How to Plant Cuttings


Plant cuttings offer gardeners a way to increase the plants in the landscape without spending more money. Growing plant cuttings remains one of the easiest ways to propagate outdoor and indoor plants alike and requires little time or maintenance. Once the new plants have established themselves, pot them for indoor use or plant them directly into the flower bed for enjoyment.

Step 1

Choose healthy plants to propagate, free from disease or other pests. The healthier the plant, the healthier the cuttings. Soft wood and leaf cuttings can be made at any time during the growing season.

Step 2

Clip 6-inch sections of new growth from the host plant to be propagated. The cutting must have at least one leaf node near the bottom for the roots to grow and the new plant to become established.

Step 3

Pour 1 or 2 tablespoons of the powdered rooting compound onto a paper plate. This portion will keep the rest of the compound free from any unknown diseases the host plant may be carrying.

Step 4

Fill the growing tray with sterile potting soil and use a straw or pencil to poke uniform holes into the soil. The hole should be about 2 inches apart and at least 2 inches deep.

Step 5

Remove the bottom leaves from the cuttings, then dip the cuttings into the rooting compound in the paper plate. Shake off any excess and place the cutting directly into the pre-formed holes in the soil. Pat the soil in place around the plant cuttings to ensure there are no air gaps surrounding the covered leaf node. The leaf node is where the roots will form on the new plants.

Step 6

Mist the entire tray with the spray bottle and set the tray in a shaded area of the garden. Bright sunlight will kill the cuttings before they have a chance to form roots and grow.

Step 7

Continue misting the plants two or three times each day for about three weeks. When new growth starts to form on the plant cuttings, they have established roots and are ready for transplanting.

Step 8

Transplant the new plants into growing pots until they reach the desired size for planting in the garden. Propagated houseplants can be potted and placed in their desired location in the home.

Things You'll Need

  • Rooting compound: liquid or powder (found in most gardening centers)
  • Pruning shears
  • Sterile planting medium or quality potting soil
  • Growing trays or pots
  • Straw or pencil
  • Spray bottle of water


  • Plant Propagation
  • Propagating by Stem Cuttings
  • Propagating Woody Ornamentals
Keywords: growing plant cuttings, propagating plants, growing cuttings

About this Author

JulieAnn is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for 30 years. Recently JulieAnn has written a variety of e-books and numerous articles on gardening, small business, and farming. JulieAnn is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her Bachelor's degree in English.