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Do you have a small collection of plants at home? And do you want to grow the collection, without having to spend a single cent? You can – just take cuttings! There are a couple of different ways you can do this, read on to find out how.

Cuttings in water

This method is suitable for most plants, provided they have nodes (although, there are exceptions). Try devil’s ivy, syngoniums, prayer plants or chain or hearts.

Step 1. Choose a healthy section of your plant, ideally with at least 2 nodes (the bump along the stem where the leaf attaches). Using a clean, sharp pair of secateurs or scissors, take a cutting just below the second node. Remove the lower leaf and discard. NB: You can take longer cuttings if you wish. Remove a few of the lower leaves, leaving the cutting with at least two leaves – this will allow the cutting to focus its energy on growing roots than foliage.

Step 2. Fill a glass or vessel of choice with room-temperature water. Place the cutting in the water, ensuring at least one node is completely submerged.

Step 3. Position cutting in a brightly lit spot, out of direct sunlight. Top up water regularly or change if it becomes murky. TIP: Add a dash of eco-seaweed to the water and mix until it becomes the colour of a weak tea – this will help promote root growth.

Step 4. After 4-6 weeks, roots will form. Once the roots are 10-12cm long, transplant into a small pot and water in well with diluted seaweed. The best time to transplant is during the warmer months, when plants are actively growing, however, it’s still possible to do this during cooler periods, just make sure it’s sitting in a warm spot. Once new growth is observed on the plant, feed with Yates Thrive Houseplant Liquid Plant Food, diluted to half strength.  

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Stem cuttings in soil

Stem cuttings can also be grown direct in soil – this helps reduce the risk of transplant shock. Try begonias, coleus, syngoniums and other vining plants.

Step 1. Choose a healthy section of your plant and take a 10-15cm cutting just below a node. Ensure you use a clean, sharp pair of secateurs or scissors. Remove the lower leaf and discard.

Step 2. Dip the end with the removed leaf into Yates Clonex Purple Rooting Hormone Gel, then insert into a tray or pot filled with Yates Seed Raising Mix. Light press down on the soil to secure cutting in place.

Step 3. Position a warm bright spot, out of direct sunlight. Mist the soil regularly to ensure it remains moist. Cover with a plastic bag to help maintain humidity.

Step 4. After 6-8 weeks, check if the cuttings have rooted by gently tugging on the stems. If there is resistance, they’re likely ready to be potted up into a slightly small pot. Gently remove from the soil, check roots and pot up, otherwise, leave to continue rooting

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Leaf cuttings in soil

Try your hand at propagating plants with as little as a leaf. Works best with peperomias, begonias and snake plants.

Step 1. Take a healthy leaf from the plant and remove the stem.

Step 2. Turn the leaf over to reveal the leaf veins – these veins have the potential to root and start a new plant. Using a sharp knife, cut the leaf into sections, ensuring it includes a vein (or part of). For snake plants, just cut the leaf into 8-10cm sections. Dip the cut or bottom ends into Yates Clonex Purple Gel and gently insert into a loose mix, like Yates Seed Raising Mix. You can also sit the leaves (of peperomias and begonias) on top of the soil and use a hairpin to ensure the vein is in contact with the soil.

Step 3. Position in a bright spot, out of direct sunlight. Cover with a plastic bag or cling wrap and mist the soil regularly to ensure it remains moist. If your cuttings are in a heated or air-conditioned room, you may need to mist more regularly as the soil will dry out faster.

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