Garden-fresh offers are one step away
Sign Up & Get $5 Off

Opt-in to mobile texts to receive money-saving, project-inspiring alerts. Redeemed in stores only.

Just For You

Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Propagating Plants

Martha Stewart
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You can create more plants by propagating the ones you have with two different techniques: root cutting and air layering.

Air Layering

The air-layering technique is great for indoor plants.

Propagating a plant.Air Layering How-To

  1. Remove all leaves along the stem of your house plant, tree, or shrub; use a one- or two-year-old growth.
  2. Remove a V-shaped segment of stem to about the middle of the stem (not too far or the stem will break).
  3. Brush the cut surface with rooting hormone.
  4. Wrap the entire stem in moist sphagnum moss.
  5. Surround and seal the moss with plastic wrap.
  6. Surround plastic wrap with tin foil.
  7. In 2 to 3 months, the stem will be rooted and the plant can be removed and potted.

Root Cutting

The root-cutting technique can be used with a number of outdoor plants, such as oriental poppies, Crambe maritime and Crambe orientalis, Verbascum, Eryngium or sea hollies, Acanthus mollis or bear’s breeches, and horseradish root.

Root Cutting How-To

  1. Remove plant from pot and shake off excess dirt.
  2. Remove the largest of the roots, generally the size of your little finger or smaller for most plants.
  3. Cut these into 2-to-3-inch lengths, making sure that you keep the top end correctly identified.
  4. Push each segment into a pot of potting soil so the tops are level with the soil.
  5. Top off the pot with chicken grit or pea gravel.
  6. Water and place in a cool area protected from extreme temperatures.
  7. Each root will develop into an individual plant and can be transplanted into the garden the following autumn.

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!