How to Propagate Philodendron from Cuttings?
Although there are a few ways in which you can propagate a philodendron, cuttings are by far the easiest and the propagation method with the highest success rate.
If you have a philodendron variety that’s special or rare and you’re thinking of propagating it, I’ve drawn up a step-by-step guide that will walk you through all the steps on how to propagate a philodendron from stem cuttings.
Luckily, philodendron propagation is also easy, and the plant lends itself beautifully to being multiplied through stem cuttings.
Propagating Philodendrons in 5 Easy Steps
Before I delve into the nitty-gritty details of propagating philodendrons, I’ll start with the tools you need to get started:
- Sharp knife or scissors
- Disinfectant wipes
- Potting mix
- Several pots for rooting stem cuttings or glass jars
- Rooting powder (optional)
If you have all these ready, you can go ahead and follow the steps below:
– Step 1
Locate healthy stems on your philodendrons that feature a couple of leaves. Make sure the stems are disease-free and free of pests. Besides having a couple of leaves, the stem cuttings should also be 4-6 inches in size.
– Step 2
Identify the leaf nodes or aerial roots on the stem. Take a sharp blade or scissors and use the disinfectant wipes to thoroughly clean the blades. This prevents fungi and bacteria from transferring to the stem cutting.
Once that’s done, cut 1-2 inches below the leaf node/aerial root. I usually make an oblique cut, which is said to increase the chances of roots forming, although I haven’t actually tested whether stem cuttings with an oblique cut root faster as opposed to stem cuttings with a normal cut.
Take several cuttings just in case one or more of your cuttings fail to put out roots.
– Step 3 (optional)
This step is optional. If you have rooting powder at hand, dab the cut end in rooting powder to increase the chances of your stem cuttings rooting. They will root without the powder as well, but maybe they’ll take just a tad longer.
– Step 4
Philodendron stem cuttings can be rooted in water or in potting mix. Both are efficient and easy. The only difference really is that in water you can see the roots forming in real time, while in pots, you’ll just have to wait to see new growths forming on the plant.
Here’s how to root in water:
- Fill glass jars with chlorine-free water and place the cut end of stem cuttings in water so that at least one leaf node is immersed in water
- Remove any leaves that may be touching the water to prevent rotting
- Replace the water often, every 3 days or so to prevent clouding
- Put the jar in a bright spot out of direct sunlight
- Keep in a warm place
- Wait for the roots to form
Rooting philodendron stem cuttings in potting mix is just as easy. Here’s how to do it:
Fill several pots with a fast-draining potting mix (peat-based mixes are best) and place the cut end of the philodendron stem into the pot, so that a leaf node is covered with potting mix.
Keep the potting mix moist by spraying the soil with water each time the surface is about to go dry. Keep out of direct light, but place in a bright spot, so that the cuttings receive plenty of light to grow and develop.
– Step 5
After the stem cuttings have rooted, you can transfer them out of their rooting pots or from the jars with water.
And there you have it, you can propagate philodendrons from stem cuttings very easily, but there are other methods as well such as plant division (best done when repotting the plant), or air layering.
While all methods work, propagation through stem cuttings seems to be the most popular and efficient.
How Long for Cuttings to Root?
It depends. If you’ve chosen healthy stem cuttings and you’ve cut them correctly, it’s only half of the job. You’ll also have to care for the root cuttings correctly.
To ensure rooting success, here are a few things to watch out for:
- Make sure the potting mix stays moist, but not wet or soggy. Soggy potting mix will cause rotting instead of rooting.
- Make sure the stem cuttings get plenty of light, but not direct light, which will scorch the stem cuttings.
- Make sure stem cuttings are kept in a warm location, protected by cold drafts or sources of extreme heat
- Don’t allow the potting mix to dry out completely, keep it evenly moist
- Use rooting hormone on the cut ends of the stem to promote faster rooting.
If you’re doing things correctly, philodendron stem cuttings will usually root in 2-4 weeks. Environmental conditions and the general health status of the stem cuttings will determine how fast or how slow cuttings will root.
When to Transplant Philodendron Cuttings?
Cuttings will usually be ready for transplant in about 4-6 weeks. If you root cuttings in water, you should see roots forming. Wait until they’re a couple of inches long before you transfer them to a pot.
Although you can grow philodendrons in water, they won’t reach their full size if they’re not grown in potting mix. If that’s fine with you, then you should go ahead and keep philodendrons in water.
When rooted in potting mix, you can’t really check the roots of the plant, but you’ll know if they’re rooted because new leaf growths will appear on the stem. When that happens, it’s safe to transplant the stem.
Now that you know how to propagate a philodendron plant from a stem cutting and how to ensure successful rooting, you don’t have to buy another philodendron, unless you’re looking to add variety to your collection. And even then, you can first ask around for cuttings in your social circle.
It’s important to harvest stem cuttings correctly and to keep the potting mix moist. If it goes dry, your cuttings can also go dry and you’ll have to start everything over.
This is why I recommend that you start multiple cuttings, so that if one fails, you’ll still have the others to look out for.