Plant Propagation In Water – It’s Great For Budding Gardeners

By Tonya Barnett | October 5, 2020
Image by Gulsina
by Tonya Barnett
October 5, 2020

New to gardening? Plant propagation in water is the way to go.

Those who are first learning to garden are often eager to plant anything and everything, myself included. While starting my small garden was exciting, I quickly found that I was also interested in more “advanced” aspects of growing food and flowers. I started saving my own seeds, cross pollinating flowers, and even tried my hand at taking cuttings. As my experience continued to grow, it would become obvious that learning these techniques would have a long-lasting impact on my ability to create beautiful green spaces.

Discovering Plant Propagation Techniques

Reasons for learning more about plant propagation can vary. Many see the mastery of plant propagation techniques as a means to produce an abundant garden with minimal investment. While it is true that propagating your own plants can help create lush gardens on a budget, it’s also essential to the continuation of specific plant cultivars and newly created hybrids.

Techniques for plant propagation abound. Since certain methods of propagation may only work on specific species, any grower interested in these must first do some research. For beginning growers, I always suggest propagating plant cuttings in water. Doing so allows gardeners to gain a better understanding of the rooting process. Since only a few materials are required, it is also an ideal way to involve children.

Tips for Propagating Cuttings in Water

Learning to propagate cuttings in water is an excellent way to multiply plants that may not grow true to type from seed, or that may be difficult to germinate. While not all plants will grow roots using this technique, many will. A few that come to mind include pothos, herbs, coleus.

  • To begin, simply fill a clean glass jar with water from the tap. Next, take cuttings from the plant you would like to make more of.
  • Plant cuttings can vary in length, but should be less than 12 inches (30 cm.) long. Cuttings should only be taken from plants which are healthy, large, and/or sufficiently mature. Carefully, make a clean cut below a set of leaves, making certain not to crush the stem.
  • Next, strip away any foliage that will be below the level of water when placed in the jar. Excess foliage in water can cause issues like the growth of bacteria, and may even cause the cutting to rot before it is able to produce roots.
  • Place the container of water in a warm location that receives indirect sunlight throughout the day. The time required to develop a root system sufficient for planting depends on the plant type. However, most should begin rooting within one month.
  • Rooted cuttings can then be transferred into containers filled with potting soil. Those planning to transplant outdoors will first need to harden off new plants before moving to their final location outdoors.
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  • Pat Schutz
    Comment added November 8, 2020Reply

    We live in Florida and just about "anything" will grow in Florida! (Mostly things you would rather did NOT grow!) I grow a lot of things or try to. My biggest problem is taking care of it after it starts growing. One more thing to remember. I just picked off a little starter of an old orchid plant and planted it in a moss covered planter. And clipped a piece of jasmine I just planted and the mowing guy nipped one of my plants. I'm hoping for a root on it so I can plant it on the nipped plant. Have a terrible time trying to grow gardenias. I think I overwater them. Some things, like orchids, prefer being ignored.

  • Lenore Evans
    Comment added November 8, 2020Reply

    Yes I would love to grow cuttings in the water and also start a Terrarium but don't know how to go about it.

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