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Depending on the type of plant, there are several techniques for making many new ones from it.  Propagation will give you more plants and can help your current ones look better.   Use these tips to get started.

How to propagate Indoor Plants

We love our houseplants, they purify our air, give our indoors a splash of colour and breed life into our homes.  Another great bonus with them is just how easy it is to make more through propagation.  There are 5 different ways to propagate plants from the “mother” plant: stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, division, air layering, and from seeds.  The propagation process for each is different and suited to particular types of plants.  Here is a simple guide to plant propagation for your houseplants.

How to Propagate Houseplants From Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings is the classic way to propagate new plants for most fast-growing, multi-stemmed houseplants such as Swedish ivy, coleus, or scented geraniums.  Take stem cuttings from the mother plant and apply a lot of TLC!

You will need:

  1. First, cut 4 to 6 inches from the tip of the main stem or side branch, snipping just below a node (where leaf and stem meet). A node is an interval in a stem where leaves appear.
  2. Dip the end in rooting hormone powder. In a small container filled with Perlite, poke a hole with a pencil or chopstick so you can place the cutting into it without knocking off the powder. 
  3. Insert the cut stem into the Perlite, and gently press the soil around the stem.  Water in well.
  4. Provide indirect light and keep the Perlite moist 
  5. Cover the cutting with a clear plastic bag to help retain moisture while roots form.
  6. When you see roots poking out of the bottom of the pot, it is ready to be re-potted!. Dig up gently and pot up into the final container for your new plant. 

How to Create Divisions from Your Houseplants

For houseplants that produce many offshoots or pups from the roots such as corn plant, aloe, alocasia and zamiolulas.  These can be split from the mother plant and ready made plants of their own. 

You will need:

  • Fresh potting mix
  • Knife
  • Plastic pots
  1. Remove the whole plant from its pot. For each pup, gently pull it away from the main root ball. You may need to use a trowel or soil knife to slice through stubborn roots. Try to keep as many roots as possible with each pup.
  2. Re-pot the separated pups into new containers with some fresh potting mix. 
  3. Keep the soil evenly moist for the next few weeks to avoid rot.
  4. Place plants out of direct light. Move them into brighter light over a period of 10 days. 

Feed them a little Yates Acticote Pots, Planters & Garden Beds at about half-strength to encourage new growth.⁠

Propagate Houseplants from Leaf Cuttings⁠

Similar to propagating with a stem cutting, leaf cuttings are applicable to African Violet, Begonia’s and the Snake Plant.

You will need:

  1. African Violet: Break a leaf off from the main stem of the plant, make sure to keep the leaf stem (petiole) attached. Insert the petiole into either water or a moist potting mix. As soon as the roots form, pot up leaves. 
  2. Begonia: Set a healthy leaf, top side up, on moist potting mix. With a clean knife, slice through a few of the veins.  Pin the leaf down with toothpicks so the cuts come in contact with the potting mix. Keep the pot moist, covering with a clear plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse. Pot the plantlets that grow from each cut, once they have a few leaves on them. 
  3. Snake Plant: Cut a leaf into sections with clean pruning shears. Make angled cuts so the bottom ends come to a point in the center. Dip bottom ends in rooting powder and plant in moist potting soil. The new plants will form on the sides of leaf sections. 

How to Propagate Houseplants Through Layering


Air layering propagation works for Philodendrous, Monsteras and Epipremnums.  All these plants produce roots from their stems (aerial roots) and can be cut from the mother plant to be new plants.

You will need:

  1. Take a clear plastic pot or cup, cut in half and cut a little circle in the bottom of the pot for the stem from the original plant to fit through
  2. Dip the aerial root buds in rooting hormone on the mother plant.
  3. Close both halves of the pot around the mother plant stem to be propagated
  4. Tape the edges of the pot
  5. Fill the pot with wet Perlite and water.  The Perlite will trigger the plant to start growing aerial roots
  6. Once the aerial roots through the clear pot, you can sever the mother plant below the pot.

Propagating Houseplants from Seed

Seeds are an inexpensive and satisfying way to start many houseplant.  The best plants to grow from seed are asparagus fern, bromeliads, cacti, coleus, gloxinia, and kalanchoe. They do take longer for them to reach a good size so you’ll need patience.

You will need:

  • Potting mix
  • Tray or pot
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Seeds
  • Mist spray
  1. Fill the tray or pot with moist potting mix. Sprinkle seeds across the surface or into shallow rows.
  2. Small seeds can be patted lightly so they make as much contact with the potting mix as possible without being covered. Larger seeds can be shallowly buried in the mix. 
  3. Mist well to help the seeds settle in and rehydrate. 
  4. Cover the tray or pot with a clear plastic bag, then place it on a heating pad set to low or on top of a refrigerator. 
  5. Place in light conditions as per the instruction on the packet. 
  6. Mist daily to keep the potting soil moist.
  7. When the seedlings begin sprouting remove the plastic bag and move them into brighter light. 
  8. When the second set of leaves develop, transplant the plants into the individual containers.  Make sure not to bury the leaves. 
  9. Water immediately and gradually move the developing plants into brighter light, especially if you notice the stems stretching and bending.