Plant propagation is a gardener’s ultimate skill. We all love our precious plants, so who wouldn’t want more of them? Indoor plant propagation in particular has become incredibly popular. Not only is it easy to do and completely free, but it allows you to grow an entire collection of the most loved plants around.
If you’re a new plant parent trying out propagation for the first time, these four plants will be your best friends. They are incredibly easy to propagate and cover all the houseplant propagation methods to give you plenty of practice before you tackle the harder stuff.
The first houseplant propagation method is leaf-cutting and for this method, look no further than the trusty Sansevieria. Also known as the snake plant, or mother-in-law’s tongue, this structural houseplant staple is almost impossible to kill and insanely easy to propagate.
While it can also be propagated by division, leaf cuttings give you far more plants in the end as entire leaves can be split into multiple cuttings. Simply remove a leaf, cut it into sections about the size of your finger, and stick the cutting in some succulent potting mix with the root direction facing downwards. It’s that easy!
After a few weeks, when the cuttings show some resistance to being pulled, they can be transplanted into separate pots. Alternatively, save yourself that extra step and plant the cuttings in their final home.
Climbing vines are ideal specimens for water propagation. You’ve probably seen them all over Instagram – glass test tubes or old bottles filled with stems and long, healthy root systems. The best plant to help you join this plant propagation club is Epipremnum aureum (also known as Scindapsus aureus, or more commonly – Pothos).
You’ll notice several nodes along the stems where the leaves emerge. Snip off a stem or two just below one of these nodes, removing any leaves closest to the node. Pop that end in a glass of water and leave in a sunny spot. Soon you will notice the roots forming, but leave the stems in the water until the roots are at least a few centimetres long. They can then be transplanted out into individual pots.
To keep the roots healthy and prevent any unwanted build up, replace the water every couple of days.
If the previous two examples sound like too much work, you can always opt for a plant that does all the work for you – Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plant). The Spider plant produces little plantlets along stems, also called pups or babies, that look just like a tiny version of the fully grown plant.
Remove any of the plantlets with a full node along the stem with a pair of scissors. You can either place the plantlet in water to watch the roots grow, or plant it straight into a pot filled with indoor potting mix. Spider plants can produce several plantlets on one plant, so you’ll only need one to get started.
The final common houseplant propagation method is division. Many popular houseplants can be propagated by division, but one of the most popular is the ZZ Plant, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia. Although they are loved for their shiny structural appearance, their favoured trait has to be in the care department. These plants can withstand a little (or a lot) or neglect, and still look as staunch as ever, even if you forget a watering or two.
For this method, remove the entire plant from its pot and shake off the soil. You’ll notice a clumped root ball, which you can either cut in half, or into three depending on the size. Always use a sharp disinfected knife to prevent damage and disease. Plant the divisions into separate pots and they should shoot up some new leaves in no time.