If you want to use your old plants to grow new ones, knowing how to use plant cuttings to grow more plants can be really useful! A popular method of asexual plant propagation uses rooted cuttings from the vegetative parts of a plant, such as leaves or stems, to produce a genetically identical plant.
Make sure the pots used to root plants are clean by soaking them in a solution of 10 percent bleach and water for 30 minutes and then allowing the pot to dry thoroughly. Before making a cut, clean the knife, scissors or razor blade in alcohol to kill any bacteria. Add rooting material to fill a pot about 75 percent full. A good rooting medium can be made from combining peat moss and perlite in equal portions. The rooting medium should be sterile, drain well and retain some moisture. Dampen the medium before adding the cutting.
You need a rooting hormone for dipping the cutting before placing it in the pot. Plant nurseries offer a selection of rooting hormones in different strengths. Select a rooting hormone appropriate for the plant type you are propagating.
For stem cuttings, cut a piece 2 to 6 inches in length either with a tip or from the middle of a stem in a section with several leaf nodes. Remove any flowers or flower buds from the cutting before dipping the cut end into the rooting hormone. Shake off excess rooting hormone and insert the cutting into rooting medium deep enough to provide support. Place the pot in a location where it receives indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist while roots develop. To keep moisture around the plant, you may cover the cutting with plastic for a few days until roots begin to develop.
After three to six weeks, gently pull on the plant to determine if roots have established. Place the cutting in a pot filled with regular potting soil until leaves appear. Harden the plant for growing outdoors by placing the pot outside for a few hours each day for at least a week before transplanting.