How to Plant a Cutting


Growing plants from seeds gives pleasure to the gardener. Another way to propagate plants is by growing cuttings. When you plant a cutting and watch as the new leaves develop and the tiny start blossoms into a full grown plant, there is a sense of accomplishment. It is fun to plant a cutting or several of them for more plants in the garden and home or for family members and friends.

Step 1

Snip cuttings from house plants or other plants in the garden that you want to propagate. The best time to do this is during the spring growing season for outdoor plants and any time for house plants. The cuttings should be 6 inches long and have a set of leaves at the bottom of the cutting.

Step 2

Prepare the growing tray by filling it with the sterilized potting soil. Make holes in a regular pattern about 2 inches apart using a straw or pencil. Not forming these holes means when you add the cuttings, the rooting compound could rub off onto the top of the soil instead of staying on the cutting.

Step 3

Pour 2 to 3 tbsps. of the rooting compound into a separate dish. This keeps any diseases from spreading to the rest of the bottle of compound.

Step 4

Remove the bottom set of leaves from the cuttings and dip each one into the rooting compound and place in the holes of the growing tray. Firmly anchor the cuttings by pushing the soil around the cuttings once they are all in the tray.

Step 5

Mist the cuttings, making sure the soil is damp but not wet. The cuttings will need plenty of water when they are trying to establish roots. You will need to mist them often, about two or three times a day.

Step 6

Place the growing tray in filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight heats the soil and the cuttings and will cause them to die before they can root. A shady section of the garden or a window with filtered light is best for new cuttings to take root.

Step 7

Watch for new growth to appear. This may take three to seven weeks, depending on the plant. When new leaves appear the plant can be potted into a regular grow pot or planted directly into the garden. Be sure to watch the new plant for a while to keep it free from disease and other pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterile potting soil
  • Growing tray
  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting compound (found in most garden centers)
  • Spray bottle of water


  • Rooting Plant Cuttings
  • Plant Propagation from Cuttings
  • Types of Plant Cuttings
Keywords: plant a cutting, growing cuttings, propagate by 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.