Monday, July 19, 2010

Plant Propagation

Rooting plants from cuttings is a quick and easy way to grow more plants. When I worked at a plant nursery, a lot of people were doubtful that they could successfully grow plants from cuttings. I'd always encourage them to start with something easy to root, like a pothos ivy. That was the plant that I first grew from a cutting. I started propagating plants when I was 11 or 12. After years of perfecting my technique, I'm pretty good at rooting plants. I've grown so many plants from cuttings that I've lost count. Most recently I've grown Gardenia, Firespike, and Turks Cap.

Here are some steps to grow your own plants:
1. Take a cutting from the top portion of the plant. You want your cutting to be a stem that the plant has recently grown. Make sure the cutting is around 7-8 inches long and has plenty of leaves.

2. Carefully pick most of the leaves off your cutting, only leaving a few leaves at the top of the cutting.

3. Gently put the cutting in a pot filled with potting soil.

4. Water after the cuttings are planted. I water my cuttings every other day, unless it rains.

If your cuttings are successful, you should see new growth 2-3 weeks after planting.

The above picture is Pride of Barbados. I took cuttings from an existing plant a month ago, and already they are putting out new growth! This is an excellent plant to give your garden a tropical island feel. Be sure to plant it on a south facing wall because it doesn't like Louisiana winters. If you mulch heavily before a freeze comes, you should be able to save the plant and enjoy it next spring.

This is a close up picture of the new growth on the Pride of Barbados.

Aren't the flowers pretty?

These are pots of Russian Sage. I love this plant because it blooms for months and the bees love the lavender colored flowers. The leaves are silver and smell strongly of sage if you brush against them. It get about 4-5 tall and wide and loves the sun. When spring rolls around, definitely get this plant for your garden (or I could root you some cuttings!).

This is a picture of Bottlebrush cuttings. This is another plant that loves the sun and has neat bottlebrush shaped red flowers. Its also very easy to root from a cutting. Be careful where you plant this one! It gets around 10 feet tall.


  1. Mary, I am attempting to root Oakleaf hydrangea~we'll see if it works out~ You can find seeds of Salvia azura at if you can't find the plants. They will grow in LA.


  2. Hi Mary, I just planted cuttings of Salvia Madrensis which grows about 7' tall and blooms yellow in the fall. It's not available at any of the Baton Rouge nurseries but I was able to find a fellow gardener who had some. Can't wait to see it bloom! Pam

  3. Pam, that salvia is new to me so I googled it and I LOVE it! I'm going to have to keep my eyes out for an established Salvia Madrensis so I can get cuttings! Do you live around the Baton Rouge area?

  4. Mary, It was new to me too and I was also impressed! I started 7 pots of cuttings and would be happy to give you one. I live in Woodstone Subdivision off Highland Rd. Contact me at Pam