Plant Propagation Made Simple
For those of you with a “Green Thumb” or
those who want to work on healing your “brown thumb”, these simple tips will
help you do just that. Following these guidelines you will be elbow deep
in foliage before you know it!
To obtain new house plants you could:
1) plant seed and wait for the plants to grow,
2) purchase expensive plants at garden shops, OR
3) use the plants you already own to create many
If option 3 sounds the best, then read on and use
these outlined instructions to make several new plants from your existing
plants. Increase your collection or share with others. Plants make
wonderful and unique gifts. The best part of giving plants as gifts is
that the gift keeps on giving for many years to come, continuing to delight the
To create more plants through following these
instructions you will be using a technique called Propagation. There are
several forms of plant propagation, but the propagation form discussed here is
called Rooting. This is the simplest way, I believe, to
reproduce plants form the “mother plant”. Through the course of these
instruction the plant from which you choose to propagate will be referred to as
the “mother plant”.
To begin propagation you will first need to find
a mother plant you want to work with. I
recommend using the following plants, since these species tend to react the best
to attempts at propagation and generally yield the most results:
If you do not have these plants in your
collection, they should be available at your local plant nursery or home
and garden store. The selection of plants may vary by season, but most are
available year round.
What you will need:
Gardening shears or small scissors
Several container which will hold water (small cups will work)
Access to a sink or hose
Begin work in an area with a good amount of space
and close to a water source. When working with the Philodendron, Pothos
Ivy, Coleus, or Syngonium, you will be using water to first develop roots.
The Zebrina will root when placed directly into soil (This will be
1) Choose a vine or clump of leaves on the mother
plant that appears to be fairly healthy.
2) Using your garden shears or scissors, snip off
the vine or clump at the base or in an area where there is a absence of leaves.
3) Repeat this process until you are satisfied
with the number of “starters” you have.
4) Fill a container with water and submerge the
vine into the water.
5) Place in a sunny area such as a kitchen
window. You can place several “starts” into one container.
You may see roots begin to develop in 2 to 3
days, but it could take up to 2 weeks, or more, before roots begin to develop.
Don’t lose faith, the roots will come. Once you notice the roots
begin to form, check your starter daily. When you notice that roots have
developed to approximately 1 1/2 inches, they are ready to be placed into soil.
Pot these plants as you would any other house
plant and you have a lovely addition to your foliage collection or wonderful
gifts to give to friends and family.
Should you choose to work with the Zebrina plant,
you have two options. The Zebrina will root in water using the above
method, but these beautiful plants will also take root in soil. Fill a
potting container with soil and place a piece of the plant into the soil and
press firm. Zebrina plants will flourish in only a matter of days. I
started this plant at the beginning of Spring and look at it now! Be sure
to place the container in a sunny area and water it as needed. Once you
have noticed the plant to have grown at least 1 1/2 inch taller, you can remove
it from the soil and place into a larger pot if you wish.
Suggestions for Display while Propagating
While rooting your plants in water choose
charming and unique containers to display the plant starter in:
Use a decorated coffee cup and display in a
Use colored glass vases or bottles of different
sizes, displaying a variety of starters in each
Using glass containers, place decorative glass
beads or rock, or purchase some “river rock” from a gardening store and fill
the container with the rock then water. Place your plant start into this
container and display on a side table or dinning room table. Hunt for a
distinctive containers at local thrift stores, home and garden suppliers or yard
sales. I found this adorable pear shaped glass container at my local
All of the plants discussed in this article tolerate the same weather and
watering conditions, so they may be placed in the same planter or potting
container for a lovely arrangement of colorful foliage!