‘Not a good idea’: Exact time you should stop taking houseplant cuttings – is it too late?

Monty Don: Gardening expert shares how to propagate cuttings

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Taking cuttings allows you to grow several new plants from an existing one and can be done using the leaves, stems or roots. While a plant grown from a cutting will always be exactly the same as the parent plant, propagating at the wrong time of year can be detrimental to its chances of growth. So, is it too late to take houseplant cuttings as summer comes to end?

Once you know how to take a cutting from a plant the possibilities are endless as to which plants you can take them from.

Though there is no shortage of suitable plants to propagate and raise indoors, The Laidback gardener explained the importance of knowing exactly when is best to separate sections from your parent plant if you’re taking stem or leaf cuttings.

The blogger said: “The cuttings of most plants will root more quickly and more surely when the plant is actively growing.

“That’s why it’s not a good idea to take cuttings of houseplants during the autumn and winter, especially after mid-October.”

According to the experts at Baby Bio, spring and summer are the best times to “help your plant have babies”.

But with just weeks left of the British summer, you may be wondering if there’s enough time for cuttings to establish and grow into a full size plant.

The Laidback Gardener blog explained that yes, there is time for the plant to grow if you take the cutting in late August.

In fact, cuttings can be taken right up until the end of the month as the weather tends to remain warm and bright into September.

How to take cuttings from houseplants

While there’s not long left of the active growing season, there is plenty of time to begin propagating plants before September arrives, if you haven’t already.

There are various ways to multiply your houseplants, and although most cuttings will happily grow roots eventually, the best propagation method will depend on the type of plant you’re dealing with.

Water propagation

The experts at Baby Bio said: “Water propagation couldn’t be easier and is a great technique that even beginners can master.

“Some of the best varieties to propagate this way include varieties of Pothos, Monstera Deliciosa, ZZ Plant, and Inch Plant– most plants with long stems and nodes will soon produce a healthy root system.”

This method is very straightforward, all you need to do is use a pair of clean, sharp scissors to snip a section of your plant off just below the knobbly part of the stem, known as the node.

Place the stem in a jar of cool water until the roots system develops to around one inch long, then plant in a soil-filled pot.

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Leaf cuttings are best suited to succulents and are as easy to do as water propagation.

Simply snip a leaf from the base of the plant at a 45-degree angle using clean, sharp scissors.

Baby Bio said: Baby Bio said: “Leave the cutting to ‘scab over’ or dry out for a couple of days, then pop it in some potting soil which has been watered generously with a fertiliser. Then, simply wait for it to take root!”

Most succulents and cacti are easily propagated this way, but the Snake Plant, Kalanchoe, and Echeveria are particularly fast rooting.

Leaves from Jade plants and String of Pearls can also be left to dry out before potting.


This method is a little more invasive than leaf or water propagation and is best suited for larger plants that you want to divide up into smaller pots.

To do this, Baby Bio explained that first, you need to gently loosen the plant from its pot by tapping it on the side and bottom and easing it out.

Place the plant on a clean, flat surface and remove soil from the base and sides so that the roots are exposed.

Using a clean, sharp knife, cut the plant into sections, ensuring each one has a healthy cluster of roots.

Pot each section up and leave in bright, indirect sunlight with plenty of water and fertiliser until they become established.

According to Baby Bio, the Chinese Money Plant, Spider Plants or Aloe Vera are well suited to division propagation as they produce small “pups” from the soil itself.

Once they are big enough to survive on their own, you can simply separate it from its root connecting to the parent plant, and put them in their own pot.

Ferns, Calathea, and the Peace Lily are also easy to propagate this way.

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