Steps to grow more plants from cuttings

Plants are amazing organisms. Every cell has the ability to duplicate all parts and processes for the entire plant when the right plant hormones are triggered under the right conditions. That means you can remove pieces of an existing plant and use the cuttings to grow a new plant. This asexual method of reproduction is known as propagation and is done by using a stem, leaf or root cutting.
Growing new plants from cuttings is an incredibly popular practice used by greenhouses and wholesale plant nurseries. When plants are grown from cuttings, the new plant is an exact clone of the parent plant used, ensuring that the variegation, flower color and other physical characteristics are identical. A single plant can produce many, many new plants through asexual propagation.
It's not just greenhouses or nurseries that can use this technique — it's a simple process anyone can do too by following these basic steps.
1. Research which method works the best for your type of plant
Three parts of the plant are suitable for cuttings: stems, leaves and roots. Use stem cuttings for woody plants, flowering ornamentals and houseplants. Use leaf cuttings mainly for houseplants and a select few woody plants. Use root cuttings for raspberries, blackberries, roses, lilacs and trumpet vines. Determine which method is best for the plant you want to propagate and exactly what plant parts you need to remove.
2. Clean pruning tools
Wipe down any cutting/pruning tools you are using with either a dilute bleach solution or rubbing alcohol. This prevents dirt and possible diseases from unhealthy plants from getting into the open wounds made when cuttings are taken.
3. Prep containers
Thoroughly wash and scrub any containers you are using to pot the cuttings. This ensures they don't have salt buildup from previous fertilizer applications, are free of insect pests and don't harbor any diseases or fungal spores.
4. Use the right media in containers
Propagation media is made up of components that provide optimum aeration, drainage and moisture-holding characteristics. It's slightly different than potting mix formulated to grow plants over a long time. A good propagation media is a blend of coconut coir or peat moss, with vermiculite, perlite or sand to increase drainage and aeration. Never use garden soil. It holds too much water and compacts down, increasing the chances cuttings will rot before rooting.
5. Start with a healthy mother plant
A healthy mother plant not only generates healthy "babies" but does so quicker than a plant that is stressed. Choose to take cuttings from plants that are free of diseases, don't show insect infestations and aren't exhibiting signs of nutrient deficiencies.
6. Take cuttings in the morning
Plant tissue has the most water inside its cell in the morning, making this the best time to take leaf or stem cuttings.
7. Do not take cuttings with flowers or flower buds
When a cutting has flowers or flower buds on the stem, the cells are programmed to focus their energy and resources on flowering instead of growing new roots. Select stem or leaf pieces without flowers to encourage rooting.
8. Remove more cuttings than you think you'll need
Chances are, not all of the cuttings you try to root will survive and grow into new plants. Start by taking a few more cuttings than the final number of plants you hope to achieve, to give you a buffer in case some perish.
9. Keep cuttings moist until they can be planted
It's important to plant cuttings as quickly as possible after removing them from the mother plant. As you take cuttings, wrap the cut end in a dampened paper towel until you're finished harvesting plant material and are ready to move on to the next step.
10. Dip in rooting hormone
Rooting hormones contain auxins, the plant hormone responsible for root growth and development. Dipping the cut end of the stem or leaf in rooting hormone before planting encourages the cells to switch to making new roots, increasing the chance of successful propagation.
11. Place carefully in growing media
Use your finger or a chopstick to poke a small hole in the propagation media to set the cutting in. Add the cutting gently and push the media around it, filling in the hole. This keeps the rooting hormone from rubbing off on the growing media if you "stick" it in without creating a hole.
12. Trim leaves
Keep the leaves on the stem or leaf cuttings to allow photosynthesis, a process where sunlight, water and carbon dioxide combine to create glucose for food. Trimming the leaves down to about half their original size lets them continue to photosynthesize but reduces the moisture lost to transpiration.
13. Place in a warm, sunny, humid location
Keep containers in a location between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit that receives indirect sunlight. Keep the humidity high by covering the containers with clear plastic to prevent the plant tissue from drying out until roots form.

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