3 important tips on how to propagate my plant

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April 9, 2022

The propagation methods depends on your plant, so do a quick google search or find a video tutorial on youtube for your specific plant. Seeking information on your plant is alway essential for a happy plant. Trust me, many people out there are more then willing to share their plant secrets after lots of trial and error. No one wants to see their beloved plant die if it can so easily be prevented with information sharing.

Some plants are easier and more willing, so to say, to propagate than others. Pothos, philodendrons, monsteras or succulents are straight forward to propagate, so if you are new to this, these plants are great starter plants for trying out propagation. And if you want to know more about plants that are easy to care for, check out the following page.

Propagation methods

In general, there’s three main ways to propagate your plant; cutting, division or offsets. The best time of the year to propagate is during spring while the plant is in its growth phase, and therefore, have a better change of adapting to the changes in environment and the cut itself. Thus, choosing a healthy mature plant is also vital for successful division. Important note: please, don’t use general garden soil for new cuttings as they need low nutrient soil-free mixture for ideal growth.

Offset

Ever wished to be able to duplicate a person? You might not be able to do so with people but some plants propagate themself by making miniatures with rots and all. Most times you can simply just cut between the mother-plant and the offshoots, but not until the offset is fully mature. Check the rot system of the mini replicate and if looking well developed, go ahead with the propagation. As will be mentioned for each section, it’s important to know your plant so do a quick search on how your offset should be looking before cutting it off from the mother-plant. Unlike plants using a different propagation technique, this method implies that the offset is fully mature as it can’t develop as rapidly as other plants after propagation.

Once fully mature, cut the offset free carefully without damaging the root system and plant directly in fresh soil and water the plant.

Examples of plants with offshoots: orchids, money plant, aloe vera, succulents.

Division

Division

If your plant consist of multiple stems, the easiest way to propagate your plant is by tearing. Might sound brutal but it is the most straightforward and efficient way of repotting your multi-stem plant. Some plants have rhizomes, a bulb-like root system, which are easy to identify and perform division of.

Start by loosening your plants hold on its planter, and once out, untangle its roots gently until the centre of the root system is exposed without the danger of tearing unnecessary roots. Tear the plant apart doing so by holding onto the roots when pulling the plant apart. If the roots are difficult to divide without damaging the plant, use a sharp clean knife to finish the division. Split in the number of clusters you want and repot immediately and water once done.

Examples of plants with multi-stems: peace lily, ZZ plant, snake plant, ereca palm, calatheas.

Cutting

Cutting is the most commonly used method of propagation, and the types of cuttings are vast. Listed below are some of the generic types of cuttings. An extended explanation of all cutting methods will be coming soon!

Head cutting:

A head cutting is exactly as the name sounds, a cutting of the top of the motherplant, which are most often the youngest part of the plant. The cutting should be performed above a leaf and the cut can be performed with a straight cut. A head cutting can be placed directly in cutting soil mixture or allowed to root in water. If opting for the water method, the plant can be repotting into soil mixture after 6 weeks in water once the root system of your cutting looks healthy and large enough to support the plant.

Shoot cutting:

Sometimes mistaken for a head cutting, as it can be new and therefore a young part of the plant, is shoot cuttings. A shoot of a plant is formed when your plant starts sprouting a new stem with leaves from a bud, which are ideal for division.

Either tear or cut the shoot off close to the stem without damaging the motherplant. If there’s leaves close to the base of the new stem, remove them before planting the shoot cutting into planter with cutting soil.

Stem- and interplant cutting:

stem cuttings

These cuttings are similar and should both contain a node with or without a leaf. The node will start rooting soon after being cut and create a healthy root system for your new cutling. Cut a few centimeters above and below a node and place the new cutting in water or directly into cutting mixture.

Leaf cutting:

There are multiple types of leaf cuttings but the most applied methods to use on thick-leafed indoor plants is by cutting a healthy leaf into multiple pieces, each 2-3 centimeters long. Some plants needs their leaf cutting to be left to dry and form a callus over the open cutting before planting in cutting soil, whereas others can be planted directly. Check online for your specific plant.

Examples of plants ideal for cutting: pothos, monsteras, ficus, philodendron, sansevieria (snake plant).

Materials needed

  • Healthy plant
  • Planter or container
  • Pruning shears, scissors or knife
  • Cutting soil (search what is best for your plant) or water

Tips to achieve best cuttings

1. Make sure the surface and knife or scissors you are using are completely clean to avoid bacteria or fungi infection.

2. If placing the cutlings in water make sure the water has been either filtered or left on the counter for at least 12 hours to remove most of the chlorine in the water, as it can have a negative effect on the newly propagated plant.

3. If you are cutting more than one plant, clean the surface and knife/scissors before cutting the second plant in case the primary plant has a disease, bacterial or fungi infection. You don’t want it to spread! On that note, it’s alway important and often neglected to clean an old planter before planting a new plant in it. The surface of the old planter could still contain a disease, fungi or bacteria harmful to your new plant ?