Tip cuttings – plant propagation

April 10, 2016 at 2:02 pm

plant propagation - tip cuttingsPropagation with tip cuttings is one of the most frequently used methods of house plant propagation. This way you can reproduce most house plants with forking shoots or branches on which many leaves grow. Therefore you will NOT use this method on grassy plants, ferns, succulents, or plants with single leaves growing from the soil.

At the end of this article you will find a list of links to all the plants described on this website which you can propagate with this method.

1. Prepare a pot

plant propagation - tip cuttings - prepare a pot

Fill a pot with soil, including a drainage layer (expanded clay pebbles) at the bottom (1-2 cm / 0.5-1 in).

The pot should not be too big. In a bigger pot the plant can end up devoting all its energy to expanding its root system at first and you will need to wait a long time before it starts to develop its shoots, leaves or flowers.


2. Cut off the tip of the shoot

plant propagation - tip cuttings - cut off the tip of the shoot

Choose a sound shoot with a healthy terminal bud and at least two pairs of healthy leaves. Cut it off below the lower pair.

3. Trim the stem

plant propagation - tip cuttings - trim the stem

Trim the stem just below the lowest leaf.

4. Remove the lower pair of leaves

plant propagation - tip cuttings - remove the lower pair of leaves

5. Use rooting hormone

plant propagation - tip cuttings - use rooting hormone

Dip the cutting surface in the rooting hormone powder, then shake off the excess hormone.

You can treat this step as being optional. Many plants will root without using rooting hormone. However, the chances that the cutting will root properly will be much greater if you use this hormone.


6. Make a hole in the soil

plant propagation - tip cuttings - make a hole in the soil

Make a small hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil.

You can also make a couple of holes around the edge of the pot if you are going to place more than one cutting in the pot together.

7. Place the cutting in the soil

plant propagation - tip cuttings - place the cutting in the soil

Place the cutting in the prepared hole in such a way that the leaf base is level with the surface of the soil and the end of the stem is touching the soil at the bottom of the hole.

8. Cover the plant with a foil bag

plant propagation - tip cuttings - cover the plant with a foil bag

Water the cutting and cover it with a transparent foil bag. Make some tiny (1 mm) holes in the bag to allow the plant to breathe. The foil bag will guarantee the proper level of humidity for the plant which, not yet having any roots, is at risk of drying out. Next, keep the soil properly moisturized for the first few weeks. After about one month you can take the bag off.

Note that you can omit this step if the air humidity in the room is suitably high (preferably more than 60%).

The plants described on this blog which you can propagate with tip cuttings

dracaena lemon lime

Dracaena Lemon Lime

The colours which surround us reportedly have an effect on our mood. The colour green is said to relax and ...
Dracaena Compacta

Dracaena Compacta, Compact Dragon Tree

Due to its stylish appearance suiting modern apartments Dracaena Compacta is one of the most well loved houseplants. According to ...
Heart-leaf philodendron, philodendron scandens

Heart-leaf philodendron, philodendron scandens

Philodendron scandens with its attractive heart-shaped leaves is one of the least demanding ivies which you can grow indoors. It ...
Grape ivy, cissus rhombifolia

Grape ivy, cissus rhombifolia

An attractive ivy resembling grapevines (hence the common name “grape ivy”), once very popular, today kind of forgotten. Cissus rhombifolia ...
Weeping fig, ficus benjamina

Weeping fig, ficus benjamina

The weeping fig is one of the most popular trees to be grown indoors. It seems to me that the ...
Dracaena marginata

Madagascar dragon tree, Dracaena marginata

Are you looking for a tree-shaped plant for your home or office? Preferably one which is durable and easy to ...

Drawings by Monika Dżumak. © MyHousePlants.com

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Łukasz Dumiszewski

A computer scientist who likes house plants and who once wanted to be a writer. A blogger who writes about his experiences in growing house plants by using the benefits of computer science. 😉

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