Misting for Rooting Plants

Overview

Misting the cuttings you want to root from existing plants is advisable if you want the cuttings to root quickly and well. According to the University of California Davis, misting cuttings taken early in the season have an excellent chance of taking root and flourishing, faster than cuttings that don't receive misting. Greenhouses and nurseries have elaborate misting systems to accomplish this task; however, it's possible to adapt this method at home to root anything from vegetative plants like coleus or begonia, to woody ornamentals like azalea or rhododendron.

Step 1

Cut 4- to 6-inch cuttings with a sharp knife from the plant you want to propagate. Cut at a steep angle to make the widest surface possible for moisture and rooting hormone to enter the stem. Strip away any leaves on the bottom 2 inches of the cutting.

Step 2

Fill containers with vermiculite and moisten it thoroughly. Check to make sure the drainage holes in the bottom of the containers are functioning properly.

Step 3

Dip the bottom 2 inches of the cuttings in rooting hormone and tuck them into the containers. Place the containers in clear plastic bags.

Step 4

Fill an atomizer or spray bottle with a "fine" setting with water. Mist the planted cuttings in the bags until you see droplets forming on the inside of the bag. Close the top of the plastic bag and secure it with a twist tie.

Step 5

Place the bagged cutting in a warm room, in indirect light. Behind a window with a sheer curtain is ideal. Repeat Step 4 each day and cutting will root and begin sprouting new leaves in seven to 10 days.

Step 6

Decrease misting to every other day after rooting begins. When roots are fully established, remove cuttings from bags and replant in potting soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not place rooted cuttings in bread bags. Any crumbs or residue will develop mold and fungus when warm and misted. Do not place bagged cuttings in direct light or they will scorch.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant cutting
  • Container
  • Rooting hormone
  • Vermiculite
  • Water
  • Spray bottle with "fine" setting
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Twist ties

References

  • University of California Davis: Rooting Cuttings Under Mist
  • North Carolina State University: A Simple Intermittent Mist System for Propaagation
  • University of Florida IFAS: Propagation of Woody Ornamentals by Cuttings

Who Can Help

  • Iowa State University: Essential Environmental Conditions for Rooting Leafy Cuttings
  • Auburn University: Overview of Cutting Propagation
Keywords: rooting plant cuttings, misting plants indoors, misting rooting plants

About this Author

Cat McCabe has been a freelance writer, editor, director and actor since the early 1980s. Her work has been featured in commercials, regional magazines and business publications throughout North America. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from New York University, and is currently a contributing writer for a national quarterly.

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