Taking cuttings of houseplants

How to take cuttings from house plants

We show you how to root house plant cuttings in water in four easy steps.

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The process of rooting cuttings in water is an effective method of propagating many types of house plant, such as pilea peperomioides

Once cuttings have developed a good root system, they can be potted up in compost. On top of house plants, various tender perennials and summer bedding plants can also be propagated by this method.

If you’re not sure about whether a house plant is suitable for taking cuttings, try taking a small cutting anyway. It’s fun to experiment and see what takes and what doesn’t. Once your new plants are established, they make great gifts and if you keep taking cuttings you’ll have a never-ending supply to gift to friends and family.

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Follow these easy steps to taking house plant cuttings, below.


You Will Need

  • Plectranthus, or other suitable houseplant
  • Scissors
  • Jar of water
  • Plant pots
  • Multi-purpose compost

Step 1

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.

Taking cuttings of houseplants - cutting the stem
Taking cuttings of house plants – cutting the stem

Step 2

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.

Taking cuttings of houseplants - placing the stem in water
Taking cuttings of house plants – placing the stem in water

Step 3

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

Taking cuttings of houseplants - stem with roots
Taking cuttings of house plants – stem with roots

Step 4

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.

Taking cuttings of houseplants - potting up the new plants
Taking cuttings of house plants – potting up the new plants

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