I know it goes without saying that we love plants and are looking into new ways of expanding our knowledge around plant care. Plant propagation is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to growing your plant family because it allows you to grow new baby plants from those that already exist in your home. While we offer pre-propagated plants with our cradles, it can be fun to propagate from your own houseplants or clippings you can get from family and friends.
But, before we dive into how you can propagate plants in water, let's go over some of the plant basics! One thing to note about propagating plants in water is that not all plants will propagate. There is a lot of trial and error involved, even if you've been caring your plant in all the right ways. That's why is super important to have more than one cutting, especially if you're dealing with more finicky plants like a Silver Pothos.
Good news is that water propagation works for most plants! The propagation process takes about 4-8 weeks to see root development. If you start to see that your cutting hasn't propagated within a month and is starting to turn yellow or brown, then you should try your luck with another cutting. Don't be discouraged if this happens to you because it can be because of a number of reasons.
If you don't succeed, try try again!
When propagating plants in water, you want to examine the root systems and how your plant is structured. The division method is best for plants with thicker stems (like a Monstera) but you can use this method other all types of plants. The division method is just gently remove soil to break up the mother plant (usually the plant is growing in dirt) into two or more smaller parts, where both the crown and roots are left in tact.
Step 2: After separating the mother plant into smaller baby plants, you want to make sure you clean off any remaining dirt on your plant.
We found that plants tend to grow roots based on their living environment. You can see a difference in density and color between soil and water roots. Water roots are more fine/thin and light in color--whereas, soil roots can appear darker and thicker. Of course, this can vary from plant to plant. Generally, we want to keep all (if not, some) of the the plants roots. In some cases, we would cut back the soil roots so that the new root system comes in looking cleaner and less messy (overall, more aesthetically pleasing). But, this is completely optional and isn't necessary to a successful propagation.
Next step is preparing your plants new home.
Then you have our favorite propagation method, which is submerging a node in water. You want to first cut right below where the branches sort of separate from each other. A proper cutting would have about 2-4 leaves still attached.
After about 4-8 weeks, you should see your calathea sprouting thin, hair-like roots! With the proper care and attention, you'll be looking at new roots develop in no time!
We have tons of cool information on our site about propagating and growing plants in water! If you're looking to learn more about the propagation process, check out these articles: