Next Stop: Propagation Station
Plants on plants on plants. Sounds like a good time, right? It’s totally possible to start new plants from preexisting ones, giving you an endless supply. The process is called propagation, and it allows you to create a brand new plant from a parent plant, and the good news is that anyone can do it. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most common methods of propagation and how to ensure you get a new plantlet out of the process.
Propagating in water is the simplest way to get a cutting to root. Place a cutting in water, wait a while, and chances are, you’ll have a new plant to add to your collection or pass on to a friend. The process of growing roots can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months to get started (disclaimer: patience required), but once the roots appear, they grow rapidly. For leafy, tropical plants, trimming below a node gives you a near one-hundred percent chance of the cutting taking root. Once the roots are roughly a third of the size of the cutting, it’s safe to plant the cutting in soil and water regularly.
It’s also possible to skip water propagation and literally dive right into the soil. You can choose to plant the cutting into soil after you’ve let it callous over for a bit, or you can use the added benefits of dipping the cut end of your plant onto a rooting hormone powder to increase your chance of success before planting the cutting. Either way, keep your newly-planted cutting in bright, indirect light in a preferably warm location. Keep the soil lightly watered — without any functioning roots, the cutting won’t be able to take in moisture as well.
Succulent propagation is unique, because you don’t have to immediately plant them or stick them in water. Instead, to propagate a succulent, pick off a viable, healthy leaf from your plant. Let the picked-off leaf callous over for a few days, then gently stick it on top of a thin layer of soil and water lightly. Eventually, you should see a new, baby succulent coming out from the leaf you plucked. At this stage, you can stick the leaf in the soil to the point where the new plant is directly above the potting mix and continue to water lightly.
If you have any questions about the methods mentioned above, or any other possible methods, feel free to ask down below!
Written by: Egan Thorne
Photos by: Emily Kellett