DIY Plant Propagation for Beginners: The Which, the How, and the When

Posted by John Zeaiter on

To a plant lover, propagation can often feel like alchemy. You can make more plants, form the same plant “ whenever you want? Evergreen Growers are passionate about everything green and have a guide on how to successfully propagate offcuts from succulents and plants into whole new plants. Whether you're versed in the art of plant propagation or are coming in fresh “ we hope you'll learn a thing or two!

Dry propagation Dry propagation works well for drought-resistant plants such as succulents. Water your parent plant in the days before removing one or more leaves. Once it's flushed with water and nutrients you can gently remove the leaves you want to propagate, put them somewhere dry, and then leave them alone to propagate. Yes, it's a patience game. Rather than wilt at lack of water they prefer it and may just start rooting whilst laying on your kitchen counter, or atop the soil in your plant pots. Let them lay till they root, then gently plant them into a pot or spot of their own.

Wet propagation Leafy indoor plants are great candidates for wet propagation. Because they are generally thirstier than their succulent counterparts, they require constant hydration in the propagation process in order to root. Simply pop the cutting in a glass of water (and change it frequently). Keep a lookout for aphids and other pesky pests as they grow. Once the cutting has developed healthy roots, carefully plant them in nutrient rich soil.

Air layering It's tempting to cut a large cutting off a rubber tree or another plant to secure a large new plant right away, but does it work? That's where air layering comes in. Air layering is the process of encouraging roots to grow before removing the piece from the mother plant. This way you can ensure the cutting receives nutrients from the plant while it grows new roots “ which is great for trees and larger plants with reduced foliage towards the stem. There are special tools available for air layering, so do your research and give it a crack.

Making the cut Once you've found a large, many-leafed plant with a colouration you enjoy, make a clean cut at a 45-degree angle (this helps maximise the rooting area). While even tiny individual succulent leaves can regrow into a plant with the right care, giving yourself 8-15 cm to work with gives the plant a greater chance of survival “ and you will have a bigger, new plant, too!

Propagation tools If you want to ensure your offcuts have the best chance at survival, there's a range of supplements available to encourage rooting, such as a rooting gel.

Remember that propagation is a long-term process. If you'd like a lush garden or indoor space before summer, consider the wide range of cheap, quality plants ready to be planted from Evergreen Growers “ shipped Australia-wide.

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