Skip to Main Content

Propagation Station

Home » Blog » Plant Tips » Propagation Station

Propagation- the easiest, funnest, and weirdly enough most feared procedure for houseplant beginners. I know some of you are rolling your eyes at that, but hey! Everyone starts somewhere, and for people who don’t know about the best at-home science experiment, I’m going to teach y’all today!

Let us get down to basics here, my darlings. Propagation is simply taking cuttings from your plant, and making a new plant! We are going to go through the easiest and most popular way of propagation, and my personal favorite- water propagation!

A Note about Pruning

Your plants need to be properly pruned when they are looking overgrown and too full, if the leaves die (which don’t freak out-it happens) you’ll just need to snip off that dead weight. Make sure you use some nice, sharp, shears instead of pulling the leaves and stems with your hands, as that may damage the still growing and healthy foliage.

Pruning is different from propagation, but it’s getting closer to what we will be doing with clippings. Look at pruning and propagation as a haircut for your plants, you want to trim off those split ends for healthy growth and upkeep. The main difference with propagation is we will be cutting healthy vines and stems, and we will be making new plants in the process!

Back to Propagation!

Final Result from Propagation techniques explored in this blog article

Not all plants can be propagated by a simple snip snip of the vine or the stem. Some plants, such as succulents, just need to have a leaf plucked and stuck into soil to start sprouting roots. Alocasias and Calatheas cannot be propagated by cutting, they need to be divided at the roots. Don’t even come at me with this!

It is a tedious process that can be done, with great care. I have always experienced that when I divide a plant- it’s never the same plant. It will go through a drama-mama-trauma process, but will come back and can be nursed back to the beauty it once was, it just takes a lot more time and some effort, and usually a panic attack that you ruined everything.

So, for my beginners, let’s talk about cuttings and water propagation. Plants such as Philodendrons, Monsteras, Pothos, Begonias, Peperomias, and Tradescantia are the easiest to propagate via cutting.

Setting Up Your Props

First, let’s ask ourselves why are we propagating?

  • Because I’m a badass Botanical Scientist who can make one plant two
  • Because my plant seriously needs to be trimmed up to retain proper shaping
  • Because I want to, get off my back about it

Secondly, let’s get the supplies needed for propagation:

  • A sharp pair of shears
  • A mother plant that has visible nodes 
  • A clear glass jar or container
  • Filtered water
  • A sunny spot on a windowsill (preferably facing West or South)
  • (optional) Cinnamon – weird, I know, but we’ll get into it.

Glass Bottles Shears and Cinnamon for Propagation

You want to first assess the plant and make sure it is ready for cuttings. You want to pick a strong node (these are where roots grow from) that has substantial and strong growth surrounding it. Usually, you will find them on the vine of a plant where the vine is splitting into two different stems. This is the perfect place for clipping. You want to cut about an inch away/down from the node.

Again, make sure your mother plant is healthy and full enough to sustain some clippings, you don’t want to go all Edward Scissorhands on it.

Proper Cutting of Node using Water propagation

After Clipping

After you have a good clipping or a couple of good ones, you want to make sure you have a clear glass jar, filled with filtered water. Put the clippings in the water, and place the jar on the windowsill. Yes, it is that easy. Then the growth begins! Depending on which plant you are propagating, and what time of year it is (dormant season takes forever is the Bane of existence for props) you should usually see root growth in a week or two.

I absolutely love water propagation, because you see the progress of root growth. That’s so badass to watch. So here’s a little somethin’ somethin’ that I found out along my adventure of absorbing any and all information on plants and all things botanicals. When you clip your cuttings, you can rub the end of the cutting, under the node, in cinnamon. Cinnamon acts as a natural root stimulator, it also helps with the prevention of root rot. This is optional, you do not need a root stimulator.

Filtered water, proper sunlight, and cutting the right plant in the right spot is honestly all you need to make a good propagation.

Propagation Roots Showing through in Glass Bottles after healthy living

After the roots start to show, let it hang out. Change the water about once a week, keep it in the windowsill to get optimum light, and let those roots get big and strong. When the roots are full, thick, and happy- your propagation is ready to go into the soil. Voila! You have created your own plant, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.

What are your favorite ways to prop, and what are your favorite plants to propagate? Any fun tricks and much appreciated tips and info? Shout it out to me!