Calling all plant enthusiasts! Are you ready to take your indoor plant game to the next level? It's time to dive into the wonderful world of propagation. If you've ever dreamed of having an army of lush greenery without breaking the bank, propagation is the secret sauce you've been looking for. Get your snippers ready because you are about to become a propagation pro, ready to multiply your plant family and become the ultimate plant parent!
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of propagation, let's make sure we're all on the same leaf. Plant propagation is the process of creating new plants from existing ones. It's like making plant clones, but without the test tubes and mad scientists. By using various techniques, you can grow new plants from cuttings, seeds, or other plant parts!
Plant Cutting Propagation 101
Let's get down to business and learn how to propagate plant cuttings (the most popular way to propagate) like a seasoned pro. Follow these steps to increase your chances of success and watch your plant family flourish:
1. Choose Your Cutting
Look for healthy stems with a few sets of leaves, preferably from the parent plant's non-flowering shoots. Make sure to use a clean, sharp tool to avoid any plant drama.
2. Cut with Purpose
Cut approximately .5"-1" above node (those little bumps where the leaves meet the stem and your new roots will grow from). Trim off the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving the bottom nodes nice and exposed. Don't worry, it's just a little trim for a greater purpose!
3. Let it Callus
One you have cut the stem and removed the unnecessary leaves, allow the cutting to sit for at least 2hrs to allow it to callus over at the end. Like a cut on our own skin, a stem needs to build up a type of barrier in order to heal properly.
4. Dip in Rooting Hormone (Optional)Buy Rooting Powder
If you want to give your cutting an extra boost, you can dip the cut end into a rooting hormone powder or gel. It's like giving your plant a superhero cape, helping it grow roots faster.
5. Choose a Propagating Medium
There are number of ways you can now begin rooting your cutting. The most popular methods are water, soil or moss. Choose your preference or simply what you have on hand, after you begin to explore the different methods you will begin to learn what is your preference. No matter what you choose, make sure your cuttings stay consistently moist, have adequate lighting and some air flow to avoid rot (a old plastic container with holes on top may not be the prettiest option but gets the job done!)
Tip - if you propagate in water, place multiple different plant cuttings in one container to help stimulate faster rooting!
Propagation takes time, so practice your zen. It can take weeks or even months for roots to sprout, so don't lose hope. Remember, good things come to those who wait (and water).
7. Plant with Care
Once you cutting has grown a minimum of 2" of roots, it is time to pot it up! Choose a well-draining potting mix and create a cozy home for your cutting. Make a hole in the soil, gently place the cutting inside, and firm the soil around it. Voila! Your little plant clone is ready to start its journey.
Tip - When potting up propagations from water, the first few weeks you will need to water them more often than normal to transition the plant from water to soil.
Alternative Propagation Methods
While stem cutting is one of the more popular ways to propagate, it most definitely not the only way! If we described in detail each of these methods this post would become a novel (future post ideas maybe?) so we won't bore you BUT some non-cutting ways to propagate your plant include leaf cutting, air layering, plant dividing and corm growing.
If you have a plant you are looking to propagate, make sure to do some research on the plant and learn what method you think would be best before grabbing the sheers.
Propagation is a chance to share your green thumb magic. So gather your plant clippings, don your gardening gloves, and embark on this propagation adventure. Before you know it, your plant family will expand, and you'll become the envy of all your plant-loving friends.
Until next week...... GET LOST!