Recently we've seen a number of questions come through on the DM's regarding propagation, so we thought it about time to get a blog post up.
Full disclosure though... Once you prop, you won't stop
There are a number of different ways to propagate plants - from seed, from pups, from leaf cuttings, layering, budding, grafting, and from cuttings. We're going to start with cuttings because its so damn simple and so many of our favourite indoor plants can be propagated this way.
Propagation from stem cuttings can be done this way with a number of plants, especially Aroids. This is because Aroids have originated from plants used to marshy, wet environments prone to flooding, so their descendants have taken on their tolerance to water too. And guess what? There is a good chance you have an Aroid as part of your plant fam (to read more about Aroids, head to our blog post here).
Let's get into it.
What you need
A plant (we've used a Devil's Ivy)
A sharp pair of secateurs
A vessel with water in it
Find a mature stem on you plant. You want one with a bit of length to it so that when you snip, your plant won't look like its had a bad haircut. Plus it will give you a bit to play with when placing your cutting in water.
Find a node along the stem. Ideally, the node will have some aerial roots already forming but they're not essential. A node is the junction where the leaf meets the stem, and generally are slightly raised so the feel like a little bump. You want to make sure there is a bit of length on the stem where you make the cut - remember, the cutting should have the node in water and then some length on top to stick out!
Make your cut. This is where its great to have sharp, good quality secateurs. A good clean cut will reduce the chance of infection and help the cut heal over quickly. Your cut should be just below the node, about a 1cm or so.
Now you have your cutting, you want to clear off any foliage around the node as well as any other leaves that might end up in the water. Leave the foliage that will stay clear though! To remove the leaves, just gently pull them off.
Now its time to place your cutting in your vessel full of water. This could be anything - an old whiskey bottle or an empty bottle of Neem Oil. There are a number of great propagation vessels designed specifically to display your cuttings too. We love using amber glass bottles to hold cuttings as the amber will protect the new, vulnerable roots from harsh UV light.
Place your cutting and the vessel in a bright spot, but out of the way of any direct sunlight.
Just sit back and enjoy the ride! You'll need to wait a few weeks for the roots to start growing. Change the water every few days and after you start to see signs of growth, think about adding a drop of liquid plant food in there with every other water change.
Once the new roots have grown to about 3cm, you can think about repotting the cutting in a quality potting media. After planting, give the cutting a good drink and make sure the media is quite moist. Keep an eye on your cutting and enjoy the new addition to your plant fam.