Propagating Houseplants: Inexpensive and Easy

propagating houseplants from stems and seeds

Propagating houseplants is an easy, inexpensive way to add to your indoor plant collection.

This can be done with seeds or with cuttings from stems, leaves, roots, and divisions from mature, overgrown plants.

This site lists some of the basic ways to propagate plants.

Check out these resources for more detailed, thorough instruction on key techniques with illustrations.

Propagating Houseplants from Seeds

Propagating Houseplants with Seeds: This method takes time and patience but it is a way to grow your plants from scratch.

Using seeds that you purchase or collect from your plants. Sprinkle tiny seeds over the surface of a moist growing medium and press them in lightly. Medium-size seeds should be covered with a thin layer of potting mix.

Cover the container with a clear plastic bag or a sheet of glass and place it in a warm place with strong light. When seedlings appear with two to four leaves, remove the covering and plant in small pots.

Rooting Stems to Increase Your Plant Collection

Propagating Houseplants with Stems: Using a stem from a healthy plant, make a clean downward cut with a sharp razor blade. The cut should be just below any division on the stems leaving one or two small leaves attached.

Dip the cut end into rooting hormone and tap off excess. Poke a hole into the potting mix and insert the cut end of the stem into the hole and firm potting mix around the stem.

Water and cover with a clear plastic bag to retain the moisture. After a few weeks, tug on the plant lightly for any resistance. If there is, then the plant has rooted.

Propagate with water: Water in a transparent glass or container works just as well for rooting cuttings from vining houseplants such as Swedish ivy, philodendrons, and pothos. It can take up to three weeks to develop a root system that can be planted in potting soil.

Reproduce by leaf cuttings: Plants such African violets and begonias, can be reproduced by leaf cuttings.

Break off a whole leaf with its stalk, and insert the stalk into the rooting hormone and tap off the excess. Cover the container with clear plastic. When one or more new plantlets sprout at the leaf’s base and are well rooted, plant in small pots.

Snake plants are rooted with small leaf-section cuttings. A small notch is cut in the top of each piece that is to be kept upright. Leaf cutting is placed in the potting mix with the notch side up. Firm soil around the cutting, water and cover with a plastic bag and new plantlets will develop.

Propagation by Division: Remove the root ball of Plants that form clumps of stems and gently break apart or cut into sections where the natural divisions form. Be sure to use a sharp, sterile knife to separate the plants.

Plant each new division in fresh potting mix. Some plants send up offsets from their roots which are baby plants. These plants can be
separated from the parent plant and planted in individual pots.

Once you become successful with your houseplant propagation, you will find it to be a very rewarding and cost-effective way to increase your indoor garden stock--even more so for gift giving. 

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