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How to Root Plants from Cuttings

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Here’s a simple way to save a favorite geranium or other annual -- or to make new starts to share with friends.

taking a cutting with a knife

Got a favorite variety you’d like to save or share with friends? Here’s how to take cuttings and turn them into new plants. The process can be used with geranium (shown) and other annuals such as coleus, impatiens, and begonia.

cutting live stem off geranium

STEP 1: Remove only healthy, nonflowering stems. With a clean, sharp knife, cut a 3–4-inch shoot below the leaf node (the spot where a leaf emerges from a stem). Remove the bottom leaves and buds of the shoot so the plant devotes its energy to forming roots rather than growing leaves or flowers.

dipping cutting into rooting powder

STEP 2: Sprinkle rooting hormone powder, such as Miracle-Gro Fast Root (#423111), on a saucer. Dip the cutting in the powder, which will encourage root growth once it is planted.

inserting pencil into potting mix

STEP 3: Fill a small pot with soilless potting mix that has been moistened. Use a pencil to poke a planting hole.

planting powdered stem into pot

STEP 4: Carefully insert the cutting about 1 inch into the planting hole; avoid knocking off the rooting powder. Gently press the potting mix against the stem.

bagging cutting

STEP 5: Slip a plastic bag over the cutting and container. Fasten with a twist tie to create a mini greenhouse to boost growth. Set the container in bright, indirect light and water as needed to prevent potting mix from drying out.

checking roots

STEP 6: Check for root development a few weeks after potting the cutting. Remove the bag and gently tip the container on its side, tapping out the soil and root ball. The plant is ready for transplanting when roots have begun to fill out along the inside of the pot.