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One Easy Propagation Technique for Beginners
June 08, 2012

Welcome to the Flying Butterfly!

Saving a plant cutting and seeds happens naturally for any gardener. There are many propagation techniques and this is one to get the beginner gardener started understanding this skill.



Creating a baby plant is fun and exciting and in the long run saves money. Once propagation techniques are mastered it becomes a great past-time, especially during winter.


The Supply List:

  • Whether propagating through plant cuttings or seeds it's best to use soilless potting mixes. These are also called sterile potting mixes. These mixes are better for survival of a new plant because they do not have the fungus, bacteria and harmful insects that are found in garden soil and potting mixes. Soilless mixes also drain better which is key for new growth. If growing outdoor plants, I still place a few healthy pinches of dirt in soilless mix.

  • Rooting Hormone. This is used for cuttings, not seeds. They
    come in powder and liquid forms. Rooting hormone's aren't absolutely necessary but they have been proven to increase the number of roots.

  • Other supplies include pots. I like two clay flower pots. One 3" and
    a larger pot 8", or slightly bigger. By placing smaller pot inside the larger, it helps with self-regulating the water flow.

Let's get started:

  • Plug the hole of the 3" clay pot. Use a cork or anything that will
    stay in tact once pot is filled with water.

  • Carefully fill the larger clay pot with soilless mix allowing room for placement of the 3" pot inside the center of large pot. The 3" clay pot's rim will be level with the large pot's rim when placing it inside.

  • Take leaf stem cutting/cuttings from healthy mounding plants. Cut leaf stems about 1" long.

  • Using a pencil poke holes in the soilless potting mix in the larger
    pot. Place holes about 1" from each other.

  • Dip leaf stem in rooting hormone and place it in the hole. Gently compact soilliess mix around stem to avoid air pockets. If planting seeds it isn't necessary to dip in rooting hormone, just place them
    in hole.

  • Fill small clay pot in the center with water so it seeps slowly into soilless mix, regulating water flow.

Keep leaf cuttings in an environment of about 70 degrees. Once tiny leaves are seen growing from the parent, give it about another 20 days
for the root system to get established. At this point test the root development by gently tugging tiny plants. If there is some resistance, leaf stems have developed a good rooting system. At this point:

  • If it is an indoor plant, transplant to a larger pots of choice.

  • If plants will be used for outdoors begin to introduce pot to the outside elements for 1-2 weeks, then transplant. When trans-
    planting use new, rich soil immediately around cutting then
    surround with garden dirt. Make sure baby plants are watered well.


Now stand back and be Proud while looking at your new Plant!


Happy Butterfly Gardening!


Elizabeth @ Easy Butterfly Garden



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