Growing free plants through water propagation

Who doesn’t love free plants? The act of propagation can be described as making another plant out of the plants you already own. We’re going to be specifically talking about water propagation which is by far the most enjoyable way to propagate because you can see the progress right before your eyes. This particular type of propagation can be done with almost any plant that grows with nodes. Monty the Monstera, Bonnie the spider plant and Marble the pothos are just a few examples. 


The best time to water propagate your houseplants is between the months of March-September when the weather is warmer and the plants are actively growing. Propagating in the winter is not impossible provided you have a very warm room to place your cuttings in. Although if you’re a beginner please try propagating in the spring and summer months first as this will increase your chances of success. This particular type of propagation can be done with almost any plant that grows with nodes. You might be wondering what a node is so let’s get started with step 1. 

Step 1:

The first thing you’ll need to do is take a few cuttings from your pothos. Make sure your shears have been properly sanitised before you start. Grab our garden scissors if you don’t have your own yet. The number of cuttings you take is completely up to you. Most people take at least 3 or 4 to make a brand new plant. 

To take a proper cutting you need to locate the node of your pothos. These are easy to find and often occur at the junction of the stem. They look like little stumps or nubs that are usually brown or off white. This is where the root will grow from when placed in water. Take the cutting about 1cm away from the node. 

Step 2: 

Now it’s time to transport your cuttings into fresh, filtered water. Ideally the water should be room temperature to help the cutting settle into its new environment. 

Although it’s the longest step in the propagating process, it can be very rewarding. Order one of our propagating stands to decorate your mantelpiece, windowsill or bookshelf with small bursts of leafy bliss.  

Roots can take 3-4 weeks to develop and will grow faster in a warm room between 20ºC-25ºC and out of direct sunlight. As roots naturally grow in the dark there’s no need to worry about placing your cutting in a bright room. 

It’s a good idea to drain and replenish with some fresh water every 1-2 weeks.

Step 3:

When your plant has grown roots between 1-2 inches long, then you can think about moving the plant into soil.

Remember the plant has just spent the last few months growing in water so it’s important that the cuttings are moved into moist soil. Maintain the soil so that it has a moist consistency and water more often than you usually would. It will take time for the root system to adjust to its new growing medium.

Remember the plant has just spent the last few months growing in water so it’s important that the cuttings are moved into moist soil. Maintain the soil so that it has a moist consistency and water more often than you usually would. It will take time for the root system to adjust to its new growing medium.

The perfect potting soil blend for a pothos is 60% peat-free potting mix, 20% perlite and 20% orchid bark. The peat-free soil is used for it’s moisture absorbing abilities while the perlite and orchid bark is used for drainage. Find more about the ingredients in potting mixes here.

Place a thin layer of soil at the bottom of your pot. This is to support the root system and to stop the roots from falling through the drainage holes.

Place your cuttings into their nursery pot and fill the potting mix to the top. Every so often gently push down on the soil so it's compact. Make sure the soil is not too tightly compact otherwise the roots won’t be able to access any oxygen and will suffocate. To learn more about how to repot check out our repot like a pro blog.

We hope that your new cuttings turn into full beautiful plants. You never know - you might be taking cuttings from your brand new plant next year to make another free plant. If you have any questions about the propagating process, feel free to get in touch via email or through Instagram. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram, Tiktok and Pinterest where we post plant care tips daily.


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