• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook and plant propagator Jack Alexander reproduce plants from cuttings.

    Steps:
    1. Use bypass pruners to cut leaf from plant. Cut stem from leaf.
    2. Slice the begonia leaf into pie-shaped pieces with a pocketknife. Be sure each leaf piece contains one vein.
    3. Put a small amount of root-inducing hormone onto a clean work surface.
    4. Dip the tip of a leaf piece into the root-inducing hormone. Plant the leaf piece into a plastic tray filled with peat moss and perlite. Repeat for the remaining pieces of leaf.
    5. Use a plant mister to mist the cuttings with water.
    6. Cover the plastic tray to retain moisture and control humidity.
    7. For stem cuttings, use pruners to trim the end of a stem at a very sharp angle. Then square-cut through the stem directly above the first bud.
    8. Dip the angled end of the stem in root-inducing hormone.
    9. Plant the stem in a plastic tray filled with sand and perlite.
    10. Set the tray on top of an electric heat mat.
    11. Water the stem, then cover.
    12. To graft one plant to another, use pruners to cut an apple seedling 4 inches tall.
    13. Use grafting knife to split the apple seedling stem down the center. Cut about ¾ inch deep.
    14. Cut a stem from a plant. Slice the end of the stem to form a very sharply angled wedge.
    15. Trim off the opposite end of the stem, leaving on three or four buds.
    16. Insert the wedge-shaped end of the cyan stem into the cut in the apple seedling.
    17. Align one side of the cyan stem perfectly flush with the side of the apple seedling.
    18. Secure the graft union with a rubber band.
    19. Seal the rubber band with paraffin wax.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Requires careful execution, but is relatively simple to do
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      Tools List

      • bypass pruners
        Bypass pruners
      • pocket knife
        Pocket knife
      • grafting knife
        Grafting knife, used to cut plant for grafting
      • electric heat tray
        Electric heat tray
      • electric heat mat
        Electric heat mat
      • plant mister
        Planter mister

      Shopping List

      Propagating plants

      Apple seedling, used as root stock

      Plastic planting tray with cover

      Root-inducing hormone

      Peat moss

      Sand

      Perlite

      Rubber band, for securing the graft union

      Paraffin wax