Propagation: The Secret to Immortality (for Plants, not Humans. We’re Still Working On That One)
While we may not have a fountain of youth, we certainly have some stellar ways you can keep your houseplants going forever. The key to this type of magic is propagation, and you don’t have to be a wizard to cast this immortality spell! You will need a few tools, however, so grab your gardening toolkit (and your houseplants), and let’s get started!
How to Propagate Houseplants
Before you get too excited about growing free houseplants, there are a few things you need to know about houseplant propagation:
First, starting houseplant propagation is highly addictive, so be prepared to get very carried away with it.
Second, depending on the types of houseplants you’re hoping to propagate, we highly recommend you follow the proper procedures for each to ensure they root properly and turn into new houseplant babies. While there is no 100% guarantee that your cuttings or leaves will root, knowing how houseplants regenerate is an important part of the immortality spell.
Finally, the best time to perform this transformation magic is in the spring when houseplants are actively interested in growing.
Along with this basic know-how, you’ll also need to get your hands on some tools. Some basics you’ll need to propagate include:
- Jars of water
- A sharp, clean knife or pair of shears
- Root hormone
How to Propagate Houseplants From Cuttings
There are different ways to propagate a houseplant, but one of the easiest and most popular is to take cuttings from existing houseplants. Not only does it look nice to have cuttings grow in water, but it’s also fun to watch their roots grow, knowing you’ve done something completely magical. Getting roots to grow from cuttings won’t make you an official wizard, but it might make you feel like one! Simply look for a shoot of new growth at least 2 inches long and cut below a leaf node. Submerge your cutting in a clean glass of water, place it on a bright, sunny windowsill, and wait for roots to appear from the base. While you wait, make sure to keep the jar topped up and change the water every few days.
Some easy-to-propagate houseplants include:
- African Violet
- Chinese Money Plant
- Umbrella Plant
If you’re looking to propagate vining plants like pothos and philodendrons, make sure you have at least one node at the base. These nodes are where new leaves or vines grow from on established plants, but when they’re placed in water, roots appear! You can also directly pot your cuttings into soil to skip this step later on, but this requires a bit more care to ensure the soil stays at the right moisture level.
How to Propagate Succulents
If you’re succulent-crazy like many people these days, propagation is right up your alley! Many succulent plants are easy to grow using propagation techniques and require little upkeep. Jade plants and snake plants, in particular, root easily and are great choices if you’re just starting out. All you need to do to propagate a succulent is cut off a leaf and leave it somewhere safe and sunny to dry. Soon, the leaf will start to wilt, and roots will form at its base. Once you see the roots begin to form, you can pot it up in good, well-draining succulent soil; just remember to water it sparingly.
Super-easy succulents to propagate include:
- Burro’s Tail
- Jelly Bean Succulent
- Ghost Plant
- Sedum varieties
We know you’re ready to give this plant propagation thing a go, and we know you can do it! Houseplant propagation is a great way to increase your way-too-big-already collection and have a constant supply of plants to give to friends and family. If you run into problems along the way, or you just want to buy some parent plants to start propagating in the Oceanside area, come see us at the Dees’ Nursery & Florist. We’re always happy to help nurture a plant obsession!