Beginners Guide to Balcony Plant Propagation - Skize

Beginners Guide to Balcony Plant Propagation

19 August, 2020

Nurturing plants and caring for them can be extremely therapeutic. Besides that, just surrounding yourself with greenery is excellent for the body, mind and the soul. Cultivating a garden on your balcony can instantly help you feel closer to nature. They are also a great way to add character to your outdoor space without being heavy on the pocket. With the pandemic lockdown resulting in people staying at home and an increase in stress levels, many have turned to balcony gardening. While it is easy to buy ready plants and nurture them, many nurseries are running low on stock. Besides that, buying so many plants can quickly turn into an expensive affair. For those looking to create a greener space without having to invest a lot of money, plant propagation can be a zero-cost way to do so. So now if you’re wondering what is this all about, read on to find out…

What Is Plant Propagation?

Plant propagation is the method of growing a new plant from an existing one. It is an asexual reproduction where you can duplicate a plant from a cutting of an existing plant. Since the new plant is propagated from an existing plant, with the help of stem or leaf cuttings, a pup or through root divisions, they can grow faster as compared to growing the plant from seeds. It is the perfect method for those looking to create a living balcony that is filled with plants all over.

The other important thing to understand about this method is that it is always experimental. The process requires patience as the cutting requires the right conditions and care to propagate. If not, there is a higher chance of failure.

Propagation Through Stem and Leave Cuttings

Plant propagation through stem and leaves is one of the simplest methods. For this method, you will need to cut off a stem with a few leaves from below the node. Make sure you cut it with a clean shear without damaging the end too much. Next, this cut off stem will need to develop roots. This can be done quickly by leaving the cutting in water till you see the roots form post which you can transfer it to the soil. Some roots can also directly be propagated by planting them in the soil. In these cases, you may need to add some rooting powder to the soil in order to encourage root growth.

Plant Propagation Through Root Division

Certain houseplants like Boston Ferns and Snake plants have multiple stems. For such multi-stemmed plants, the root division method of propagation is perfect. For this kind of reproduction, take the plant from its pot and tug at the stem gently to separate the roots. In case you are unable to untangle the roots, cut through with a sharp knife with one swift movement. Separate and re-pot the plant in evenly moist soil. Keep out of bright light and ensure that the soil remains evenly moist till the new plants develop.

Propagation Through Pups

‘Pups’ are miniature offshoots created by certain plants on themselves. These ‘pups’ are natures own way of helping with propagation. To propagate pups into their own plants, wait till the offshoot is about three inches in size. Using a sharp knife, cut off the offshoot and plant them directly in their own pot. Ensure that these newly planted pups have the right favourable conditions, and they will grow into a new independent plant.

Plants to Propagate as a Beginner

As mentioned earlier, plant propagation is an experiment and requires patience. If you’re a beginner, start by trying to propagate the following five plants before going ahead with more complex varieties:

Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera plant is one of the easiest to propagate and is perfect for any beginner. You can use the stem cutting or pup method to reproduce the Aloe Vera plant. For beginners, we suggest going for the pup or offshoot propagation system. Before you start, make sure that the offset is at least one-fifth of the size of the parent plant. Once it is the right size, remove the dirt and soil from around the base of the pup. Determine the best place to cut to remove the aloe pup and cut with a clean, sharp knife. The root system of the pup should be removed along with it and moved to a pot with a dry cactus potting mix. Wait for a week before watering the Aloe pup. 

Boston Fern

Boston Ferns can be propagated by both cuttings and offshoots. As a beginner, propagation through offshoots or pups is the easiest, as these offshoots come with a fully developed root system of their own. To propagate your own Boston Fern plant, look for miniature ferns hanging from long rhizomes on the Boston Fern plant. These will necessarily have two to four leaves and a root mass. Pull off these pups along with the roots gently and pot it in a container filled with high-quality potting soil. Make sure the crown stays over the ground. Place the offset container in indirect light and mist the plant lightly two to four times a day.