Plant Care

How to Propagate Trailing Plants

So you’ve decided to up your plant parenting game and want to try propagating–welcome, you’ve come to the right place. Propagation is a great way to increase your plant collection or share plants with friends. It’s also a great way to learn about individual plant species and conduct your own planty science experiments.

Sorry not sorry if this propagation tutorial opens the door to creating an entire propagation station in your apartment. Once you see how easy it is to grow new plants from your plants, you might not be able to stop.

There are quite a few ways to propagate houseplants, but today we’ll be focusing on the stem cutting method. You can root your cuttings in water or soil. Vining plants such as Philodendrons, Pothos, and Monsteras work best with this method.

First things first, decide if you’d like to root via water or soil. We recommend water if this is your first time propagating a plant, so you’ll see that method in our visuals, but we’ve provided instructions for rooting in soil at the bottom of this page.

Next, gather your supplies. To successfully propagate a trailing plant, you will need: 

Let’s get familiar with the plant you’d like to trim from. This propagation method requires locating a node on the stem. A node is a small raised bump where new roots will grow from. This is the most important step in this propagation method. If you don’t include a node in your vine or stem cutting, roots will not be able to grow. 🙁

Sanitize your scissors with rubbing alcohol (this reduces bacteria spread that can be harmful to your plant) and cut the vine just below the node you’ve located. Make sure to include 1-2 nodes, and anywhere from 2-4 leaves, if possible.

Optional: dip the end of your cutting in rooting hormone before placing it in water. Rooting hormone isn’t necessary, but it will help speed up the rooting process. If you don’t have rooting hormone, a thin layer of honey will also work.

If rooting in water:

Place the cutting in your propagation jar and fill with fresh water. Keep it in a warm, bright location out of direct sunlight and wait until roots grow and develop to about 1-3 inches long. Be patient, this can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks or in some cases, months! After roots have developed, plant your cutting in fresh soil in a pot and water as normal. 

An example of mature roots that are ready to plant in soil.

Check out our friend @jungleinaroom showing us how to propagate in the video below!

If rooting in soil:

Follow trimming instruction above. Fill your pot with fresh soil until it is about 75% full. Make an indentation with your finger a few inches deep. Place the cutting into the indentation you’ve made and add more soil to fill the top of the pot. Tamp down the dirt around the cuttings so they’re secure. Give your cuttings a thorough drink of water until the soil is evenly moist. It is incredibly important you choose a pot with a drainage hole. If water cannot escape, your cuttings may become too wet and start to decay before they can properly root.

Pro tip: your freshly planted cuttings would love a boost in humidity to help kick-start their growth. Place a large glass jar or cloche (or a plastic freezer bag) over your pot to help retain humidity.

If all goes well, you should have fresh new roots in a few weeks. We’d love to see your propagation pics! Tag us on Instagram and let us see those roots!

Shop propagation and repotting tools: