Rooting Stem Cuttings in Water

Posted on 07/31/17 by Simply Organic Turf Care

Studies show plants reduce stress and improve air quality. However, acquiring plants can become costly.  Rooting stem cuttings in water is an inexpensive way to increase your collection. Cuttings grow into mature plants faster than seeds. If you’re lucky, a friend might share a piece of a favorite plant with you. Be prepared and follow these simple steps to root your plants.

  1. The best time to cut is after a soaking rain or the day after a watering. Stem cuttings from well-watered plants have a higher survival rate.
  2. Examine the stem and look for a place of new growth on the plant. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut below this growing nodule at a 45°angle.  Be sure to leave a stem of about 3-6 inches long.
  3. Put the cuttings in a glass or jar with water. Avoid contaminating the water by removing any leaves which could fall below the water line. The cuttings need partial sun and moderate temperatures. A window sill is an excellent location for the container.
  4. Monitor the cuttings daily to ensure the water remains clear. Replace cloudy water quickly to prevent stressing the plant. Discard the cuttings and water if the root turns brown or begins to rot.

Cuttings are ready to plant in soil when the roots are at least 3 inches long. Be careful with the new plants as the roots are sensitive. Gently transfer the plant into individual pots and return to a partially-shaded location. Wash containers before rooting your next batch of plants.