A propagated stem cutting from a Pothos plant is growing roots inside a glass of water.

Propagating Plants by Cuttings and Division

Propagation is a simple process that grows new plants from existing plants. By simply cutting a healthy piece of the plant and placing it in water or soil, new roots can grow. Learn how to multiply the greenery in your space and grow a lineage of plants to share with loved ones!

Spring and summertime are the best seasons to propagate plants. However, not all plants can be propagated by the same methods. We’ll walk you through each method and specific plants to propagate below, step-by-step.



  • Clean + sharp shears, scissors, or a knife
  • A clear jar or glass 
  • Plant of your choice
  • Water: Rainwater, filtered, spring or tap water that has been left out overnight
  • Cinnamon (natural anti-fungicide) or a commercial Rooting Hormone (optional, speeds up the rooting process)

Note: Repurposed jars from the pantry and plastic water bottles are great for propagating!



Propagating with water is a popular and incredibly easy method. Healthy stem or leaf cuttings can be used, depending on the plant. Simply cut and place in clean water until roots grow! Be aware that the longer your propagations sit in water, the harder it will be for them to transition to soil when they're potted. See the list of plants and steps for leaf and stem cuttings below. 


Check out all the plants that can propagate in water:



Maranta Plants

Dracaena Marginata 

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Pothos Plants 

Monstera Deliciosa 

Philodendron Brasil

ZZ Plant

Maranta Plants

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Jade Plant

Snake Plants



    1. Cut your healthy leaf/stem(s) 
    2. Allow 2+ hours for the cut to dry and callous over.
    3. Fill a jar with clean, room temperature water. 
    4. Place cutting(s) upright in water, ensuring no leaves are submerged.
    5. Place jar in bright, indirect light.
    6. Refill with clean water every few days. 
    7. When the new roots are over 3” in length, your propagated stems can be potted. 


    Tip: Sprinkling cinnamon on exposed cuts will act as a natural anti-fungicide, preventing infection. 



    A suitable stem/leaf should be well-developed and healthy, at least 4+ inches long with 1+ healthy leaves. Check for any leaf nodes (small bumps where leaves grow from) and make your cut just below one. Be sure at least one node is in the water and remove any leaves that would be submerged. Stems that grow aerial roots, like Monsteras and Philodendrons, are also great selections for cuttings. 



    Many cacti and succulent cuttings can't be directly propagated in water. Their tissues and root systems require that they be propagated in a soil medium. This consists of a loose, airy mixture using about 50% soil, 25% coco coir, and 25% sand. Grow the propagations via soil following the directions below. 


    1. Cut your healthy leaf/stem cutting(s).
    2. Allow 2+ hours for the cut to dry and callous over.
    3. Using a spray bottle, generously mist the soil mixture so it is not over saturated. 
    4. Lay the cutting flat onto the moist soil. The cut should be tucked just under the soil level.
    5. Gently lay clear saran wrap over the cutting for 2-3 days to maintain moisture.
    6. Place in bright, indirect light.
    7. Mist soil to maintain slight moisture every few days.
    8. After 4+ weeks, check for roots and repot if desired.


    Tip: Sprinkling cinnamon on the exposed cut will act as a natural anti-fungicide, preventing infection. 



    Some plants will produce small, new plants, “pups”, on the main stem or nearby in the pot. This is common with Aloe Veras, Ponytail Palms, Bromeliads, and the Golden Barrel Cactus.  Since cutting at the parent plant would cause injury, these can only be propagated by removing and repotting the new pup(s), if desired. Cut pups away with a clean knife or shears and follow the steps above to propagate via soil. 



    Some plants can only be propagated by dividing at the roots. Depending on the root system and development, they can be divided into two or more sections and transplanting into individual pots. The following plants are best propagated by division:


    1. Carefully remove the entire plant from its pot and loosen the soil around the root ball.  
    2. Decide which stems/leaves you’d like to separate for each division.
    3. Using your hands or clean shears/knife, separate sections at the roots. Make sure your tools are sharp and disinfected.
    4. Place each divided plant into its own planter with soil.
    5. Water and let the plant rest! It may experience some shock.

    Note: Divide with care and know that roots are strong enough to withstand handling and even some injury! 



    • Keep propagations above 65° to encourage root development. 
    • It’s normal for plants to experience some shock after being propagated and repotted.
    • After potting propagations, give the young plant 6+ weeks to settle into its new home before fertilizing.  
    • Sometimes, propagating is a process of trial and error, and some cuttings take longer to root than others. For example, Pothos cuttings may show new roots within the first few weeks while ZZ cuttings may take months.
    • If the cutting turns dark or mushy in water, it has rotted and should be discarded. 
    If you have additional questions on propagation, reach out to us at customerservice@grounded-plants.com. We'd love to hear from you!