Q:

How do you propagate plants with cuttings?

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Quick Answer

To propagate a plant with cuttings, cut a portion of old or current growth, plant it in rooting hormone and provide indirect light. Use a sharp knife or shears to avoid damaging the plant, and remove a 4- to 5-inch segment of the plant, cutting just below a leaf or node.

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Full Answer

Strip any leaves from the bottom third of the cutting, and remove any buds or flowers to encourage root growth. You can also cut larger leaves in half to divert the plant’s energy to the roots.

Fill a container with drainage holes with approximately 3 inches of a commercial rooting medium. Coat the cut end of the cutting in a liquid or powder rooting hormone, and stick that end into the medium. Cover the container with a plastic bag to keep in moisture, but provide some air circulation by opening the bag periodically.

Once new roots develop and new leaves appear in approximately four to eight weeks, you can transfer the cutting to a pot. If transferring the plant outside, allow it to become established indoors first, and then slowly acclimate it to outdoor conditions before planting it outside.

Young, healthy plants are the best candidates for propagation. Collect cuttings in the early morning for best results. You can store cuttings in a cool, dark place until you are ready to plant them if you keep them moist, such as sealed in a plastic bag with damp paper towels.

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