Growing Plants from Cuttings Is the Easy Way to Start Your Own Garden

Growing a garden is a fantastic way to add some fresh touches to your life every day, either through a quick dash of herbs to a meal or fresh flowers on the table. Starting an herb garden, though, can be expensive if you go out and buy all new plants. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive, or even difficult, to start your own  garden by growing plants from cuttings.

It’s possible to propagate, or grow, many herbs and plants from cuttings. This process basically clones the parent plant, which sounds like something out of science fiction, but all it means is that part of the plant regrows itself. Plant cuttings that can regrow are fairly common in nature and these are 11 of the easiest plants and herbs of all to regrow.

1. Mint

Mint is another herb that will grow almost anywhere its planted. With its soft stem, you can easily regrow a mint cutting in water.

2. Sage

The best way to regrow sage is to take cuttings from a garden in the fall and pot it over winter, then replant it in spring. You can also try to grow roots in water, since it is a soft stemmed plant.

3. Rosemary

Rosemary will take over your herb garden if given the chance, so it’s a great herb to start with if you want to try and propagate a plant. You can use new growth in the spring or basal cuttings in the late fall. The greener the stem is, the easier it will be to regrow new shoots.

4. Thyme

Regrowing thyme is exactly like regrowing rosemary. The two are even close enough that you can regrow them using the same jar of water (just make sure there’s plenty of room in the jar).

5. Basil

Basil is hearty and easy to regrow in water. It’s best not to use basil that has flowered, and you’ll want to take off most of the lower leaves with only the top clusters remaining.

6. Oregano

Another herb you can regrow in water, make sure you remove any flowers as well as all of the leaves except the ones right on top.

7. Lavender

Cut three inches off the tip of the lavender plant. If you take the stem cuttings in the spring, you’ll want to give them at least four to six weeks to grow new roots before you plant them in a garden bed. You can also take cuttings in the fall to replant in the spring.

8. Horseradish

You can regrow horseradish directly by simply dividing the root into three pieces and replanting the root cutting about a foot apart in your garden. Or you can plant it inside in a moist, silty soil.

9. Geraniums

Geraniums are one flower that can be regrown in water. In fact, it’s a flower you might want to start with if you’re unsure about propagating plants. Make the cuttings about six inches long and make sure all the leaves are above the water line. It takes up to a month for geraniums to complete new root growth in water.

10. Fuchsia

Take the cutting in spring and regrow it in a moist compost and sand mix, keeping the leaves covered. You can replant it that same summer and get flowers that season.

11. Hydrangea

Take about four inches off the tip of the plant. Leave two or three pairs of leaves, plant in a moist rooting soil, and cover with plastic. You can cut the leaves in half to help stop moisture loss.

Regardless of what plant or herb you want to re-grow, there are a few things you need to do to manage plant propagation successfully and get healthy plants and herbs with little cost.

The Steps of Propagating Plants Correctly

Step 1

Choose a healthy part of the plant and make sure you get enough of the plant. The amount will depend on the particular herb or plant, but the general rule is to make sure you have enough for about half the plant to go in the propagation medium and half to stick up above it.

Step 2

Carefully take off the leaves on the lower half of the cutting. You can use scissors or a sharp knife, but if it’s an herb like rosemary or sage, it’s just as easy to pinch the leaves off with your fingers. If it’s a large leafed plant like a hydrangea, cut the leaves in half to reduce moisture loss.

Step 3

Cut the stem right below a leaf node (the area where you pinched or cut the leaves off). If the plant is one that’s difficult to root, you might “wound” the stem, which just means cutting lightly on either side of the stem base. You can also dip the stem into rooting hormone to help the process along.

Step 4

Place the cut end in the correct rooting medium. For softwood cuttings with young stems like most herbs, a jar of water may be all you need. For semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings, with tougher, woody stems, you’ll need a potting mix of sand or soil.

You don’t need to add any kind of nutrient or fertilizer, since the plant doesn’t have roots yet with which to take them in, but you do need to make sure each cutting can get enough air and light, so don’t crowd them. If you’re working with soil or sand, make sure it’s not too dense and drains water well.

Step 5

While you don’t want to over water your cutting, placing a clear plastic bag over it can help keep moisture in. Plants lose moisture through their leaves, but since they don’t have roots to pull in more water, you need to help the plant retain the moisture so it grow roots. Make sure the cover is clear so the plant can get light, but keep the plant cuttings out of direct sunlight.

The plant or herb has taken root when you start to see new growth (new leaves and, of course, a new root system). Replant it gently and enjoy your new plants!

Watch: Food Scraps You Can Regrow in Water