How to root a plant in water made simple. There are many plants that root easily in water and some take days while others may take a month. A lot depends upon the season (spring is best when the days start to get longer and this stimulates the plants to grow). I cannot forget to mention that some plants just love to root in water too. There are several plants that easily root in water fast-
- Wandering Jew
- Purple Heart Plant
- Philodendron- the trailing philodendrons are the easiest
- most plants that have visible nodes (on their stems)
Here are some plants that are slower to grow roots and require a softwood cutting. It takes much longer for many softwood cuttings to root so be patient.
- Schefflera (I have successfully rooted)
- Hydrangea (I have successfully rooted)
- Forsythia (I have successfully rooted)
- in spring you can try your hand at most plants as long as you can tell what softwood (a green, newer growth stem)
I am going to explain what to look for and where to cut to get the best results. The plants do best about 3-6″ long depending upon the plant- the key is to cut the stem the length that looks healthy and full. What you will need to start-
- a vase or jar filled 3/4 of the way with water (click to see what water I use and why)
- clean sharp scissors or pruners
In the pictures you will that I cut just above a leaf or below visible nodes I find along the stem. These nodes will develop into roots in water or if placed on top of the soil too. Before cutting up your plant, look for any signs of nodes at the sections where the plant comes off the main trunk or where the leaves emerge. In vine or hanging plants these nodes are near the leaves where you can see the divisions on the stem.
Clean sharp scissors for trailing plants such Wandering Jew or Philodendron are all you need. However, for tougher stem cuttings you should use pruners to make a clean cut. Whatever plant you are rooting, do not let the stem cuttings sit out for more than a couple minutes. Try to immediately place the new cuttings in the vase as you are cutting them and removing the bottom leaves.
- Hint: you do not want leaves in the water or they will rot
There is nothing fancy you need to root plants in water. You do have to check the plants every few days to see how much water is evaporating from the vase or jar. Once I see roots emerging in the water I add a diluted mixture of fertilizer water. I wait until the jar is filled with roots before I transplant to my pots or containers in the garden.
There are many plants that need regular trimming to keep full and healthy such as Wandering Jew, Purple heart, and most of the trailing philodendrons. For my container gardening this year (and for this post) I went through and cut up a bunch of Wandering Jew and Purple Heart to use in my potted Arborvitae containers to trail out. Today I am going to take the chance and cut a few stems off my Schefflera plants that I have had for over 17 years because they have become quite leggy and out of control. These are sentimental to me so I will only do a couple off each plant to make sure I do not cause any shock to the plant (and to my emotions).
Now is the time to start rooting plants for spring time container gardening. For most of you May is when you start planting your annuals in baskets and containers so you have plenty of time to root many plants. If you do not have any to root now, I would go buy a small hanging basket from the store and start cuttings of your own. Happy gardening and thanks for stopping by!
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2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique