How to Root Cuttings With Water


When you have a healthy, vibrant plant that you enjoy, it is common to want to add more of these same plants to either an indoor or an outdoor garden. Propagating plants is a simple and inexpensive method of creating new plants from existing plants. If you take a stem cutting from a healthy plant and insert it into a glass of water, the stem will root beneath the water level. You can then plant the rooted stem cutting in potting soil to grow a new plant.

Step 1

Clip a stem from a healthy plant that is approximately 6 to 8 inches long. Remove the stem from the plant just below a leaf node (the point where leaves intersect with the stem). Choose a stem that has at least two sets of leaves at the tip of the stem.

Step 2

Remove any lower leaves from the stem to leave only one or two pairs of leaves at the top of the stem.

Step 3

Fill the glass with approximately 3 inches of cool water.

Step 4

Place the prepared stem into the glass so the bottom of the stem is beneath the water level. Make sure no leaves are under the water level.

Step 5

Place the glass of water in a warm location that receives indirect sunlight. Leave the glass undisturbed while the roots form.

Step 6

Add additional cool water to the glass to keep the water level at the same point on the glass.

Step 7

Fill the planting container with potting soil up to the top of the container. Spray the surface of the potting soil with water to moisten the soil.

Step 8

Make an indentation in the center of the potting soil for the rooted stem.

Step 9

Remove the stem from the water when you see new growth on the top of the stem and roots beneath the water that are at least 2 or 3 inches long.

Step 10

Place the stem into the prepared planting container immediately. Set the stem into the indentation you created carefully to avoid damaging the fragile roots. Gently push soil around the roots of the stem to finish planting the newly rooted stem.

Step 11

Place the container back into the indoor growing location and keep the soil evenly moist with the spray bottle.

Step 12

Wait to transplant the new plant to an outdoor location until it is fully established. This generally takes approximately one month.

Things You'll Need

  • Healthy plant
  • Pruning shears
  • Clear glass
  • Water
  • Planting container (6 to 8 inches in diameter)
  • Potting soil
  • Spray bottle (filled with water)


  • Chicago Gardening: Propagating Plants
Keywords: propagating plants, stem cutting, glass of water

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.