Plant Propagation

Your Guide to Plant Propagation

Plant Propagation

A great way to save a few dollars and still get your desired results is plant propagation, this is a great way to grow your garden without having to break the piggy bank. I have been in the landscape and gardening field now for more than 22 years and have visited many plant nurseries and seen how expensive garden plants are.

The good news, however, is you can grow your garden through propagation which has proven to be so effective. I understand that the process of your garden plants from cuttings to maturity may take a while but with patience, your garden can be full and beautiful by following these methods which have been and are still used to this day.

What is plant propagation?

What is plant propagation? I am so glad that you asked. Plant propagation is the practice of using plant parts from the parent plant such as the root, seeds, stem, and leaf to produce an identical plant.


1. Seeds are a great way to grow an abundance of garden plants, seeds are far less expensive and can be started in seed trays or six-inch containers.

Root Cuttings

2. Root cuttings or propagation is the practice of cutting and repotting plant roots that will develop or have identical features of the parent plant. There are some plants however that will not respond to root cuttings but there are others that can be propagated from root cutting that includes.

Peach rose plant bloom-neem-oil-for-plants
Peach Rose
  • Roses
  • Figs
  • Blackberries
  • Lilacs
  • Raspberries
  • Coleus
  • Begonia
  • English Ivy
  • Impatiens
  • Cactus
  • Grape Ivy

Before cutting roots for propagation, roots that are infected with disease and insects should be avoided only roots that are white and firm. The roots which are taken from the parent plant should be 2-3 inches.

Ensure that the root cuttings are right side up because if the cuttings are planted upside down will not grow, fill your planting trays with soil. The soil should be a good loamy garden soil, gently press the cuttings into the soil until the top of the cuttings is flushed or leveled with the surface of the soil.

Place the tray in an area that gets about 5-8 hours of sunlight. Don’t allow the soil to dry out nor should you allow the soil to be soggy or saturated with water. The soil should be somewhat moist, and in a few months, new leaves should appear. Allow cuttings to remain in trays for an additional 3-4 weeks before moving or repotting them in a larger container.

Leaf Cuttings

3. When it comes to leaf-cuttings there are certain plants that will and will not propagate from these practices. Plants that grow well from leaf-cuttings include.

  • Rosemary
  • Pothos Vines
  • African Violets
  • Philodendron
  • Umbrella Plant
  • Peperomia
  • Hoya
  • Sansevieria
  • Kalanchoe
  • Cactus
  • Swedish Ivy

The leaves which are chosen should be strong and healthy, any leaves that are insect and disease infected should not be used or plants that are getting too much water which causes dropping of the leaves, or leaves that are brittle which is an indication of a lack of water.

The leaf or leaves which are chosen should be mature, the leaf should be cut with about 2 inches of stems. The part that’s cut should be dipped in root hormone and be buried in the plant pot with the pointed tip pointing outward to ensure that the potting medium is a good loamy garden soil.

The soil should be kept somewhat moist, after about 2-3 weeks the leaves should have a good root system with new plants emerging at the base. It is these new emerging plants that should be transplanted.

Stem Cuttings

Below are an example of garden plants that can propagate from stem cutting

  • Hibiscus
  • Coleus
  • Crotons
  • FireBush
  • Impatiens
  • Oleanders
  • African Violet
  • Schefflera
  • Begonias

4. Stem cuttings are another method that has given good results, this practice is popular with woody and ornamental plants. The stem which is chosen can be anywhere from 3-8 inches, choose stems that are healthy and strong. Stems that are disease and insect-infested should be avoided.

Once you have made the cut, remove the lower leaves from the stem so the base of the stem can be bare. It would be great to have a plant root growth hormone on hand that will speed up the process or help your cuttings to develop a root system more quickly.

Dip the base of your stem cutting in water to moisten and then into the root growth hormone, gently press that end into your potting medium or soil. The soil should not be allowed to dry out but rather kept somewhat moist. Your stem cuttings should start rooting in about 3-4 weeks after planting, some cuttings may take longer.

Additional information

When propagating garden plants it is crucial that you keep these tips in mind.

The Soil

1. Garden soil plays an important part in the development of seed germination, ensure that the soil is the right type your seeds are planted in for them to grow healthy.

Watering Methods

2. Giving your cuttings the required amount of water is so important, as your cuttings produce roots ensure, that adequate water is given. If you water too little your cuttings may have setbacks as well as if you overwater. Get to know the plant species you are propagating to give the recommended moisture.


3. Garden plants need light to grow and thrive, different species of plants require different degrees of lighting. Some plants require full sunlight then there are those which require medium light and then there are others that prefer filter or low lighting. Again it is a matter of knowing the parent plant’s light requirements and exposing the plants which you have propagated to this amount of lighting.


4. The containers that you’re using should have drain holes so excess water can drain after watering because if the water is allowed to remain can lead to root rot.

Fertilizing your cuttings

5. Once your cuttings develop a strong root system it is best to fertilize with weak or diluted plant food to help them get off to a good start.

Root growth hormone

6. Garden plant root growth hormone is a great help because these growth hormones will help in getting your cuttings off to a great start. For more on plant growth hormones referee to this link. Root growing hormone.

The final word

Garden plant propagation can work wonders, this is a great and inexpensive way to increase the number of plants that you have. These methods which we have discussed can and will work for you so go ahead and increase the number of plants which you have, by using these techniques you will be amazed.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.