How to Grow Plants from “wet sticks”

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Why am I propagating my plants?

Why not? The more plants the better, I am always going for that jungle jumanji vibe in my environment even though my housemates tend to think I am over the top with it.

Rather than continually keep buying plants for the most part, I have decided to start propagating some of my favorite plants. I have noticed that some are harder to propagate than others so I had to do things differently than I usually do. Most of the time, once I clip off a piece of a plant, I let it callous over and then place it in water. For most plants this works and after many days or weeks, a root will grow. Well not all plants are that easy even if they look like they should be.

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Which plants have been difficult?

The following plants have been challenging for me: Monstera Peru-Karstenianum, Philodendron Silver Sword and Cercestis Mirabilis. I also successfully propagated a very small stump of Philodenron Gloriosum “round form” in the same way as the others. It was surprising that it grew into a plant because the wet stick was so small. I had tried rooting Monstera-Peru in water but it just sat there limp for weeks. The wet stick was placed in perlite and it worked. I actually forgot about it for a few months in a dark corner and it still grew roots.

Materials needed for propagation

Growing Enclosure

You will need a plastic soup container or a cloche/glass dome if the plant has a large leaf. I have also used small terrariums for the difficult ones. Some of the small terrariums on Amazon have openings that are too small to get the plant into. You can get soup containers from your local grocery store or order from Amazon for convenience. I will provide links below to everything you need including the cheap options. It is nice to watch your “wet sticks” grow in a terrarium but it isn’t necessary.

The Gloriosum round form was actually placed in perlite in a net pot. The net pot was placed in a canning jar I bought from target. This option also works very well.


     

Growing medium

You will need a growing medium and I have been only been using perlite for this so far. I never realized how good perlite works for propagating until recently. Below I listed a large bag and smaller bag from Amazon. I tend to buy bigger bags of perlite because they last a long time and it is a better value. Lowes and Home Depot only sell small bags of perlite and it doesn’t last very long. I use so much perlite for my potting soil when I repot. If you have a hydroponics store in your area they do have large bags of perlite.


 

Water

The wet stick can be placed on its side in the perlite with its growth node facing up. If there is a leaf on it, then just lay it on the perlite. You will need to make sure the perlite is moist, but not sopping wet. There will be plenty of humidity when you close the lid on the container you are using. Be sure to check on it periodically to make sure it doesn’t dry out. I have had wet sticks dry out on me before.

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How long will it take?

The time it will take for initial growth will depend on the plant and the environment you put it in. After I put the Cercestis Mirabilis wet sticks in soup containers. I put the wet sticks in one of my small grow tents. I don’t think the light matters as much as the temperature of the environment. The soup containers I used aren’t completely transparent. My grow tent stays at 80 degrees Fahrenheit/26 degrees celsius or above year round. You can put it on a heat mat or in a warm window if you need to. The plant that took the longest was the Monstera Peru, the Cercestis Mirabilis also took a long time. Philodendron Silver Sword didn’t take much time at all.

The plants(wet sticks) I have successfully propagated in perlite

Philodendron Silver Sword recently repotted from perlite
Gloriosum round form stump

Gloriosum round form in perlite

The Gloriosum round form roots growing out of the net pot

Monstera recently transplanted to soil – currently in grow tent to help with the transition

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