How to Grow Vegetables From Cuttings

Overview

Although most vegetables in the garden are started from seeds,some farmers prefer to grow vegetables from cuttings. Plants started from cuttings are propagated in a process known as cloning. Cloned vegetables are genetically identical to their parent plant, while vegetables grown from seed may vary due to genetics. Most vegetables and herbs with stems can be started with cuttings in a process known as stem cutting.

Step 1

Take cuttings in early morning when the plant has taken up moisture from the soil.

Step 2

Place your shears approximately 6 inches from the tip of one of your plant's shoots. There should be at least 3 points, or leaf nodes, on the shoot where the plant produces a leaf. These leaf nodes are the points where the plant will produce roots when planted. Clip the shoot.

Step 3

Strip off the leaves from the nodes on the lower two-thirds of the cutting. Place the cutting in a plastic sandwich bag along with 1 tbsp. water to keep the cutting moist.

Step 4

Prepare a rooting mix by filling a seedling tray with peat moss. Soak the peat moss with water from a watering can until it is as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 5

Dip your cutting in rooting hormone and bury it in a seedling tray so that it is three-fourths of the way below the surface of the peat moss. Cover your tray with a plastic tray cover and place it in a sunny windowsill just out of direct sunlight.

Step 6

Check the tray daily to ensure that your peat moss has not dried out. Water the tray when the peat moss dries out and mist the plants to keep the humidity up until the plants root. Your cuttings should root within 14 days.

Step 7

Remove the tray cover when the plants take root. Continue to grow the plants this way until they outgrow the seeding tray. Transplant them to larger containers until you are ready to move them outside and plant them in the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Rooting hormone
  • Peat moss
  • Seedling tray
  • Seedling pots
  • Plastic tray cover
  • Mist bottle
  • Watering can

References

  • North Carolina State University Extension: Plant Propagation by Leaf, Cane, and Root Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State University Extension: To Clone or Not to Clone: A Debate
Keywords: rooting cuttings, growing vegetables, cloning plants

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."