Propagating from Cuttings

The photo above is my Rosemary propagation before I transferred it to a small pot.

Propagating is the process of taking an existing plant by taking cuttings to establish additional plants from the parent plant.

You can propagate many plants by taking cutting off an existing plant.  I will explain how to take the cuttings and the steps to get them to root for you to have a whole new plant start.

Propagating vegetables and herbs can be a cost-effective way to grow your own food, as it allows you to produce multiple plants from a single parent plant. It also gives you control over the quality and safety of the food you consume, as you can choose to grow them using organic methods or without the use of harmful chemicals.

Furthermore, propagating vegetables and herbs can be a fun and rewarding activity, as it allows you to connect with nature and learn about the growth process of different plants. It can also provide you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you harvest your own fresh produce.

Additionally, growing your own vegetables and herbs can have positive environmental impacts, as it reduces the need for transportation and packaging of store-bought produce, which can contribute to carbon emissions and waste.

It is best to use a stem that is green for propagating and not the woody brown stems which are much more difficult to propogate.

By propagating plants you can save a huge amount of money and collect plants from friends and family that will fill your garden.

Easiest plants to take cuttings from for propagating










Lemon Verbena















Butterfly Bush



How to take the cutting

When taking a cutting for propagation you should select a stem that is green and 3-6 inches long from a healthy plant.  Use a sharp knife or razor to take your cutting above a leaf node, this cutting should not have buds.

I will usually take several cuttings to ensure I have a couple of healthy ones that survive.

Steps to propagate in water

  1. Take a cutting of the plant from the green stem that is 3-6 inches long
  2. Strip the leaves off the lower portion that will be placed in the water or planted in the dirt
  3. When propagating in water place the cutting in a container in an area that receives indirect sunlight
  4. Add water as needed, do not submerge stem with leaves on them
  5. You should start to see some roots after 2-3 weeks
  6. When there are several roots 1-3 inches long you are ready to plant the cutting in a pot
  7. Use potting soil or seed starter soil for best results when planting your cutting in a pot
  8. I prefer to let the roots get established for an additional 2-3 weeks before planting in the garden

Steps to propagate in the soil

  1. Take a cutting of the plant from the green part of the stem that is 3-6 inches long
  2. Strip off the leaves of the plant that you will cover with soil
  3. When propagating in the soil dip the end of the stem without leaves in a rooting compound before placing it in the soil
  4. Best to use seedling starter soil or potting soil for propagating plants
  5. Use your finger or pencil to make a hole in the soil to slip the cutting in and press the soil around the cutting
  6. Water thoroughly and place in an area where the plant receives indirect sunlight
  7. Keep the plant well watered, do not let it dry out
  8. It takes 3-5 weeks for the plant to establish a strong root system for you to plant in the garden

Growth of cutting

Cuttings propagated in water 

This process can take 3-4 weeks, the nice thing about propagating this way is that you can see the roots develop, and once you see several roots that are from 1-3 inches long you can plant the cutting in a pot with soil.

Propagating in soil

If you are propagating in the soil you have to trust the 3-5 week time period to then plant in the garden.  You will know when you remove the plant from the pot when you see the roots if it is ready to plant, I would tend to give it at least 4 weeks.

Propagating plants from cuttings can give you great satisfaction knowing that you started a plant by propagating it.  This is also a great way for you to share some of your favorite plants with family, neighbors, and friends to plant in their garden.

I hope that this post was helpful to you for Propagating from Cuttings and will encourage you to try to get started propagating.

Happy propagating from the Urban Gardener!

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