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Many of our houseplants such as geraniums, fuchsias, begonias, sanseuieria, dracaena, icy, pothos, philodendron, peperomia and others are readily propagated by vegetative means or cuttings from different parts of the plant. Stem cuttings are the most common. They are usually made by removing the top growth of the stems with a sharp knife and trimming them so that each cutting or slip has at least two joints. Make the lower cut on a slant to provide a greater surface for rooting and to reduce the danger of injuring tissues in cutting. Insert the cutting in the rooting medium-sand or a mixture of sand and peat, about one inch deep and water thoroughly to make intimate contact between the plant and the medium. Horticultural vermiculite or perlite is also good media. You can find more plant cutting information with Plant Spot app for your ios or android. 



While it was once thought best to trim leaves because of evaporation, this is no longer advocated. A work-around is to place the plants under indoor fountains. Remove only those leaves interfering with placement of the cuttings and do not prune the remaining leaves. The young, rootless plants need all the food manufacturing potential possible. The best and quickest rooting occurs when the leaf area is at a maximum. Do not turn the foliage. It is better to reduce light intensity and mist regularly during rooting.  

To prevent evaporation and to supply bottom heat for quick rooting, a special box or fountain may be made. This consists of a container for the rooting medium placed over heating pipes and covered with another box with a glass top. The latter serves the purpose of keeping moisture in and about the cutting and reducing evaporation. Covering the container with a plastic bag is another easy way to maintain high humidity around the cuttings. It usually takes from 3 to ,9 weeks, depending on the species of plant and the season, to secure proper rooting, which is indicated by the growth of roots one-half to three-quarters of an inch long. At this stage pot the cuttings in 2 ½-inch pots and as they grow gradually shift them to larger sizes.

  • Howard Payne
  • Jan 16 2020
  • Pending Review
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