If you like the idea of propagating some of your favorite plants using cuttings, then you’re in for a treat today. In theory, growing new plants from cuttings is pretty easy. Just take a snipping at the leaf node from a mature, healthy soft-stemmed plant and pop it into clean water. But the theory doesn’t always work out as planned. The cuttings topple over, or the leaves sink into the water creating a murky rotting mess. That’s why these easy “cutting propagation discs” are a life saver.
Not only do they help keep the cuttings stable while they make roots…..
…..but they turn any random glass or jar into a stylish propagation station.
I love using my propagation discs in my décor and our newspaper moss bunny helps me keep a watchful eye on their progress.
Plus, it’s fun to watch roots growing and I won’t forget to change the water 😉
RightyO, before I share how to make these quick and easy cutting propagation discs, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need
- Air-dry clay
- Matt or satin clear varnish
- Glass container. I use old miss-matched glasses
- Something round to use as a template
- Craft knife
- Wax paper (baking paper)
- Bottle or rolling pin
- Stamps (optional)
How to make cutting propagation discs
Tear a sheet of wax paper and lay it down on a flat surface. Grab a handful of airdry clay and knead it until it’s pliable.
Place the clay on the wax paper and cover with some more wax paper. Roll it out using an empty bottle or rolling pin until it’s about ½ cm thick (¼”).
Using the diameter of your glass container as a guide find a round object you can use as a cutter. The round object needs to be a tad bigger than the mouth of your glass container.
If you can’t find the right size, free hand cut a circle that’s wider than your container. Put a small drop of water on your finger and neaten up the edges.
Cut a slit that runs from the hole to the edge of the disc. The slit will make it easier to slide the cuttings out without damaging the roots when they’re ready to plant.
Use a pencil to make a small hole in the middle of the clay disc.
Decorate the cutting propagation discs with leaf imprints, patterned stamps, or a handwritten word.
Cover the discs with wax paper and leave them to dry completely in a warm spot.
Once the clay has cured, paint the discs or leave them as is. Finish off by giving the propagation discs two coats of a clear matt, or satin varnish to seal and protect them from water.
How to take cuttings for growing in water
Taking cuttings couldn’t be easier or more budget-friendly. All you need is a pair of clean garden shears or scissors and healthy soft-stemmed plants.
Each plant will differ, but the rule of thumb is to cut at least 12cm (6”) from a healthy plant’s stem and 1 cm (1/2”) below a leaf node. That’s the point where a leaf emerges 😉 For something like peperomia, you can just cut the leaf off close to the mother plant. Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting. Leave 2 or 3 at the tip to help sustain the plant while it grows new roots. Too many leaves will stress the plant out while she’s trying to heal the cut.
Slip the cutting in the slit in the propagation disc making sure the leaves are on top and the rest of the cutting is below the disc.
Fill your glass containers with clean water. I try to use rainwater when it’s available but tap water works too. Just leave the tap water for a day so the chlorine can evaporate. Place the propagation discs with the cutting on top of the filled glasses.
Make sure those nodes where you removed the leaves are submerged in water. That’s where the roots will start forming.
Remember to change the water every 2 -3 days and give the new water a good stir before putting the plant cutting back. Stirring oxygenates the water which your new cutting needs. The cuttings can be planted when you see 4 – 5 roots that are about an inch long.
Just keep in mind, that the longer the roots grow, the tougher it will be for your cutting to make the transition to their new soil home, so you don’t want them super long.
Benefits of water propagation with cutting discs
- It’s easy to monitor water quality and check if there are any problems,
- They keep the leaves out of the water and the cutting stable,
- They’re a stylish and eco-friendly addition to your décor,
- It’s so enjoyable watching the little roots growing,
- And they make great gifts for plant lovers too.
Tips for propagating healthy plants in water
- Change the water every few days or at least once a week
- Don’t submerge the leaves in the water. They’ll rot.
- Put your cuttings in a spot that gets lots of bright, indirect, natural light.
- If you’re propagating succulents in water, let the part that you cut dry out a little first.
- Don’t let the roots get too long. They’re ready to plant when the roots are about an inch long. Here’s a great video that will show you more about transplanting water-rooted cuttings
Have you successfully grown any cuttings in water?
If you like the idea of making your own cutting propagation discs from clay, don’t forget to pin the tutorial for later.
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And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.