The Holiday season is just around the corner. This year, why not give something different and natural? Propagate a plant such as a Christmas cactus by taking cuttings, and share it with those you love! Growing plants from cuttings basically involves rooting a stem or branch from a healthy plant. It may seem complicated, but it's actually a simple process. What's more, a wide variety of plants are easy to work with. Here's how:
- Fill a container with fresh potting soil, then water the soil until it is evenly moist, but not soggy. Make sure the container has a drainage hole.
- Use a sterile knife or pruners to cut a stem from an existing plant. The stem should be about 7.5 to 13 cm in length. It should have leaves, but no buds or blooms, and it must also have a couple of nodes.
- Cut the stem at a slight angle, just below a node, and remove any flowers and buds. Then, snip off the lower leaves, leaving only two upper leaves.
- Dip the bottom 2.5 cm of the stem in a rooting hormone. PRO-MIX offers the rooting powder STIM-ROOT, a formula that promotes quick rooting in cuttings.
- Plant the stem in the moist soil. You can plant more than one stem in the same pot but allow enough space so the leaves don’t touch. Similarly, don’t allow the leaves to rest on the potting soil.
- Cover the container loosely with clear plastic. The plastic creates a warm, greenhouse-like atmosphere that promotes rooting.
- Water the potting mix as needed to keep it moist. Poke a few holes in the plastic if you notice condensation on the inside.
- Remove the plastic when the cutting has rooted, which may take a few days or several weeks. At this point, you can move the cutting into a slightly larger pot and treat it like a regular houseplant. Outdoor plants usually need a little more time before they’re ready to be transplanted.
Obviously, you'll need to plan ahead so your gift is ready by the Holidays. But if you follow the steps mentioned above, chances are you will succeed and make a few people happy!