How to Propagate plant Cuttings

Lemon balm cutting

What Kind of Plants can be propagate

Ever wonder how you can find ways to propagate your favorite herbs, plant, or even roses? I have tried many and failed, miserably. However, I did find that some plants propagate better than others. I think it comes down to what color is your thumb. Not really. It has to do with how the plants react according to your zone you live in. If you are like me live in the desert you know that water tolerant plants are best at surviving if you forget to water them in a couple of days.

If you live somewhere where you have seasons then you have to propagate plant cuttings according to your zone. My mom lives in southern California and they pretty much does not have a season either. They get warm and cold. Where I live in the desert southwest we get cool then Extreme hot, hell.

This is what to use

This is a list of what I used:

  • Pruner
  • Rooting hormones (optional)
  • Plastic cup
  • Potting soil/gardening soil or dirt with compost
  • 8″ inch Pot (if you are using pots)
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Trowel (optional)

When you’re cutting the scion that you want to propagate makes sure that you cut at a 45° angle from the parent plant. Why cut at a 45° angle? If not you leave the parent plant to vulnerability like plant disease and other insects that wants to crawl into the stem and make a home. The parent plant can get water log by rain or by simply watering it. So be mindful.

The Preparation

Put your gloves and mask on. The rooting hormones is poisonous if breathed or ingested. So use caution. Use the trowel scoop some soil into the pot halfway (1/2.) Take the rooting hormones pour a little into a plastic cup. Just enough to coat a quarter (1/4) of the cutting.

I used a pruner or a sharp utility knife that can make that 45° angle cut then by all means go for it. Once you made that cut is made.

It is best to use the rooting hormones on a day that it isn’t windy. Why? Because where I live it’s almost windy every two or three days. Some days are windy and some days are breezy. It’s not breezy anymore when wind reaches 15mph to 20mph. So yes none breezy days, check.

Go pick a scion that is healthy. Look for new growth or if there’s a node that might start to grow. Green is healthy. If the plant is in a different color, makes sure the color matches the parent plant. If it’s too light it’s too young and if it’s too dark it’s probably on it’s last leg, I mean root.

Picked a Winner

Dip your cutting into the plastic cup you poured rooting hormones in. Tap the cutting into the rooting hormones to coat it.
After you had given your cutting a good coating. Keep the cutting held in the middle of your pot with one hand.

Now you can either use your other gloved hand or trowel and fill the pot with your cutting with the soil. Remembered to not fill up your pot to the top. Leave at lease and inch from the top so when you water your cutting the water stay inside the pot and not spill or overflow.

End Results

These are my outcomes. I’m hoping that my Joe pye weed (thiv) Hmong spelling and, I don’t know the American English name for the red plant we call nkaj liab in Hmong. Will they survive during the winter here in the desert southwest? Only time will tell. But I hope it does because I really want them to grow out here. These are not native to this region but I’m hoping that they live so I can move them inside when it gets too hot.

This one on the bottom here is an ocotillo plant. It’s not a cactus or succulent it’s a desert plant. Who knew! This is my first time propagating ocotillo. As you can see some leaves are turning brown and it’s not the right time to propagate this desert plant. But I’m hoping that it’ll go dormant and come back when it’s hot.

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Ocotillo propagate


Don’t be surprise if your cuttings doesn’t take. Takes practice. You know what they said practice makes perfect. And don’t be surprise if it does take. Mother-nature loves to play tricks on us even though she knows Halloween was over.

Note: Joe-Pye weed I did not use rooting hormones. I use the plant as a herb in my cooking of soup and dishes. I would not use it on anything I use as ingredients. Rooting hormones are great for ornamental plants and bushes.

Give it a try. Have any great tips and tricks on cuttings let me know. If you are have any questions, please feel free to leave it on my comment section and I will get with you.




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