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Starting Plants from Cuttings

Category Cuttings
A cutting of a plant growing in a clay pot.
One of the best way to get new plants for your home and garden is by taking cuttings from an existing plant. There are several techniques to ensure success. This is a guide for starting plants from cuttings.


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June 6, 2016

June is the best month for rooting most plants.
So, it's bragging time. No, it's tip time. Well, honestly, it's neither.
I'll tell you at the bottom what it actually is.

First some pictures, (and maybe just a little bragging).

Picture one is of Royal Hustler ivy. It's a nice, low growing variety. I'm rooting lots to use as a ground cover under maple trees. I've stopped mowing under these trees because of the exposed roots. I don't care for the ivy's name, though. I always think of some con man trying to do an injustice to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2.

Picture two is of Golden Flame honeysuckle. This thing is beautiful. They can grow to become huge plants, covered with blooms from May til frost.

As shown in picture 2b, I am training these to be standards. They will have the shape of a small tree and I can put them about anywhere.

Picture three is of Euonymus Fortunei Emerald Gaiety. It seems there are two plants with this name. One is a winter creeper. Mine is the upright variety. I love it as a foundation planting, kept at about two feet. It looks as if it were a variegated boxwood.

Picture four is trailing lantana. I always take a few cuttings to keep over winter. In the spring, I put these cuttings in hanging baskets. More flowers for me, or for what I really them away.

Picture five is of orange moss rose. Though near impossible to see, there are over 150 rootings here. They all came from two 6 cell packs purchased at half price. I will use these to plant a fifty foot border atop a small bank.

Picture six is of more impatiens cuttings and mum cuttings. With all the shady areas I have, the impatiens will come in handy. I may give many of them away. Incidentally, a note about the mum cuttings, these cuttings were taken from a 'garden variety' mum which I overwintered above ground in a pot. Most people believe the garden variety mum cannot successfully be overwintered. Don't you believe it. If you do try to overwinter one of these, you must provide excellent drainage lest the roots rot.

Picture seven, I kept for last. I won't tell you the name of this rose as it is patented. I accidentally broke a piece from the parent plant. Rather than throw it away (I would never do such a dastardly thing, patent or no), I rooted it.

What is a bit unusual about this rose stem rooting, is that I bought the parent plant this spring, broke the piece off this spring, and rooted that piece this spring. And now, late May, it has bloomed! This is a first for me, and People, you can believe me when I say, 'I am happy!

Now, as to the purpose of this post. It's not a tip nor a bragging post. It is to offer a word of encouragement. To those of you who would say 'I don't have a green thumb, I can't root anything', my reply is, 'Nonsense'!

I am no horticulturist, not even a master gardener. I have had no training, formal or otherwise, in plant propagation. All I have is a love for this ship and a love for much of the vegetation growing on it.

That love extends to sharing the more desirable species and their varieties. Just yesterday, I gave several large blackberry plants to a lady from West Virginia who answered my ad in Freecycle. The plants were blooming. Some were beginning to bear. She told me her sons loved her homemade blackberry jam. The look on her face when she saw the size of the plants brought me a feeling of pleasure money can't buy.

Most of you wouldn't want to propagate on a large scale, but if you have a favorite African violet you'd like to root, or as in the case of the lady from West Virginia, a rose bush that belonged to her great, great grandparents, I say 'It can be done'. There is no more pleasure than in giving someone a plant and saying, ' I rooted this just for you'.

So, be a little patient. Each plant has it's own unique set of requirements for rooting. These must be learned. Expect trial and error. Read online. Ask the advice of friends. Call your local ag agent. And you can always ask a question right here on ThriftyFun. You're sure to get a number of replies with what works best for each person answering.

Root Y'all!

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By 3 found this helpful
November 21, 2016

Many people here on the islands love the flowers and trees I grow in my garden. However, each time I give them a cutting they can start growing in their garden they seem to die. Therefore, I want to share with you a simple way to root cuttings from different flowers or trees that you can plant in your garden.


Material Needed:

  • recycled floral sponge foam
  • recycled food trays
  • old kitchen knife
  • cuttings from different flowers and plants
  • recycled cutting board


  1. Clean your old food trays or microwaveable trays with soap and water.
  2. Recover all the floral sponge foam from your different floral arrangements.
  3. On your cutting board sit the food tray and a block of floral sponge foam.
  4. Measure the foam to fit inside the recycled food tray.
  5. Use an old kitchen knife to cut the foam down the middle first and then around the sides. The foam needs to sit tightly in the bottom of the recycled food tray.
  6. Cut the foam into 6 to 8 evenly sized pieces.
  7. Remove the leaves from the bottom of your cutting and gently push the branch into the foam in your recycled tray.
  8. Fill the bottom of the tray with water and set the tray in an area that doesn't receive too much sun.

Within one to two weeks, you will start to see the root growing from the bottom of the branches. Make sure you keep the foam wet at all times. Each day I fill the bottom of my trays half way full with water. This keeps the foam wet and allows the branches to grow roots. After the roots have grown through the foam it is time to plant your cuttings.

Remove the branch from the tray, foam and all. Place dirt in the bottom of your pot and sit the foam in the middle of the dirt. Finish filling the pot with dirt.

For the first two to three weeks allow the newly potted cutting to receive moderate sunlight. After you see new leaves growing on your branch you can move the flower pot to another area in your garden.

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By 7 found this helpful
October 12, 2012

I made this simple propagator today to hold some sage cuttings that I took from my garden. Cut a plastic bottle in half, place the plant and pot in the bottom half of the bottle, and use the top to cover the cutting.

Bottle Propagator - plastic bottle with sage cuttings

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December 3, 2009

Free plants! All these plants came from one original plant! Bromeliads are great for this because they naturally produce "pups" and you just break them off at the base and put the new pup in potting soil and you have a new plant!

Growing houseplants from cuttings.

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By 4 found this helpful
December 6, 2010

I have had good success in growing many things from cuttings, like hibiscus and frangipani (plumeria), by dipping the stem in honey and putting the cutting into sandy potting mix mixed 50/50.

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April 4, 20060 found this helpful

It's easy to grow shrubs and many other plants by simply planting a branch. Cut off a branch and bury it in decent soil leaving only 6-8 inches out of the ground. It may be small, but it will grow.

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By 1 found this helpful
May 16, 2012

Starting roots on fresh flowers so they can be planted and come back every year. The gift that keeps on giving.

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January 28, 2008

There are many plants that let you take cutting to start new plants. Why not start some in "give-a-way pots". I have several transplants waiting for the right person.

Grow Cuttings To Give Away

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By 1 found this helpful
August 29, 2007

If you're wanting to landscape your property, but not wanting to spend a lot of money doing so, alert your family, friends, fellow church members, co-workers, etc.

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By 2 found this helpful
August 30, 2011

Many plants, including those considered annuals in your area, can be over-wintered indoors and used as starts in your spring garden, whether it be in the ground or in containers, or both.

A patch of brightly colored coleus.

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January 14, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about rooting plants in water. Rooting your new plant cutting in water is a very effective method. Depending on your choice of container it can also be interesting to watch the roots develop.

Rooting a Spider Plant - spider plant in flask

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By 1 found this helpful
April 28, 2010

The kids old sandbox makes a great place to grow cuttings for starting new plants! Be sure to shade the new cuttings from the sun and water frequently until you see new growth. These little plants you are growing will sell for $5.00 each at your next garage sale!

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November 20, 20040 found this helpful

I have used several methods for starting plants for my own use. I once moved on to property that had no trees. Early the next spring, with the blessing of a neighbor, I clipped very thin branches that where long and straight and more then 3 ft long and had buds barely cracked.

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January 9, 20020 found this helpful

Pull the branches down away from the bush so they will lay on the ground. Do not cut but scrape away the bark where it touches the ground.

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May 16, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about rooting impatiens cuttings. One way to save money on garden plants is to divide up your plant purchase by preparing cutting from the main plant.

Rooting Impatients Cuttings

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By 0 found this helpful
February 11, 2010

An easy way to root angel trumpets, confederate rose, and rose of Sharon is to cut a branch off and put it in water halfway up the stem until it has roots.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 26, 2017

Some repair guys went through my backyard and actually broke one of my Texas sage plants. The base is still okay; the top part broke off. I was wondering if I could still save that broken off part somehow or is it gone for good?

:(Thank you.

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January 28, 20170 found this helpful

you could always try to re root it... make a fresh cut in the bottom , put in rooting hormone, ( walmart) following directions and put in soil...

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By 0 found this helpful
March 13, 2010

I would like advice for starting new plants from clippings of the plants I have.

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By Kevin

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March 19, 20100 found this helpful

It would help to know the kind of plants you want to start. GG Vi

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By 0 found this helpful
October 22, 2015

I am moving in November from Rhode Island to Cape Cod, Massachusetts and need to bring a small root of my dad's lilac tree, my mom's peonies bulbs, and small roots of forsythias. Can someone tell me how to preserve these over the winter to be able to plant them at my new home in the spring please?

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October 27, 20150 found this helpful

Store them in damp peat moss in a very cool place and they should be fine.They are all quite tough. Remember to make sure you have at least 5 eyes on your peony or it will take a long time to bloom. Keep the most you can.

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April 30, 20120 found this helpful

How do I root plants (whips)?

By Eddie

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May 7, 20120 found this helpful

You didn't specify what type of plants but it sounds like you are trying to root some sort of tree whips. If that is the case just cut

off the whips you want, remove lower leaves and cut bottoms at a slant. You can use a medium like rootone or if you have access to a willow tree just cut off several branches {fresh and small} and pour boiling water over them and allow to cool. Just put the fresh cut whips in a container and add the willow water and wait for them to root. Check the ends occasionally to make sure they are not getting slimy and change the willow water at least once a week (rooting hormones are made of willow bark!). Good luck.

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November 24, 20110 found this helpful

A neighbour has given me 2 evergreen holly cuttings from her shrub which is growing beautifully. We believe that you must have a male and female to ensure the plant gets holly berries. Is this true and if so, how can I tell if I have both?

Also any tips on rooting these cuttings would be appreciated.


By Shell

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 29, 20110 found this helpful

It is true and sadly, there is no way to tell which you have. All you can do is wait and see if you get berries. If both cuttings are from the same shrub, they'll both be male or female depending on the parent.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 23, 2009

Can I use rooting hormone on perennial plants?

Hardiness Zone: 4a

By whiskell from Lacrosse, WI

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September 2, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, you can. For more info search for your question. Lot of info there, good luck.

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August 6, 20130 found this helpful

What steps should I take for preparing my cuttings before dipping them into rooting compound?

By Glenn

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September 27, 20110 found this helpful

How do I root cuttings of Texas sage?

By Dianne

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

By 5 found this helpful
March 24, 2016

Photo Description
My friend asked me for clippings from my garden and this is what she is getting. These succulents sit in a wooden box and floral foam oasis. The handle is foxtail fern and the succulents include aeoniums, kiwi, burro's tail, campfire, and many filler plants from my garden. I say spring is here!

Photo Location
Montebello, Southern California

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 13, 20100 found this helpful

Tips for starting plants from cuttings. Post your ideas.


Starting Plaints from Cuttings

To root plants or trees. It is best to start with new growth from the plant, (the soft stems). I dip them in rooting hormone and then a flower pot of sand. Keep moist and in the shade. Water daily when needed.

By Karen (07/18/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Starting Plants from Cuttings

I never use anything on cuttings I root, I have good luck just sticking them in a pot of dirt, keep damp, for a year then transplant them where I want them or give them away to friends. I root a lot of fig trees, roses, etc. Good luck. (03/31/2009)

By kffrmw88

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