What does Propagating from cuttings mean?

Growing healthy plants from cuttings

Propagation is not just popping a cutting into a glass of water. But there are many ways to get a positive result.

‘There are lots of reasons why all plant cuttings don’t develop into a new plant.

Major mistakes people do in developing plants through cuttings.

1) Unsuitable seasons

Rainy season or spring will be best for growing plants from cuttings

Cuttings grown in the extreme summer or in the winter season will fail. Spring is the best season. Even the rainy seasons are good to grow plants from cuttings.


2. Size and thickness of cuttings

Cutting of green and soft plants-Take 3″- 4″ of stem

The size and length of the stem may differ from one plant to another plant For plants whose stems are flexible and green , the cuttings should be at least 3 inches to 4 inches having a strong stem to develop roots properly, very thin streams do not have the potential to develop roots the plant may die.

3. Cuttings from Woody plants

Cutting from Woody plants take  8″-10″ stem

Length of these cuttings should be longer and thicker like a pencil for example curry leaves, China rose, Madhumalti, or Mogra. Cuttings from such plants should be 8 inches to 10 inches long and thick as a pencil. Soft tip cutting will not give positive results.

4. Improper soil media

Proper soil media is very important 

Heavy soil does not allow roots to grow easily normally whatever soil is there in the pot we take the cuttings and insert them in that available soil in the pot or ground. But cuttings may not grow in this soil. For  good development of roots, the soil needs to be loose and light. Add sand/cocopeat etc into the soil to make it light and porous. The roots can breathe and develop properly giving positive results.

Improper sunlight

Keep the cuttings in shaded areas till they grow properly.

We all know how important is sunlight for plants. Cuttings should never be kept in direct sunlight. Keep them in a shaded area or indirect sunlight.


6. Taking cuttings from unhealthy and weak plants

Growing plants from unhealthy cuttings will not give good results


If the plant drops leaves/holes on the surface of the leaves or it has brown/black spots on the surface of the leaves, if it isn’t actively growing (weak plants), propagating such plants is not a good choice. It may not give positive results.

7. Cuttings should be done at the right place

                        Nodes are important

Stem cuttings of the plant should be done just below a leaf node, the cuttings should have 2 to 3 nodes (the point where the new leaves emerge from on the stem).

8. Rooting all plants in water

                All plants do not grow in water

Rooting in water is an option for propagating houseplants. This is a common houseplant propagation mistake – rooting every plant they want to propagate in water.
All plants do not grow well in water. Plants like pothos  (money plants) grow very well in water.
Whereas in ZZ plants the cuttings in soil develop tubers far more quickly as compared to the cuttings in water. Some of them rot if kept in water for longer period. Therefore, growing of cuttings may vary from plant to plant.

9. Using Blunt Tools for cutting plants

Clean and sharp tools are important for cutting plants

The plants should be cut neatly with a sharp cutter. Tools should be sterilized and cleaned properly to avoid any bacterial or fungal infection.
A clean cut will help the parent plant to revive quickly. A blunt cut and crushed on the bottom of the steam may reduce the chances of success which can lead to the death of plants.

10. Regulating water

Regulation of Water is very important

Water the cuttings only if it is necessary. Keep the soil moist do not overwater it can rot the plant’s stem. Let the soil dry then water them.

Myntra of propagating plants successfully is to avoid all the mistakes which are mentioned above.