Growing House Plants From Cuttings

Cuttings root quickly in water. image by sri_grafix/morguefile


Propagating houseplants from stem cuttings produces new plants identical to the mother plant. Most tender stems will root in a matter of days if placed in water on a sunny windowsill providing you with an abundance of new plants. Whether you want to increase your collection of houseplants or simply want to share them your friends, stem cuttings are an economical way to propagate plants. With this quick and easy method you will never have to buy new plants again.

Step 1

Clip a 4-6 inch section of healthy new growth from the terminal end of stems. Cut just above a node.

Step 2

Remove leaves from the bottom two inches of the stem and place in a glass jar or vase filled with water. A transparent glass is preferred as it allows you to observe root formation and to see at a glance if your cuttings need more water. Place on a sunny windowsill.

Step 3

Check the water level daily and keep the vase filled to the original level. Do not allow cuttings to dry out as new roots will die quickly without water. Pour off any stagnant water and refill with fresh water whenever necessary. Some cuttings may require changes in water daily, while others may do fine with a weekly change.

Step 4

Watch for root formation. Tiny hair roots may be nearly invisible, but will grow larger within a week or two, depending on the type of plant.

Step 5

Pot in soil when each cutting has several healthy roots. Water to thoroughly moisten the soil and resume regular plant care for the specific plant you have rooted.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass jar/vase
  • Clippers


  • University of Missouri Extension
  • Washington State University Extension

Who Can Help

  • About Propagating Plants
Keywords: stem cuttings, root stem cuttings, houseplant stem cuttings

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

Photo by: sri_grafix/morguefile