House plants

How to take a cutting from a houseplant using a jar of water

Last updated on March 11th, 2022

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If you want to propagate a houseplant you can take cuttings and root them in water, although this will not work with all houseplants, it will work with a lot of them so it’s well worth trying. Plus it’s super easy and all you really need to get started is a jar of water and a sharp pair of secateurs or scissors.

This is a very effective and common way to propagate plants you already love and for anyone interested in plants it’s a lot of fun too. Once your cutting has established a good root system you can put them in small containers with a general multipurpose or houseplant compost.

Taking cutting From houseplant

Follow the step-by-step process below to grow your own cuttings.

What you need:

  • A suitable houseplant
  • Scissors, pruners or a knife
  • Glass jar
  • Small pots
  • Multipurpose or houseplant compost

Step One

Before you take any cuttings you should start by choosing very healthy shoots from the newest of growth, something that is fresh but not too soft. The length of these shoots should be between 10cm and 20cm.

With a very sharp knife or set of pruning secateurs (that have been properly sterilised) simply make a cut directly below the leaf joint. You want to remove any of the lower leaves, leaving one set at the top so that the stem is clean and can be submerged in water.

Rooting geranium house plant Cutting In Water

Step Two

Once that is done you want to place the base of the cutting inside a jar of water, you can just use a glass if you don’t have a spare empty jar to use. Most people use things like jam jars simply because they have the right size and shape to support the top leaves while keeping the bottom of the stem in water. You should top the glass up to the rim with water and leave it in a bright, warm spot in your home.

Step Three

Because it is in a clear jar, in most cases you will be able to see the white roots coming out of the stem within a few weeks, and this is when things get exciting because you have successfully got your cutting to root. During this process, you want to make sure that the jar remains full (of water) so top it off here and there as necessary.

House plant cutting potted on into small pot of compost after rooting in water

Step Four

After the root system has developed it’s time to put your cuttings into small pots of compost, either a multipurpose or houseplant compost will be perfect. We recommend pinching out the tips to help encourage more branching and you want to keep the compost moist but not too wet.

When all is said and done, you will have effectively propagated from cuttings and have multiple houseplants to enjoy and you can pot them on into larger pots as they grow. 

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