If you want to add a few more houseplants to your home, one of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to do it is to simply propagate one of the plants you already have. No idea what it means to propagate a plant? Well, we’re here to help. Today we’re chatting all about what propagate means, which plants can be propagated, and how to do it.
HOW TO PROPAGATE PLANTS
WHAT IS PROPAGATING?
Plant propagating is simply creating new plants from parts of your existing plant. Many plants are capable of growing brand new specimens from leaf clippings, stem clippings, or by simply dividing the plant. Today, we’re focusing specifically on propagating a plant from a leaf.
In short, it's kind of like making plant babies.
WHAT PLANTS CAN I PROPAGATE?
There are tons of plants that can be propagated. If you have a specific plant in your home that you’re looking to reproduce, do a bit of research to see if it’s possible to do so and how. Here’s a quick list of a few of the most popular plants to propagate:
Plants to propagate in water:
Fiddle leaf figs
Plants to propagate in soil:
And here are some more resources for plants that can be propagated:
HOW DO YOU PROPAGATE A LEAF?
Generally speaking, there are two different methods for leaf propagation: water and soil. Here’s a quick rundown of how to do each:
Propagating in water:
Start by making your cutting. Choose an area of growth that’s several inches long and generally healthy looking. Remove any leaves from the bottom part of the growth and only leave healthy ones towards the top.
Allow the cutting to dry out a bit, then place the stem in a small jar or glass filled with water. Be sure the water is not high enough to get any of the leaves wet - just the stem.
Now? You wait. Keep an eye on the plant over the next several weeks and you should start to notice roots growing. Once your plant has roots, you’re ready to pull it out and plant it in soil as usual.
Propagating in soil:
Just like with propagating in water, you’ll start with a 3-6 inch cutting that is generally healthy and has had all lower leaves removed.
Optional: If you’d like to increase your chances of a successful propagation (and make things move a little faster), you can use a rooting hormone. Simply dip the end of your stem into the hormone before moving onto the next step.
Prepare a small pot for your cutting with fresh, moist soil (we’d recommend Harvest’s Organic Potting Mix).
Insert your leaf and stem into the soil - use a pencil or other similarly-shaped object to create a hole for the cutting, rather than simply pushing the cutting into the soil.
Keep your cutting moist by wrapping the pot loosely with plastic wrap, or keeping it covered under a glass cloche. This will help the leaf take root.
Water regularly to keep the soil moist. Be careful to only water at the base of the plant and avoid getting the leaves wet, which can lead to fungal growth on the plant.
Within 6-8 weeks, your plant should begin to take root and grow.
Propagating a plant is a technique that takes quite a bit of time and patience, but if you’re willing to wait you can create several new plants for your home from the ones you already have and love!
What are your favorite plants to propagate? Let us know in the comments!