Did you know you can make more of your houseplant? You can simply propagate them! Propagation is the asexual reproduction in plants. In other words, you can clone ANY plant you have!
With Mother’s Day just past, and the summer beckoning, it is planting season now. Though with ongoing lockdown and Stay-Home mandates, it is a little hard to go get flowers, vegetable and other plants. Therefore we, at SNOWMAN New York, thought we could clue you in on another fun way for you to exercise your green thumb. Or just try something new, even if you are not sure whether you are any good at glowing plants.
Plant propagation is easy, and a fun activity to do. Below we have outlined a short description of the process, though we do suggest that you do a quick research on the specific plant you have at home and want to propagate. There are three main ways you can propagate your plants:
- Stem Cuttings
- Leaf Cuttings
- Root Cuttings
So, depending on the plant you have, you just need to look up which method to use. We have chosen Stem Cutting for this blog post, as it is the most common method with most house plants.
Use a knife or box cutter to cut off a section of a stem from your donor plant. Half an inch above and below a node. The node is where the stem has a leaf growing out of it. It is best not to use a scissor because these tend to crush stem tissues which may, in tern, result with an infection.
Group a buck of these cuttings together and place the nodes of these in a cup or jar of water. This will reduce the plant’s stress and ensure hydration while you work on the pot of soil. You have 2 options here.
- You can now leave the cuttings, with their nodes submerged in water for a couple of weeks until they produce roots. Be sure to top up the water regularly and once a week to change out the water completely. Leave them in a well-lit area and be patient.
- The other option is to only leave them in the water while you prepare your pot and soil and then transfer them straight away.
Prepare a new pot with the right soil to encourage growth. Although optional, these additional supplements can be added into the soil to increase the chance of survival:
- Add chalk to increase the pH of the soil to 6 to 6.5 – most house plants thrive best in this condition
- Add organic substance/leaf litter – increases nutrient load
- Add sand/gravel – provides breathable soil to prevent root rot
By the way, the pot can be another fun project for you, you can upcycle all sorts of items to use as flower pots, you do not have to go buy new pots; drawers from an old cupboard, paint cans (just decorate them), even old shoes. But that is for another blog post potentially.
Take the cuttings out and gently stick them into the soil-filled pots. Put a bunch of them together into a pot. Not all your cuttings will propagate so do not be discouraged some wilts. The sudden change in environment can be very stressful for plants and they just may not be able to handle it.
And voila! You have successfully propagated your plants and will have new leafy friends in no time! Let yourself be inspired and have fun gardening at home while you stay safe and healthy. Who knows how much longer we will all still need to stay more or less isolated. This is a great way to bring yourself and your home some joy, watching your need plants grow and decorate your place.