How to Stem Tip Cuttings


The most inexpensive method of obtaining new plants is by cloning them from your favorites. Many plants can be propagated by cuttings, and taking tip cuttings is one of the most common methods. Geranium, ivy and impatiens are three plants that will readily root from tip cuttings. Use sterilized pruning shears to take the cutting and choose a stem or branch that is less than a year old and has healthy growth. Tip cuttings root easiest when taken during the growing season.

Step 1

Prepare a planting pot for the cutting by combining equal parts of peat moss and perlite. Pour it into the pot and run water over it until it is evenly wet and water drains from the bottom of the pot. You may need to stir the mixture to make sure that the peat is uniformly moist. Use a pencil to poke a hole in the soil for the cutting.

Step 2

Select a stem from the plant and cut back 4 to 6 inches from the tip. Keep the cutting moist, cool and out of direct sun until you are ready to plant.

Step 3

Remove all flowers from the cutting and remove the foliage so only three or four leaves remain at the tip of the cutting.

Step 4

Dip the cut end into the rooting hormone and stick that end into the soil in the pot. Pack the soil around the cutting. Mist the cutting with water.

Step 5

Place the cutting in a plastic bag and seal it. Place the bagged cutting on a heat mat, set to 75 degrees F, in an area with diffused sunlight. You will know that the cutting has rooted when a gentle tug meets with resistance or the cutting produces new foliage.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting pot
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Pencil
  • Pruning shears or sharp scissors
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plastic bag
  • Heat mat


  • Texas Agricultural Extension Service: Propagating Foliage and Flowering Plants
  • Washington State University Extension: Propagating Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs, Trees and Vines With Stem Cuttings
Keywords: take stem cuttings, take tip cuttings, stem tip cuttings

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, providing writing services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.