Rooting Powder

Rooting powder will speed up the root development of stem tip cuttings. Many house plants are propagated this way -- and fortunately, it's easy to do.

Photo © Shoeke27

Plants to Root by Stem Cuttings

Many people who grow a passion for house plants eventually want to try propagating new plants. By far, the most common and easiest way to grow a collection of plants is by stem cuttings. Here are a few common house plants that easily take root this way:

  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Coleus
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dracaena
  • English Ivy
  • Fiddle Leaf Fig
  • Geranium (Pelargonium)
  • Grape Ivy
  • Impatiens
  • Peperomia
  • Philodendron
  • Pilea
  • Pothos
  • Rubber Plant

Keep it Clean

Start with clean supplies, such as sterile pots, hand tools and potting medium, to avoid infecting to your new cuttings. After waiting weeks for your "plant babies" to take root, you don't want to be disappointed.

What You'll Need

  1. Small pots with drainage holes, or peat pots. If you have a lot of cuttings, a seedling tray is more practical.
  2. Sterile potting medium, such as seed starting mix, perlite or vermiculite.
  3. Rooting powder.
  4. Pruning shears, razor blade, or sharp scissors.

Bonide Bontone Rooting Powder

Where to Buy Rooting Hormone Powder

Hormone rooting powder is usually available in garden centers.

Bontone rooting powder, shown here, promotes development of roots from cuttings. It is ideal for soft cuttings (plants with soft, fleshy stems), which includes most house plants. 

How to Use Rooting Powder

  1. To take a cutting, use sharp, sterile pruners or a razor blade to cut a 3-4 inch (7.5-10 cm) stem with at least one leaf. Cut just below a leaf node (the place where a leaf is attached to the stem). Nodes contain cells that will grow roots.
  2. Carefully cut off any bottom leaves (don't tear stem), if necessary, to have about 1-1/2 inches of bare stem for inserting into potting medium.
  3. Pour a small amount of the powder in a shallow container or onto a piece of paper. You want to avoid contaminating the bottle of hormone powder by dipping your plant directly into it. Dip the cut end in hormone rooting powder.
  4. Insert the cutting into moist, sterile rooting medium, burying about 1-1/2 inches of the stem. Firm the medium gently around it.
  5. Place the pot in a warm location (about 70°F/21°C) in indirect light. Keep the medium just barely moist.

Time needed varies by plant, but it should take around 4-6 weeks to develop roots.

Photo © Shoeke27