Which Plants can be Grown from Cuttings?

J. Beam

Plant cuttings are parts of a parent plant that are severed and then placed in a rooting medium, such as peat moss or water, until the cutting roots and can be replanted as a new plant. As opposed to thinning a plant, which involves separating a plant’s roots and replanting immediately, growing a plant from cuttings takes a little more time, but it is an especially popular option when the parent plant needs to remain in tact. Heirloom gardening is a popular practice where plants grown from cuttings are used.

A bloom from a hydrangea, which can be grown from cuttings.
A bloom from a hydrangea, which can be grown from cuttings.

Nearly all types of plants are suitable to be grown from cuttings, although softwood and semi-hardwood plant cuttings are especially suitable. Common softwood plants that can be grown easily in this way include the Rose of Sharon, dogwood, hydrangea, butterfly bush, clematis, lilac, and spirea. Popular semi-hardwoods that grow from cuttings include azalea, boxwood, holly and rhododendron. Additionally, many common houseplants can also be grown with this method.

The pothos plant is a low-growing vine that can reach 10 feet in length.
The pothos plant is a low-growing vine that can reach 10 feet in length.

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Though most plant varieties are suitable for propagating from cuttings, some can be more difficult than others when it comes to getting roots to form. For plants that show resistance to forming roots, a rooting hormone may be necessary.

Lilacs are a common plant that can be grown from cuttings.
Lilacs are a common plant that can be grown from cuttings.

To harvest a cutting, a gardener should select a healthy plant and sever it at the proper time, usually in the summer for most plants. Softwood cuttings should be taken from the current year’s growth, while semi-hardwood plants should have a woody base. Gardeners should avoid taking very young or tender stems, as they tend to be more difficult to grow.

Certain plants, such as the pothos, which is a popular, hearty houseplant, are easy to grow from cuttings and require only placing the harvested stem in water until roots have formed. Most plants require a mixed medium free of fertilizers, and peat moss mixed with sand makes a good rooting medium for most cuttings. If a gardener is unsure of the proper method for growing a plant from a cutting, he or she can visit a garden center before starting for advice on rooting mediums, the need for hormones, and growing and transplanting care.

Peat moss, which makes a good rooting medium for many cuttings when mixed with sand.
Peat moss, which makes a good rooting medium for many cuttings when mixed with sand.

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Discussion Comments

christym

@oceanswimmer: When planting a cutting from a Christmas cactus plant, make sure that you insert at least one segment of it below the soil level. Keep it in a warm, bright area but away from direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not too much. I use a spray bottle and mist mine every day.

When the rooting starts, you will see new growth at the tips of the older leaves. It will be a little smaller and thinner than the older leaves and might look red.

StormyKnight

@oceanswimmer: Absolutely! As a matter of fact, I have several family members that always admire my many Christmas cactus plants so I started giving them cuttings to start their own. I usually have to help them out a bit

Christmas cacti, also known as Holiday cacti, are very succulent plants. When you cut a stem of your Christmas cactus, you will see a little liquid coming from it. That is completely normal. Let the cutting sit out for a couple of days to completely dry out before replanting.

Growing cuttings is very rewarding because you get so many beautiful plants out of it.

OceanSwimmer

Can you grow Christmas Cactus from a cutting?

anon33235

Thank you so much it was so much help!!!

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