11 June 2012

Creating New Houseplants From Cuttings

Happy Monday morning. I spent the majority of the weekend fussing with all the nitty gritty details of blog design. So much experimentation had to be done to start pulling things together. I was just itching for a redesign and after too much deliberation and not enough action for my satisfaction, I just went for it. I am enjoying the new color combinations and still tweaking things a bit. If you come across something that is not reader friendly or find a broken link, please let me know. I also learned this weekend that The Man does not like change when it comes to my blog. He was quite disturbed when I tried to explain to him that both me and the blog needed an update to happen. He would hear nothing of it, poor man.

While sitting at my desk these many hours, I've been looking at the cuttings from my Devil's Ivy (aka Pothos) plant I cut a few days ago. That got me thinking again about the benefits of houseplants for air quality in the home. I did a big post on that topic a while back. You can read all that good scientific info here.

It's amazing how plants can clear nasty toxins from the air in our homes. This is just one of the many benefits. They also bring a living energy to our homes, offer brilliant colors and create assymetrical design elements that nicely break up flat spaces.

Devil's Ivy is one of the easiest houseplants to care for and the large, lush leaf pattern is a theme that is so popular right now in graphics and design elements. It is also an easy plant to propagate with cuttings. I like to give these plants a "haircut" every few months or else they get very unhealthy and imbalanced. You have surely seen these plants looking weak and wimpy with only one long stem growing very long. By trimming the stems and keeping them short you get a nice, full-bodied plant.

Trim just below a joint. This one is a little short, a two to three inch stem below the joint is good. Often when you trim, you can cut up a longer stem into smaller lengths and get several cuttings. As soon as stems are cut, pop the ends into a jar or vase of water. Then comes the easy part, let them sit for a few weeks. All you have to do is make sure the ends stay submerged in water by adding water when necessary to the container.

Once there are good roots growing on each cutting you can plant them. The white roots should be two to three inch long. Place each cutting in a pot filled with good soil. Plant them about the same depth as they were in the water - about an inch or two inches above where the roots start.

These plants are very low maintenance and with regular watering and an occasional haircut they should be lovely and lush year round. A little plant food every couple of months is an added treat.

This will save you money on buying houseplants and a healthy, robust devil's ivy would make a great gift too. I'm hoping to have rooted cuttings in a few more weeks. Let me know if you try this and how it goes. Have you tried propagating cuttings of other house plants? What has worked well for you? I would love to know.

all images by kalanicut

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