How to Start A New Plant From Your Current Plant Clippings


A plant that keeps growing and growing may leave you with too much of a good thing. Take stem clippings from healthy, fast-growing plants to either expand your collection of create homegrown gifts for friends and family. Called stem cutting propagation, this is an efficient way of both thinning out overgrown plants and expanding your garden -- indoors or out.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Mother plant
  • Jar or vase
  • Plant pot
  • Potting soil
  • Newspaper
  • Trim one or more 6-inch sections from terminal ends of your plant with clean scissors. Trim off 1/4 inch before a "node," a joint in the stem where there is a little budlike nodule.

  • Fill a jar or narrow-necked vase with water. Put these clippings in water for a month or so until roots begin to grow from the node. Change the water frequently.

  • Lay out newspaper to protect your work surface. Put a 4-inch plant pot on the newspaper. Ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes. Proper drainage prevents any root rot, which occurs when a plant's roots sit in water.

  • Fill the pot with a sterile potting mix. Fill to within 2 inches of the rim.

  • Dig a small hole in the potting mix with your fingers, making the hole in the middle as deep as you are able.

  • Take the rooted clippings out of the water and place one in the hole you have made in the middle of the pot. Be gentle, disturbing the delicate roots as little as possible. If you choose to put several in the pot for a fuller-looking plant from the start, make a separate hole for each.

  • Add more potting soil on each side of the pot around the clippings to help hold them in place. Continue to fill the pot with potting soil, packing it in as you go, until it is about 1/2 inch from the top of the pot.

  • Add water to your plant. Go slowly and do not overfill the pot over. New potting soil sometimes takes a little longer to begin to soak up the water. So check again in a little while to add a little more water.

  • Set your plant in bright, indirect light while it becomes established.

Tips & Warnings

  • Jade plants, philodendron, dracaena, geraniums, African violets, coleus, ivy and begonia are good candidates for water rooting.
  • Not all plants root directly in water. Some cuttings should be placed in damp potting soil to start for better results.

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