchen paper for a week before you give it a new home.

Plants where you carefully cut off the roots such as the pancake plant

Are there all kinds of baby plants sprouting up in the soil next to your amigo? You can cut these babies off leaving as much root as possible attached, and put them in water or potting soil. Be careful with the cutting. First try to feel in the potting soil how far the root goes and then gently pull on the baby plant so that it loosens up a bit. Then take a knife and cut it as deep as possible.

If the plant you want to propagate is not listed here, we advise you to first take a good look under which category your amigo falls before you get started.


Step 2. Gather the correct material 


Now that you know what treatment your green friend needs, it's time to gather the right materials. The most important thing is that you have (pruning) scissors that are clean. If it is not clean enough, it can transfer bacteria to your plants. Believe us, you don't want that.

You can choose to place your new cutting in water, or put it in potting soil. If you place your cutting flush in the ground, make sure you find a suitable pot that is not too big, otherwise it could be drowning in it. Also make sure that you have suitable potting soil at home.

Are you going to put your plant in water? Then make sure that the water is at room temperature. 


Step 3. Place your cutting in water or potting soil and give it the correct care


Decide carefully whether you put your cutting in water or potting soil. The advantage of water is that you can keep a close eye on how the roots of your cutting are developing. But unfortunately not every cutting is suitable for this.

For example, it is best to put leaves of succulents in potting soil immediately because they will mold in the water. These plants are a bit more difficult to propagate anyway, they often do not have roots yet, which makes them difficult to absorb water.

Pro tip: By simply putting a plastic bag over the plant, you can create your own greenhouse. It does not have to be 100% airtight, every extra bit of moisture is welcome! 

If you put your cutting in water, make sure that only the bottom part is in the water and place your baby in a light spot, out of direct sunlight. Also make sure you change the water every week to keep it fresh. 

When the roots have developed well in the water, you can put it into soil. 5 to 10 centimeters of root is enough for most plants. With somewhat larger plants, such as the roots of a Strelitzia, it is better to wait until the roots are a little longer. 

You can of course also choose to leave your plant in the water, it also looks super cool! Keep in mind that your amigo will no longer grow much in water. 


Keep in mind that this is a basic explanation of how to propagate your amigo. Before you get started, always research the type of plant carefully! Any additional questions? You can always send us a message. Looking for a new amigo? Search for the ideal match via the Plant Finder or the House Plants page. Are you looking for more inspiration for the perfect Urban Jungle? Then follow us on Facebook and Instagram! 

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