How To Pot Propagated Plant Cuttings In Soil

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You’ve had your plant cuttings in your propagation station for a few months, at which point they should be ready to transfer to soil and pot up. In this How To Guide, we’ll walk you through transferring a cutting to soil. 

1. Check your plant cutting is ready

Some plants are slower than others when it comes to growing roots. Some take one month, others can take up to six. Ideally, the roots will be about 10cm long and look thick and strong, indicating that they are ready to be transferred.

2. Choose the right pot for your plant

There are two things that are super important when choosing a pot: it must be the right size, and it must have drainage holes. If it’s not the right size, your plant will quickly become root bound and if there aren’t drainage holes your plant will never dry out, resulting in yellow leaves and eventually dying. 

Most plants don’t like too much room in a pot, this can lead to root rot and other issues. As a rough guide, choose a pot that gives the plant roots a couple of centimeters to grow. 

If you find a pot that is the right size but doesn’t have drainage holes, sometimes referred to as a decorative pot, find someone handy to drill some for you. Alternatively, pot the plant cutting in a plastic pot with good drainage and place it inside the decorative pot, removing it when necessary to let it drain well.

3. Transfer your cutting to soil 

Now that you’re aware of the importance of drainage, start by choosing a well-draining soil for your pot. There is debate on whether or not to put rocks in the bottom to help with drainage, but the decision really comes down to personal preference. 

Half-fill your pot with soil then place the roots of your propagated plant cutting gently on top, separating the roots and moving the cutting so it sits the way you want. Then top up the pot with soil, covering all roots. The soil should be packed firm, but not too tight so the water can pass easily through the soil.

Roots develop differently when propagated in water compared to soil. They can be slightly more brittle and weak, so taking care in this transition stage is important.

4. Grow your plant cutting

Your propagated plant cuttings are used to being wet. VERY wet. They’ve been in water. Since birth. Make sure you keep the soil nice and moist, much more than your other existing plants. Ensure that your plant is receiving the right amount of natural light so that photosynthesis can occur. 

PRO TIP: If you’re adding a propagated plant cutting to an existing plant in the same soil, wrap the roots of your cutting in damp Sphagnum Moss to keep the roots moist. 

Over the next few months, the roots that developed in water will be replaced with stronger, soil roots. As these new roots grow and your plant cutting becomes used to the soil, you can start to back off a little on the water. Your plant’s roots will continue to grow and at some point your plant will become root bound, at which time you’ll need to transfer your plant to a larger pot.