Propagating House Plants with helpful links and photos

The Iowa State University Extension posted a good article on propagating house plants this week. Here is the link.

Air layering Ficus
They start the article with weeping fig, rubber tree and other Ficus family members. The recommended method is air layering which is a process of girdling a plant stem in order to encourage new roots along the stem at the point of injury.

The photo is from a Yugoslavian wikimedia post. Garden of Eaden says they propagate these plants by air layering: magnolia, hazel, cotinus, cornus, acer, beech, camellia, chaenomeles, daphne, ficus, forsythia, hamamelis, hornbeam, jasmine, philodendron, rhododendron, azalea, lilac and viburnum.

Next, the article covers dieffenbachia, Chinese evergreen and corn plant propagation by cane or stem cuttings.

University of Georgia
And, one that so many of us have done in our house gardening experiments, propagating African violets from a leaf. (Also my frequently-used method of propagating begonias.)

Cut a healthy leaf with an inch of stem attached. Plant it in sand, vermiculite, perlite, peat moss; moisten and firm. Cover with plastic and place in bright spot. Roots appear in a month.

Rooting Christmas cactus sections
Their next section: Mother-in-law tongue plants are so easy to propagate! I sliced one leaf into cuttings and put them into moist vermiculite and in a couple of months there were roots. Use rooting hormone to help ensure success. When you cut off that leaf, note the end that is closest to the plant's root - that's what will root for you.

Last, they cover how to make more Christmas cactus from section cuttings. It's important to let cacti callus before planting the pieces. Otherwise they rot in the moist perlite. Other gardeners have luck putting the pieces in water and waiting for roots.

The University of California at Davis compiled a Rooting Database with information from around the country. You can search by genus and cultivar. It is a great resource.

Have fun, take more cuttings, make more cuts, share more plants. Soon we'll be able to be outside and won't have any time for house plants. Several links in this article lead to information on propagating with soft wood cuttings from your favorite perennials in the summer.


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