5 Example Of Stem Cutting Plants


Plant propagation is an essential gardening method. Interestingly, instead of sowing seeds, the most common method for cultivating new plants is stem cutting. Stem cutting is one method of vegetative plant propagation.

This simple, quick method is the most practical and economical way to clone a plant. Offspring plants that use the cutting method maintain their mother plant’s characteristics without showing any differences.

During stem cutting, a mother plant’s healthy vegetative (non-flowering) shoot is chopped off and encouraged to grow roots. To do this, the shoot can be put in a rooting medium. Once the roots are established, the cutting can be grown in the preferred location and handled just like any other plant.

Here are five examples of plants that can be propagated through stem cuttings.

1. Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata):

When it comes to propagating a fiddle leaf fig ficus, there are two different approaches that you can take into consideration. Plants of the fiddle leaf fig can be propagated using either soil or water. 

In both scenarios, you will want to make sure that your container is prepared in advance in order to avoid any unnecessary delays or plant shock. Both of these options come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks though.

A. Take a Fiddle Leaf Fig Cutting that is Healthy:

  • To successfully propagate a fiddle leaf fig, it is important to have a good grasp of the plant’s structure and overall well-being.
  • When cutting, it’s important to choose a healthy leaf that has at least two nodes. Nodes are locations on the stem where leaves emerge. Increasing the number of nodes on your cutting can enhance its chances of successfully rooting and developing into a robust plant.
  • Once you have located a healthy leaf, you can make a clean cut just below the bottom node on the stem using sharp and clean pruning shears. By following these easy steps, you can make sure that your cutting gets all the nutrients it needs to grow roots and become a thriving new plant.

B. Utilize Propagation Promoter and Rooting Hormone:

  • After you’ve taken your cutting, it’s important to apply rooting hormone to the cut end. By following these steps, you can ensure that your plant heals rapidly and remains healthy, simplifying the process of taking additional cuttings in the future.
  • Prior to transferring the cutting to its container for soil or water propagation, it is advisable to dip it in a propagation promoter. This will make it easier to promote the growth of the cutting. This process helps to enhance root growth and provide essential nutrients to the cutting as it establishes its root system.

C. Plant Your Cutting For Fiddle Leaf Fig Propagation:

  • When using the soil method, it’s important to create a small hole in the soil using your finger or a pencil. Carefully place the cutting into the hole, making sure that at least one node is covered by the soil. Gently apply pressure to the soil around the stem to ensure it stays in position.
  • To use the water method, fill a clear container with room temperature water and place the cutting in it. Make sure that at least one node is submerged under the water. Find a suitable location for your container where it can receive ample light, but be cautious of exposing it directly to sunlight. Excessive heat from the sun can potentially harm the roots and affect the water temperature.

D. Monitor and Provide Care:

  • The care practices for a newly propagated fiddle leaf fig plant are just as straightforward as those for an adult plant. For those utilizing the soil method of propagation, it is important to maintain the moisture level of the soil, ensuring it is adequately damp without becoming overly saturated. Additionally, it is advisable to protect any exposed plant parts by applying a leaf armor, which will help prevent the occurrence of bacterial or fungal infections.
  • For those who prefer the water propagation method, it is important to regularly change the water to maintain clarity and prevent the growth of algae. Algae can have a negative impact on the development of the cutting, so it’s crucial to keep an eye out for any signs of its presence. If you notice any, simply replace the water and use a clean cloth to gently clean the container.
  • After a couple of weeks, you’ll notice new root growth. Once your cutting has established a strong root system, you can transfer it to a bigger pot with fresh soil.

2. English Ivy (Hedera helix):

  • Growing English ivy (Hedera helix) is a straightforward process that involves using stem cuttings. Use a sharp knife to trim shoots that are 4 to 5 inches long.
  • Remove the lower leaves from the cuttings. Coating the cut ends with a rooting hormone can be helpful. Afterward, place the cuttings in perlite or coarse sand to encourage root growth.
  • Place the lower 1 to 1½ inches of the cuttings into the rooting medium. Moisten the rooting medium. To help the cuttings retain more water as they root, you can place a transparent plastic bag over the container and cuttings.
  • Another option is to root cuttings in flats with clear plastic domes placed on top. Afterward, find a suitable location for the cuttings that receives ample light, but avoid placing them in direct sunlight. Make sure to keep the rooting medium moist throughout the rooting period.
  • Roots typically become visible within 6 to 8 weeks. After the cuttings have developed strong roots, they can be carefully removed from the rooting medium and transferred into a pot.

3. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum):

A. Take A Cutting Of Your Pothos. 

  • Take a sharp tool like a knife or scissors and carefully remove a portion of the plant from the original one. If you have a stem that is quite lengthy, you can divide it into multiple pieces to root individually.
  • Ensure that each section maintains some leaves and nodes, which are the points where the leaf connects to the stem.
  • Just a quick note: The aerial root is a small brown bumpy structure found along the stem. It aids the plant in climbing when it grows in its natural habitat and can also serve as a site for new root growth during propagation.

B. Place The Cuttings In Water. 

  • Place the cut ends of the stems in a glass of water, ensuring that the leaves are not submerged but the node and aerial root are submerged.
  • Find a suitable location for the glass where it can be exposed to gentle, indirect light in a warm environment. It is important to regularly change the water to prevent any negative impact on the growth due to microbial presence.

C. Pot Your Rooted Cutting. 

  • Once your plant has reached a few inches in length, transfer it to a new potting soil. Insert the cutting into the soil by creating a hole with a chopstick, then firmly press the soil around it.
  • You can easily fill up the pot by placing multiple cuttings inside, resulting in an instant full plant. Maintain a gentle level of moisture in the soil during the initial weeks, ensuring it is not overly saturated. Additionally, place the pot in an area with bright indirect light.
  • Keep in mind that not all cuttings will make it through the process of being transferred from water to soil. It’s simply a natural occurrence, so don’t be discouraged if you experience a few unsuccessful attempts.

4. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum):

Spider plants are a favorite choice for indoor gardening due to their low-maintenance requirements and beautiful leaves. Propagation from cuttings is a straightforward process, which makes spider plants a perfect option for individuals looking to expand their plant collection.

Let me show you a straightforward way to grow a spider plant from a cutting.

  • Start by choosing a healthy, fully grown spider plant for your cutting. You can also try using a healthy, mature cutting from an existing spider plant.
  • After that, you’ll need to gather your stem cutting. Select a segment of the plant that is at least four inches long. Ensure that the cutting includes a handful of leaves and a good number of robust roots.
  • After obtaining your cutting, you can transfer it to potting soil. Prepare a pot with proper drainage by filling it with a lightweight and well-aerated potting mix. Proceed to plant your cutting in the pot. Compact the soil around the cutting to make sure it is firmly in place.
  • Immediately cut the water and relocate the pot to a warm spot with bright, indirect light. Ensure that the soil remains adequately hydrated and occasionally spray the leaves of your cutting to assist it in acclimating to its fresh surroundings.
  • Within about four to six weeks, your cutting will start to develop roots and leaves. Once it has grown and developed, you can care for it as you would a fully-grown spider plant.
  • Growing a spider plant from a cutting is a straightforward and fulfilling endeavor. With just a bit of patience and attention, you can quickly add a healthy and lively plant to your indoor garden.

5: Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides):

Propagating coleus from stem cuttings is an easy and uncomplicated process. These are the five steps you can follow to propagate coleus from stem cuttings:

A. Prepare your materials: 

Get everything you need ready before you begin. Take cuttings from a healthy coleus plant. You will also need pruning shears or scissors that are very sharp, a clean pot with potting mix that drains well, a small container of water, and rooting hormone powder or gel if you want to use it.

B. Select and cut the stem: 

Pick out a robust, healthy coleus plant. Seek out stems with multiple sets of leaves and no flowers. Just below a leaf node, trim a stem from the coleus plant with clean scissors or pruning shears. 

A leaf’s attachment point to the stem is called a leaf node. About 4–6 inches should be the length of the cutting.

C. Remove lower leaves: 

After getting your cutting, simply remove the lower set of leaves, while keeping a few sets of leaves at the top. This minimizes the surface area through which the cutting loses moisture and encourages the plant to focus its energy on root development.

D. Prepare for rooting: 

If you have rooting hormone powder or gel, put it on the cut end of the coleus cutting. You don’t have to do this step, but it can help the roots grow and increase the chances of successful propagation. Remove any extra hormone gel or powder.

E. Plant the cutting: 

You can use a pencil or your finger to make a hole in the potting mix. Then, carefully put the cutting into the hole. To make sure the soil sticks well to the stem, press down on the soil around the cutting. 

Give the cutting a lot of water and put it somewhere warm and bright that isn’t in direct sunlight. As long as you keep the soil moist but not soaked, roots should start to appear in a few weeks.

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