Propagating your plants 101

Spring has begun! Days are getting longer, the temperature is rising and the first lambs are born. But this time of the year means only one thing for plantlovers: propagating season has started! Are you progagating your plants for the first time or do you just need to refresh your knowlegde? No worries, after reading this blog you will be the best plantmom or plantdad.


We understand that you want to start propating immediately, but hold your horses! It is important to collect the right tools before you start making cuttings. By using the right tools it is less likely you will damage your motherplant or that it will get infected with a bacteria. Here is the list of tools you need:

  • Sharp knive
  • Pruning shears
  • Pots and/or vases
  • Potting soil
  • Optional: mini greenhouse of plastic
Foto: Manon Warink

Different ways of propagating your plant

Just like there are many sorts of plants, there are also different ways of propagating. We have listed the most common ones for you.

Tip cutting of section cutting

Propagating by making a tip cutting or section cutting is a commonly used way. Maybe the names make sense already, but we will tell you what they mean. A tip cutting includes the apex and a small part of the stem. A section cutting includes a small section of the stem and leaf joint. These cutting could be placed in potting soil or a vase with water. This way of propagating is used a lot in our nursery, you could read about it in our blog about a look behind the scenes right here.

Young shoots

Some plants make young shoots that could be cut off from the motherplant easily. For some people these young shoots are known as ‘babies’. At the moment, the Chinese money plant is probably the most known plant that gives young shoots. These young shoots could be cut off with a sterile knife. Check the deepness of the roots before you cut off the babyplants. Most times the babyplants already have roots, therefore it is important to cut off the young shoot as close to the motherplant as possible to increase the chance of a succesful cutting. Cuttings with roots could be placed in potting soil. Did you cut off a young shoot with little or no roots? Put the cutting in a glass of vase with water to see if the roots will grow.

Foto: Luuk Prop
Aerial roots

You probably have seen them: lumps (or wisps) at the stem of a Monstera or Epipremnum. These are aerial roots. They might look a bit weird, but the aerial roots are essential for these kinds of plants. They use them to get moist out of the air. But besides that, these aerial roots are used to propagate the motherplants. But how do you propagate a plant with aerial roots? Take a stem with an aerial root and cut it off just below the aerial root. The stem you just cut off could be placed in potting soil, or put it in a glass with water to see the roots grow.

Leaf cutting

The name ‘leaf cutting’ speaks for itself: a leaf cutting is a cutting of a leaf. You could put the leave upright or lay it flat in potting soil. This way of propagating is common by succulents, but is also used by sorts of Begonia rex. The leave of a Begonia rex (with a small piece of stem) could be placed on potting soil, or you could cut a leave into pieces. When you cut the leaves into pieces, make sure there are veins on every piece. Let the leaves of succelents dry for a few days before you put them on potting soil. By doing this you will prevent the leave is going to rot and your cutting will be a faillure.

The benefits of potting soil

Most people place their cuttings in a vase/bottle with water. And to be honest, it looks pretty amazing to see the roots grow in water. But when you root a cutting in water, it does not get the nutrients it needs. Potting soil does contain these nutrients. By placing your cutting in potting soil it gets the nutrients it need. And if you want to create better circumstances for your cutting, you should place it in a mini greenhouse or create one by putting plastic over the pot. Make sure you will keep an eye on the humidity.

You have gained a lot of information to start propagating your plants. But always check if a plant is protected under cultivation rights, because you might bump into an unpleasant surprise. Share your cuttings with your mother, son or neighbour, but be careful with selling it online or in stores.

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