Stem and tip cuttings
If you’re a house plant enthusiast and your interior has become a foliage-filled jungle, why not extend your passion and make propagation a hobby too? Propagation allows you to share your plants with friends by reproducing your most prized varieties. The stem and tip propagation method can be used for almost all house plants.
- Seed raising mix
- Mixing bucket
- Rooting hormone
- Sharp snips
- Propagator tray with lid
- Water mister
- Dibber – a Sharpie pen or bamboo stick is ideal
- Jiffy pots or clean small plastic pots, under 6cm diameter
- Gloves and dust mask
- Heat pad (optional)
Organisation is the key to success. Ensure you have everything you need before you start the task.
Cuttings do not like to be planted into potting mix; therefore we recommend creating your own blend. Before mixing, ensure you have your dust musk and gloves on and work in a space with good air ventilation. In your mixing bucket combine a 50:50 ratio of Oderings Seed Raising Mix and Egmont’s Perlite. The seed raising mix contains all the nutrients your cuttings require, and Perlite is essential for drainage to prevent your cuttings from rotting. This mix is appropriate for soft wood foliage plants such as Pothos, Hoyas, Ficus or Syngonium. You can amend your mix to make it more suitable for succulent cuttings by swapping the perlite for Egmont’s Fine Pumice.
Once you have made your mixture, place the soil into the pots, press firmly to slightly compress it, and water well. Use your choice of dibber to make two, 2cm-deep holes in preparation for your cuttings. We advise planting two cuttings into one pot for a bushier final plant.
Pour some rooting hormone into a saucer. Ensure your mister bottle is full of water and have a clean, sterile area for the cuttings to be placed in.
Examine the plant you’re taking the cuttings from and ensure it is pest and disease-free, with no flowers. Select a piece of plant with a length of at least 3-4 leaf nodes and use your sharp snips to make the cutting on an angle just below the fourth leaf node. Ensure your cuttings are all similar lengths. Repeat this process until you have collected enough cuttings for your requirements. Mist the cuttings every five minutes to keep them hydrated.
Remove the bottom one-third to one-half of the leaves above your angled slice, as contact with the soil can cause them to rot. Rooting hormone speeds up the root development of your cutting; take each cutting and dunk the angled end of the cutting into the rooting hormone to a depth of 1cm before placing your cuttings into the prepared holes. Press firmly around each cutting, using two cuttings per pot. Once all the pots are full, mist the leaves with water. Do not water the soil, as this will wash away the rooting hormone. Place the planted cuttings into the propagator tray, put the lid in place and sit the tray on a heat pad or in a warm spot that is bright but not in direct sunlight.
Water before the soil completely dries out. On soft-wood cuttings you will see root development in 2-4 weeks. Within 2-3 months you will be able to transplant into a 10cm-12cm pot using a quality potting mix.