How to Clone Flowering Plants


Sexual reproduction in flowering plants gives us seeds. Pollen contains sperm that unites with an egg. The fused egg and sperm becomes a seed that grows into an offspring plant that is genetically different than each of its parents. If you want a copy of one parent plant--a clone--you'll have to employ asexual reproduction, growing a plant from some part of the old one. The parent flowering plant is called a stock plant for the purpose. Before you start cutting up the stock plant, investigate to discover what kind of asexual propagation works best for a particular flowering plant.

Cloning from Stem Cuttings

Step 1

Pour a bit of rooting hormone into the small container.

Step 2

Pour the growing medium into the pot.

Step 3

Moisten the medium with water.

Step 4

Poke the pencil into the medium for each stem you'll try to root.

Step 5

Cut through the stem of an herbaceous plant in an area of new growth. The stem cutting should be about 2 inches for small plants or 5 inches for larger ones, with leaves included. There should be no flower buds.

Step 6

Cut stems at a slant to make softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings from a woody flowering plant. Cut below a node, taking about a 6-inch cutting.

Step 7

Remove the leaves from the lower third to half of the cutting.

Step 8

Dip the stem and a node in the rooting hormone according to directions. A node is a place on the stem from which leaves or flowers grow. It will feel or look like a bump.

Step 9

Stick the stem in the medium up to the leaves, then push the soil around the stem.

Step 10

Enclose the whole thing in a plastic bag and seal it.

Step 11

Put the plant in indirect light.

Step 12

Check the growing medium every three or four days, making sure it stays moist.

Step 13

Start gently and slightly pull at the cutting after about a month. Or check sooner, depending on what your propagation research turned up about your specific plant. If the stem doesn't want to give, rooting has begun.

Step 14

Remove the plastic bag once roots are growing.

Step 15

Transplant the new plant to soil when roots are about an inch long, taking special care with the plant as it gets established.

Cloning from Leaf Cuttings

Step 1

Cut the leaf only of stock plants that have fleshy leaves (sedum). Dip the leaf bottom in hormone, then stick the bottom tip of the leaf into the moist growing medium.

Step 2

Cut leaves that are thick and possess fleshy petioles (African violet) so that about 1/2 inch or so of the petiole remains. After a dip in the hormone, the whole petiole should be stuck into the moist growing medium, and then the pot sealed in plastic as was done with the stem cuttings.

Step 3

Take a leaf off those stock plants that can be propagated through leaf veins (begonia). Cut through the leaf's large veins, then lay the whole leaf on the medium, holding the leaf down with pins if needed. Seal the pot in plastic.

Step 4

Follow the same care procedures as for stem cuttings.

Things You'll Need

  • Rooting hormone
  • Small container such as a small bowl
  • Growing medium like half perlite, half coir
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Pencil
  • Small flower pots
  • Plastic bag large enough to contain the flower pots
  • Small pruning shears or sharp knife
  • Stock plant
  • Pins (optional)


  • University of Illinois Extension: Vegetative Propagation of Houseplants
  • University of Missouri Extension: Home Propagation of Houseplants
  • Master Gardener, Ohio State University Extension: Asexual Propagation of Plants
Keywords: cloning flowering plants, how to clone a flowering plant, flowering plant asexual propagation

About this Author

S. Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media who specializes in making the complex clear. A freelancer for over 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover many topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews, learning a lot and talking to many interesting people.