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How to Grow a Plant From a Cutting


Transforming your garden or indoor plant collection is the best way to kick-start the new spring season, and now is the time to do it. Before splashing out all the dollars on brand new garden plants, consider taking cuttings from your favorite, easy-to-grow plants so that you can cultivate new ones — all at home and without opening your wallet!

“There are so many different cuttings out there to propagate your plants; the options are truly limitless. So why not have some fun and experiment with different types of cuttings and see what you can create?” says Mark Paul, horticulturist and founder of The Greenwall Company. “Spring is a great time to revive and refresh your garden with optimal conditions.”

Here’s what you need to know to get started on growing your existing plant collection from cuttings.

Types of Cuttings

  • Leaf cuttings can be propagated quickly and easily, and using leaves is one of the best ways to ensure identical new plants. Try begonias, sansevierias, or crassulas.
  • Semi-mature cuttings (half-hardened tips) that are three to five internodes (the part of a plant stem between two of the “nodes” from which leaves emerge) long. For example, camellias and bottlebrushes (callistemons).
  • Hardwood cuttings are great for making plants during late autumn and winter. These can be made from woody offsets such as murraya or grevilleas.

What You’ll Need

  • A sharp knife or pruning shears
  • Recycled pots or other draining containers
  • Potting mix, perlite, coco peat, and sand
  • Rooting hormone powder or gel


Step 1: Remember to sterilize.

Use bleach to sterilize your cuttings and the containers you are using for potting them.

Step 2: Cut off a section of the stem.

Select healthy growth that’s at least three internodes and make a clean, sharp cut.

Step 3: Reduce the leaf area by 60 percent.

Remove leaves on the under layer of the offset to make it bare and insert into your potting mix. Then, cut every second leaf out or halve the larger leaves. Do not reduce the leaf area of succulent plants like hoyas or carpobrotus.

Step 4: Pot your cutting.

Pot your cuttings in a moist mix of half premium potting and half sand or perlite. Keep humid by submerging the bottom of the pot in a container of water. Put a shopping bag with a rubber band around the pot and some cooking skewers to hold the plastic bag up over the top of the pot and cuttings, forming a miniature greenhouse. Keep well lit but out of direct sunlight.

Note: Cuttings may take between six days to six months to grow until they’re ready for planting. Remember to be patient as some garden plants will take a while to grow — but it will certainly be worth the wait! Others may shoot up and surprise you.

What are the best plants to grow from a cutting?

As mentioned earlier, begonias, sansevierias, and crassulas are good for growing from leaf cuttings, camellias and bottlebrushes for semi-mature cuttings, and murraya or grevilleas for hardwood cuttings. If you take mature cuttings, the plant will start flowering beautifully. If you plant from a seed, it will often take eight years or more to flower. Succulents are by far the easiest plants to propagate. To find out how to do it, click here.

Are there any plants that won’t grow from a cutting?

There are some plants that won’t grow from a cutting. Instead they do something called layering, which involves bending a plant until the tip comes in contact with soil. The branch will eventually grow roots, and the two plants can be easily separated. Other plants will only grow in particular seasons.

This post originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.

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