How to Propagate House Plants

Overview

Houseplants provide more than attractive green foliage in winter. Not only do houseplants lift your spirits when the world is frozen outside they may actually improve your health too. According to studies conducted by NASA, evidence suggests that houseplants filter toxins from the air and improve indoor air quality. Keeping houseplants healthy often means propagating older plants.

Offsets

Step 1

Clip offsets from the base of plants like spider plants, aloe and other succulents. These produce tiny plantlets at the base of the plant or on stems.

Step 2

Plant them in moist seed starter or other lightweight soil, and place them in a sunny location. You may notice tiny white nodes or bumps at the base of the plants that develop into roots.

Step 3

Transfer the starts into individual pots once the plantlets are established. If plants resist when you tug slightly, roots have formed and they are ready to transplant.

Stem Cuttings

Step 1

Clip a 4- to 6-inch terminal end from the plant.

Step 2

Remove the leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the stem.

Step 3

Place the stem in a glass of water and set them in a sunny location.

Step 4

Pot the stems in soil when the roots are 2 to 4 inches long. Water thoroughly and keep the soil moist until new growth appears. Follow the recommended watering for the specific plant.

Division

Step 1

Divide the roots of large plants to create two or more plants. Remove the plant from the pot by tapping gently on the sides and sliding the plant out of the soil.

Step 2

Brush away excess soil and gently pull the roots apart.

Step 3

Repot the root in fresh soil to the original depth and resume normal care.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass jar
  • Seed starter
  • Potting soil
  • Plant pots

References

  • NASA
  • University of Missouri

Who Can Help

  • Plant encyclopedia
Keywords: stem cuttings, offsets, division

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.