How To Propagate A Philodendron (And 11 Likely Reasons Your Cuttings Are Not Rooting)

Figuring out how to propagate a philodendron is relatively easy. Indeed, one of the great things about philodendrons is how easy it is to make more of them. You can buy one philodendron and propagate lots of new ones from that mother plant. That way, you can quickly grow your indoor plant collection, and you can gift house plants to your friends and family for free!

Philodendrons are propagated from stem cuttings. The cuttings should be about 5 inches long and have 2 or 3 leaves. Take the cuttings right above a node. You can root the cuttings in potting soil, water, or LECA balls. It is not necessary to use a rooting hormone, but it will speed up rooting.

While propagating philodendrons from stem cuttings is not difficult, it is important to follow the right method to guarantee success. There are a few ways to ensure that your philodendron cuttings stay healthy while they are rooting, which will be discussed in this article.

Can Philodendrons Be Grown From Cuttings?

Woman's hands cutting philodendron plant stem for propagation

Like most indoor plants, philodendrons can be propagated from cuttings. They can only be grown from stem cuttings, not leaf cuttings or root cuttings. The leaves and roots do not have the right type of cells to produce a new plant.

It is simple to grow new philodendron plants from cuttings. This is a cost-effective way to grow your collection of indoor plants quickly.

Vining philodendron species grow long tendrils, and when these get too leggy for your liking, you can simply snip them off, root them, and you have got yourself a few new plants!

When trying to grow new philodendron plants from cuttings, it is crucial to use the correct method and to keep a close eye on them for the first couple of weeks. This will ensure that your new plants root successfully.

How To Take A Stem Cutting From A Philodendron

Before you start cutting off bits of the stem, first make sure that your scissors or pruning shears are sharp and sterilize them using rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. This will minimize the risk of infections in the mother plant and the cuttings.

First, look for a node on the stem. It is important for each cutting to have at least one node because this is where the new roots will grow from. Make an incision at a 45-degree angle just above the node. The cuttings should be about 5 inches in length, and it helps if the cutting has 2 or 3 leaves (no more).

If the cuttings are too long with too few leaves, too much water will be lost via the leaves. The unrooted cuttings will dehydrate because they will not be able to take in enough water.

If possible, look for a section of stem that has already got aerial roots. This will speed up the growth of the cuttings significantly.

Read more: How Often To Water Philodendron (Effective Tips To Protect Your Plant)

How To Root Philodendron Cuttings Successfully

There are three main ways to root philodendron cuttings: in soil, water, or LECA balls.

Root Philodendron Cuttings In Soil

The type of soil used for rooting philodendron cuttings should be loose, well-aerated, and free draining. Philodendron cuttings need oxygen in their root zone for new roots to grow. Choose a small pot with plenty of drainage holes.

Use a mixture of potting soil and coco peat, and add plenty of perlite or vermiculite. The mixture does not need to be too rich because when cuttings are rooting, they need water rather than nutrients.

Never use garden soil for rooting cuttings! The growing medium you use must be sterile to prevent the cuttings from becoming infected.

There is no need to leave the cuttings to callous over before you stick them into the growing medium. This will actually inhibit root growth. Gently push your cuttings into the soil, and do not compact the soil too much around the cuttings.

Keep the new plants in a warm environment with indirect sunlight. Keep the growing medium evenly moist but not soggy. If the soil is too soggy, it will cause the new roots to rot.

Root Philodendron Cuttings In Water

Philodendron water propagation

Another way to get philodendron cuttings to root is by placing them into a glass of water. Many people prefer the look of cuttings rooting in water.

Ensure that at least one of the nodes on the cuttings is below the waterline. None of the leaves should be submerged as they will rot!

Place the cuttings in a warm place with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Refresh the water in the glass every 3 or 4 days. Keep an eye on the water level as you may need to top it up between water changes, especially if you have more than one cutting in the glass.

Once the new roots are 1 to 2 inches in length, you can plant your new philodendron into a small pot. Use an aerated, free-draining potting mixture, as described above.

Use LECA Balls To Root Philodendron Cuttings

LECA (lightweight expandable clay aggregate) balls absorb water and wick the moisture up to the cutting. They ensure that there is plenty of oxygen in the root zone and that the cuttings get just the right amount of moisture.

Use a container without drainage holes for this method. Fill the container about two-thirds of the way with LECA balls and one-quarter of the way full of water.

Push the cutting into the LECA balls so that the end is just above the waterline. Keep the cutting in a cozy spot with lots of bright, indirect sunlight.

How Long Do Philodendron Cuttings Take To Root?

When rooting cuttings in water, it should take about 10 days to 3 weeks for new roots to develop. However, you should wait at least 4 weeks before planting the cutting out into the soil.

Philodendron cuttings take between 4 and 6 weeks to root in soil or LECA balls. To check if the cuttings have successfully rooted, gently pull the cutting upwards. If you feel the slightest resistance, it means that there are new roots growing.

Related: Philodendron White Wizard: #1 Plant Care Guide

Why Are My Philodendron Cuttings Not Rooting?

Philodendron cuttings may struggle to root for several reasons:

  • The potting soil is not right. If it holds too much water or is not aerated enough, the cuttings will rot.
  • The water is not being changed often enough. The cuttings use up oxygen in the water. Once they have used up all the dissolved oxygen, they will rot if you do not change the water.
  • The temperature is too low. The temperature must be at least 75 degrees F during the day and 65 degrees F at night.
  • The temperature is too high. Philodendron cuttings die in temperatures above 85 degrees F.
  • The cutting does not have a node. Without at least one node, a cutting will not root.
  • There is not enough light. The cuttings get their energy to root from the sun. Without bright enough, indirect light, they will not root.
  • The light is too bright. Harsh, direct sunlight will burn the cuttings and stop their growth.
  • The mother plant was too young, weak, or unhealthy. It is critical to take cuttings from mature, healthy plants to guarantee success.
  • The season is wrong for propagation. Cuttings can only root during the active growing season from spring and summer. They will not root in fall or winter.
  • The cuttings are too long. If the cutting has to spend all its energy on maintaining the stem and leaves, it will not have enough for root growth.
  • The cutting was left out for too long before it was planted or put into water. Put cuttings into the water right away for maximum success.

Rooting Hormone For Propagating Philodendrons

It is possible to root philodendron cuttings without using a rooting hormone but using one will speed up root growth and help to prevent any fungal infections from hampering the cuttings’ growth.

Gel-based or powder-based commercial rooting hormones work equally well. They harness the power of butyric acid to encourage rooting.

Either dip the tips of the cuttings into the gel or powder before planting them in the soil or mix some of the rooting hormone into the water you are using to root the cuttings.

You could also try a natural rooting agent. Cinnamon is naturally anti-fungal, so dipping the tips of the cuttings into cinnamon before you plant will encourage healthy rooting.

Rooted sprout of philodendron Monstera Alba for potting

Propagate Philodendrons By Air Layering

Taking stem cuttings is not the only way to propagate philodendrons! Air layering is a method of rooting new plants while they are still attached to the mother plant. This method is very reliable for propagating philodendrons.

Look for a node on the stem where you would otherwise take a cutting. Put some rooting hormone on the node, then cover that section of the stem with damp sphagnum moss or coconut fiber. Secure it in place with clingwrap.

If you keep the moss moist by misting it on a regular basis, roots will soon form. Once they have grown a few inches long, you can cut the section of the stem off below the new roots and plant it into an aerated, well-draining potting mixture.

Wrap-Up on How To Propagate A Philodendron

Philodendron cuttings can easily be rooted in water, soil, or LECA balls to produce new plants. It only takes a few weeks for them to root if you keep them in the ideal conditions. Alternatively, one can propagate philodendrons by air layering.