Propagating; what is it and should you be doing it?

Marimo moss balls and monstera deliciosa (above) can both be propagated in water.

Propagating plants (making more plants from the ones you have) is one of the best and easiest things about living green. Seeing your new plants develop swirling roots as they propagate in their vessels is incredibly satisfying and a beautiful insight to processes that usually take place below the soil.

Any glass vessel is ideal for propagating, though if your plant needs extra support try a purpose-designed propagating vase (try STEM).

A few handy tips on propagating;

  1. Take your cuttings a day or two after watering, so that popping them in water won't come as such a shock to the plant.
  2. Take healthy cuttings from newer growth.
  3. Cut the stem of your plants at an angle, this helps it take in water until it takes root.
  4. Don't allow leaves to sit in water.
  5. Cuttings need partial sun - a windowsill with bright, filtered light is best. Let new roots grow 2-3 inches before transferring your new plant into moist potting soil.

While you should always follow these rules, some species have additional requirements that need to be met to really thrive.

DEVILS IVY (Epipremnum aureum)
One of the easiest plants to grow and one of the easiest to propagate.  When taking your cuttings from a healthy vine, make sure you snip a 3-5 inch length of stem with at least three nodes (small woody protrusions under the leaves). This should leave you with a cutting with about  3-4 leaves. If there are more leaves, carefully prune the ones closest to where the cutting was made - until they take root, cuttings can only support so many leaves.

SWISS CHEESE VINE (Monstera obliqua)
This very popular and highly sought after species isn't as fragile as its delicate leaves suggest. You can easily propagate this beautiful plant by following the same rules listed for Devils Ivy. The only specific ingredient Obliqua's require is a little more light (but still filtered!) which helps their leaves grow with their characteristic holes.

SUCCULENTS

Succulents can be propagated in water by division (cuttings). Before popping your succulents in water, allow them to dry out for a few days, until the cut end becomes calloused. After this they're ready to place in water. Like the established plants they come from, succulent cuttings require a lot of light, so make sure you place your propagating vessel in a bright spot.

MARIMO MOSS BALLS

These fuzzy little balls are not moss at all, but rather Japanese algae. As such, these guys thrive when they're submerged in water and kept in low light. To propagate, squeeze any excess water from your ball and cut it down the middle, if you have a larger Marino, you can cut each of these halves again. Then, shape your Marimo into a ball - to keep it in shape, tie it with cotton thread. After this you can pop them back into water.
 
Let's get propagating; don't forget to tag us on IG @ivymuse_melb