Quick Tip: Success with Cuttings

If it's time to repot houseplants, this is an opportunity to take cuttings and grow more plants for the home.


Taking 'cuttings' is an easy and affordable way to add new plants to your home - or garden - and there are many plant varieties that are easy to grow from cuttings.

How to take a cutting:

Select the plant that you want to take cuttings from and look at the stem. There will be buds or small knobs where new stems or leaves will be produced. You ideally want to take a cutting from the top section of the plant and have a cutting that is long enough to be put into water.

Use sharp scissors to cut just below buds on the bottom section of the cutting, as these will then put out roots. Make sure the section you cut has some leaves - about 3 to 4 - and buds, to produce a healthy cutting.

Place cuttings in water

The cutting can be placed in a vase (or jar) of water - just enough to cover about 4 to 5cm of the lower section. You don't want any leaves or growth to be in the water as this could cause the cutting to rot. Replace the water with fresh water on a weekly basis, and place the cutting so that it receives plenty of natural light, but not direct sunlight.

Plant cuttings in soil

When planting cuttings directly in soil, use a small pot and a soil rich in organic matter and not be dense. Moisten the soil before planting the cutting, and then make a hole to insert  the cutting. Take care when watering to that the cutting does not rot, but don't let it dry out. Within a few weeks, the cutting will develop new roots and can be planted in larger pot.

Propagating Cordylines or Yuccas

Cordylines and Yuccas are very easy to propagate from cuttings. All you need to do is cut off a main stem at the top of the plant. The cutting should be long enough to place in a vase of water for a few weeks and planting once healthy root growth starts to appear. In some instances, especially with Yuccas, you can simply plant the cutting directly into the soil in a garden bed.

Yuccas are very easy to propagate. Simply cut off the top of the plant and re-plant this directly into a garden bed or pot. Water regularly when dry and the new plant with establish a healthy root system all on its own. What's fun about propagating Yuccas is that, after cutting off the top, the plant will produce even more shoots [below].