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The Propagation Station!

So you know how to keep your plant alive and happy - the next step is making more!

Propagation is the process of removing a section of a plant to grow another one. Most plants reproduce asexually, which means they just produce smaller versions of themselves! Propagation can save us money on plants, but also allows us to learn more about plants and their lifecycle.

Back in 1996, scientists managed to successfully clone a sheep called Dolly - propagation is basically the same thing (but far less complicated!). Read on if you'd like to get your Mad Scientist hat on and learn how to clone your plants.

Here is an example of one of our Propagation Stations, available in-store and online. The glass vessels allow your cuttings to get the most amount of light possible, which is really important to get those roots growing!

Before we get started, here's what you'll need to successfully propagate your plant:

  • A healthy mother plant (which you'll take your cutting from)

  • A glass vessel like the Propagation Station pictured above

  • Pruners or a sharp blade

  • Room temperature water

Step 1 - Taking Your Cutting

Making sure that you're taking the right kind of cutting is the most important step with propagating, as this is going to be the core of your new plant. Think of the cutting as a little baby, you want to give it the best start in life so it'll thrive later on.

Firstly you're going to want to look for the best place on your Mother Plant to take your cutting. Look for healthy, green leaves - you'll need at least one leaf to have a successful propagation, the more the merrier!

Next you'll need to locate the node; this is basically a knuckle in the stem, notice the colour change and the faint line in the pink circle. You're going to want to make a sharp clean cut roughly 1 inch or 2.5cm underneath this line.

On this Monstera, I would cut slightly below the aerial root sticking out, as you'll already have a good starting root to work with!

The next step is to prepare your Propagation Station: fill each vessel roughly 3/4 full with room temperature water. You might be thinking: "Are cuttings really that fussy?" and the answer is yes.

These little guys can go into shock really easily, which can damage the cutting or delay the rooting process. If you really want to give your cutting the best start in the Station, try using distilled or boiled water to remove any chemicals.

Step 2 - Using the Propagation Station

Firstly we need to make sure our Propogation Station is in the right place. Bright and direct sunlight would heat the water which could damage your cuttings. It's best to try and find a space in your home that gets bright, indirect sunlight - this will allow the roots to grow quickly and speed up the process. The cuttings will probably propagate in partial shade, but it will take longer for the roots to develop.

Once you've found the perfect spot, you can pop your cuttings in the vessel. You'll need the node and everything below that to be submerged in the water - now your cutting will get all the hydration it needs to thrive.

Step 3 - Patience and Maintenance

And now we wait! The rooting process differs between different types of plants - for example, the Philodendron Scandens (or Heart-Shaped Philodendron) can root within as little as a week, whereas the Fiddle Leaf Fig can take as long as eight weeks to root!

This big guy here started out as a cutting, and look at him now!

While your cutting is growing its roots, it's important to change the water every two days to make sure no harmful bacteria develop and ruin all your hard work.

Step 4 - Repotting and Flourishing

Once you have a good amount of roots, the next task is to repot your cutting. Have a little look at our previous blog, 'The Memento Plant Repotting Guide', to see our recommended method. Repotting cuttings is essentially the same process - however, your cutting might be a bit unsteady. To fix this, just pop a small ice-lolly stick or support in the soil and prop your cutting against it.

Tadaaa! The cutting finally becomes a plant! Now watch your little dude grow and flourish. Have a nosey at our care information for the plant you've propagated, to make sure its water and light requirements are being met. Enjoy your infinite plants!

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