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  • Tracey Hairston

Propagation 101

Houseplants bring life and vibrancy to a home, and sometimes you gave a desire to bring more of them into your space but you don’t want to pay for them. I’m guilty of this,so I always know that I can propagate my plant to create new ones to add to my collection. Fortunately, there are several simple and effective methods for propagating houseplants, each with its own advantages and ideal scenarios. Let’s explore three common methods: stem cutting, division, and leaf cutting.


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Stem cutting is one of the most popular and straightforward methods of propagating houseplants. This method involves taking a healthy stem cutting from a mature plant and encouraging it to root in a new container. To propagate using stem cutting, begin by selecting a healthy stem with at least two nodes. Nodes are the points on a stem where leaves or branches emerge. Using a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, make a clean cut just below a node, ensuring that the cutting is around 4-6 inches long. Remove any leaves from the lower portion of the cutting to prevent rotting.

Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone to promote root development, then plant the cutting in water with a small amount of plant food. I use the liquid plant food from the brand Happy Happy Houseplant because it's mild enough to use at each watering or you can place it directly into a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide indirect sunlight to encourage root growth. Within a few weeks to a couple of months, roots should begin to form, and the cutting can be transplanted into a larger container. Save 10% off plant food using code 'MOCHAGIRLPLACE' at checkout.

Division is another effective method for propagating houseplants, particularly those with clumping or spreading growth habits, such as ferns, spider plants, and peace lilies. This method involves separating a mature plant into smaller sections, each of which can grow into a new individual plant. To propagate by division, carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently shake off excess soil to expose the root system. Use a clean, sharp knife or gardening tool to divide the plant into sections, ensuring that each section has its own roots and at least one healthy shoot or growth point. Plant each divided section into its own pot filled with fresh potting mix, and water thoroughly. Place the newly divided plants in a location with indirect light and maintain consistent moisture until they become established. Division is a great way to rejuvenate overcrowded plants and create multiple specimens from a single parent plant.

Leaf cutting is a propagation method commonly used for plants with fleshy leaves, such as succulents and certain tropical houseplants like African violets. This method involves removing individual leaves from a mature plant and coaxing them to produce new roots and shoots. To propagate by leaf cutting, gently twist or cut a healthy leaf from the parent plant, ensuring that the cut is clean and the leaf is intact. Allow the leaf cutting to callus over for a day or two to prevent rotting, then place it on top of a shallow tray or pot filled with well-draining soil or propagation mix. Mist the soil lightly to keep it moist, but be careful not to overwater, as excessive moisture can cause rot. Place the tray or pot in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight, and within a few weeks, tiny roots should begin to form at the base of the leaf cutting. Once roots are established, new shoots will emerge, and the leaf cutting can be planted in its own pot to continue growing into a new plant.


So, don’t be afraid of propagating your plants. You aren’t causing any harm to your mother plants, and it’s a rewarding and cost-effective way to expand your indoor garden and share your love of plants with others. Whether you prefer stem cutting, division, or leaf cutting, each method offers a unique approach to creating new plants from existing ones. By experimenting with these propagation techniques, you can enjoy the satisfaction of watching your houseplant collection grow and thrive.

Until Next Time,


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