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Propagation is when you take one plant and turn it into multiple plants. This can be done in a variety of different ways. It definitely depends on the specific type of plant that you are trying to propagate and which is the best method for it. Generally, most propagations are going to have one thing in common. One thing they all need (unless they’re succulents or cacti) is humidity. Almost all plants out there need humidity in order to propagate and create their own roots.
In order to make this higher humidity and have these plants that are going to thrive in that you need to have some type of an enclosed vessel. Some people prefer to do it in greenhouses. Other plants are not so picky or they will use a specific potting medium. Today we are going to talk about making a propagation box. Which is a layered enclosed environment. You can also use some type of jar or a fish tank or anything like that. You just need something that you can enclose that has a clear top and clear sides for light to get in there. That’s how we’re going to be propagating our plants today.
•clear container with a clear lid
•Propagation media(soil, perlite, sphagnum moss, vermiculite, etc.)
•Plants to Propagate
The type of media used depends on the plant’s propagation. Generally, sphagnum moss or perlite is used. Today we are using perlite.
When you are propagating plants you want to make sure the vessel is as clean as possible. You can wipe it down with rubbing alcohol or clean it out in a sink. Whatever you feel needs to ensure it is clean. The goal is to make sure that all the bacteria, mold and fungi spores, and anything else that could harm new growth are eliminated.
Now that the container is clean you can add your media of choice. If it is sphagnum moss generally you presoak that and wring it out and add it to the base of the box. If it is perlite you pour in the necessary amount. We aim for .5-1 inch worth of media on the bottom.
Be careful pouring the perlite and do not breathe in the dust. Rock dust and fertilizers are not good for humans to breathe in and it is recommended to wear a mask when dealing with them.
As we talked about earlier humidity is key for new root growth. To create this humidity depends on the media.
Sphagnum moss pre-moistened will create humidity in the box on its own. While perlite will need to have water added.
Aim for 1/4 of an inch of water in the bottom. Perlite is slightly porous so it will soak up some of the water. You want the perlite to hold its shape and not have a pool of perlite and water that propagations swim in. We are aiming to create humidity.
If there is excess water you can open the box and let it evaporate out or you can pour it out if necessary.
After you have your media in the box and ready to go you can add in your propagation.
There are a lot of plants out there and it just depends on which ones work best with your media of choice. For perlite Pothos(Epipremnum), Hoya, Philodendron, and some Peperomia do really well. Just research before setting up your box and see what will work best for your plant.
The majority of houseplants need a node to propagate. A node is a little bump where the leaf meets the stem and it contains the building blocks of life for a new plant. This node will have to be placed under the media in order to root. Not all plants need a node that is why it is important to research your plant.
Generally, all you have to do is put your plants in the media and close the lid. Set the box in a place with good lighting. Either under a growing light or in some sun. Whatever you have available.
You do need to keep an eye on your box and plants for the first few days. Keep an eye out for rot. Sometimes leaves are too old or too weak to create a whole new plant and rot in the box.
You will have to remove these pieces to prevent a stench and prevent molds from growing in your box. As you become better at picking healthy leaves, hydrating plants before a chop, and just general plant health awareness there will be less rot. There is always the possibility though which is why we recommend just checking especially those first few days.
Also not having too much water and airing it out a little Every few days after making your box can really help as well. A good box grows better as you build your understanding of plants.
Propagation boxes can be one of the most rewarding methods of propagation. This is because you get to open a box and see nothing but lush, beautiful, green plants! It is literally the perfect environment for the majority of houseplants.
The majority of houseplants are tropical houseplants so when you see all these plants thriving in this environment it is very encouraging. Then you get to take these baby plants and pot them up. They are these things that you made. That you have grown. They are your own adorable little baby plants which just makes it feel all the more special. It is a very easy propagation method that everyone should try at least once.