How to Save Plant Cuttings


Perhaps your plant has grown with great bounty and it's time to divide and add additional plants to your own garden, or maybe you're sharing a piece of your plant with someone. In either case, the plant's cutting will have to be properly taken and saved in order to make it to its new home. Saving a plant cutting--for yourself or someone else--is an economical and simple thing to do.

Step 1

Look for a healthy branch to take the cutting from. Avoid cutting branches that have an extra amount of foliage as the extra greenery will require more work from the branch, when cut. Preserve the taproot, as much as possible, if digging up a small plant. Use a hand shovel to dig a deep, wide circle around the plant. Lift the plant from the ground or its container. Use your hand to gently separate the plant into two or more clumps, depending on the size of the plant.

Step 2

Prepare a wet wrap for the cutting. Dampen several paper towels or napkins. Wrap the towels or napkins around the roots or the cutting site. Dampen a few sheets of newspaper. (Use newspaper about the same size as the paper towels or napkins.) Wrap the moistened newspaper around the paper towels to prevent dripping and to help retain moisture. Keep the cutting wrapped while it is being transported or until it is ready to be planted.

Step 3

Boost up the cutting's root system. Gather a clean container, large enough to hold the cuttings and add water. Add a root hormone (a powdery substance that is easily found at gardening centers or nurseries) to the water. Give the hormone a few days to help the branch cutting develop a stronger root system.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand shovel
  • Paper towels
  • Newspaper
  • Container
  • Root hormone


  • Starting Plants From Cuttings Is Slice-of-Life Gardening
Keywords: plant cutting, saving a plant cutting, how to save a plant cutting

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.