Houseplants forum: More branches on vine plants

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 14, 2015 8:19 AM CST
This is one of the more common discussions about house plants, desires for a more full plant, more bushy, what to do with long lengths of leafless stem. I'm a huge fan of the single long vine that goes all around the room, more power to those! Absolutely wouldn't advise anyone cut one of those unless they want to independently. This isn't about those plants, just the ones people want to manipulate to make more growing tips.

The advice is almost always to cut the vines near the soil level & stick the tips back in the pot. That's fine, and usually goes well, not much risk in doing that. But, when the cuttings don't take root, it can be disappointing. When they do take root, they often keep growing only from the tip.

The stump where the cut was made can only grow as many new vines as there are nodes above soil level, with the occasional exception of a new vine coming from below soil level.

That's all great, and I've enjoyed doing this countless times myself, but it doesn't yield much more plant mass, and when initially done, shrinks the plant. If one is trying to have a larger entity, with tons of vines, there are some different things one can try that could result in many more new vines, much more quickly.

Instead of cutting, coil the leafless part of a stem around the pot, along the soil surface. Secure against soil with small rocks or something like a bobby pin (just not tight enough to squeeze the vine.) Each node that is in contact with the soil has the potential to grow roots and a new vine.

If cutting is preferred, try arranging as described above, more horizontally than vertically down into the soil.

Similar to the way one would trim an upright plant to cause more side branches, removing the growth tip of a vine forces side shoots to grow, often/usually more than 1. One can remove a piece big enough to be a cutting, leaving much more than a tiny stump. Or just the very tip can be removed, so the appearance overall isn't changed. Here's a before pic of that, Pothos:
Thumb of 2015-05-14/purpleinopp/ba2916

After removing just the newest leaf.
Thumb of 2015-05-14/purpleinopp/3424fe

In a few weeks, I'll take an update pic to report on whatever new side-vines this has inspired.

Here's pics of a diff vine that was cut about 6 weeks before this pic. The blue circle shows where it was cut. The red circles show 2 new growth tips starting as a result. So at that point, there's the piece removed as cutting, and these 2 new shoots, which is triple the number of growing tips that there were at the time the cut was made.
Thumb of 2015-05-14/purpleinopp/f7b1c8

Here's a giant Philodendron that I've been doing these techniques to for years, in a 5-gallon bucket. It's hard to get in there & take a pic of an individual stem as example, but will try to get some soon, need another set of hands to help hold other foliage out of the way. If left unmolested, it would just be the same 5-6 vines that were put in there initially, each growing in 1 direction/1 vine indefinitely.
Thumb of 2015-05-14/purpleinopp/8897f1

Here's a diff kind of Philo with a big, older stem. After taking a cutting from the tip last fall, 2 new stems have appeared near the base. That's another instance of manipulating 1 growth tip into 3.





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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Jun 2, 2015 10:10 AM CST
The Pothos I snipped the tip from about 2 weeks ago is making 1 new growth so far.
Thumb of 2015-06-02/purpleinopp/198f82


👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

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