Propagation Techniques of Plants


Propagation is the multiplication of plants with which a new plant can be generated from any of the parent plant parts. The part could be seed, bulb, leaf or stem. The best time to propagate most of the plants is during the spring/early summer when there is an adequate amount of sunlight and a new growth begins to form. 
We have already talked about bulb propagation (FLOWERING BULBS) in our previous blog. 

Things needed:

Pots, Pebbles, Potting mix (For foliage and succulent plants), Pruning shears/Scissors, Rooting hormones, Plant with babies/Long creepers, Glass bottles, Baking soda/Neem oil, Water

Before starting the propagation: 

Wear gloves. Some plants might produce sticky sap that could damage the floor and irritate your skin. Clean pruning shears with diluted neem oil/baking soda. It will act as a disinfectant for the germs on the tools that can infect the plant.
Let’s discuss the various other methods of propagation!

Propagation via seeds:

This one is the simplest method of plant propagation. Simply fill the gardening tray with two inches of moist potting soil. Uniformly level the soil with hands, make sure not to compress the soil too much. Scatter the seeds thickly and evenly, and gently press them into the soil. Cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil. Provide light misting over the seeds, and wrap the growing tray with a lid or transparent plastic. Wait for the seeds to germinate; after that make sure to remove the lid or plastic wrap from the tray. Afterwards, transplant the seedlings when they reach a certain height in different pots. Propagation via seeds is a long method as seeds take more time to grow and develop into a new plant.

Stem cuttings:

There are two methods of stem cuttings i.e tip cuttings, which include the plant tip and a small portion of the stem and section cuttings, which include a 2-3 inch section of stem and leaf node. Plants that can be grown through Tip cuttings include African Violet, Aglaeonema, Christmas cactus, Coleus, Jade, Croton, Dieffenbachia, Rubber Plant, Weeping Fig, Fittonia, Geranium, Hoya, Impatiens, Prayer Plant, Monstera, Peperomia and Pilea, whereas Acalypha and Poinsettia can be propagated through stem cuttings. Begonia, Dracaena, Philodendron and  Pothos can be propagated both through the tip and stem cuttings.

Rooting of Plants in Water:

 Some plants root well from the stem and tip cuttings. So, we can simply propagate them in water. Submerge cuttings in the water container for approximately two weeks. Make sure that the stem should be floating and not touch the base of the container. Change the water of the container every week. You will see as the new roots start developing after one to two weeks. When the size of the roots reaches about 2 inches, then your plant is ready for planting into the soil. African violet, Begonia, Coleus, Creeping Fig, Impatiens, Philodendron oxycardium (Heart Leaf), Fiddle Leaf, Pothos, Tradescantia (Wandering Jew) and  Christmas Cactus are some of the plants which can be propagated this way.

Leaf cuttings:

Plants with soft and fleshy leaves can reproduce themselves from leaves. Propagating plants through leaves is considered a reliable and faster method than propagating plants from seed. Select a healthy leaf that is not too old and cut it off with a clean, sharp shear.
In water propagation, Put the cut end of the leaf into the water just enough to cover the bottom quarter of the tissue. In soil propagation, Dip the end of the leaf-cutting in a rooting hormone and put the cuttings in a well-drained potting mix. After two or three weeks, well-rooted leaves can be seen with new baby plants forming at their base. New leaves that form around the stem can be transplanted in a separate pot. The old leaf can be discarded. Maintain humidity levels by frequent water sprays, or cover the tray with a transparent plastic sheet. African Violets and Sansevieria (Snake plant) can be easily propagated this way.


Some plant species form side shoots/offsets usually around the base itself. You can use them for multiplying your plant. While removing the offset, make sure you do it carefully so that the new roots that have formed comes along with the plant. If there are too little roots, then there are chances that the baby plant won't survive. Make sure you cut the mature, large offset which has been growing for a few months. Urn Plant, Haworthia, Aloe vera, Air Plants, Echeveria, Haworthia, and Pilea can be propagated through offsets.


Sometimes your houseplants might get too wide, so you can reduce their size by dividing them. Bonus point! You can create new plants at the same time as you do the above-mentioned process. All you have to do is remove the plant from its pot and gently untangle the roots. Make sure that each dividing piece has its root system. Snake plant, Palms, Syngonium, Aspidistra, Calathea, Pitcher plant, Peace lily and Boston fern are some of the plants which can be propagated by division.

Happy Growing,
Shashi Agarwal & Shalini Sharma 

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