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Plant Propagation by Plant Rooting and Cuttings

Plant propagation by rootings and cuttings

A common way to grow new plants from existing ones, is by taking cuttings and rooting them, most often in water. It is generally known as plant "rooting" or "growing cuttings". Rooting new plants from cuttings is possible on a wide range of houseplants, bushes and shrubs. For bushes and shrubs, if the stems are soft wooded, chances are they can be rooted to grow new plants. The list is long, and includes popular plants like Roses, Lilacs, Pussy Willows, Rose of Sharon, and many more. I always tell growers when in doubt, give it a try.

Did You Know? Some plants, like African Violets, work well with leaf cuttings. The leaf is either placed in water to root, or placed directly into moist soil. Some leaf cuttings will grow pinned to the surface of the soil. The new plants will root from the veins where they contact the moist soil.

Rooting new plants is easy. Most plant rootings are done in water. The most notable exception is roses, which are rooted in moist soil. Here is how most plants are rooted:

  1. Select new, young sections of stems that are growing well.

  2. Do not select old wood, unhealthy stems, or stems with flowers on them.

  3. Cut the  end section of the stem off with a clean pair of shears or pruners.

  4. Remove leaves at the bottom of the stem that might be under water.

  5. Immediately (and quickly) place the stems in water. An inch or two of water is all that most plants will need.

  6.  Watch the water level to assure it doesn't dry up. Add water as needed.

  7. After the cuttings have developed some roots, transplant them into their new home in an indoor container, or outdoors in the garden or yard.

Note: Garden stores carry rooting compound. It aids root growth and development. It is useful with older plants, and hard to root plants.

Did you know? Propagation by cuttings in a sense is "cloning". It results in a genetic match with one mother (or donor) plant.

Seaweed fertilizer is beneficial for your young plants. It helps to promote a healthy root system. More on Seaweed fertilizer.

Also see: Rooting Houseplants

More Information:

Root separation, or division of roots, is a similar, yet different way to propagate plants. This is commonly practiced with perennial flower plants. Many perennial flowers spread by it's root system. They get over crowded, and need thinning from time to time. Often,  a friend seeds the perennials expresses interest in some of the beautiful plants  eager to oblige a friend, gardeners will dig up and separate the roots, then replant them, or give them to their friends.  

Cloning (rooting) Giant pumpkins to propagate "giant" genetics



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