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How to propagate a plant from a stem?
Hello again! If you are following on from the previous propagation post, welcome back! If not, well aren’t you a smarty plant, jumping right into the technical post.
So the truth is that propagation can be a very complicated process, with many caveats and potholes to watch out for. I have decided that the best way to share and explain about these processes is to break them down into individual posts so I can share more detailed information with you all (without boring you with a huge article).
In this post, I will be sharing with you information about stem propagation and some propagation mediums.
Mediums for propagating:
There is a lot of debate for this topic, and it seems everyone has their own opinion and evidence for why they are right… Some people claim using sphagnum moss or perlite balls is best, however others say it is filtered water. Well my truth is that each plant is very specific to itself, meaning the same species of plant could prefer two totally different rooting mediums. Not a very helpful insight I know but there are so many variables which can go into it. If you do some of your own research, you will see what I am talking about.
Moving onto our processes for the stem cutting propagation…
Propagation by Stem Cutting:
- Find a node, these look like brown lumps on the stem of the plant.
- Sterilise your knife and hands!!
- Cut a few centimeters below the node, and make sure to have a larger proportion of stem above the nodes. It is always best to have at least one leaf on the cutting, two or three is optimal.
- Fill your container with filtered water, sphagnum moss, or chosen medium (tap water in cities can have minerals detrimental to plant growth).
- Place your nodes in the water, ensure that no leaves are under the water line.
- Place in a bright and warm place. Wait for a few weeks to see some root growth.
When to do Stem propagation?
For house plants, this can be done at most times in the year, due to the inside environment facilitating germination. For woody plants, this can only be done during autumn or more dormant stages of the yearly cycle.
Types of Stem Cuttings:
- Cut a 10-15 centimeter section of the end of the stem. Cut just below a node, ensure the final bud of the piece is intact on the other end of the cutting, this allows for accelerated growth for the cutting.
- Remove the lowest leaves that would be submerged or touching the medium.
- Ensure the cutting can support itself in the medium
Medial cuttings: (meaning cut from the middle of a stem)
Example – String of Hearts
- Cut above a node (either a root or leaf), and cut again 10 centimeters below on the stem, below another node. Leaving a 10 centimeter cutting with nodes on either end.
- Place horizontally on a rooting medium, ensuring at least one of the nodes is touching the medium, you can clip it to make sure nodes touch the medium.
- Place in a bright and warm place. Wait some weeks for growth.
Cane cuttings: (plants with cane-like stems)
- Make a 5 centimeter cutting, with at least two nodes on. Ensure that the cutting is sterile by placing the cut ends in activated charcoal, this will act as a natural fungicide.
- Let the cutting dry for some hours.
- Place cutting horizontally in the medium, at least half of cutting should be submerged. Ensure the nodes are pointed upwards.
- Place in a warm, light place, and wait for the roots to form.