How to Root Plant Cuttings in Water

Propagating plants by rooting cuttings is a simple, inexpensive way to increase the number of plants you have in your home or garden.

Although you can root cuttings in a rooting medium such as vermiculite or Perlite, the no-frills method of a simple container of water works just as well for easily rooting plant cuttings such as coleus and mints. Vining houseplants such as Swedish ivy and philodendrons also root well in water. It generally takes these plants three to five weeks after cutting to develop a root system that is strong enough to be planted in potting soil. .

Find a healthy stem of the plant you wish to cut from that is at least 5 inches long, has ample leaves and at least one bud.

Cut the stem below a node (ridged joint) at approximately 4 inches length.

Remove any low-hanging leaves from the stem cutting.

Place the cutting in glass of water, making sure the nodes, from which roots will sprout, are submerged.

Move the glass with the cutting to a sunny window.

Replace or refresh the water as necessary over the next three weeks until roots are established.

Plant rooted cuttings in potting soil when roots are sturdy, which could take a couple of additional weeks.

Things You Will Need

  • Tip cutting from plant
  • Garden shears or scissors
  • Glass or small container of water


  • When placing a cutting in water, make sure the lowest leaves are not submerged.

About the Author

Roseann Losito-Raia has over 15 years of experience as a published freelance writer for "The Inside Connection," "The Music Paper" and "The Musician's Exchange." Since graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Long Island University, she has worked as a marketing and advertising manager in the music and DVD industry.