If you put your houseplants outside for the summer you will soon have to bring them back in if you live in an area like I do that gets frost and temperatures below 32F. You may notice that they have grown larger or longer (in the case of trailing plants) over the summer and may have overgrown the house space they were previously in. Many can be trimmed back without harming or disfiguring them. And the nice thing is, you can actually do something with many parts you trim off. This would be called propagation by cuttings. In other words, you can reproduce the plant you love, making more just like it. It’s fairly easy and inexpensive.


For example, philodendrons and pothos are great plants to try this on. Try making a ‘tip cutting’ by removing the very end of a trailing stem 4-6” long, making sure you have at least one node (point where a leaf is or was attached to a stem) on your cutting and one or two leaves. Make the cut with a sharp knife or pruners just below the node. Dip this part in rooting hormone powder (optional/you may purchase this in the garden section of a store) which helps stimulate and speed up root development. Now place your cutting in a small vase or jar of water to which you have added some diluted liquid houseplant food (follow the directions on the label); or ‘stick’ the cutting in a small pot of moistened lightweight potting soil. Approximately 1-2” of the stem containing a node from which you made the cut should be below the water or soil line. Place your cutting in a bright location and keep soil moist and or the water level filled.
You should see roots start to grow in a about 2 weeks and the plant should be ready to transplant into a large pot in about six weeks when it has a good root system. Your new plant will grow into the exact plant as its ‘mother’ or ‘stock’ plant. When this happens, congratulate yourself on being a successful plant propagator! This is just one way to reproduce plants so that you will have more to care for or more to share with someone else.

PothosMaking Pothos Tip Cutting
Pothos Tip Cutting'Sticking' Pothos Cutting

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