Propagation 101: How to Make New Plants from the Ones You Have (Yes, Free Plants!)
Propagation - the art of making plants from the ones you have... AKA free plants! 🙌
If you're just getting started on the journey to making your own plants, follow these important guidelines to maximize your success & make the most of what you already have:
When cutting your plants, it's important to use a sharp blade and leave more of the stem than you think you need. Be sure to only take cuttings from healthy plants - trying to propagate a half dead or dried out leaf or stem will not turn out well... sadly, we can't bring all plants back to life 😢
Clear glass is the best to propogate in because it allows more light in! More light = healthier and happier roots. As long as the leaves don't brown, you're good. You can also easily monitor the growth and see when the water gets dirty & needs to be changed.
That's why all the propagation stations and vessels we sell are clear. We gotchu. (If you need more light, get our beautiful Brass Growhouse - which sits on a surface or has hooks to be mounted on a wall.)
(Our Brass Growhouse)
If the top of your vessel is too thin, you might mess up the roots when it's finally time to pull them out. Thankfully, all of our vessels work well with most plants. If you're propagating a plant with larger leaves, like a snake plant, try one of our wall mountable vessels.
CHECK THE WATER! It should also always be over the nodes (where the leaf attaches to your plant) Tap water works just fine, but temperature matters. Luke warm is best -- hot or cold water shocks the plants. Don't want the roots getting shy on you!
When you're picking the leaves / tips to cut, don't take new ones that just sprouted. Those baby leaves & stems need at least a month to grow and live off of their mama plant. You want it to be mature before it gets kicked out of the nest, like any good plant parent, right?
5 Methods of Propagation Based on the Plant
(because it can be confusing af)
Examples: Spider Plants, Pothos, Wandering Jew
(photo of a pothos)
Is your plant a vine? Does it trail all around your windowsill or hang over the pot like a magical plant fairy? Propagate it like this.
Nodes are where the leaf connects to the stem. Cut an inch below the node, and make sure the node is touching water -- where the node touches water it develops roots, so place more than one node in the water just to be safe.
Wait and wait and wait, and then when you have 4-6 inches of roots, you pot! Carefully remove them from the vessel, bunch them up nice and gently, and plant in a pot 2 inches wider than the root bunch so they have plenty of room to stretch their little roots all over the place and dig in deep. Give them a little extra love pat since they worked so damn hard to grow for you.
(Another little tip - propagate the stems you want. Like if your plant has multiple colors and you want white leaves, snip those to propagate!)
Examples: Peperomia, Sansevieria (Snake Plant), Begonia Rex
(snakeplant photo from forthehome blog)
Is your plant tree-like? Is the base is hard/brown and is it sturdy? Then this is how you propagate that shit.
Look for right where the plant starts to turn green - that is where you want to cut at a 45 degree angle to give more surface area for roots to grow nice and strong.
Wait for 4 inch roots, remove from the vessel carefully, and repot in a planter where it has plenty of room to grow!
LEAF CUT (least common)
Examples: Peperomia, Sansevieria (Snake Plant)
(Peperomia leaf cut photo from pinterst)
Sounds a little unconventional, but just cut a 45 degree angle anywhere along the leaf, and set the cut part of the leaf in water.
This is different from tip cuts because with leaf cuts, you arent encouraging new root growth. Look for a new leaf producing from the mother leaf - this is the indicator that your plant is growing, not roots!
Examples: Chicks and hens, Echeveria, Haworthia
(photo from leaf & clay)
There are a couple of ways to propagate succulents:
You can either cut a portion off of the stemand place into water for roots to grow, or take a leaf cutting (important to cut at the base of the leaf for these) and stick leaves right in the dirt of whichever pot you want it to grow in. For these cuttings, you will need to water them more often than you would the potted/grown succulent since it's still in the propagation stages and is a little needy. In a good way, of course.
Once the mother leaf dies off and it turns into its own healthy plump plant, you can pump the watering brakes and let it do its thing!
DIVISION AND SEPARATION
Examples: Peace Lily, Fern, Calathea
This one is pretty easy. Although it's dirty, so make sure to get yourself "The Neat Freak" Planting Mat. Literally all you have to do is take the plant out of the pot, separate at the roots, and viola you've got two plants. Now just repot, and water as usual!
We hope that this little propagation guide was helpful, and that you feel confident in taking on this plant parent venture. We're all in this together.