8.19.22 2

How to Water Root Plants

Earlier this month, I posted about water rooting plants in my Instagram stories. Dusti Fritz sent me a message wondering how you propagate plants this way. She asked:

Wow! Is that difficult to do???

I replied and walked her through how to water root plants. It ain’t hard, y’all. Mamaw taught me to root slips in water when I was a little girl. I never experimented with water propagation until I got older, though.

My mama was plant-obsessed when I was a teenager. She turned our dining room into a small jungle. When she collected too many plants for the dining room, she had a screened-in porch built. She wrapped the screens in plastic and converted it into a proper greenhouse.

Today, I would love to live surrounded by all those gorgeous plants! But back then, I hated it. It seemed like our cat was always knocking them over, and I was constantly on watering detail. I swore off plants as a result.

A friend changed my perspective when she gifted me with a house plant in my 20s. After a few weeks, I fell in love with gardening. Before the year was over, I had a flourishing veggie garden, house plants, and flower beds.

That’s impressive, considering how broke we were back then. Plants can be expensive! To build my garden, I had to be thrifty. I purchased seeds, traded with friends, and learned how to propagate plants.

How to Water Root Plants

By far, the easiest way to propagate plants is through water rooting. Here’s how you do it:

  • Clip a 3” slip from the parent plant using clean shears or a knife. Make a 45° cut below the root node (if root nodes are present).
  • Strip the leaves off the bottom 3/4 of your slip.
  • Put it in a glass of room temperature water, covering any root nodes.
  • Sit your plant somewhere that receives indirect sunlight.
  • Change the water every 3-5 days.
  • Once the roots reach 3”-5”, it’s ready to be planted.

Some plants can’t be propagated in water, but you’d be surprised how many will! I’ve successfully rooted everything from basil to hydrangeas this way.

What’s your favorite rooting method? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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  1. Ron Robertson wrote:

    This jogged my memory from when I was a kid. My mom would place a sweet potato in a pint jar and add water about a half to three-quarters of the way up on the potato. She would place it in a sunny location and within a couple of days sprouts would appear and grow to be several feet long. The plant looked as good as any store-bought ivy.

    Published 8.21.22
    • Cassie wrote:

      I love that! We did that in science class when I was in middle school. I brought mine home to my mama. 🙂

      Published 8.25.22