How to: Water Propagation and Hydroculture
Propagation is the process of selecting a healthy plant and taking a cutting to produce a new plant. Water propagation is by far the easiest and most affordable way to propagate your houseplants.
Hydroculture- using water as the medium for which the plant will grow in, as opposed to soil or other mediums.
During water propagation the plant gets oxygen and nutrients from the water and support from the vessel holding the water.
It is important to note, not all houseplants can be propagated with water. Some varieties that can be water propagated include pothos, english ivy, vining philodendron, tradescantia, dieffenbachia, monstera, begonias and hoya.
Additionally herbs such as basil, mint and rosemary can be water propagated.
-vessel (jar, mug, glass bottle, etc.)
Select a plant that is healthy and free of pests. Take your clippers and make sure to clip just below the node.
Node- the point on a stem where new leaves or buds grow.
Fill selected vase or container with water and gently place cutting inside. Be sure the cutting is supported by the vessel and remove any leaves or blooms submerged under the water so they won’t wilt and cause bacteria.
Now wait! Rooting will generally occur between 2-4 weeks.
Care: It is important to refresh the water for your cutting to prevent algae growth in your vessel.
Ensure that the cutting is still getting the recommended amount of light for that variety of plant.
Crushed activated charcoal in the water can be used to filter harmful chemicals and bacteria from the water.
Using an opaque or clear container for your cutting will reduce chances of algae growth and the water will require refreshing less often. Selecting unique and eye-catching vases for propagation can add a level of design that is visually appealing as well.
The vessel for your cutting should not be too large in comparison to the cutting. The plant cutting will release a vital rooting hormone into the water that shouldn’t be diluted.
Hydroculture vs. Potting your cutting
Water propagated plants will continue to live happily and grow in their hydroculture. Some people like the appeal of leaving the cutting in water long term because it prevents the common problem of over or under watering a plant. It also ensures less encounters with pests and bacteria growth.
We love the idea of being able to hand friends and family small vases with cutting to take home with them after a visit.
If you are hoping to pot your plant into soil after roots have formed there are just a few things to note:
Cuttings rooted in water naturally produce aquatic roots which look and preform differently than cuttings that are propagated directly into soil. Aquatic roots have adapted to absorbing oxygen through the water.
It is important to transfer the cutting to soil when the roots are an inch or so in length. Watering the newly potted plant right away will help alleviate the shock of being transferred from water to soil.