If you have a favorite plant and you are not sure it will be available next year, consider taking a cutting of the plant. Propagation is the process of creating new plants from parts of existing plants. There are several ways to propagate plants but taking cuttings and rooting them in water is one way many gardeners use. Fresh growth will take root easily, so encourage some new stems a few weeks before the expected first frost in your area.
Rooting plants in water is an easy way to keep tropical plants and tender perennials for next year’s garden. Using this method means you will not have to dig up the plant and plant it in a pot. It is especially helpful if you don’t have room indoors for a large container.
The plants we selected do not do well in the cold. They are either not winter-hardy or don’t take to frost if you live in a colder climate.
Here are five dazzling plants that are easy to root, and you can bring indoors and propagate in water:
African Blue Basil - African Blue Basil is an herb that is used in many dishes. It is a perennial evergreen in warm climates and an annual in colder climates. It is known for its edible leaves, and it is also used as an ornamental plant and attracts pollinators. It is a great plant because it has a strong flavor and aroma. It also has a variety of health benefits, including improving digestion and preventing heart disease. Hardiness zones 10 - 11.
Coleus - Coleus plants are great because they can be used to create a colorful and vibrant garden. They are easy to grow and maintain, which makes them a great choice for beginners. There have been many new varieties introduced in the few years that come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. If you have a favorite one, select that one to root. Hardiness zones 10 – 11.
Geraniums – Geraniums are wonderful plants whether grown indoors or outdoors. Geraniums can be found in many different colors and sizes. They are easy to grow and maintain and well they last forever. Since geraniums are flowering plants, it can take a few months to begin producing their own blooms. Hardiness zones 10 – 11.
Impatiens walleriana – Impatiens walleriana are one of the first plants I grew outdoors on my own. They are easy to grow, and I love all the different colors they come in. These plants will look great as they will bloom indoors in the winter. Hardiness zones 10 – 11.
Purple Heart – Purple Heart’s botanical name is Tradescantia pallida. The plant is popular because of its beautiful purple leaves and small, delicate purple-pink flowers. It will look great in the garden or can be grown as a houseplant. Hardiness zones 7 – 11.
Once you have selected which plants you want to bring indoors, here are the steps you can follow:
Step 1: Find a stem to snip. Make sure the cutting comes from a stem that is healthy and strong. Do not cut a stem that is wilting or discolored. Also, make sure it is not flowering. Take a cutting that is 4 to 6 inches. If the cutting is too long, it won’t root well. Cut below the node (the location where leaves join the stem). Take more cuttings than you need because not all of them will succeed.
Step 2: Remove the leaves from your cutting except for a few on the top of the stem and put it in a glass vase or jar. Put the cut side of the stem in the water. Do not let the leaves get submerged in the water because they will rot. Make sure there is enough water in the jar or vase to cover a few inches of the stem. Change the water every 3-5 days.
Step 3: Do not put fertilizer in the water because it will promote the growth of algae. At this stage of the process, you want root growth, not leaf growth. If you want to give the cutting an enhancement you can dip the end in a rooting hormone. This will encourage root growth and increase your chance of success.
Step 4: Place your glass or vase in bright indirect light, but not hot sunlight. If you notice the water is unclear, change it right away.
Step 5: In about four weeks, you can move the plant to a container with fresh potting soil. Make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent root rot. Remember some cuttings grow quickly and others take time. You can also leave the cutting in the water all winter long.
Doing propagation with your favorite plants helps you get your plants off to a quicker start in the spring.