In the Garden:
Pacific Northwest
February, 2013
Regional Report

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Cuttings root quickly in this easy-to-make propagation pot.

Easy Houseplant Propagation

When wintery weather keeps me indoors, I can still satisfy my need to garden by taking cuttings from my indoor plants. Many houseplants are easy to root in water, but I like to make a special propagation pot for my indoor project.

Making a Rooting Pot

  • You'll need a medium-size plastic pot with drainage holes, a 2 1/2-inch clay pot, some vermiculite, a paper towel, and a small cork or a glob of florist's clay.

  • Line the bottom of the plastic pot with the paper towel; then fill the pot with vermiculite. Plug the bottom of the clay pot with the cork or florist's clay.

  • Push the plugged clay pot into the center of the vermiculite, so the rim of the pot sticks up just a bit above the vermiculite. The clay pot will serve as a water well to keep the vermiculite moist. Thoroughly wet the vermiculite and fill the clay pot with water. As the vermiculite loses moisture, it will be instantly replaced, provided you remember to keep that center pot filled with water.


Take Cuttings
Find a growing point where there are young, new leaves, and make your cutting 3 or 4 inches back from that tip. Cut about one-half inch below a node -- the area where the petiole (leaf stem) or leaf blade joins the main stem. Remove any lower leaves from your cutting that might be buried in the vermiculite. Buried leaves will rot and ruin your cutting.

Push the cutting into the moist vermiculite so the node is just below the surface. The node is an area of actively dividing cells and new roots will form at this point.

When you've finished placing several cuttings into your propagation pot, set it in a bright spot near a window. In 2-3 weeks you should see some new growth. Check to see if the cuttings are rooted by gently pulling up on them. If you feel resistance, you'll know they have rooted. Carefully scoop them out of the vermiculite and transplant them into small containers of potting soil. That's all there is to it!


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