Getting new houseplants for your apartment or townhome doesn’t always mean a trip to the garden store. There are many plants that you can grow from clippings. Using clippings is just one of several methods of propagation and it only works for certain plants.
Before we get into which plants and how you do it, there’s the question of where you get clippings. If you already have a plant you love and it grows well in your apartment, you can start there. Friends, family, or neighbors are also a great source. The clippings you take don’t need to be very large, so it likely won’t even be noticeable. And just like outdoor plants, houseplants need to be pruned occasionally, which is a good time to share your clippings and gather some new ones. Think of it as a “clipping exchange” that helps everyone add variety to their home.
There are actually two ways to propagate with clippings: either in water or soil. Both work well, but we like using water because it’s so satisfying to watch the roots grow.
- Start by cutting just below where the leaf meets the stem. That’s called the node and it looks like a bump on the stem. If you don’t include a node in your clipping, you won’t be able to grow a new plant.
- If you’re using the soil method, dip the end of the clipping in a rooting hormone. Then insert about two-thirds of the stem into potting soil. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
- If you are propagating in water, put the clipping in cool water making sure the node is always kept underwater. Change the water every few days and wait for the roots to grow. Once they are about an inch long you can transfer your plant to soil.
Here are some of the easiest plants to grow from clippings, which are also great for apartments.
- Coleus. Known for its colorful foliage, his quick-rooting, low-maintenance plant comes in a variety of colors
- Snake plant. This hearty houseplant features stiff, sword-like leaves and can grow as much as eight feet tall.
- Ivy. While its vines grow slowly, ivy can live up to 10 years. It’s a great choice if you don’t have much direct sunlight because it can do very well in shady areas.
- Pothos. This forgiving plant can survive well even when occasionally neglected. It has pointed heart-shaped green leaves with white, yellow, or pale green striations.
- Aglaonema. Also known as Chinese evergreen, this durable plant can tolerate both low and bright light. It features a crown of wide leaf blades with silver-green coloration.