Sometimes a new plant doesn’t require a trip to the garden shop, but a quick visit to a friend’s yard or even your own. Growing plants from clippings is a super simple way to make the most, quite literally, of what you have. (Or, what your generous neighbor has.) For species that are not cold-hardy, this can be a great way to ensure you have a plant to enjoy next year, regardless of what happens this winter. It’s also an excellent way to keep your kitchen stocked on herbs or boost your houseplant game.
Getting Started with Plant Clippings
After clipping, some plants prefer propagation in soil, but many can be grown in water. Just be sure to cut with care. And remember, propagation is not always successful the first time, so take a few samples to increase your chances of success.
If cutting for propagation in water, use small shears to snip just below the root node (the joint where new growth begins along the stem.) Be sure to include a healthy portion of the stem; the cutting should be 4 to 6 inches long. Fill a clear container with water, and insert the clipping with the root node submerged. Be sure no leaves are submerged and place near sunlight. (But don’t scorch it!) Then simply wait for new roots to appear before replanting in soil.
Alternatively, some plants, like begonias, can be grown by dividing up the rhizome, aka, the horizontal, underground part of the stem. To divide the rhizome, dig up the plant and cut a section of the rhizome a few inches in length. Then simply nestle the cutting horizontally into moist, warm soil.
Finally some plants, like the snake plant, can even be grown from pieces of the leaves. Ready to get growing? Here are a few of the easiest plants to grow from clippings.
The vibrant leaves of this plant add an eye-catching pop to window boxes, garden beds, and even interiors. These plants hate the cold, but root quickly in water so saving samples of your favorites is a snap.
This popular houseplant can be propagated multiple ways, depending on which selection you have. You can divide a mature plant by breaking apart the root ball and replanting it as several smaller plants. You can cut a six-inch-or-taller leaf off the plant, let it heal for a few days, and then place the cut end in a few inches of water and wait for roots, or you can cut that same leaf horizontally into two-inch pieces which you can root in soil.
This humidity-loving plant grows indoors or out and can be propagated from leaf, stem, or rhizome cuttings.
This vining beauty is one of the toughest houseplants out there. It will tolerate low light, little water, and general neglect. The pothos is propagated easily by using the water rooting method above.
Popular Herbs: Mint, Basil, Rosemary
Delicious herbs like mint, basil and rosemary are an excellent choice for the ultra-easy water propagation method. Simply cut a sample, root in some water, and in no time you’ll be serving up the freshest mint juleps around.
Whether you are growing yours indoors or out, this elegant vine is a prime candidate for water propagation. When yours starts looking a little long, simply take a sample and root it in some water.
These light-loving flowers can easily be propagated using the water method by clipping a healthy leaf and its stalk from an established plant and placing in water.
This tropical plant is known for its striking, long leaves and is wonderfully easy to propagate thanks to the spiderettes, or plantlets, which naturally sprout off the mother plant. Carefully cut the spiderettes off the main plant by cutting along the spiderette’s base. From there you can pop them in water or soil and wait for roots to appear.