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Creating Plants

How to Propagate House Plants

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The act of growing more plants is known as propagation. Some houseplants will do most of the work of propagating themselves. Others will readily grow into new plants from cuttings or a piece of root. Alternatively, use external sources, such as a new pack of seeds.

Here are some of the simplest ways to create more houseplants, which will produce a clone of the original. This is a great way to bulk up stock, replace older plants or make a lovely, personal gift.

Succulent Pups

Many succulents, such as Aloe, Agave and Echeveria, produce miniature versions of themselves, which grow from the side of the main plant. These baby plants are called “offsets”, or “pups”. You can sever them from the main plant and put into their own pot to grow and mature.

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To propagate, simply cut away the pup, trying to keep as much root attached to it as possible, and plant into a small pot of compost and grit.

Spider Plantlets

The long, dangling stems of mini plantlets are characteristic of the spider plant. In the wild, these would be looking to root themselves into something and grow into mature plants. To replicate this process at home, put a small pot of multipurpose compost under the first plantlet that attaches to a strong-looking stem (known as a “runner”) and cut off the rest of the stem beyond that plantlet.

If the plantlet sits comfortably in the compost, it can just be left. Otherwise, pin down the stem with a hairpin or half a paperclip, which will keep the base of the plantlet just under the surface.

 

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Keep the compost in the pot moist, and the plantlet should root into it relatively quickly. Once the plantlet roots correctly into its own container, cut off the stem or runner from both the mother plant and the plantlet. Pot on into a larger pot as it grows.

Ginger Roots

It is easy to grow ginger from “roots”; bought from a supermarket. Use the plumpest, freshest-looking roots. Organic ones are preferable because commercial growth inhibitors are sometimes used on non-organic roots which can stop them sprouting once planted. You may find there are already some swollen buds visible.

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Plant in a shallow pot in multipurpose compost, so that the root is about half submerged in the compost. Keep the compost moist and the pot in a hot place (ideally 25 to 28 C). Shoots should sprout from the root. Once it is established in the shallow container, it can be potted up to a larger one. In the autumn, cut back the old stems as they die. Ginger always prefers a warm room and does not tolerate lower temperatures.

Discover the Summer Rose Festival here!

Pelargonium Cuttings

A cutting is simply a small piece of a healthy shoot that is cut off from the main plant, which you insert into a pot of compost. It then produces roots and grows into a new plant. You can create several new plants from a single original plant.

Scented pelargoniums are one of the most natural plants from which to take cuttings. The type of cutting used for pelargoniums is called a soft-wood cutting, as they are taken from the soft, flexible stems of the new growth.

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Take pelargonium cuttings from healthy, well-watered plants in spring or summer. To increase your chances of success, cut a few shoots, but be sure to cut only leafy material; there should be no flowers or flower buds. Each cutting should be about 10cm long.

The base of each cutting should be just below a leaf joint (“node”). Remove the leaves with a sharp knife to leave a clear piece of stem at the base and a few leaves at the top. You can also pinch out the soft tip of the shoot.

Prepare the Pot

Prepare a small pot with compost, large enough for a few cuttings to be planted. Clear a hole in the compost using a pencil, to avoid damaging the end of the cutting. Several cuttings can be spaced evenly around the edge of the pot. Once the cuttings have produced roots and are growing into their own plants, they can be potted up.

Water the pot and label it. Keep it in a warm and humid environment, with good but not direct sunlight. Use a covered heated propagator or fix a plastic bag over the top of the plant (with support so that the bag is not touching the cuttings themselves), ensuring the cuttings are ventilated for a short while a couple of times a day. Alternatively, mist regularly.

A Helping Hormone

Before potting, you could dip the base of the cutting in hormonal rooting powder (available below), which will help the cuttings root.

Skelly Tray and 12 Bio Pots

There is a positive pressure and desire to reduce single-use plastics now, and these compressed peat Jiffy Bio pots are perfect, giving three to four months of growing plants in them as they slowly degrade. This means, once the plant has rooted, you can add the entire pot and all directly into your garden or planter. Recently launched at the UK’s premier Horticultural Trade Show, it won Best New Professional Product.

 

Biopots

A brand-new product saves single-use plastic pots and allows roots to breathe.

Unique ‘skeleton’ design exposes bio pots to the air, which ‘prunes’ the roots, giving more compact plants.

The bio pots allow any plants to be grown in them for 3-4 months before they degrade naturally.

Once rooted through plant the whole bio pot straight into the ground for zero transplant delay.

Supplied as a tray pre-filled with 12 x 8cm diameter bio pots – top-up packs available.

Discover the eco-friendly way to garden here!

Share Your Story

Do you enjoy creating your own plants? What methods do you use? Do you have any suggestions or questions? Please add your comments below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for reading.

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12 thoughts on “How to Propagate House Plants”

  1. Thank you for this post.  Often times, I forget that I can take an existing plant and cultivate new ones from it.  Most of the time I end up buying seeds or another plant altogether when I really don’t have to.

    I’ll have to give the hormone a try and see if that helps my survival rate.  It hasn’t been that great so far.  I think that’s why I tend to simply go out and buy new plants vs. attempting to create anew from an existing one.

    Thanks again,

    Scott

    Reply
    • Hi Scott – thank you for taking the time to visit my site and offer comments. I used to do the same, buying plants when it’s really not necessary. It’s much more satisfying creating your own! Wishing you all the best, Diane

      Reply
  2. Hi this is such an interesting article, I never knew cloning could be this easy!

    This is such a great idea to create something new from the plants you already have, and I also like the idea that this can be made into a lovely gift, that it’s not bought but created. 

    Thanks for sharing this, I would like to try creating my own plants one day, keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Hi – I appreciate you taking an interest in my site, and I am pleased you learnt something new. I do encourage you to have a go at creating your own plants. All the best, Diane

      Reply
  3. Hi,

    Excellent article about how to create a house plant. As all of you know about British weather, so if we want yo grow tree- we have to rely on the indoor plant. This article definitely gonna help us who create house plant. I have a question if I want to grow fruit plants inside of the house, is it possible? Could you give me some tips, please?

    Reply
    • Hi – I am glad you enjoyed this article, and hope you will try and create your own plants in future. Growing fruit indoors is quite challenging, and I intend to cover this subject soon, so keep reading! All the best, Diane

      Reply
  4. Thanks you for creating such a detailed blog about this. I have been trying to find something like this for ages. As my family is having trouble growing scented pelargoniums. And now, because of you we might finally have a chance. 

    Do you think (considering it is winter) we could still try grow it?

    Reply
    • Hi – thank you reading my article and adding a comment. Scented pelargoniums are gorgeous any time of year, but they do need overwintering indoors or in a light, frost-free place. All the best, Diane

      Reply
  5. Thanks a lot for such an amazing and interesting article. In my opinion, a house without a plant is an empty house. I have many plants in the house, received as a gift or bought but I have not tried until now to plant one. You gave me a very good idea and I will definitely do that. I can’t wait to give them a name for each plant. I think it will be very interesting.

    Thanks again for sharing this with us and i hope to see more articles like this.

    Reply
    • Hi – thank you for visiting my site and leaving a comment. I am pleased you have learnt something new as regards creating your own house plants. All the best, Diane

      Reply
  6. Hello Diane.

    Thank you for sharing this post on creating house plants.

    My favourite among these plants is succulent pups especially aloe vera and ginger roots.

    Aloe vera is very easy to grow and multiply simply by detaching the offsets from the main aloe vera plant and transfer to another pot. I remember doing this and I ended up with lots of aloe vera plant in different containers. I love aloe vera as it has so many uses especially for health treatment.

    Emmm… What I knew before now is that I use ginger in my meals 😊. Great to see that it can be grown. I love eating ginger roots. If I end up planting the roots with the steps you have shown in this guide, will I end up harvesting more ginger roots?

    Best regard!

    Reply
    • Hi – thank you for taking the time to visit my site. I am pleased you enjoyed the article. It is definitely possible to grow your own ginger roots, and I have done this myself. Try and use organic ginger, because commercial ginger may have chemicals on it which would restrict its growth. All the best, Diane 

      Reply

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