House plants propagation

Propagation is an enjoyable and interesting way to increase your stock of houseplants.


Propagation is an enjoyable and interesting way to increase your stock of houseplants. greengate offers a large selection of containers, soils, rooting hormones and fertilizers for all of your plant propagation needs. There are four basic ways that propagation can be accomplished: stem cuttings, division, offsets, and air layering. Each method is useful for plants with certain growth habits and requirements.



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stem cuttings

Stem cuttings are the simplest way to propagate new plants. Plants that have long stems or side shoots are ideal for this method. Geraniums and ivy are rooted this way.


Stem Cutting Steps

  1. Make a cutting from a young non-flowering stem or side stem. Cut just below a leaf
  2. Cut the lower leaves off
  3. Dip cut end into hormone rooting powder.
  4. Plant cutting in a small pot or tray containing soil or vermiculite
  5. Firm soil and water.

    Note: Spider plant babies can be cut from ends of leaves and rooted in the same way



Only certain types of plants can be propagated this way. The plants must have two or more stems branching out from below ground level and each stem must have an independent root system. African violets can be separated in this way.


Division Steps

  1. Remove plant from container
  2. Brush away excess soil to expose the root system.
  3. Pry the sections you wish to divide gently apart. Tough or tangled roots may have to be cut in order to separate them.
  4. Place each division into a separate pot appropriate for the size of the root-ball and plant to its previous level.
  5. Firm soil and water.




annual flower





annual flower







Offsets are small plants that develop at the base of a larger plant. Offsets that are half the size of the parent plant are easily separated. Examples are bromeliads, dracaena, and some cactus.


Offsetting Steps

  1. Remove plant from container.
  2. Crumble away excess soil.
  3. Pull offset away from the parent plant. Be sure to take as much root material as possible.
  4. Repot parent plant into its former container and the offset into a smaller pot at its former depth.
  5. Firm soil and water.


air layering

If a houseplant becomes too tall air layering can be used to produce a new shorter stemmed plant. It is typically used for large-leaved plants, where it would be difficult for enough water to reach the leaves in a cutting with no roots. Dieffenbachia and rubber plants are commonly air-layered.


Air Layering Steps

  1. Make a 1-2 inch (2.5-5 cm) long slanted, upward cut into the main stem at the height you wish your new plant to begin.
  2. Prop the cut open and brush liberally with hormone rooting powder.
  3. Wrap area around cut in plastic and seal at the bottom.
  4. Fill bag with moist moss and seal top.
  5. When roots appear in the cut, 8-10 weeks, cut stem just below the new roots.
  6. Plant in well-drained container, firm soil and water.
  7. Original plant will usually grow new leaves at the base



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