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Water propagation is by far my favorite way to propagate houseplants. Matter of fact I love to water propagate garden plants as well. Most root up so easy once put in water. How do you do it? I have to admit that it’s as easy as cut, stick in water and wait but I’ll go more into detail.
Have some vessels ready:
You must have something that can hold water. It can be a simple as a pickle jar, jelly jar or even those clear plastic cups your Starbucks drink came in. If you are just starting to dip your toe in the water propagation world my suggestion is to start with glass. The size of the vessel is relative to the size of cutting(s) you’re adding to it.
Now that you have a vessel for your propagation It’s time to take a cutting from your plant(s). Be sure that you are using clean shears or scissors and that you are making your cut in the correct spot. It’s not always obvious on each plant where the best place to make a cutting is and for that you will have to do research. Some plants you can cut anywhere along the stem and others you will need to make sure that a node is present.
After you’ve figured out where to make your cut depending on the plant you will either let that cut callous over for 24 hours or you can plunge that cutting directly into your vessel with water. Keep your propagations in a warm well lit area.
PRO TIP: If you keep your cuttings on a heat mat that can speed up root growth. Here are the heat mats I use for seed starting. They work great for propagation as well.
How soon you will see root growth depends on the plant being propagated. Not all propagations grow. Some will rot and that’s ok, just try again.
So here’s were me and other plant people bump heads. They say to change out your water every few days. I say change out your water if it becomes cloudy. I have not had any issues with propagations not propagating because the water was a week or two old. It’s up to you as to how often you change the water.
When to plant:
How do you know when your propagation is ready to put into soil? Best practice is to wait until there are at least a handful of roots and that they are 1/2 – 1 inch long. The roots are what anchor the plant in the soil so you want to be sure that your new propagation has enough roots to give them a good start.
Switching from water to soil can be stressful for some plants. Not all will struggle but some will. Just do your best to provide them with good care and they should bounce back. If your plant doesn’t bounce back don’t worry you can always try again.
Growing a garden and houseplants should be fun so if a propagation attempt fails don’t worry. Just try again.