My most precious plant propagations

I enjoy propagating plants because there are only a few things cooler than watching roots grow or see severed parts of plants suddenly take a life of their own.

Also, it helps me relax – call it insurance, if you will, especially for some beloved or hard-to-find plants, at least where we live.

It is just so uplifting, growing plants in general, isn’t it? Good for the soul. It never hurts that the greenery spreads without me having to spend anything, too!

Is propagating easy? Yes, but not always. Sometimes there are misunderstandings, if not a total drama show. Below are some of my favorite propagations and the stories behind them.

1. Ficus altissima

We grew this last summer – 1 out of 18 cuttings! It was incredibly rough. Maybe it was the weather, some accidental fertilizing, or plain bad juju because Markus and I just took cuttings without permission from this large tree in front of a closed bank here.

I was so nervous when I transplanted the only successful propagation from water to soil. Fortunately, there was no issue and here it is, happy and growing behind the tiny house. I still need to find its permanent home in the garden or elsewhere, but so far, I am enjoying the new leaves and their cool pattern. Really pretty!

2. Cane begonia

My uncle gave me a few stem cuttings of this begonia last January with a note that says they are incredibly easy to root. I normally propagate in water but he says it will be fine even if I just stick it in soil. I do as I am told.

Before that, I had to remove some lower leaves from the cuttings and thought of propagating this begonia by leaf, too. I have never done this before but thought, “Why not?”.

One out of five leaf propagations survived and four rotted. Just look at this tiny plant coming out of the leaf. Isn’t it the cutest thing in the world? How hardcore is nature to be able to do this? Magic, I tell you.

Also, did you know that you can eat the flower of this begonia? I do not know the exact ID but my uncle also uses the leaves as a souring agent in cooked food. I eat the flowers and they taste like the fruit of camachile.

3. Strobilanthes dyeriana

Look how gorgeous this persian shield is. It is purple, fuzzy, and regale. My photos do not give it justice as I took them on a gray day. These propagations are precious because they show the importance of trying again – with that I mean I killed my first three tries.

Two rotted in water and the only one that rooted I transplanted too soon in soil and it died. The root system was not established enough. I tried again and learned from my previous experiment and now here we are. Success!

4. Aglaonema

Does anyone know this variety? Because I do not. I have plenty of aglaonema but this one is a diva. Nothing seemed to please it. So I chopped it all off. The main plant had only two leaves left and I propagated the top larger part in water. It looks a lot happier now. Even better, now I have two plants!

5. Chlorophytum comosum

Relax, it is just a spider plant. We have tons of these, but I particularly like this one because it is Markus’ plant. We propagated this in the heat of the first quarantine period and named it Q. No, we do not name all of our plants. Some just naturally take. Q lives on a used chickpea can and there are no urgent plans of repotting him.

6. Philodendron erubescens

Masha is another early quarantine project, if not my first ever propagation attempt. I took several cuttings from Father’s plant and stuck some in water and some in soil. Masha is the one in soil and it is glorious.

It has grown so much and it is also very forgiving. Sometimes, it dries up and all the leaves curl and wilt but it bounces immediately after watering. Sorry, Masha!

Compared to our other philodendron erubescens plants, Masha is small because of the way I grow it. I think it is okay. We do not have a shortage of monsters!

Have you ever propagated your plants? If you have houseplants, maybe you can experiment with some cuttings and see what happens. Watching roots and leaves grow is endless entertainment!

48 thoughts on “My most precious plant propagations

      1. Yes. We have. My mother loves plants. Haha.. I do too but not the dirty work type of thing.😁 Getting-your-hands-dirty… something like that..😁 I mean I care plants. I love to see them in my table or inside our house. Watering them.. Just that. My mother does the planting or marcotting. She has a green thumb. You believe on that too?

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        1. Yes, gardening is a different part. Markus was not into it at first, too, but eventually got to it and continues to enjoy it. Gardening gloves are your best friend if you do not want to get your hands dirty but want to work with plants. I suppose the difference is working with plants and enjoying being around plants. Both is fine, of course. I do not believe in green thumb but believe in research, time, and paying attention.

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  1. I loved reading about you propagating plants! I recently started doing it with my spider plant born from my dad’s plant “baby”, which is already giving out babies of its own. I have to say they are the easiest so far! My proudest achievement is regrowing a “muscari” plant: my mum gave it to me in a cute little pot and I litterally drowned it – it was dead in a week πŸ˜… so, I tried putting it in the garden to see if it would grow again but nothing happened. A few months later I took it out of the garden, washed the bulbs and potted them again, waiting to be disappointed again… but it grew so much and now its leaves are so long! How amazing nature is, right?

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  2. I’ve propagated some house plants, a pothos and a Christmas cactus. It’s fun to try and like you said if you fail, so what? Try again. I’m not familiar with Persian shield but love the look of it and the look of the cat looking at it. Great photo

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  3. Fun post, Micah!

    I’ve never heard of, nor seen, a Persian shield plant. It’s beautiful! I like that your cat posed for one of those photos πŸ™‚

    I’ve propagated several spider plants over the years, and given cuttings to friends to propagate.

    Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) is another easy-to-propagate plant, in my experience. Break off a branch, stick it in water, wait – and wait some more – for tiny roots to appear, and once they’re about an inch long, stick the plant in soil and keep it moist until it takes hold. The new plants flower their first year, and the flowers are gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you. Wow, that sounds cool. I have not seen a Christmas cactus but will be on the lookout. Thanks for the tip! My sister and I propagated her cactus accidentally after we broke a piece of it. Not sure the variety but we just stuck it in a pot and now it has grown. It is no less than a miracle when these cuttings grow! Do your dogs chomp on plants?

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      1. Nope… stayed pretty much the same size. Sends out shoots that start new plants. Every few years, weather kills most of them but the original and a few “kids” always survive.

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                    1. That is good. I hope you continue to feel nice. I am also recovering since the weekend. I have been swamped with things to do but it is nice to relax more.

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  4. Wow these plants are beautiful. What is that plant with the huge leaves in your main photo?
    I haven’t tried propagating plants ever. But having seen so many posts and videos on it – I’m tempted to try it – though it does seem like you need to be very patient with the whole process.

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    1. That is a piece of philodendron erubescens. Like Masha, only monstrous. It snapped from the main vine and so we propagated that, too. They are super easy to root. I think most philodendrons are. And yes, I suppose patience is required, but it does not take long. Some cuttings root immediately while others take several weeks. I suggest start with pothos – this is always encouraging! Looking forward to hearing about your propagation experiments. It is fun!

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  5. Markus + Micah, I enjoyed reading this amazing and interesting article. I really enjoyed the photos. Yes, you can be very proud of your wonderful success.
    I also like to grow new plants from the plant residues that are left over from cooking. This way I can save the environment and my wallet.
    For example, I can grow a whole tuber from a single toe of garlic. Or I can use the root ends of the celeriac, which are usually left over after cooking, to grow a new plant.
    Makus + Micah, I wish you all the best….
    Rosie from Germany 🌹

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    1. That is cool, Rosie. And very smart, too. I am sure it is especially fun this spring time. I have only grown herbs and not veg from scraps. Mainly we plant these as seeds. Last week, we made pasta with homegrown mushrooms, chili, bell peppers, and herbs. It felt so nice! We are still waiting for our tomatoes and hope for good ones in the next months. Many thanks for dropping by again!

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      1. We are also waiting for spring! Then we can plant and sow vegetables in our garden. I am looking forward to it. Now we have to buy our vegetables on the market. Today we’re cooking an italian vegetable pan with tomatoes, bell peppers, zuccini, snow peas, and herbs.
        Markus + Micah, I wish you all the best!
        Rosie

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    1. It is so much fun! Is your begonia out again this spring? Now I have two. After we spoke about them, I thought I could give it a shot and just try to find a place it likes, just as you said. So far, things are going well. Thanks again, Anne!

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