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How to Propagate Plants: 5 Tips & Tricks (With Pictures)

gardener propagating plants

Have you ever had a stunning plant you wanted to multiply but didn’t know how to make another plant without purchasing seed or seedlings? If so, this is the perfect article for you. You can multiply plants through propagation, and we’ll provide you with all the details to succeed even at your first propagation attempt.

Keep reading to learn some of the best plant propagation tips and tricks!

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What Is Plant Propagation?

Plant propagation involves multiplying a plant species to gain more new plants through various methods.

There are two different propagation forms:
  • Sexual: The pollination process creates new plants from seeds. It happens naturally when insects transfer pollen from one plant to the other. If the new seed is cross-pollinating, it will contain characteristics from both parents, while a self-pollinating seed will carry genes from its original plant parent.
  • Asexual: This propagation method is not natural, so it’s typically used by people who want to make a clone of an existing plant they own. They use vegetative plant parts in various methods to propagate the plants and gain new growth.

The 5 Tips on How to Propagate Plants

1. Division

snake plant propagation
Image By: Bilalstock, Shutterstock

One of the easiest methods for propagating plants is division. Division is a technique for reproducing plants asexually by cutting a portion of the plant with the roots attached. This way, the roots allow the plant to absorb all the nutrients immediately.

This technique can only work for those plants that grow in clumps, where you can separate the roots effortlessly without damaging them. Plants that can be propagated by division include succulents, some trees and shrubs, and clump-forming plants.

2. Cuttings

pruning jasmine plant
Image Credit: Aphichart, Shutterstock

Propagating plants from cutting requires cutting a branch or a stem of one parent plant and burring it in the ground where it will grow new roots and shoots. Cutting propagation can be classified depending on the part of the plant that is removed to form a new plant.

Propagating plants:
  • Leaf Cutting: Leaf cuttings are not highly effective on indoor plants because most plants fail at producing roots with this method. To do this technique correctly, you can either use the whole leaf, the whole leaf with the petiole, leaf sections, or split veins.
  • Stem-tip Cutting: The stem-tip cutting refers to cutting the stem with at least one fully developed leaf and one apical meristem. This way, after the new roots grow, there will already be a meristem waiting to grow, speeding up the entire process.
  • Leaf and Bud Cutting: Leaf and bud cutting are very similar to stem-tip cuttings, the only difference being the lack of the apical meristem. At the leaf axil, dormant buds or nods will be the growing point of the new plant.

3. Layering

Air layering of Chinese hibiscus
Image Credit: hibiscus_photowind, Shutterstock

Layering is an asexual propagation method in which a new plant is still partially connected with the main plant during the root-forming process. This technique is an excellent option for shrubs, vines, and house plants you need to propagate in a small space.

Also, it’s an excellent choice for hard-to-root plants, as the roots will form and grow more quickly than other propagation methods. There are three main layering techniques you can use:

  • Simple
  • Tip
  • Compound
  • Air
  • Mound

You can start layering throughout spring or early summer, and the plants will be ready for separation in 1 to 2 months.

4. Grafting

grafting lemon tree
Image Credit: Kritchai7752, Shutterstock

Grafting is an interesting method of propagation. It includes parts from two different plants being joined together to form one new plant. The root system and a part of the trunk belong to one plant, called the understock, while the top of the plant is the upper part or scion. To do this method correctly, it is crucial to perfectly align the two plants and form a strong and sturdy contact. Grafting can be split into four basic types, and which type of technique you choose will depend mainly on the stock size.

  • Whip or bench graft
  • Cleft Graft
  • Bark or veneer graft
  • Side or stub graft

5. Budding

Image credit: Aofsurat, Shutterstock

Budding is a technique where a single bud serves as a scion instead of stems. For budding, you will need the same materials and conditions as grafting. Budding, or bud grafting, creates a much stronger union than regular grafting. Budding can be split into three different techniques:

  • Patch budding
  • Chip budding
  • T-budding

garden flower divider Additional Tricks on Propagating Plants

Other than learning how to propagate plants properly, some tips and tricks can also help you when doing this project.

Additional Tricks:
  • Always choose healthy specimens most likely to thrive in your specific conditions.
  • Don’t be scared to explore plants in your neighborhood. If you see a plant in your neighbor’s yard, ask them for a cutting.
  • Make sure to avoid saving seeds from hybrids. You can easily spot these plants by an ‘’F1’’ marking on the seed packet.
  • When storing your cuttings and waiting for them to spread roots, always provide them with lots of humidity.
  • Thoroughly research which you can propagate plants from cuttings.
man planting avocado
Image Credit: Kaiphotography, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

You can propagate plants in many ways, so it is vital to do thorough research and find a method that suits your plants and garden best. After learning about how you can propagate a plant and the tricks you need to do it flawlessly, you will become a skilled gardener in no time!

Featured Image Credit: Mariia Boiko, Shutterstock


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