How To Propagate Plants in Water

Let’s talk about how to propagate plant in water. You might ask: What is Plant Propagation?

It’s a method of creating new plants from existing ones, multiplying your current number of plants, and increasing your collection. All without spending any money to buy new ones!n Water propagating is the secret!

There are two categories of plant propagation: sexual and asexual.

  • Sexual involves the use of floral parts from two parents to create a new plant. One example is growing plants from seeds.
  • Asexual is using the vegetative parts from one parent to make new plants. Common methods of asexual propagation include cuttings, division, and layering.

We will usually use the asexual category of plant propagation to propagate our houseplants. This is where we will take cuttings from the parent plant and root them to make the new baby plants.

You can use water or dirt as your method for propagating the plants. We’ll cover how to use the water propagation method below.

We like to use water propagation because it’s fun to be able to see the roots grow.

Water Propagation

Rubber fig propagation in water. Ficus elastica-
Water Propagation

The water propagation method is simply to take a stem cutting from the parent plant and place it into water until it grows roots. Once the roots are about 2 inches long, the starts are ready to be planted in potting soil.

You can use any container to hold your cuttings. We use jars, glasses, vases, and propagation stations.

Instructions for Water Propagation

We will cover both foliage plants and cacti/succulent plants.

We’ll outline the steps you will take for your water propagation, from start to finish.

When we get done, you will know how to grow new plants from the ones you already own. Soon, you’ll have new baby plants to keep or give away to friends and family.

Relax! It’s easy and fun!

Step 1: What You’ll Need Before You Start

  • Sharp scissors or sharp knife, sterilized
  • Jars or whatever filled with water to hold the cuttings
  • A pot for planting the new baby plant after its roots develop and it’s ready
  • All-purpose potting soil to fill the pot

Step 2: Choosing The Plant to Propagate

Many houseplants make good candidates for propagation either in water or in soil. We like to use water propagation because it’s fun to be able to see the roots grow.

Take more than one cutting when you do it. Sometimes cuttings can fail to root and if you have more you’ll have better chances at having success.

Here are a few of our favorite plants to propagate:

There are many houseplants that can be multiplied by propagating them in water. We’ve listed plants in both the foliage and succulent categories for you to consider.

Foliage Plants

Foliage plants can be propagated by using stem cuttings.

three plant starts in water propagation
Roots Are Growing

Here are some that I started four weeks ago. You can see the little roots growing.

Cut your desired stem right below the node on the stem that is opposite the leaf. Place the cutting in water, and in a few weeks, you’ll have roots and babies that are ready to plant in soil. Once the roots are about 2 inches long, the baby plant is ready to be transplanted into a pot with potting soil.

Change out the water when it gets cloudy or about every week. And don’t let the water dry out on the baby roots.

  • Spider Plants are so easy. The spiderettes have already formed their own roots. Just place in water or soil.
  • Pothos can be grown by placing stem cuttings in water. Be sure to cut the stem right below the node, where the root will grow. This is also called the aerial root node.
pothos aerial root node
Aerial Root Node
  • Philodendron uses the same method as pothos above.
  • Peperomia can be propagated by taking a leaf with some stem and placing it in water.

peperomia leaves in water to grow roots
Peperomia Cuttings


Some succulents do well with water propagation too.

The key to propagating succulents is to let the cuttings dry for a couple of days before putting them into the water. This allows the cut to callous over and helps prevent it from rotting.

Here are a few of the easiest succulents to propagate:

  • Sansevieria or Snake Plant propagates with leaf cuttings or even the whole leaf.

cutting sansevieria leaf
Sansevieria Leaf Cutting
  • Hoya is easily propagated by taking a stem cutting and placing it in water.
  • Aloe Vera is propagated by taking a full stem and rooting it in water.
  • String of Beads, String of Hearts, String of Pearls are all easy to propagate in water.
  • Christmas Cactus joints are ready-made to put in water for roots to grow.

Propagation Stations

You can certainly use jars, bottles, or glasses for your water propagation projects.

But, I have just found the world of water propagation stations. There are so many to choose from, and they add nice decor to your surroundings.

I’ve got the link to the Amazon page of propagation stations here. You will love all of them!

The bonus of using one is that you can see the new baby roots growing.

Here is the one I am currently using. I plan on ordering some different ones soon, they’re so pretty.

Wrap-up Water Propagation

There you have it, propagating plants. How exciting!

You’ve learned how to propagate your foliage and succulent plants.

Plant propagation is so easy!

You learned how to take cuttings from the parent and root them to make the new baby plants.

In the end, you got new several new plants to place wherever you want them!

You can have them in your house or even give them to friends. You can use the water propagation method over and over again to get new plants and to keep your existing ones healthy.

Have you used water propagation for new plants? How easy was it for you?

Houseplants That Love Bathrooms

Here is a list of houseplants that love bathrooms. Many of these are easily propagated in water.

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