19 Best Plants to Grow From Cuttings

Close up of rosemary leaves
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Growing plants from cuttings is an excellent way to fill your garden with lush flowers, herbs and plants for free! Start with cuttings from your own plants, or ask friends for cuttings from theirs.

Choosing a Plant for Cuttings

The plant that gives you the cuttings is called the mother plant. Look for a healthy house or garden plant. Plants with non-woody stems are easiest to propagate. The mother plant should be large enough that removing one or more cutting will not harm or kill it.

Selecting and Snipping Stems to Plant

You'll want to select green, non-woody stems for taking tip cuttings. Newer growth is easier to root than woody stems. You want to locate a stem that has a node, the spot on the stem where a leaf is or was attached. It looks like a joint on the stem and it is where the area that will generate new roots. Use a scissor or razor blade that has been sterilized in alcohol to make a clean cut, just below a node. The cutting doesn’t need to be long. A single node with a couple of leaves will be fine. 

Preparing Your Cutting

After cutting off an appropriate piece of the stem, place the cutting on a flat, hard surface and make a clean slice through the middle of the node with a sterilized razor blade. Plant stems send our their new roots from the stem nodes. Making the cutting at the node increase your chance of successfully rooting the cutting.

Remove all but one or two leaves.

The cutting needs some leaf growth to continue photosynthesis, since it can’t take in any food from roots it doesn’t yet have. But too many leaves will just sap energy from its efforts to create new roots. If the leaves are very large in proportion to the stem, cut the leaves in half.

Planting Your Cutting

Fill a clean plant pot or container with soilless potting mix to hold the house or garden plant stem cuttings for rooting.

A soilless mix drains better than garden soil and achieves a moist, but not wet quality. Additionally, garden soil contains spores and other pathogens that could kill the cutting before it ever takes root. You don't need a large container or a lot of potting mix. Once the cuttings take root, you are going to re-pot them anyway.

Pre-making holes in the rooting medium will ensure that the rooting hormone remains on the plant stem cutting, not on the soil surface. This will improve the chances that the cuttings will root. (Be prepared for a few to die off before rooting.) With a pencil or similar pointed object, poke holes into the potting mix. Pre-poking the planting holes will ensure that the rooting hormone remains on the cuttings and doesn’t rub off on the potting mix.

Carefully place the cuttings into the holes you made in your potting mix and gently firm the soil around them. You can fit several cuttings into one container, but space them so that the leaves do not touch one another.

Which Plants Are Best to Root From a Cutting?

Now that you know how to grow a plant from a cutting, you may be wondering which types of plants work best. Here are 19 of the easiest plants to root from a cutting:

  1. Angel's Trumpet
  2. Aster
  3. Azalea
  4. Boxwood
  5. Butterfly Bush
  6. Camellia
  7. Chrysanthemum
  8. Dianthus
  9. Gardenia
  10. Geranium
  11. Honeysuckle
  12. Hydrangea
  13. Jade Plant
  14. Lavender
  15. Penstemon
  16. Rose
  17. Rosemary
  18. Salvia
  19. Veronica