Growing new plants from cuttings is easy, fun, and costs next to nothing. Just clip a length of stem and watch the roots grow.
stem cuttings in vases of water
Marty Baldwin

Instead of trimming a plant and throwing away the debris, make mindful cuts and create new plants from the mother plant. Growing from stem cuttings is easy if you know the right steps to take care of cuttings. With enough water and humidity, stem cuttings can create new pots of favorite plants that can add to a personal collection or be given away to friends and family.

  • Working time 20 mins
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Involves Planting, Cutting

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

nonfowering stems from the mother plant
Step 1

Prep For Planting

Prepare nursery containers by filling small pots or cell packs with premoistened soilless medium. Potting soil and regular potting mix hold too much moisture. Select healthy, nonflowering stems from the mother plant for cuttings. Use a clean, sharp knife to cut a 3- to 4-inch shoot below a leaf node (the spot where a leaf emerges from a stem as shown). Cut off the bottom leaves of the shoot and snip off any flowers or buds. This prompts the plant to use its energy for rooting rather than growing leaves or flowers.

Sprout Roots
Play Video
Propagating Houseplants: The Basics

You can enlarge your houseplant collection inexpensively by propagating the plants you already have. Test out this stem-cutting method on overgrown houseplants like Tradescantia and spider plants.

dipping cut end in dish with powdered rooting hormone
Step 2

Dip Into Rooting Hormone

Encourage root growth by dipping the cut end into powdered rooting hormone. Rooting hormones can be found at most gardening stores, or can be ordered online. Cover any cut parts with the powder.

chopstick poking hold in potting soil
Step 3

Create A Hole For Planting

Use a chopstick or a pencil to poke a planting hole in the damp soilless medium. We recommend poking a hole 1 to 2 inches deep to keep the stem cutting sturdy. Creating a hole for the stem cutting prevents the powdered hormone on the end from being disturbed during planting.

placing cutting into the planting hole
Step 4

Place Stem Cutting

Slide the cutting into the planting hole without knocking off the rooting powder. If the hole is too narrow, use the chopstick or pencil to widen the hole. Gently press the medium against the stem to keep it sturdy and upright in the pot.

placing tie on plastic bag over nursery container
Step 5

Create Humidity

Slip a plastic bag over the nursery container and twist tie the bag shut to create a humid, greenhouselike environment that will boost the cutting's growth. If the pot is small enough, a zip-top plastic bag will work just as well. Set cuttings in bright, indirect light.

pulling plant out to check root development
Step 6

Check The Roots

A few weeks after taking a cutting, check its root development by gently tipping the container on its side and tapping out the soil and rootball. Be gentle with the roots, so as to not tear or break them. A new plant will be ready for transplanting when roots appear strong and have begun to fill out the inside of the nursery pot.

    Comments (1)

    How difficult was this project?
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    May 24, 2022
    Better Homes & Gardens Member
    April 15, 2018
    I have, started new plants for years, usually when a piece breaks off, or, I do not want a larger dish. Depending on the plant, I usually just place in water, I will also use the, humidity. I did not know about the, growth hormons, I will check it out! Thank You!raf