A few days ago I posted a picture of a giant indoor plant (Philodendron selloum) at my son’s dentist office.
The plant was GORGEOUS and I couldn’t help but to admire it the whole time we sat in the lobby before heading back for his tooth cleaning.
After my initial post on Facebook and Instagram, several people suggested that I ask for a cutting.
But by the time I read the suggestion, I had already left the dentist’s office.
That’s when the anxiety set in.
We aren’t due back to the dentist for 6 months and I just missed my chance to ask for a piece of this awesome plant.
Have you ever asked a total stranger for a cutting in pure excitement?
You’re nervous and aren’t sure if they will think you’re weird or if they will say yes to your request.
Do people think you’re crazy for being so passionate about these little plant wins?
You are not alone.
How do you guarantee the cutting will root after you score?
And be honest…
… you MUST accomplish rooting this little sucker and keep it alive or your efforts will all be for nothing.
I’m going to show you the quick and easiest ways to propagate indoor houseplants and guaranty your cuttings will root.
The Quick and Easy Way to Propagate Indoor Houseplants
If you’re like a lot of people with a green thumb then you need to successfully root your cuttings before you can start a new plant.
However, if you have never tried it before, then it may seem complicated.
And if you have tried to root your absolute favorite plants before, then you already know that it’s not something you want to do through trial and error.
The weeks of waiting to see a tiny sign of new growth can be tremendously long but also rewarding.
That’s why I’ve developed this handy-dandy little guide for rooting indoor plants from cuttings.
You can skip the long learning curve,
Skip the trial and error
and hopefully skip over all the frustrating mistakes that most beginning plant enthusiasts make when they try to start a new plant.
So let’s get started…
Step 1: Determine what type of indoor plant you have
If you’ve ever done this step before, then you know there are several possible ways to approach it. However, I’ve discovered that the best way to complete this step is by posting in a plant group online or doing a quick google search of the plant to discover if you have a succulent, vs a non succulent plant variety.
Succulents are plants that store water in their leaves and have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions.
Step 2: Cut a 4-8 inch clipping from your plant in between one of the nodes
This second step can be a little tricky, which is why I’ve broken it up into multiple smaller steps.
But before I get into those smaller steps, let me toss a word of warning your way. Take note that some plants trail and may not always have nodes. In this case, clip the stem in between 2 of the leaves.
Secondly, some plants root more successfully in water rather than soil. You will determine the best rooting approach by understanding the natural characteristics of your houseplant.
With that warning out of the way, here’s how to complete this step:
Rooting in Water
Step 2.1 Once you have clipped the cutting from the mother plant allow the cutting 24-48 hours to scar over BEFORE placing it in water to root.
The #1 cause of cuttings rotting comes from not allowing the plant to scar over first.
Trust me, I have experienced this unfortunately on a few occasions.
Once in water, you should see signs of roots between 6-8 weeks.
Wait until the roots reach at least 1-2 inches long before transporting to the appropriate soil medium.
See my recent article on The Top 5 Potting Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes.
Rooting in Soil
Water the cutting thoroughly initially and then water sparingly thereafter until the rooting system has developed and is ready for a new pot.
NOTE: Rooting in soil is slightly more cumbersome due to the very common problem of overwatering.
Your plant cutting will have 0 to very minimal roots at this stage. There is no need to water all of the soil surrounding the plant.
As you can see, it’s not particularly difficult to start a new plant from a cutting– you just need to complete the process step-by-step using my instructions above.
But before you jump in, let me share with you :
3 of tips to make it even faster and easier for you to successfully root your indoor plant cutting:
1. When rooting in water, change the water weekly using spring or distilled water until roots have been well established (1-2 inches in length).
2. When rooting in soil, use a rooting hormone to expedite the rooting process. Dip the end of the cutting in the rooting hormone and tap any excess hormone from the plant before planting.
3. Use only healthy stems and leaves to improve your chances of successfully propagating your plant.
Congratulations – you now know how to root from cuttings. So the next thing you need to do is take action. Because the sooner you do, the sooner you can start a new, healthy plant.
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