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Start New Plants from Cuttings

Starting new plants from cuttings of existing plants is a great way to pass along family heirlooms and increase your indoor or outdoor plant collection.

If you’ve tried and failed, you may want to enlist the help of a rooting hormone. These products contain naturally occurring plant hormones that promote root development. Select the product labeled for the type of plants you are propagating.

Take a 4 to 6 inch cutting from the plant you want to propagate. Dip the cut end in the rooting hormone and place it in a moist well-drained potting or rooting mix.

In the past, gardeners created a rooting hormone from willows. They soaked several cut branches in an inch of warm water for several days. They would dip the cut ends in this willow tea before planting. Though research shows that the synthetic rooting hormones are more effective, it is fun to take a look at past gardening practices.

A bit more information: The shelf life for rooting hormones is about 3 to 4 years. Keep them in a cool dry location to insure their longevity. For more information on starting plants from cuttings visit the University of Illinois Extension article Vegetative Propagation of Houseplants.

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