Easy steps to cut and propagate plants



My Nassau Sun LogoGardeners know the value of propagation: you save money and there’s the added benefit of pride and satisfaction from seeing one of your propagated plants grow. There are many types of propagation; my favorite is wood cuttings.

You’ll need a few things to get started: a sharp clipper, good porous soil and rooting hormone (I prefer the powder form). Containers can be anything from plastic 2-liter bottles cut in half, or containers from purchased plants. The container needs only good drainage to work.

Choose your favorite flowering shrub or you might want to start with a few of my favorites, such as hibiscus, hydrangea, camellia, azalea, gardenia, ligustrum, crape myrtle, lantana or plumbago.

Cuttings should be made first thing in the morning when the stems are full of water. Be sure your clippers are sterilized before you begin. Have a bucket filled with clean water to keep the clippings hydrated.

To propagate, have ready rooting hormone and containers filled with good porous soil. Then follow these simple steps:

  • Cut the stem, at an angle, about 4 to 6 inches long.
  • Remove all flowers and excess leaves, but leave at least three leaves at the top; if they are large leaves, cut them in half.
  • Dip the stem into the rooting hormone, tap gently to remove any excess.
  • Place the cutting in the soil, deep enough that it stands upright, press down firmly around the base to hold in place.
  • Mist the soil to keep in moist but not wet. (Finally, a use for the “mist” setting on your hand-held sprayer.)

Place your new plants in an area where they won’t be in full sunlight all day and they are out of the wind.

Your cuttings should be misted daily.

Happy gardening!


Master Gardener volunteers are trained by County Horticultural Extension agents and are required to serve 75 volunteer hours in year one of their accreditation and 50 volunteer hours annually in all subsequent years to maintain their certification.

Nassau County master gardeners serve under the direction of Rebecca L. Jordi, UF/IFAS Nassau County Horticultural Extension Agent. For information on the master gardener program and application requirements, contact Jordi at 548-1116 or rljordi@ufl.edu.



Shirley Fenton

Shirley Fenton is a 13-year resident of Bryceville and an active Master Gardener volunteer with the Nassau County Extension Service