Stem Cutting

By Nikita Jacob

Materials you need:

  • Container to hold potting medium
  • Plastic bag
  • Stakes
  • Rooting powder (optional)
  • Plant cutting

How to do Stem Cutting: Step 1

Preparing the container for the cutting

Disinfect the container with a 10-1 portion of household bleach and water.

Make sure the container has a drainage hole.

Moisten the potting mixture with water.

Fill container 3/4 full with potting mixture.

How to do Stem Cutting: Step 2

Making the cutting

Select a healthy stem, generally from the top of the plant. Count down at least 4 sets of leaves from the top of the stem.

Make the cutting slightly below the 4th leaf.

Remove the last 2 sets of bottom leaves. There will be a bump where the leaves have been removed. These are the nodes where the roots will form.

How to do Stem Cutting: Step 3

Placing the cutting into the soil

Fill the container with potting mixture, allowing about 1/4 inch from the the top of the container to make watering easier later.

Make a hole in the center of the the potting mixture with a pencil or nail.

Insert the cutting into the hole.

Gently push the soil around the stem to give it stability and to prevent air pockets in the soil.

Cover the cutting with a plastic bag.

Insert a stake such as a plastic knife to hold the plastic away from the cutting.

Secure the bag with a twist tie

How to do Stem Cutting: Step 4

Care after planting

Place in an area with bright light or under a fluorescent light. The light should be 6-8 inches above the plant. A warm temperature is important for growth but too much direct sunlight will increase the temperature too much for the plant in the plastic bag.

If large moisture droplets appear on the inside of the bag, loosen remove the twist tie and allow the plastic to dry and tie again. Too much moisture will cause the plant to rot.

Remove the plant from the bag in 2-3 weeks. You can check if it has rooted by gently pulling on the stem. If it doesn't move, the plant has successfully rooted.

How to do Stem Cutting: Step 5

After removing from the bag

Place in a bright light, water to keep it evenly moist. Keep in the house until it's time to harden off.

Place outside in a larger container or directly into the soil.