Happy New Year! For my first post of 2021, I wanted to talk about my favourite houseplants to propagate. Once the once the Winter Solstice arrives + the shortest day has passed, I always feel a sense of optimism about the infinitesimally incremental increase in light levels. These Winter days flit between drab greyness (supplemented by grow lights) + a weak low sunlight that currently sets some time around 4pm. January is that time during Winter where I start to have a closer look at my plants + pep them up a bit — a wash here, a chop there…sort of like a New Year tidy up, but for my houseplants.
It probably comes as no surprise that you’ll find a few trailing plants in this post — this style of houseplant is one of my favourites + I’m so looking forward to being able to hang them properly again! Last year, I had to make do with cutting/ looping things around in the tiny space I’m currently in, but hopefully at some point this year I’ll be able to give my plants a bit more room to breathe. Trailing plants are also a great propagation experiment if you are new to houseplants + would like to give it a try!
As much as you might feel bad for taking cuttings of your plants you have so patiently spent time growing, regular pruning can help keep your plants healthy + looking their best. Plus, they are a great way of growing your collection for free or sharing with friends!
Ok, lets get into it, here are the plants I am particularly enjoying propagating at the moment…
1. Scindapsus pictus
I have two Scindapsus pictus plants in my collection — a regular variety but also a newer ‘Silvery Ann’ cultivar which, as you might have guessed by the name, has more prominent silvery splashes across the foliage. These leaves can also be slightly larger in size too.
This Spring I gave both plants a haircut + got busy propagating the leaves into new plants over Summer. Unless they are consistently given optimum conditions, these plants have a tendency to look a little straggly + after a 9 months of growth, it’s about time to get the scissors on my more common Scindapsus + smarten it up. Here are some photos of the propagation of my Silvery Ann cuttings:
2. Monstera adansonii
I had a tumultuous time with my Monstera adansonii in 2020. A few years ago I grew a beautiful plant that I ended up parting with because a customer really wanted it + I did the nice thing + let it go. After a few months, I really missed having one, so brought another small plant home + decided I’d try train it up a coir pole. Turns out I didn’t like how that looked so I got a U-shaped bamboo cane + started to train my plant around that instead. This was working well, but as the colder weather set in around October, the annual yellowing of a few leaves at the base made the display look a little…sparse. So I have started over once more + have separated the vines across a few planters + cut up the others to propagate. They can be slow to get going + it’s a bit of a waiting game, but I love how little pots of adansonii look, so let’s hope for some rooting happening soon.
3. My Epipremnum family… especially golden + marble queen pothos
Ah, the humble pothos plant is such a staple in a houseplant collection — low fuss, adaptable, easy going, jungle-looking… I wouldn’t be without one (or a few)! Epipremnum plants have a classic trailing look that, if given the correct care (there’s a post on that here), can really get out of hand! They make a great candidate for tumbling down bookshelves, trailing around window frames, even trained across ceilings using command hooks if that’s your style. But when they outgrow their space they are also easy to propagate too. One of my oldest pothos plants is my Epipremnum aureum ‘marble queen’ with it’s wonderfully creamy variegation that makes me think of vanilla ice cream. Due to the low ceilings in the cottage I’m currently in, it’s not been living it’s best life for the last 10 months as it’s messily trailed around a drawer unit + has not had room to stretch out at all. I think I will take some cuttings of this plant + get propagating them to make up a little planter that I can put on my desk as I’ve not been able to appreciate the foliage as much as I would like. My golden pothos is hitting the floor in my bedroom so that could also do with a trim to keep it neat.
4. Ceropegia woodii / String of Hearts
My string of hearts has really flourished this year + I don’t mind to take cuttings when things start to look too unkempt as I love how a simple pot of this plant looks against a white wall. As I write this post, my mature Ceropegia plant is currently draping precariously over a set of drawers and I am slightly worried it will get caught in one if I shut it quickly. So time to get the snips out + get rooting some more. I got quite a few questions about how to propagate string of hearts plants, which I have detailed in a SOH care guide, which I’ll link here if you want to read more. As you can see in the photo below, I generally water prop mine, which can take a few weeks, but the cuttings look so lovely trailing out of a vintage bottle, I don’t mind being patient!
5. Tradescantia fluminensis tricolor (of course!)
If you are a regular reader, this one will come as no surprise. For me, it’s the plant that keeps on giving + one that I propagate year-round. I won’t go on about this plant, but will link some tradescantia propagation posts here if you want to have a look at how my collection has been multiplying over the last few years. I’ll do an update come Spring time as instead of propagating back into one pot, last year, I chopped + propped into 5 or 6 small planters which have since blossomed into little pink plants in their own right! Winter can be harsh on these pretty plants, so propagating is my go-to solution to getting through the central heating hell of the colder months.
6. Pilea peperomioides
Lastly, I couldn’t not mention pilea plants because I always have a few of these propagating around the house. The more mature specimens can sometimes start to look a little lanky + bedraggled in winter, so having a few smaller ‘back up’ plants is a sensible move. They also look cute at this size + can be a bit more forgiving to care for than their more mature siblings. I’ve got a couple popping up at the base of my main plant, which are reaching the right size to separate, so I think this will be a task for the weekend — more on this in my pilea propagation post here.
A quick note on variegation:
To conclude this post, I wanted to add a tip about variegation. When you are propagating your variegated plants, be mindful that it’s best practice to choose a healthy part of the plant with good levels of variegation. This will help the new plant that you grow from the cuttings to have adequate patterning or colouration, which is especially important with plants like the pink Tradescantia fluminensis tricolor. That is not to say that you can’t propagate less variegated plants + when I am rooting single leaf cuttings, I will often pop a few leaves of differing levels of variegation in one pot to make an attractive new plant. With my tradescantia, I’ll pop some of the greener stems together to make a less-pink pot, which might not be as eye-catching as it’s colourful counterpart, but is just as nice (+ a little bit more forgiving than strongly variegated foliage too).
If you fancy reading more about propagation, here’s where to go!
I just want to say a big thank you for all your messages, comments, likes + shares in 2020, I am grateful as ever for your support,
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