Your home may already be overflowing with houseplants, but there’s always room for one more! Fortunately, many houseplants can be easily propagated using a few basic techniques. “Propagating houseplants is a great way to increase the number of plants you have and to share or swap plants with others,” says Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, author of Bloom: The Secrets of Growing Flowering Houseplants Year-Round. “It’s also a way to make sure you preserve a plant that has sentimental ties, such as your Grandma’s Christmas cactus that’s been handed down to you.”
It’s best to propagate when the plant is actively growing, which is generally from spring to fall. Some houseplants can be propagated by division, such as ferns, cast iron plants, peace lilies, and some types of philodendron. You can take the plant out of the pot and tease the roots apart with your fingers; it’s fine to cut through some roots if you must, too. Spider plants are even easier. They develop babies, called pups, which you can snip off and plant directly into new soil to get a new plant.
For other houseplants, there are a few different methods for propagating, and certain techniques work better for certain plants. Sometimes it’s a matter of trial and error but overall, it’s easy to do and you don’t need a lot of fancy tools or knowledge to make it happen, says Steinkopf. Some plants actually root just fine from cuttings placed in water. Otherwise, you’ll need clean potting soil or a soilless potting medium like vermiculite (some people say it’s better for rooting new plants, but it’s not always necessary), a sharp knife, and rooting hormone, which is nice to have on hand for helping fussier plants root more easily.