How to ‘multiply’ your houseplants for free

Houseplants: Experts explain why leaves might be falling off

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Propagation simply means turning one plant into many, and it is a great way to grow a collection of houseplants or gift to friends and family. The experts at Baby Bio® explained: “There are various ways to multiply your houseplants, and although most cuttings will happily grow roots eventually, the best propagation method will depend on the type of plant you’re dealing with.”

1. Water propagation

According to the plant pros, water propagation “couldn’t be easier” and is a great technique that even beginners can easily master.

They explained: “Some of the best varieties to propagate this way include varieties of pothos, monstera deliciosa, ZZ plant and inch plant, most plants with long stems and nodes will soon produce a healthy root system.

“To do this, simply take a pair of clean, sharp scissors and snip a section of your plant off just below the node – they’re the knobbly bits on the stem.

“Place it in a jar or vase of cool water, and within a couple of weeks it will have developed its own root system and will be ready to plant on.

“Just make sure you keep the water fresh to prevent mould from growing, and don’t let it start rooting in the water for too long, or it won’t take to the soil when it is potted up.”

Once the roots are around an inch long, transfer it into a new pot with houseplant soil, making sure to feed it too.

2. Leaf cutting

Leaf cutting is a great way to propagate succulents, and is just as easy as the water method. Again, simply snip a leaf off at the base, cutting at a 45 degree angle using sharp scissors.

The experts explained: “Leave the cutting to scab over or dry out for a couple of days, then pop it in some potting soil which has been watered generously with fertiliser.

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“Then, simply wait for it to take root. Make sure that you place it in the soil with the fresh cut in the soil rather than upside down, otherwise it will rot.”

Gardeners should also make sure to use a specialist fertiliser to help it grow strong spines and healthy roots.

Most succulents and cacti are actually propagated this way, with the snake plant, kalanchoe and echeveria particularly fast rooting.

The houseplant experts added: “Likewise, if you knock off any leaves from succulents, such as a jade plant or string of pearls, you can also allow it to dry out before putting it into soil, and it will start propagating.”

3. Dividing

This may be the messiest of propagating techniques, so gardeners should expect some soil to be lost in the process.

The experts at Baby Bio® explained: “Gently loosen the plant from its pot by tapping it on the side and bottom and easing it out.

“Place the plant on a clean, flat surface and remove soil from the base and sides so that the roots are exposed. Then, take a clean, sharp knife and cut the plant into sections, making sure that each section still has plenty of healthy roots.

“Once you have your new plant sections, simply pot them up into fresh soil and give them a good water using a [houseplant food].

“Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight and water with fertiliser regularly until it becomes established.” Other brands of houseplant food are available in both garden centres as well as online.”

One of the easiest plants to propagate this way is the Chinese money plant as well as plants such as the spider plant or aloe vera.

This is because they produce small “pups” from the soil itself. The houseplant experts added: “Once they are big enough to survive on their own, you can simply separate it from its root connecting to the parent plant and put them in their own pot.”

Houseplants including ferns, calathea and the peace lily are also easy to propagate this way, and it is incredibly easy.

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