You know what’s an absolutely perfect zero-waste gift you can give – and not spend a penny on it? A little propagated plant baby! They are so easy to make and I haven’t met a single person who wouldn’t appreciate a sweet little coming over to yours with a bottle of wine and tiny plant gift. I’ve always taken cuttings for propagation from my ficus plants however since moving to Prague I’ve realised that ficus plants don’t do that well in my current apartment. There are lots of other plants that do really well here though and they have created for the perfect propagation mother plants. Let me give you a brief guide on which houseplants propagate great from cuttings and which less so.
Which houseplants can you propagate from a cutting?
I’ve already shown you that ficus plants are perfect for propagation from cuttings. It only takes a couple of weeks for their roots to start sprouting. And you can even propagate ficus lyrata! In addition to the speedy growth they are not particularly sensitive once you plant them in soil. They just like to grow grow grow. What other plants are super easy to grow like this?
Peperomias: These robust plants with hard waxy leaves love a warm spot. They grow like crazy in our loft apartment. Because of their growth spurt I often have to cut off whole parts of the plants to make room for more branches. That’s why I always have a propagated peperomia on hand!
Maranta, the prayer plant: You know the little hipster plant that keeps turning the leaves towards the light in a happy dance? This babe of a plant is also extremely easy to propagate. I thought it was going to be way more difficult but the long sprouts thrive super fast in a glass of water.
Monstera: The obligatory blogger must have is yet another super easy plant to propagate. I find it a little harder to grow – it just doesn’t seem to exactly thrive in my home, yet it’s unstoppable when you add a drop of water.
Cuban oregano: Or so called Indian mint or thyme isn’t in fact any of these herbs. It’s officially called Plectranthus and in Czech we call it the cold-plant. That’s because of its strong decongestant properties. You can literally shove a leaf up your nose when it’s stuffed and two minutes later it’s stuffed no more. Cuban oregano is super easy and quick to propagate. Just make sure you replace the water quite frequently. Because of its soft stem it can get mouldy quite easily.
Pothos and philodendron: I don’t own either of these but both are very easy to propagate. Just make sure you don’t give these as a gift to people with cats or dogs as they are very highly poisonous.
Calathea: These are absolutely beautiful plants. You can find them super cheap and in great condition in IKEA at the moment. They sell huge ones for £10 or so. You can easily grow these from cuttings but it might take a little longer.
There are so many houseplants that can be grown this way – the easiest to check without trying is to simply google the name of the plant with “propagation” and you’ll find thousands of articles on whether this particular plant can be grown this way.
How to propagate from a cutting?
Propagation from a cutting is an easy effective way to grow a new plant without having to go to the shop to buy a new one. It’s a very sustainable and efficient way of growing air purifying helpers for your home. And it’s also a lovely way to socialise with others when swapping these little buds. In Prague there are even public plant swaps organised by cafes and flower shops. People come together with the tiny propagated babies. Or even older plants they have no room for or just don’t want in their homes anymore. And they swap! What a wonderful idea, isn’t it?
Now onto the propagation itself:
- find yourself a plant you want to multiply
- take a cutting – with sharp scissors not to damage the mother plant
- usually cut a decently sized stem with a few leaves (one leave usually isn’t enough)
- prepare an appropriately sized glass or a jar filled with water
- place your cutting in the water in a safe place so your cats can’t get to it and eat it or kill it in any other way
- replace the water frequently depending on the plant (maranta and cuban oregano go nasty so quickly, yet peperomias can have the same water for two weeks and they’re fine)
- watch the magic happen
- once the plant has decently sized roots (we’re talking a couple of centimetres) put it in soil
- give away with love or keep it to create an actual jungle in your home