Propagation & Stem Cuttings: How To

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While division is a simple way to create one, two, or three new plants, cuttings allow the propagator to make an infinite number.

Houseplants

Propagate & Divide Your Houseplants With These Tips

  • Gather together a sharp knife, moist paper towels, a cutting surface, a propagation sweatbox (either a miniature greenhouse or a homespun version — a small pot placed inside a plastic, zippered storage bag), rooting medium (a commercially prepared mix or a homemade one of half peat moss and half perlite), and a water-misting bottle.
  • The best time to do this is in the morning of a mid-spring day. The ideal cutting is three to six inches long and contains at least three nodes (where leaves appear on a stem).
  • Make a clean, angled cut an inch below a node, then detach all leaves from the lower half of the cutting. Remove any flowers or flower buds. To retain moisture, wrap it in paper towels.
  • Next, dig a hole in the rooting medium to accommodate the width and height of the leafless node section. Use the knife to make a final, clean cut just below one of the lowest, leafless nodes, and place the cutting in the planting hole. It should be able to support itself; if it doesn’t, plant it deeper.
  • Mist gently with water and replace the greenhouse top or drop the container into the storage bag with the zipper (half-open) on top. Mist once a week and adjust the humidity accordingly: Dense condensation signifies that the plant needs more air; wilting implies the opposite.

Every week, check for roots by inserting a butter knife into the medium and tilting the cutting upward. When the roots are one inch long, consider it young and fragile but independent enough to graduate into a pot.

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Published: October 23, 2006

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One Comment to “Propagation & Stem Cuttings: How To”
  1. Helen Jackson says:

    This isn’t a cleaning product, but a nice way to have veg. soup that taste better and it’s free. Take a plastic container, (old ice cream tub)(cottage cheese container). keep it in your freezer. After meals, put all your leftover vegs in it, and put the lid on. You can save anything that you think will taste good in soup. When you have plenty, just put in a pan and add spices, cook long enough for all flavors to meld together. You will have the best soup of your life. Good Luck, and God Bless… Helen


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