How to Root Cuttings With Rooting Powder

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Many plants will root from cuttings.
Many plants will root from cuttings. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Growing new plants from cuttings taken from other plants is one form of plant propagation. This method is used the most often for a number of woody ornamental plants, but it also works well for most houseplants and a variety of trees, vines and shrubs. The exact time to take cuttings differs among various plant species, but the basic procedures are the same. This includes treating the cuttings with a special hormone to promote rooting.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Rooting medium
  • Drainage tray
  • Knife
  • Pencil
  • Small container
  • Plastic bag

Fill a pot with sterile, well-drained soil mix and set it on a drainage tray. Dampen the soil and make holes in it with a pencil.

Collect cuttings early in the day and treat them right away. Remove several 4- to 6-inch-long cuttings just below a node on healthy stems.

Remove any leaves or flowers on the lower 2 to 3 inches of the cuttings. Cut medium or larger leaves on the upper part of the cutting in half. Run a sharp knife down the lower part of woody cuttings to wound them and promote rooting.

Put a small amount of the dry rooting hormone into a small container. Only use as much hormone as you need and, to prevent contamination, never put any powder back into the same container.

Dip the lower half or less of each cutting into the rooting hormone. Shake or tap them on the side of the container to get rid of excessive rooting powder.

Put one cutting in each of the holes and firm the soil to hold the cuttings upright. Water the cuttings again after all of them are in place. Cover the entire pot with a plastic bag.

Keep the pot in a warm location out of direct sunlight. Check the cuttings often and water as needed to maintain moist soil until roots form in a month or more.

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