How to Grow Plants From Stem Cuttings

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

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 Minutes
  • Start to Finish 1 Month
  • Difficulty         Projects Easy
  • Involves Planting, Cutting

What you need

Tools

  • Small knife
  • Chopstick or pencil

Materials

  • Small pots or cell packs
  • Soilless seed-starting mix, equal parts peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, sterilized coarse sand
  • Mother plant
  • Rooting hormone powder
  • Plastic bag and twist tie
  • Water

How to do it

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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1 Comment

  1. 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

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