Toggle navigation

How to: plant propagation

Photo - Linda Ross

Want plants for free? Winter is the right time of year to take cuttings from established plants to create new ones. Isla and Eden show how it’s done.


What you need:

Plants for cutting

A paddlepop stick for labelling


Seed raising/cutting mix

Plastic pots


Root striking hormone (for softwood cuttings) or honey

Plastic 2L coke/lemonade bottle with the bottom cut off (get an adult to do this)


What to do:

1. Collect some cuttings from plants to propagate.

2. Fill some pots with seed-raising or cutting mix and gently tap the pot.

3. Trim the end of each cutting so they are 5 – 7 cm long, and pull off the lower leaves.

4. Make a hole in the mix with the sharp end of a pencil or pen.

5. Dip the end of the cutting in root striking hormone gel (or honey) and carefully put it in the hole, then press gently around the cutting with the flat end of the pencil or pen

6. Use the paddlepop stick to label the cutting with the plant name and date.

7. Gently water in the cuttings.

8. Place the drink bottle bottom over the top – this increases humidity and reduces moisture loss from the cutting.

9. Put the pot in a shady spot. Check regularly that the soil is moist.

10. When the plants show signs of new growth - in about three to six weeks - you can move them into individual pots.


Easy cuttings

For great success with cuttings try these: the rainbow colours of coleus, busy Lizzie (Impatiens), fuchsia, ivy or mint.


Text: Isla Barlow 

About this article

Author: Isla Barlow