Plants, when left to their own devices, maintain the survival of their species by sexual reproduction through seed development and dispersal. For gardeners and farmers, reproduction of favored cultivars can be accomplished through other methods, such as division, layering and cutting. These methods produce identical clones of the parent plant, keeping traits such as bloom formation, growth habit and health, intact. While division produces a new plant instantaneously, propagation by layers and cutting can take as much as one to two growing seasons before newly established cultivars are ready for final transplant.
Prepare rooting medium by combining equal amounts of sand and peat or organic compost.
Take cuttings from the existing plant, making a clean cut with a sharp knife or pruning snips. For tip cuttings, choose a 4- to 6-inch shoot with at least three nodes, and cut just below the lowermost node. For basal cuttings, the tip is removed and 3 to 5 inches of growth beneath that point is used for the cutting.
Remove all but the uppermost foliage from the cut specimen, and score the base of the stem with a sharp knife to expose the cambium.
Dip the base in rooting compound to increase chances of rooting success. Choose rooting compounds that contain non-toxic indolebutyric acid for best results with a wide variety of plants.
Insert the cutting into the rooting medium up to the point where the remaining leaves begin.
Water the pot thoroughly to settle the cuttings into the rooting medium, and cover the pot with a large plastic bag. This creates a greenhouse environment that keeps moisture and heat at appropriate levels.
Place the rooting container in a location that maintains a constant temperature of 65 to 75 F.
Transplant cuttings to individual containers when roots are 1/2 inch long. Lift the rooted cutting gently with your fingers, and insert it into a 2 1/2- to 3-inch pot filled with moistened potting mix.