Growing plants from stems or roots, cut from other plants, is known as cutting propagation. There are two ways by which one can quickly begin the process, namely with water or directly potting the cutting in the soil.
The most common method for the average person is to take a cutting from the plant, put it into a glass of water, and leave the glass facing a bright window. Change the water every few days. In time, roots will come. Some plants take longer than others – as long as your cuttings are still alive, be patient.
Once the cuttings have some roots going on, plant them into moist potting soil like you would with any other plant. Just take care not to let the soil dry out too much since the roots aren’t deep yet. Once the plant sets deeper roots, it needs less pampering.
When taking a cutting, there are two things to consider. Most importantly, it needs to have healthy leaves on top. Second, try to cut just below a node and remove the leaves from that node. Leaves sprout from the nodes located on the stem. You’ll want to have that empty node in the water since roots will grow from both the cut base and the nodes. Some plants will only develop new roots from the nodes, so don’t skip this step! Geraniums are very easy to propagate with water.
It is possible to propagate from cuttings without using a cup of water. You can try putting them directly into potting soil, but this is trickier because the soil must not dry out. Since the cutting has no roots, if the base dries out, then the cutting will die. Examples of plants that grow easily from cuttings are succulents like aloe vera, century plant and cacti. All it takes is a single leaf, laid on top of the soil.
In a professional (or intensive hobbyist) setting like a plant nursery, cuttings are treated with growth hormone before being planted into cell trays. The rooting hormone dramatically reduces the time necessary for roots to grow. And once again, the soil mustn’t be allowed to dry while the cutting is rootless. If you happen to try this method, make sure you get the hormone (either in powder or gel form) on both the base and the node and make sure the node is planted into the soil.
Propagating plants from cutting is simple and takes less time as compared to growing from seeds.