A Touch of Magic: All About Propagation

I have to confess something: I am a huge Harry Potter fan. When my husband and I first started dating, I noticed that he had the entire series of books in his closet. Now, not to say anything bad about my sweet hubby but…he’s not really a reader. He’d rather sit down and play his guitar for hours on end or play a video game.

When I asked him about the books, he enthusiastically told me that I absolutely had to read them because they were amazing. I had read the first book – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – in college and liked it well enough, but not enough to pursue reading the other books. However, upon his high praise and recommendation, I dove into the series.

Harry-Potter-Wizarding-World-Weekly.jpg
Image via Warner Brothers

He was right. The books were fantastic. I fell in love with each of the characters in their own right, absolutely dying inside when one of them was killed, cheering on Dumbledore’s army, swooning over the love story interwoven into the action. After reading the second book, I couldn’t stop…until I read the entire series. I was devastated when I finished the last book because there was no more. And so, I decided to start back at the very beginning again.

Further proof of my obsession: I almost named my daughter “Luna” because I love Luna Lovegood so much…

Luna_lovegood.jpg
Seriously my favorite… (Image via Warner Brothers)
spectrespecs.jpg
Can we say #freespirit? (Image via Warner Brothers)

In my opinion, one of the most enticing parts of Harry Potter is the idea of magic. We see the concept all around us – from Disney movies to video games, fantasy computer games to books like the Harry Potter series. How many times I have wished I could say, “Accio water!” from bed, and a glass of water would magically float into my room, or “Silencio!” when my three-year-old has asked me “why” 30000000 times in one hour.

Unfortunately, in the world outside of J.K. Rowling’s imagination is far less magical. If I want a glass of water, I have to march down to the kitchen to get it myself…and I have to answer “why” 30000001 times.

But there is one area of life that I consider to be simply magical, and that is propagation. It is simply amazing to me that one day, I put a seemingly nondescript plant cutting into water and when I check on it later – even sometimes as few as several days later – there are roots emerging from the stem.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6cd0.jpg

I know it’s not magic, but to me the experience is magical.

My dining room gets awesome afternoon sun, and is where I have my little propagation station set up right now. I use a variety of jars and bottles for propagation, pretty much anything that will hold water and properly support the cuttings (i.e. I don’t use a tiny jar for a big cutting).

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6cc0.jpg

My favorite plant by far to propagate is Tradescantia, sometimes known as spiderwort. I have propagated various varitities of this plant, including Tradescantia ‘zebrina’ (Wandering Jew Zebrina), Tradescantia ‘green and white’ (a green and white variegated Wandering Jew), and Bolivian Wandering Jew (Callisia Repens). I have had great luck with getting all three varieties to root in water. Many times, I have taken cuttings off my Wandering Jew Zebrina, have water propagated the cuttings, and have given friends these cuttings once they’ve rooted.

W+Y8wDQ0R0moKzQikXp6EQ_thumb_6cc1.jpg

Once, I tried propagating Tradescantia cuttings in soil only. They did not do well like this, and the stems ended up rotting out.

Another easy plant to propagate is Pothos. I have experimented with propagating several different varieties of Pothos, including Golden Pothos and Marble Pothos. These have done very well for me when I place them in water. In a matter of days, I notice little roots pushing out of the nodes on their stem and in what seems like no time at all, they are ready to place in soil.

Zto85UBzQ9Wz6x+dknG1eg_thumb_6cc6.jpg

Other plants that I have successfully rooted in water include Ficus benjamina, Syngonium, and Philodendron (although I should say that I have tried multiple varieties and only my Philodendron ‘brasil’ has rooted).

I have also tried propagating my Snake Plant. I have tried using both water propagation and putting cuttings in soil, but neither of these produced any results. The cuttings I put in water just turned to mush, and the cuttings I put into soil ended up drying out. I was very disappointed about these unsuccessful propagations, as Snake Plants are one of my absolute favorite plants!

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6cc2.jpg

I tried propagating some English Ivy and some Tradescantia ‘zebrina’ once in some beautiful hanging wall vases I had. While the Tradescantia ‘zebrina’ rooted, the English Ivy did not and eventually died. Knowing what I know now, I believe it was because that wall didn’t get enough sun. (The Tradescantia ‘zebrina’ rooted much more slowly there than they have rooted when I put them in a more sunny location.)

I have read up on succulent propagation, but have only just recently had a bit of luck with it. I threw some succulent leaves into soil and have been trying to leave them alone (i.e. not water them, poke at them – ha!). I have been lucky enough to see some tiny roots emerge from the leaves, so I am hopeful that they will grow into viable plants eventually.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_6cd5.jpg

I should add that I have never worked with rooting hormones. I know that many of the fellow plant growers/collectors I follow on Instagram use that for more successful propagation. I myself have not experimented with it…yet. I’m sure in the future I’ll want to try something new and will give it a go!

Propagation is such an amazing, magical thing to be a part of. It allows me to expand my plant collection for free, but it also allows me to share my plants with friends – which really is one of my favorite parts the whole plant experience!

Propagation.png

Have you ever experienced the magic of propagation? If so, please tell me about your experiences. Also, if you have tips for me as I move forward with propagating, please feel free to share! I’m always eager to learn more!

– the {house}plant momma

 

 

5 Replies to “A Touch of Magic: All About Propagation”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s