Photo by Tia Török
There is nothing more satisfying that taking a cutting and growing a new plant! From the moment you make your sterile cut, to putting it into your growth medium; the anticipation of waiting... then FINALLY, new life!
The first time I made a cutting it was a complete accident. In my very early clumsy horticultural years, I dropped a plant of mine (devastating) and decided well at least I can sustain its life like a cut flower. It lasted forever and then as soon a I thought It was over BOOM, a root. Moments later I declared myself as the plant goddess, ha.
But, that incident taught me a valuable lesson that I carry with me today, plants want to live. With or without you.
So lets talk about cuttings!
What is propagation?
Propagation is the cloning of a plant from cuttings! When you create cuttings and propagate them you are replicating the same DNA as the mother plant.
Propagation is not be confused with 'pups' or the babies your mother plant makes, they often do not need much manipulation to grow outside of separation once it is mature enough like this Spider plant pup pictured to the right. Chlorophytum comosum can sprout roots in less than a week!
Why make cuttings?
Cuttings are more than just sharing with friends, even we get haircuts to maintain healthy hair and volume; same for plants, the more you cut them back the fuller they can grow. Cuttings can also be made to save a stressed or a dying plant, for example a plant with root rot may have a healthy leaf or two and it can be easier to save a cutting then try to revive the plant.
How to make a cutting?
Well it depends on the plant, some plants grow new roots from their nodes or internodes. Nodes are quite apparent and resemble a raised bump located on the stem near the leaf or branch. Nodes are also the point where a plant produces a new leaf. It stores a ton of hormones which is why they are able to spread roots after a few weeks of make the cut.
What to expect?
Growing cuttings takes times and lots of patience. (I waited 3.5 months for this Dracaena cutting to show signs of a root). Some cuttings with root in several days if given good light and adequate humidity like coleus. #PLANTGODDESS
5 Tips for successful propagation
1. Always make a clean sharp horizontal cut just under the node.
Part of the plants or internodes that do not root will rot and leave a lot of bacteria behind. YUCK.
2. Keep the water clean!
Change the water every 5-7 days (maybe more for some thicker stemmed cuttings (ZZ Plant)
Cuttings are are quite susceptible to drying out so feel free to mist them!
4. Use rooting hormone
This can almost guarantee success, you can buy ours in the webshop or make them at home using cinnamon, honey, or apple cider vinegar.
5. Be patient
Yep.. patience is key.
Check out this video, where I explain how to make cuttings from Philodendron Brasil and Dracaena Surculosa.
Did I leave something out? Do you have more questions? Comment below!