In this post, I’m going to share the tips and tricks that I’ve learned on How To Propagate Houseplants & Produce. Each spring, I set up a garden on our patio. This is not something that I’ve shared here before, but it’s a big passion of mine! It may be because of quarantine, but I’ve really taken a deep dive into propagation this year and I’ve found the process and information beneficial to creating a regenerative lifestyle.
Regeneration is a focus of mine for 2020. I’m looking for ways to create something new out of something old and continuing the lifestyle by discovering processes and uses. I’m also looking to eliminate a part of the process that is outsourced like shipping, packaging, and the middle-man stores and create plants and produce from scratch, with my own hands.
Los Angeles based “Gangster Gardener,” Ron Finley said it best when he discussed the power of gardening and taking food into our own hands, in his Masterclass. I didn’t think of it before, but there truly is power in gardening. You’ve created a life that sustains you and in return, you must sustain it. This is the future of sustainability.
Once you realize that ONE plant can provide you with food for a LIFETIME, you won’t stop propagating. Now, onto How To Propagate Houseplants & Produce.
Peppermint, like all mint, grows wild and very quickly. I made the mistake of sharing a pot with my peppermint and green onions and I now have to take it out to be placed into its own pot. In as little as one month, my peppermint has grown to be 3 times the size. When clipping your peppermint, you’ll want to remove the mature leaves first.
How to propagate mint: Cut a mature branch from just below a node and cut a few centimetres off of the bottom, on a 45-degree angle. Remove the bottom leaves and leave the top 1/3 of the leaves intact. Place your branches in water and within 24 hours, you will see new roots. Once your roots are 1/2 an inch to 1 inch long, place the branches in a new pot.
Green onion is one of the easiest to re-grow and yet it costs so much at a grocery store. I’ve heard that you should leave a lot of space between your green onions but I’ve discovered that this is not the case, you can grow them in close proximity to each other.
How to propagate green onion: Keep at least 2 inches of your green onion stem base that has the roots. Place it in water and within days you’ll see new growth. They cannot be sustained in water indefinitely so for a better tasting green onion, I suggest potting them.
This yellow onion is what spurred my interest in propagation. I had an onion that was growing green stems only to learn it was growing green onion!
How to propagate onion: Place the entire onion in soil and over time, it will decompose. As you can see, the green stems are growing nice and tall and there happens to be a little new growth to the right. I think this is from the onion decomposing and more green onions will grow, just like they do with the stems on their own above.
I could not believe how simple it was to grow garlic! Be warned though, garlic takes about 6 months to grow to maturity. I was also told that you need a hands distance a part from each other but let’s be real here, lots of us don’t have yards, we have small spaces, and you don’t need to leave that much space.
How to propagate garlic: Take 1 garlic clove and place it in the dirt, a thumbs distance down. Place the flat side down and leave the pointy side pointing up. Within 1-2 weeks, you will see a green root push through the soil.
Basil is the plant that I have the hardest time keeping alive. I purchased a gorgeously full basil plant and within weeks, it rotted and died. I managed to save some of the branches and the results were magical.
How to propagate basil: This is the same process as mint. Using healthy stems, cut a few centimetres off of the bottom, on a 45-degree angle and remove the bottom 2/3 of the leaves and place it in water. Within 3-4 weeks you will see plenty of roots and you can place it in soil.
Pilea is a houseplant that looks like little sand dollars. It’s a beautiful plant when grown to maturity and is also simple to re-grow.
How to propagate pilea: If your stems have fallen off, cut a few centimetres off of the bottom, on a 45-degree angle and then you can place them in water. This is the same process as mint but you don’t need to remove any leaves. Over time, roots will form and you can place it in soil. Additionally, if you take a part your Pilea plant, you’ll notice that it’s grown in multiple groups of roots. You can take apart the groupings and pot them individually.
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN PROPAGATING PLANTS
- Change the water weekly or sooner if the water begins to discolour or clouds.
- Place them by a window to receive plenty of sunlight.
- When potting your new branches in soil, create a moist bed of soil and then water them. These plants have lived in water for weeks and are the most comfortable in a moist environment. As the weeks move on, you will not need to water as much.
- Pot them for future growth – if you do not want to keep repotting your plants, I suggest potting them in a pot they can grow in for years to come as opposed to what they may fit in right now.
- Where I mention to “cut a few centimetres off of the bottom, on a 45-degree angle”, this is for the benefit of the plant. It provides more of a canvas to absorb water.
I hope these tips were helpful! I will continue learning how to propagate and will update this page as more information comes in. I’m going to attempt to propagate my Congo Rojo and will create a post on that.
You can follow my gardening adventures on my Instagram at @RandaSalloum and can see what I’ve been up to under my PLANT and GARDENING highlights. Happy propagating!
PS. If you’re looking for more lifestyle How To’s, you can check out my How To section.