House plants

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

Last updated on January 21st, 2020

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If you want to propagate a houseplant you can take cuttings and root them in water and although this will not work with all houseplants its 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 its lot of fun to. Once the 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

Followed the step by step process below to start your own cutting

What you need

  • Suitable house plant
  • Scissors, pruners or knife
  • Glass jar
  • Small pots
  • Multipurpose or houseplant compost


To take the cutting you should start by choosing very healthy shoots from the newest of growth, something that is fresh but not 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 2

Once that is done you want to place the base of the cutting inside a far of water, you can just use a glass if you don’t have a spare empty jar to use. Most people use things like jamjars 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 3

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 which is when things get exciting and you have successfully got the cutting to root. During this process you want to make sure that the jar remains full so top it off here and there as necessary.

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

After the root system has developed it’s time to put your cuttings into small pots of compost, multipurpose or house plant 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 to wet.

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

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