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Growing Plants from Tip Cuttings

Bring new tip cuttings forth with proper plant propagation

Plant propagation is a scary proposition for some home growing enthusiasts. Indeed, the rooting and slicing efforts on a cane plant are far different from simple little tip cuttings from an ivy. Here, we'll discuss the basics for most vining houseplants. The steps are simple: cut at the right place, keep a moist environment, and have a little patience. (more below...)


In fact, you'll find this is an easy and fun way to create an abundance of beautiful plants for very little cash. Once they've rooted and taken on a whole new life, you can place them in decorative containers and give them as gifts.

You'll need a small pot and sterile potting soil. If you're re-using a container clean it thoroughly with a bleach solution and allow to dry. Use fresh store-bought dirt, not the garden variety in your back yard.

Use scissors or a sharp knife; never a dull object. Select a section just below a node, which is where a leaf emerges. Once you've made the cut, remove all leaves that will be in contact with the soil. That causes rot.

Fill a small pot with soil and add water. Keeping the cutting moist is important for rooting. Make a hole in the soil and insert the cutting. Pack down soil around the stem. The best way to keep things wet is to add to slender sticks (popsicle sticks, wooden skewers) on 2-3 sides of the pot (just inside). Place a large plastic bag over these supports and tie with a string at the base. This will give the plant a terrarium environment that should move things along. Check every other day or so to be sure the plant is not too moist or too dry. Mold can also form if it is too wet.

Also, be sure the pot has good drainage. A soggy bottom can also cause root rotting. Small clay pots are an excellent choice for rooting tip cuttings.

While you can make tip cuttings any time of year, spring is best. That's when natural light is going to be the most beneficial for new growth.

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