How to Take Cuttings of Plants


When it's time to trim overgrown plants or if you simply want to share a portion of a plant, taking a cutting is the proper course of action. Plants that have matured and that are cut or trimmed on a regular basis are more likely to stay healthy, having a better capacity to develop new growth. Taking cuttings of plants is a common and easy gardening task that the recipient or vigorously growing plant is very likely to thank you for.

Step 1

Take the cuttings at the proper time of the day; early morning is best. (Plant stems are turgid, meaning they have not begun to dry out from warmer, midday temperatures.) Make cuttings from a softwood or semi-hardwood plant when temperatures are cooler, between 60 and 70 degrees is ideal.

Step 2

Inspect the plant to find moderately vigorous shoots. Use the pruning knife to cut a 4-to-6-inch cutting, preferably from the top of the plant. Cut the shoot at a slant just below a node. Remove any leaves from the lower part of the cutting.

Step 3

Help the cuttings to root faster by dipping the base of the cutting in a root hormone. (Each cutting should be dipped into a separate container of rooting hormone to prevent any possible contamination a cutting may have.) Put the cuttings into a plastic bag. Close the plastic bag and secure it with a rubber band. Wrap wet paper towels around the bags to provide the cuttings with some moisture until they are ready to be planted.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning knife
  • Plastic bags
  • Rubber bands
  • Rooting powder
  • Wet paper towels


  • How to take cuttings
Keywords: plant cuttings, how to take plant cuttings, taking cuttings from a plant

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.