How (& Why) to Propagate Houseplants

If you’ve been impatiently waiting for the snow to leave and spring weather to stay so you can get outside and play in the dirt (like I have), propagating your houseplants is a great way to use the time.

photo credit 

Houseplants are amazing. As studies by NASA scientists confirmed, common houseplants make the air in your home healthier. They remove dangerous chemicals and dramatically increase air quality. Plus, they’re beautiful.

In his book, How to Grow Fresh Air–(read my review here), Dr. Wolverton lists the very best purifying indoor plants and recommends you have at least one plant per 100 square feet. That’s a lot of plants.

One of the easiest ways to grow your collection is to propagate the plants you have (or beg cuttings from your mom.)

Not only is it fun to add a new plant to your collection and watching it grow, I consider it plant insurance. My brown thumb is bound to kill at least some of my plants. This way, if the mother plant dies hopefully the daughter will survive.

 Heartleaf Philodendron–one of the easiest houseplants to grow

There are two very easy ways to propagate houseplants that have multiple trailing stems, like ivy.

Water Method: Just cut back long stems right above the leaf node (where a new leaf grows). Trim the bottom few leaves and place the stem in a glass of water.

In a few weeks new roots will emerge and you can plant the stems in a fresh pot with good drainage. Water well after transplanting.  

How to Propagate Wandering Jew

Wandering Jew— I killed the “mother plant”. The one on the left is a four-month-old “daughter plant”. On the right is a three-week-old “granddaughter plant”

Moist Dirt Method: 

Cut off stems above the node. Strip off the bottom few leaves. Place the stem in a pot and keep the soil moist. In about 3 to 6 weeks, new roots will grow and the plant will send out new shoots.

How’s that for easy?

Want to make it a really frugal project? Look for beautiful pots at garage sales (often they’re practically free!) I’ve even found some lovely healthy plants at yard sales for a dollar or two.

Linked up at Mama MomentsGrowing HomeEncourage One AnotherHealthy 2DayFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways,Works for MeWild Crafting WednesdayWalking RedeemedProverbs 31Natural Living, & Simple Lives

[Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]

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  1. says

    Wow! That would be a lot of houseplants. I’ve been working on getting one in each room, but I would love to have more. We have small children, so they need to be out of the reach of little hands. Perhaps it’s time to build some corner shelves! Thanks for sharing! I’m glad I found your post through the Natural Living Link Up! 🙂

    • anna says

      Thanks for visiting Kristen! Yes, I’m still a ways off from the 1 per 100 square feet mark but am working on it. 🙂 I want to try a hanging ivy in the baby’s room, to make sure she can’t get into it!

  2. says

    We have some plants. We used to have one that was more like a vine and I loved it. It was just starting to be long enough to grow over the door frame in our room when it died. Not sure if it just didn’t get watered enough during a time or what, but I’ve never been able to find that same plant again. (Of course I have no idea what it was called either.) I’d like to find something like that again for our room.

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