Winter is a season that can leave many feeling a little low, or at the very least pining for the buoyant energy of spring and summer. So, it can feel so good to have easy-to-succeed-with projects to get us through to spring, especially when we can grow something awesome! Water propagation of houseplants is one of those things: very grower friendly but still super rewarding. Plus, you'll be excited to check on the development of roots and then new growth on the plants you propagate.
If you are using our January Pick-Me-Up set for this project, it includes three cuttings (Peperomia obtusifolia, Epipremnum pinnatum 'Cebu Blue' and Golden Pothos). These three plants are able to grow in almost all indoor settings, delivering beautiful vining or cascading foliage year round. Once you've got propagation down, these are also fabulous plants to share with friends!
The goal here is to encourage what are called adventitious roots, which is a different process than growing classic roots from the base of a stem cutting. For these plants, we are looking for the root nodes that occur along the stems and giving them a little nudge to grow out, making it super easy to start a new plant. Adventitious roots are different in that they usually occur above the dirt and you can often see them even before you put a stem cutting into water... they are just a little small bump at first.
You'll find that these "baby" root-bumps (nodes) along the stem of many popular houseplants quickly grow into full roots if you set them into a clear glass container with fresh water. Be sure to remove any leaves from the section that is in the water, but don't cut or otherwise do anything to the little root nodes.
For our project, we are supplying a cute spice jar for the propagator: it is an ideal size and stands on its own.
Place your stems into the fresh water, supported by the spice jar cap (with holes and flip-opening in it), and then set your propagator in a bright location. Ideally, water should be changed every few days but not sweat if you forget and it goes longer! No rooting hormones or special treatment is required.
Do remember to check to see if roots are developing, which may get going with a few days, or take a few weeks depending on temperature and the plant varieties you are propagating.
Once you see obvious signs of root development, repot your cuttings to small pots. Start with something like a 3 inch container and move up from there. A common practice among greenhouse growers is to put multiple cuttings of the same variety into one pot, giving you a fuller-looking plant quickly! After repotting, maintain your new plant(s) in bright diffuse light in a warm location.
Once you see roots coming through the bottom of the first pot you transplant into you can go a head and upsize (most houseplants like to increase pot size slowly, so jump up one or two inches at most each time you repot).
That's it, super easy! Of course, be sure to research the ideal growing requirements for any plants you are propagating, and consider that plants like the Cebu Blue and Golden Pothos are happiest when grown up a totem.
Be sure to comment if you have questions, or your own tips when it comes to water propagation.