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How to Root a Common House Plant

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How to Root a Common House Plant

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Overview

You can easily get several new plants from one houseplant. All you must do is understand the basics of how to root houseplants. You'll need very few tools to do this and if things go well, the new plants will thrive as well as the mother plant. Some houseplants will grow simply from what is called a leaf cutting. Many other houseplants, however, require larger sections of the original plant in order to form a new plant. If you are unsure what a particular house plant requires for propagation, err on the side of excess--cut a stem, bud and leaf together for rooting

Step 1

Put potting soil medium (containing peat and other organic matter, but not dirt) in a clean, new planter pot. Water the potting soil medium with a watering can to moisten it.

Step 2

Use a sharp knife to remove a cutting from the mother plant. Choose a good healthy stem and leaf section (unless it is a spider plant, aloe vera, or similar plant that creates its own baby plants--these can be easily removed whole from the plant). Along the stem of many houseplants, between the leaves and the roots, you should see a bump (called a node). Cut the stem 1/2 inch to one inch below this, at an angle.

Step 3

Dip the cut end of the stem in a glass of water. Immediately afterward, dip it into the powdered rooting hormone.

Step 4

Dig a hole in the potting soil medium (use a spoon or your fingers) for the new cutting. Place it stably in the hole and push the soil medium around it. Carefully add more water to the soil if it feels dry.

Step 5

Place the pot with the cutting in a clear plastic bag. According to the University of Missouri Extension, you should now seal the bag (use string or a twist tie). The plastic will help the cutting retain enough moisture between watering, until roots form.

Step 6

Place the cutting in a warm location, but away from direct sunlight. Keep soil moist at all times until roots develop.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid exposing the cutting to cold or severe heat--it is especially fragile until it becomes an established plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant pot
  • Potting soil
  • Watering can
  • Sharp knife
  • Glass of clean water
  • Rooting hormone powder
  • Clear plastic bag

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Home Propagation of Houseplants
  • University of Nebraska: Propagating House Plants
Keywords: rooting house plants, planting house plant cuttings, rooting house plants in pots

About this Author

Corey M. Mackenzie has been a professional freelance writer for more than two decades. She received a B.A. with honors from Wichita State University. Corey specializes in writing about pets, interior decorating, health care, gardening, fashion, relationships, home improvement and forensic science. Corey's articles have appeared in Garden Guides, Travels and other websites.