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How to take cuttings from house plants


The process of rooting cuttings in water is an effective method of propagating many types of house plant. Once cuttings have developed a good root system, they can be potted up in compost. In addition to house plants, various tender perennials and summer bedding plants can also be propagated by this method.

How to do it


Choose healthy shoots of new growth and cut lengths of roughly 10-20cm. Cut below a leaf joint with a sharp knife. Remove lower leaves to ensure a clean stem is submerged into water.


Push the base of the cuttings in a jam jar or glass of water. Top the glass right up to its rim with water and stand in a warm, bright position.


Keep the water topped up. Within a few weeks you should see white roots emerging from the stem.


Once a good root system has developed, pot the cuttings in compost. Keep the compost moist and pinch out tips to encourage branching of plants.

Our tip

You can root many house plants in water, including African violets, cane-stemmed begonias, coleus, cyperus, impatiens, ivy, rubber plants and verbena.

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Talkback: How to take cuttings from house plants
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Whippet 24/11/2011 at 15:29

Sorry, I have asked this before but cannot find the reply.
I planted some Lemon pips and three grew. They are now quite large and sitting on the kitchen windowsill. They need to move!
I'm bothered that I might kill them by doing the wrong thing.
Can they stay inside and if so how large would they grow? Do they need sunshine or would they be happy without it?

Maymaud 09/06/2012 at 08:37

I have a coral cactus which has been happily growing for 3 years. This year it has sent up a dozen or more long shoots which have roots. I am trying to make new plants but when I plant the rooted shoots in pots (still attached to the main plant), they die. What should I be doing??

sonia1 15/06/2012 at 20:09

how do i take cuttings from strawberries?

sotongeoff 15/06/2012 at 20:16

Sonia you dont-strawberries will send out runners about now-just peg them down into a pot and they will root they will even root into soil without pegging down.

olive campbell 31/10/2015 at 14:50

I have a Satsuma grown from a pip it is about 12 inches high and bushy - it is about 4 years old and lives in my sun roo  -  this year it has had three small oranges on it  - but one fell off about three months ago  -  I just treat it like any other indoor plant  -  also have twolemons about three inches high  - this years pip planting.

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