The Q&A Archives: Rooting Houseplant Cuttings

Question: When a cutting is taken from a house plant, how do you get it to root? My mother used to put cut ends of plants in water and after a long time they would root. All mine do is wilt, turn colors, grow alge on cut ends, and die.

Answer: Some plants develop roots more readily than others, and do not seem to mind whether they do so in soil or in water. If you've been unsuccessful with attempts to root cuttings in water, try rooting them in potting soil. You can hedge your bet by dipping the cut end in powdered rooting hormone before planting. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy wet, and place the container near the parent plant (or where the growing conditions are similar). Houseplants should root at any time of year, but you'll have even better success if you take cuttings in the spring or early summer when temperature and light levels are high, and when plants are putting out the most new growth.

Hope you have better luck with your cuttings!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Southern Comfort"