Lawn Resource Center
Vegetable Propagation

Growing new plants from leaf and stem cuttings is an easy way to add to your plant collection and to share your plants with friends and family. It is the only way to grow plants that will have basically the same characteristics that are admired by the parent-plant. 

Follow these simple guidelines for best results:

  • Figure out the best propagation method based on your plant variety. The differences can range from placing leaves or stems in water, and taking multiple steps to germinate. Also figure out the best time of year to take and plant cuttings.
  • Before planting make sure that all the containers, tools, and work areas are sterilized with a diluted bleach solution.
  • Choose healthy, insect-free, and disease-free parent-plants. Younger and healthy growth that is well hydrated should be cut. The cutting should be 5-6 inches in length, and should be placed in water until ready for use.
  • Planting should be done as soon as possible.
  • Prepare a container by filling it nearly full with a suitable potting medium.
  • Remove all but the top one or two leaves. Make a fresh cut of the stem and dip it in a root hormone powder. This should cover at least one node. Shake off the excess powder and plant within the prepared hole. Firm the soil around the cutting.
  • Frequently mist your cutting and be sure the area is well humidified with a plastic cover. If too much condensation forms, open the cover for a while, if none forms, mist with more water.
  • Keep the temperature between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit if possible. This will protect the plant from irregular root development and fungus growth.
  • Begin feeding with a half-strength solution of liquid plant food when plants first begin to show new growth. Mist leaves if they begin to wilt during these periods.
  • The plastic cover can be removed permanently when several new leaf pairs develop. This is also the time that full strength feeding can be done and transplanting.