How to Start House Plants From Cuttings


One of the most common ways of propagating a houseplant is by a cutting. Cutting propagation is a form of asexual reproduction, in which a leaf from a parent plant takes root in soil or water. New plants are grown form the leaf cutting with the identical qualities of the parent plant. Propagation by cutting is an inexpensive method of filling the house with plants and reproducing plants you enjoy.

Step 1

Cut a leaf or shoot from the parent plant that is 4 to 6 inches long, just below a node, which is where a leaf is attached to a plant. Remove the shoot using a sharp knife or sharp pair of scissors. Ensure that the cutting utensil is sharp to prevent pinching the shoot.

Step 2

Dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone to seal the wound and help promote the growth of roots. Shake off the excess rooting hormone.

Step 3

Fill a pot with growing medium such as vermiculite, perlite or common potting soil. Push the cutting into the soil so that it is between 1 to 2 inches deep. Water the soil so that it is moist to the touch.

Step 4

Place the pot with the cutting into a plastic bag. Secure the bag to the bottom of the pot using a rubber band.

Step 5

Place the cutting where it will get light, but not direct sunlight, which could heat the bag and kill the cutting. Water the soil regularly to keep it moist. Check the cutting after a few weeks. Transplant the cutting when it has 1 inch or more of root.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Rooting hormone
  • Soil or growing medium
  • Plastic bag or humidity dome


  • University of Rhode Island: Propagating House Plants by Cutting
  • University of Missouri Extension: Home Propagation of House Plants
  • Ohio State University Extension: Plant Propagation
Keywords: house plant propagation, plant propagation cuttings, plant cuttings

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.