30 Plants That Grow From Cuttings in Soil

Tips for Making New Plants From Mature Plants

flowers on a windowsill

 The Spruce / Leticia Almeida 

Plants that grow from cuttings can fill your garden with lush flowers, herbs, and more for minimal effort and cost. You can take cuttings from mature plants you already have or ask people you know for cuttings from their plants. Then, you just need a small container of soilless potting mix to get them started. Plant cuttings are grouped into four basic categories: softwood, greenwood, semi-hardwood, and hardwood.

Here are 30 of the best plants that grow from cuttings. Most of these examples are meant for outdoor growth within their hardiness zones, but some can also be grown as houseplants.

Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cuttings come from fresh, new growth. They're usually taken in the spring or early summer. Some plants that grow well from softwood cuttings include:

  • Aster: This beautiful flowering plant produces purple, pink, blue, and white blooms.
  • Butterfly bush: This plant produces flower spikes in shades of purple, pink, blue, white, and yellow.
  • Chrysanthemum: These flowers—also called mums—come in a variety of colors, including gold, white, off-white, yellow, bronze (rust), red, burgundy, pink, lavender, and purple.
  • Hydrangea: Hydrangeas produce showy flower clusters that bloom on what is called "old wood," or branches that are at least a year old.
  • Rose: Roses come in several species and appearances, and they can also fall under the hardwood category.
  • Salvia: These annuals and perennials often produce scarlet blooms but also come in white, salmon, pink, purple, lavender, burgundy, and orange.

Greenwood Cuttings

Greenwood—also called herbaceous—cuttings are from plants that have non-woody stems. They're usually taken in the spring or early summer. Here are some examples:

  • Boxwood: These are the ubiquitous shrubs known for their light-green leaves and rounded compact growth
  • Dahlia: These plants bloom late in the season in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, and white.
  • Gardenia: These plants produce showy, fragrant white flowers.

Semi-Hardwood Cuttings

Semi-hardwood—also known as semi-ripe—cuttings are tougher and more mature than softwood or greenwood. They're usually taken from midsummer to fall. Some examples include:

  • Azalea: Azalea species produce clusters of flowers in the spring in shades of White, pink, red, and orange.
  • Camellia: This plant is known for its large and bright flowers in shades of white, pink, red, yellow, and lavender.
  • Honeysuckle: This is a popular ornamental shrub that produces purple, pink, red, yellow, and white blooms.

Hardwood Cuttings and Other Plants

Hardwood cuttings can be taken from deciduous shrubs, climbers (e.g., vines), fruits, and trees. They are often taken when the plant is dormant. Here are some examples:

  • Angel's trumpet: This plant produces white, trumpet-shaped flowers on vines.
  • Crepe myrtle: This small tree features rose red blooms in the summertime.

Other plants fall into one or more of the four categories that produce well from cuttings. They include dianthus plants, also called "pinks," that belong to the carnation family, as well as geraniumsjade , lavenderpenstemonrosemary, and veronica.

Houseplants to Grow From Cuttings

Many houseplants also can be propagated by cuttings. One perk to doing this is you know the plant can grow well in your indoor growing conditions if you already have a mature species. You generally can take the cuttings anytime from a healthy plant. Here are some popular examples: 

Tips and Hints

The plant that gives you the cuttings is called the parent plant. Look for a healthy house or garden plant that you want to propagate. The parent plant should be large enough that removing one or more cutting won't harm it.

Locate a stem that has a node, the spot on the stem where a leaf is or was attached. It is the area that will generate new roots. Use scissors or pruners that have been sterilized in alcohol to make a clean cut just below a node. The cutting doesn’t need to be very long; a single node with a couple of leaves should be fine. In general, shoot for a cutting that's somewhere between 4 and 8 inches.

Be prepared for some cuttings not to be successful by taking more than you need.

Preparing Cuttings

Place the cutting on a flat, hard surface, and make a clean slice through the middle of the node. Plant stems send out their new roots from the nodes. So making a cut at the node increases your chance of successfully rooting the cutting.

Remove all but one or two leaves. The cutting needs some leaf growth to continue photosynthesis because it can’t take in any food from roots it doesn’t yet have. But too many leaves will sap energy from its efforts to create new roots. If the leaves are very large in proportion to the stem, cut them in half.

Planting Cuttings

Fill a clean container with soilless potting mix to hold the cutting. A soilless mix drains better than garden soil and achieves a moist but not wet quality. Additionally, garden soil contains spores and other pathogens that could kill the cutting before it takes root. You don't need a large container or a lot of potting mix. Once the cuttings take root, you will transfer them to a larger pot or the ground.

It's ideal, but not essential, to dip the cut end of your cuttings in rooting hormone. Then, with a pencil or similar pointed object, poke holes into the potting mix. Making holes in the rooting medium will ensure that the rooting hormone remains on the cutting and doesn't rub off on the soil as you push it in.

Carefully place the cuttings into the holes you made in your potting mix, and gently firm the soil around them. You can fit several cuttings into one container, but space them so the leaves do not touch one another.