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The Ultimate 2023 Guide to Using a Propagation Station: Everything You Need to Know, Plus FAQs

Updated: Jun 11

It might sound difficult, but it's actually quite simple and relatively fast to do once you gain experience, a little bit of effort and very little knowledge will get you propagating in no time.

Plant growing in water header
How to propagate in water the ultimate guide, using propagation stations.

Frequently asked questions about using a propagation station and propagating in water.

Ok so, firstly let's answer some of those burning questions whereafter we get started learning the basics of how to propagate plants in water, further below I will go into great detail and provide top tips on how the professionals do it and where you can go wrong, and how to fix it if it does.

What is propagation?

Propagation is the process of increasing the number of plants in a garden or nursery. It can be done through sexual reproduction, which involves the union of a male and female plant to create a new plant, or asexual reproduction, which involves taking a part of one plant and causing it to regenerate itself into a new plant. Propagation typically occurs as a step in the overall cycle of plant growth.

There are many different methods of propagation, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some common methods include:

  • Seeding: This is the most common method of propagation. Seeds are planted in a growing medium and allowed to germinate. Once they have germinated, the seedlings are transplanted into individual pots or into the ground.

  • Cuttings: This method involves taking a cutting from a healthy plant and rooting it in water or a rooting medium. Once the cutting has rooted, it can be transplanted into a pot or into the ground.

  • Layering: This method involves bending a stem down to the ground and covering it with soil. Once the stem has rooted, it can be cut from the parent plant and transplanted into a pot or into the ground.

  • Division: This method involves dividing a mature plant into two or more smaller plants. Each smaller plant can then be transplanted into a pot or into the ground.

  • Grafting: This method involves joining two different plants together. The scion, which is the desired plant, is grafted onto the rootstock, which provides the support.

The best method of propagation for a particular plant will depend on the type of plant, the desired results, and the resources available.

Is it better to propagate in water or soil?

What is a propagation station?

Why are test tubes good for propagating?

What is the correct size test tube for my cutting?

What plants can you propagate in water?

What do I need to start propagating in water?

What type of water should I use to propagate plants in water?

How often should I change the water when propagating plants in water?

How do you take a cutting?

How long does it take for a cutting to root?

What should I do if my plant does not root in water?

Do I need to fertilise the cuttings?

Chemical or Organic Fertiliser when propagating in water?

How much sunlight do plants need when propagating in water?

Gardening tools needed to take cuttings and propagate in water
What you need to get started, propagating in water.

What you need to get started propagating in water:

A few basic tools and some things you probably already have around the house is all that's required to get started, at the very least you only need a pair of scissors and a glass filled with water to get going, however using a propagation station can make this a simple and beautiful experience.

Here are the 9 easy steps on how to propagate in water:

  1. Choose a healthy plant. The plant you choose should be healthy and free of pests or diseases.

  2. Take a cutting. The cutting should be about 4-6 inches long and have at least two nodes. A node is a small bump on the stem where leaves or roots emerge.

  3. Make a clean cut. Use a sharp knife or scissors to make a clean cut just below a node.

  4. Remove any leaves that will be submerged in the water. This will help to prevent the leaves from rotting.

  5. Fill a jar or vase with fresh, clean water.

  6. Place the cutting in the water, making sure that the nodes are submerged.

  7. Place the jar or vase in a warm, bright spot. The ideal temperature for rooting cuttings is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  8. Change the water every week or two. This will help to keep the water clean and prevent the growth of bacteria.

  9. Be patient! It can take several weeks or even months for the cutting to root.

Once the cutting has rooted, you can transplant it into a pot of soil. Be sure to water the new plant regularly.

Plant shop with plant cuttings and propagation stations
Guide of how to take plant cuttings.

Here are some additional tips for taking cuttings from different types of plants:

  • Succulents: Succulents are easy to propagate from cuttings. Simply cut a healthy leaf or stem from the plant and allow it to callous over for a few days. Then, plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil moist. Most succulents will root within a few weeks.

  • Herbs: Herbs are also easy to propagate from cuttings. Simply cut a healthy stem from the plant that is about 6 inches long. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in the rooting hormone. Then, plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil moist. Most herbs will root within a few weeks.

  • Flowering plants: Flowering plants can be propagated from cuttings, but the success rate varies depending on the type of plant. Some flowering plants that are easy to propagate from cuttings include African violets, geraniums, and petunias. To propagate a flowering plant from a cutting, simply follow the same steps as for succulents and herbs.

With a little practice, you can easily propagate a variety of plants from cuttings.

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