How to Propagate Houseplants by Cuttings

Care and How To

Propagation is the creation or growing of new plants. When houseplants get large or more plants are desired, many can be easily propagated using cuttings.

Materials for propagating African violets
African violets are easily propagated by leaf petiole cuttings

Propagation by cuttings involves taking a vegetative piece of the plant (stem, leaf, root) and placing it in environmental conditions that allow new roots or shoots to develop and grow into a new plant.

Large plants that need to be pruned back are good candidates for propagation by cuttings.

|  When to Propagate  |
Pros & Cons  |
How to Propagate by Cuttings  |
Species Best Propagated by Cuttings  |
|  More Information  |

When to Propagate

Early spring is the ideal time to propagate by cuttings.  Although, most houseplants can be successfully propagated any time of the year.  

Pros and Cons of Cuttings

Rooted ficus cutting
A rooted stem cutting of weeping fig (Ficus)


  • all propagules are genetic clones, so you have the exact same plant
  • a relatively small amount of plant material is needed allowing one parent plant to produce many propagules
  • low stress on the parent plant


  • not all houseplants have the growth habit that allows for cuttings to be successfully taken (philodendron or dumb cane vs. ferns and palms)
  • certain disease and virus issues can be passed from the parent plant to propagule
  • special environmental conditions (humid, warm, etc.) and hormones are often needed and can be difficult to produce at home
  • some species take a long time to produce a new plant from cuttings

How To Propagate by Cuttings

Several factors have to be considered to successfully propagate houseplants by cuttings, such as the rooting media, rooting hormones, decreasing water loss, and finding the right environmental conditions (humidity, light, and temperature).

A rooted leaf section of sansevieria
A rooted leaf section of sansevieria

The type of cutting best used depends on the species of plant.  Many houseplants are successfully propagated from stem, stem section, leaf petiole, leaf vein, and/or leaf section cuttings.  

More information about how to propagate houseplants utilizing different types of cuttings can be found in the links below.

Stem Tip Cuttings

Stem Section (Cane) Cuttings

Leaf Petiole Cuttings

Leaf Vein Cuttings

Leaf Section Cuttings

Houseplants Best Propagated by Cuttings

  Stem/Tip Cuttings Cane Cuttings Leaf Petiole Cuttings Leaf Vein Cuttings  Leaf Section Cuttings
Begonia masoniana, B. rex (Iron Cross Begonia, Rex Begonia)       *  
Citrus species (Citrus) *        
Codiaeum variegatum (Croton) *        
Coleus scutellarioides aka Solenostemon, Plectranthus (Coleus) *        
Crassula argentea (Jade Plant) *   *    
Dieffenbachia species (Dumb Cane) * *      
Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant) * *      
Dracaena trifasciata, aka Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law's Tongue)         *
Echeveria (Echeveria) *        
Epipremnum aureum (Devil's Ivy, Pothos) *        
Euphorbia lactea (Candelabra Plant) *        
Euphorbia tirucalli (Pencil Cactus) *        
Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) *        
Hedera helix (English Ivy) *        
Hibiscus species (Hibiscus) *        
Hoya carnosa (Wax Vine) *        
Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) *        
Peperomia species (Peperomia)     *    
Philodendron hederaceum (Heartleaf Philodendron) *        
Pilea peperiomoides (Chinese Money Plant) *        
Saintpaulia species (African Violet)     *    
Schefflera arboricola (Dwarf Schefflera) *        
Schlumbergera species (Holiday Cactus) *        
Sinningia speciosa (Gloxinia)     *    
Streptocarpus hybrida, S. saxorum (Cape Primrose, False African Violet) *   *    
Tradescantia species, Zebrina species (Inch plant, Wandering Dude, Tradescantia) *        
Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Zz Plant) *   *    

A complete list of plants well-suited for propagation by cuttings can be found in this article: Propagating Houseplants

More Information


Last Reviewed: 
December, 2022