Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Propagate Ficus Benjamina: Part 2

Just a quick update: Roots! Yes, it took a long time to get this far, but if I had kept it in a warmer, more humid environment it would have gone much faster. Probably about half the time. Putting cuttings in a humidity tent isn't a bad idea, although you have to keep an eye on them to make sure it's not too humid and they get moldy.

But, we're halfway to getting the cutting in a pot, so that's good. This is what it looks like when they first start coming out. At this point you need to be very careful when you change the water, the roots are very delicate and can be broken off even by pouring water over them.

See part one in How to Propagate Ficus Benjamina.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

How to Propagate Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are possibly the easiest plants to propagate. There are two really easy ways to do it, but both require a full grown plant that is putting out babies/nodes. Baby spider plants look like the large ones only they are coming off the main plant on a stalk and hanging down. What they are trying to do is reach the ground, at which point they would shoot off roots and become a separate plant.

The easiest way of all is to just take a small pot full of dirt and put a node on top of it, still attached to the main plant. After a few days it will start to put out roots and eventually be it's own plant. I'll cover that in more depth when the plant I'm growing now puts out nodes.

My sister in law has a large spider plant and my brother gave me one of it's nodes. You can root them in water with ease, so that's what I did. This is what a node looks like. Pretty Cthulhuian, huh? You just submerge that in some water, changing it every week or so, and after a couple weeks it puts out roots. You can let them get several inches long if you like, it helps the plant get started. But part of spider plants popularity is their cockroach-like survivability and I've found that an inch or two of root is plenty. Then you just take a small pot half full of dirt and put the rooted node gently on top. Cover it with more dirt, water it thoroughly and put it in a sunny, but not too direct, spot.That's it, pretty soon this one will be putting out babies of it's own.