How to Take Slips From Houseplants

Taking slips from houseplants is a term used for cutting selected portions of a plant and rooting them in water or potting them up in soil after applying rooting hormones. If you want to increase the number of your houseplants or you are ready to cut back overgrown plants, its time to take some slips and root them up for new plants. Not only will you have an abundance of young healthy plants, but these are great as gifts for friends and relatives, too.


Step 1

Select the plants that you would like to multiply. Be sure the mother plant is healthy and free of any signs of disease or insect pests. Generally, you will want to take slips from a well-established plant that shows signs of vigorous growth.

Step 2

Clip 4- to 6-inch sections of new growth. Old or woody stems will not root well. If you have difficulty finding young tender stems, it may be time to consider cutting your plant back and letting it regain new growth.

Step 3

Remove lower leaves so that you have at least 3 inches of stem without leaves. Be careful not to injure the stem of the plant in the process. Gently pinch off young leaves at the base of the leaf where it attaches to the stem.

Step 4

Place the cutting in a glass or vase of clean water and place on a sunny windowsill. Change the water every 2 to 3 days to maintain fresh water. If it begins to smell, it has becomes stagnant and needs to be changed.

Step 5

Watch for new roots to appear. Some plants, like ivy, will begin to sprout roots in a matter of days. You should see roots within a week, but some plants may take a little longer. As long as the stem is still green and healthy, continue to change the water every few days and wait for roots to emerge.

Step 6

Watch for new growth as the existing leaves begin to grow larger and new leaves begin to form on the stem. Once the slips have developed roots and new growth begins to emerge, it is time to pot up the plants in soil.

Step 7

Plant rooted cuttings in all-purpose potting soil in a container of your choice. Water thoroughly and keep evenly moist until your new plant becomes established in its new home. Be sure the pot has drainage holes to eliminate soggy soil. Vigorous growth indicates the plant is established and no longer needs constant monitoring. Water as usual for the type of plant you are growing. Most houseplants require watering whenever the soil dries out.

Tips and Warnings

Rooting hormone can be used for hard-to-root plants by dipping the stem to a depth of 1 inch and placing it in soil to this level. Keep it moist but not soggy and watch for new growth to indicate that the cutting has established roots.

Things You'll Need

Houseplants, Water, Glass or vase, Potting Soil, Rooting hormone (optional), Plant pots

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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