propagation: clone your fave plant babies

Plant Moderator

Propagation might sound like something from sci- fi flicks, but it is not as intimidating as you may think, nor must you be a pro gardener to do it.

If your sprawling houseplant is reaching new heights or outgrowing its pot, you may wish to propagate, which means growing a new plant from the original plant’s leaves, stems, or roots. 

During pandemic times, we saw a lot of recipes for sourdough bread or kombucha beverages, both requiring a mother as a starter. Similarly, your mature plants are “mothers” that can be used as plant starters for a whole new plant community. Speaking of community, just as sourdough starters exchanged hands amongst neighbours, you can do the same with your propagated plants or within a plant swap, for example. 

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plant propagation FAQs

Here, we give props to propagation! Find out what materials and methods you need to get started. 

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propagation methods

  • how do I grow stems in water for propagation?

    Follow these 5 easy steps:

    1. Take your sharp shears or scissors and cut a 3-to-4-inch at the node (the length of stem below the leaf)
    2. Remove leaves from the lower part of the stem to avoid leaves rotting in the water
    3. Fill your container with filtered water, changing it every few days, for 2 to 4 weeks, until the roots grow 1 to 2 inches
    4. With roots a favourable length, it’s time to transplant the roots from water to soil. Using Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix , which offers nutrients and oxygen flow to allow your baby plant to thrive, fill a small pot  two-thirds of the way making sure the roots are 1-inch below the rim. Surround the roots with more potting mix and gently press in.
    5. Water well, until water comes out the bottom. Return to a sunny spot and watch your new baby grow.


  • how do I grow leaves in soil for propagation?

    Just as in the above instructions you learned propagating using plant stems, this version is using leaves. A helpful hint to get started is to use a few leaves to root to increase chances of success. Propagating houseplants like snake plants, succulents and African violet are easier thanks to their dense, soft foliage.

    Here’s how to root leaves in 5 easy steps:

    1. Cut the leaves from your mother plants about 0.5 to 1-inch down its petiole (stalk). For plants without stalks, cut the leaf into 2-inch pieces, noting which part is the bottom (nearest the base) which you’ll need to know when potting.
    2. Fill a pot with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix which helps roots robustly sprawl as they form.
    3. Dip the leaves’ bottoms into and securely place it in the spoil on the vertical, bottom down. All leaves may share the same container.
    4. Keep your cuttings moist by gently watering the soil, spritzing with a water bottle or keeping them near a humidifier. While the cuttings have no roots formed, be mindful they can dry easily so check on them frequently (which of course, is part of the fun, watching the progress!)
    5. Congrats, it’s a plant! With patience and care, in a few months you will see baby plantlets with new roots take form, which means you can transplant them into their own pots, minus the original cutting.


  • what is division in plant propagation?

    Division, which is splitting a plant in half to propagate, is a good method for houseplants with stems at the base. For example, ferns, peace lilies, and bromeliads. You can also split the mother plant in thirds to create one or two more plants. 

    Here are 6 steps for plants propagation division:

    1. Take houseplant out of its pot and put on a clean, covered surface.
    2. Separate your plant into separate pieces by gently cutting with a sharp knife or pulling apart with your hands
    3. Each new section should have roots attached to it
    4. Fill pots with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix, which will jumpstart nutrition to the new plant as it starts to adjust to its new earthy abode
    5. Gently place each plant part into its own pot then add more potting mix to just below 1 inch of the pot’s rim.
    6. Water so that it runs out the bottom of the planter and place your newbies in that bright, indirect light you used to grow their mother. 



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