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Plant Propogation From Stem Cuttings

Updated on March 2, 2017
mature lavender, this one is around 3 feet tall.
mature lavender, this one is around 3 feet tall. | Source

Plant Propagation From Stem Cuttings

Simple and easy instructions

Plants can be grown and propagated in several different ways. The most common methods the average home gardener uses are seeds, root division, layering, and stem cuttings. These are all reliable methods for growing plants of many types, such as; vegetables, flowers, herbs, and other landscaping plants. I have found that stem cuttings are one of the easiest and most reliable methods for growing a large variety of new plants. Plants that propagate easily from stem cuttings are, most herbs, flowers and shrubs that have opposing pairs of leaves.

Plants that I have had good results with are, gardenias, shrimp plants, impatients, and coleus. Herbs that do well are oregano, thyme, and basil. Rosemary and lavender also root well from stem cuttings. The plant I will be using for the example is lavender. I have a healthy, very large lavender plant that was started from a stem cutting 2 years ago. The original lavender plant that started all of my others came from a plant purchased for $1.00 in the garden department at Ace Hardware about 15 years ago. I just kept replenishing my plants with stem cuttings. The big one here is probably the 5th generation!


1. Select a healthy full grown plant to take the stem cutting from

2. Cut a piece of the stem from the top of the plant, I suggest a 3 inch piece, 2 inches can work also, but I prefer 3 inches, it’s easier to work with. Make sure the stem is pliable, not woody.

3. Remove at least 2 sets of leaves from the bottom of the cutting. This can be done carefully with a pair of scissors, or gently pull off with your fingers. This exposes the leaf nodes where the new roots will form. 1 set of leaf nodes is sufficient but I prefer to use at least 2 sets. I feel it gives the plant a stronger root base.

4. Place your cutting into a small pot filled with good soil. Cover the stem, making sure the leaf nodes are covered all the way.

5. Water the cutting, gently, the soil should be wet but well drained.

6. Keep the cutting in a sunny spot and make sure it gets enough water, I generally give mine a drink twice a day, more if needed.

7. Roots should be taking hold in about 2 weeks. Very carefully tug on the cutting, if it has some resistance, that is good, it has roots. In a few more weeks you should be able to see roots coming out of the bottom of the pot.

8. When your plant has a good root system it can be planted in a bigger pot or in the landscape.

That is how to start new plants from stem cuttings. I have had a lot of success and enjoyment making new plants this way, it’s also a great way to share with friends and neighbors and it is free!


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    • through-my-eyes profile image

      through-my-eyes 6 years ago from USA

      Great advice. Thanks for sharing!


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