Propagate plant cuttings in potatoes! Growing cuttings of your favorite plant can be frustrating. Even trees that are well known for growing easily from cuttings sometimes aren’t that easy to propagate – and sometimes, you end up with dead sticks poking up out of a pot and a few brown leaves fluttering like flags of disappointment.
However, with a bit of honey, cinnamon, and a potato, you can increase your chances of propagation success, no matter what plant you want to grow!
Here’s a guide to a unique, organic, natural, and simple method of cultivating those cuttings. You’ll have all the roses, lemons, figs, apples, walnuts, camellias, or even giant redwoods you want!
This method is based on scientific principles but dates back hundreds of years. It only uses things you probably already have around the house. Plus, it isn’t a lot of work! As a gardener, that is music to your ears.
- How To Propagate Plants in Potatoes: Step-by-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How To Propagate Plants in Potatoes: Step-by-Step
To get straight to the point, you’ll need a few ‘magic’ ingredients for this trick. They might sound odd, but they will be explained. So, before you head into your garden, pop into your kitchen.
You need cinnamon powder and a small potato. You’ll also need honey, and not just for the cup of tea when you’re done!
Cuttings usually grow best in spring and summer. The warmth of these seasons gives them time to develop a healthy root system before winter comes.
However, depending on your location’s climate (or if you have a greenhouse) or indoor area to root your cuttings, you might be able to propagate at any time of the year.
1. Take a Cutting From a Healthy Plant
When propagating cuttings in potatoes, you want to cut between 4 and 9 inches of a new, vibrant stem. There should be only a few sets of leaves on your cutting.
Make sure your cutting has at least three nodes. I like to aim for four or five minimum, but it depends on the type of plant you are taking a cutting from.
Hibiscus nodes, for example, are very close together, so it’s easy to aim for a minimum of five.
2. Slice the End of the Stem Diagonally
After harvesting your cutting, slice the end of the stem diagonally at a 45-degree angle, then dip it in your honey.
Honey is more than a sugar source. It has tons of benefits that can help your cuttings root. For example, its thick consistency makes it anti-bacterial and antifungal, but it also moisturizes and locks in the water content of your cutting. So, it can keep things perfectly damp while also staving off decay.
However, not all honey is equal. I always recommend using a raw honey like Honest Raw Honey. Raw honey is a bit thicker and more moisturizing than processed, filtered honey, which ensures that it doesn’t wash off as easily.
Pro-tip for propagating in water: The main reason plant cuttings wilt, including fresh flowers, is bacterial growth. Bacteria will clog up the ‘drinking straws’ of the plant, suffocating it. That is why regularly changing fresh-cut flowers’ water helps preserve them for longer. Most flower-food recipes include vinegar, lemon juice, or a few drops of bleach for this reason.
3. Dip the Cutting in the Cinnamon Powder
After dipping the stem in honey, dip it in the cinnamon powder. I recommend choosing organic cinnamon powder, especially if you plan to eat your plant.
Don’t lick the cinnamon honey off, however tempting!
Cinnamon bark powder, the same stuff you use in baking recipes, contains natural rooting hormones. These will stimulate the root growth of any plant.
4. Stick Your Plant Cuttings in the Potatoes
To propagate your plant cuttings in potatoes, you’ll want to remove any of the ‘eyes’ of the potato, then cut or drill a small hole in the center.
The hole should be the same size as the diameter of your cut stem so it fits in snugly.
The potato will provide water and nutrients to the cutting. Because you have removed the eyes, the potato will degrade into the soil instead of growing itself. You can use half a potato if it is too big.
5. Bury the Potato With the Plant Cuttings Sticking Out
Bury the potato in a pot full of potting mix or healthy soil from your garden. You want to ensure it is covered completely and that there is enough space for the young plant to grow.
This technique can even be effective when planted directly in a garden bed!
That’s it! Simple!
6. Leave Your Plant Cuttings to Grow
Now, leave your cutting in a well-lit spot, safe from harsh weather, and wait. Keep the soil moist, like with any potted plant. The potato will help forgive any gaps between watering.
This method works wonders. It provides your cuttings with an anti-bacterial water supply and nutrients while they are still developing their root structure. By the time winter arrives, you should have thriving plants. They will be healthier than any other method of propagating cuttings!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do you still have questions about how propagating plant cuttings in potatoes works? Well, here are the answers to some of the most common questions I’ve heard about it:
Cinnamon is good for cuttings as it is antimicrobial, preventing infection from entering your plant’s raw node or stem. Using cinnamon in your propagation practices will greatly increase the chances that your plant will grow roots without developing a bacterial or fungal disease.
You can propagate almost any plants in potatoes, whether you want to propagate trees, shrubs, flowers, veggies plants, herbs, or succulents. Potatoes protect the raw edge of cuttings from fungi, bacteria, and dehydration, allowing the cutting to focus on developing healthy roots.
Propagating plant cuttings with potatoes is a fantastic way to use everyday kitchen supplies to increase your chances of propagation success!
Have you ever tried this method? Or do you plan to give it a shot? Let us know about your potato-propagated plants in the comments below!