Propagating Philodendron in Water [Complete Guide]

The propagation of plants has been around for thousands of years and is an excellent means of reproducing or increasing the number of existing plants by growing new ones from various sources. So, if you already have a giant philodendron, it’s easy to take a cutting from it and get a whole new plant for free!

To propagate your philodendron, you’ll want to choose a stem that has many nodes to take the cutting from. Add the branch into a glass of water, ensuring the nodes are entirely immersed in water. Then place the jar in indirect sunlight and wait for the roots to grow.

Growing a philodendron is a great way to have a living piece of green art in your home all year round. They’re an attractive and fun-to-grow plant. Philodendron propagation is incredibly simple, and the results are so rewarding – you just need to know how to do it.

How Do You Grow Philodendrons in Water?

Do you have a philodendron that’s grown too tall, but you don’t want to cut it down? Propagation is a way to reproduce your plant. A healthy philodendron will grow roots in the water, giving you a new, smaller plant within just a few months.

The easiest way to grow your philodendron in water is to take stem cuttings from a mature plant. Place the cutting in a water container, ensuring its nodes are submerged. You’ll have to wait patiently for new roots to appear before you can transplant the new philodendron to a permanent home.

Propagating a mature plant is easy and can be done using two primary methods:

  • Stem cuttings
  • Leaf cuttings

Both methods are similar, but stem cuttings produce more robust new plants than leaf cuttings, making them the preferred method for larger plants like a philodendron.

Here are some steps to help your propagation journey:

  1. Take cuttings from your mature philodendron.
  2. Fill a jar with water.
  3. Put your cutting in the jar.
  4. Carefully place your propagated philodendron.

Let’s look at these steps in more detail below.

1. Take Cuttings From Your Mature Philodendron

For this process, you’ll need a pair of garden scissors such as Ventool Rachet Pruning Shears from Amazon. Make sure you disinfect your scissors, as this will prevent bacteria transmission to the plant, giving your new plant the best chance to survive.

The most crucial step in propagation is cutting. If you cut the incorrect section, the plant will not be able to reproduce.

Plant nodes initiate the development of roots during the propagation process. Therefore, cutting in between the nodes is vital. The cutting must be carried out carefully, considering the node’s location on your philodendron’s stem.

Make sure your cutting has two nodes; one is to be snipped off its leaves and immersed in water, and the other must be left untouched, with one or two leaves attached.

Philodendron propagation in water is relatively simple, but you should still be gentle. Don’t make an incision right next to the nodes. Give the nodes at least a half-inch space, and then start to cut.

2. Fill a Jar With Water

Your jar or container size will depend on how big your cutting is. You’ll need the node of your philodendron to be fully submerged in water, so make sure that the size is relative to your cutting.

You’ll need to fill your jar with room-temperature water. If the water is too cold or too warm, it could shock the stem, limiting the success of the propagation process.

3. Put Your Cutting in the Jar

Upon placing the stem into the jar of water, be sure that the node is completely submerged in water. The roots of your new plant will begin to grow out of the node, making it imperative that it’s submerged at all times.

After a few days, you’ll notice that the jar’s water will have considerably decreased. This is a healthy sign and means your plant is feeding from the nutrition in the water and the propagation process is underway. 

That being said, it’s essential to check the water levels of the jar regularly. Using fresh water weekly gives your plant the best chance of being healthy. Changing the water once a week ensures better development of the plant’s roots during the process.

Propagation is a great way to save your philodendron if it’s had too much sun or if there isn’t an adequate amount of humidity in your home. The process is straightforward and effective. Once a stem has been cut and placed into water, it begins to root fairly quickly. In no time, you’ll have a new plant to grow!

4. Carefully Place Your Propagated Philodendron

If you live somewhere warm, like Arizona, the best time to propagate a plant is in the spring or summer. The philodendron is a tropical plant that enjoys warm temperatures and humidity from warmer California-like seasons in its natural form. This is no exception during the propagation process.

You can keep your plant in a room, but no direct sunlight should fall on the philodendron leaves. Total sunlight exposure will burn the leaves and may affect the propagation process.

Be sure to place your philodendron in a bright area with plenty of indirect sunlight, providing a decent amount of warmth.

How Long Does It Take Philodendron Roots To Grow in Water?

If you decide to propagate your philodendron, you might want to know how long it takes for roots to grow in water.

Philodendron roots take two to three weeks to grow in water before they are ready to be transplanted into soil. Plants have specific habits that influence their ability to develop new roots; putting them in bright indirect sunlight gives ideal circumstances for a quick start.

The process of propagation requires patience. For some, waiting for roots to grow may feel lengthy.

Encouraging Roots To Grow Quicker

Your philodendron will grow its roots using water as its primary source of nutrients. However, this can be a lengthy process.

Suppose you’re eager to plant your new philodendron as soon as possible. In that case, you can also use a water-soluble fertilizer like Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food from Amazon. This will support the roots’ optimal growth and your philodendron’s survival in unfavorable conditions. With this plant food, roots could only take up to 10 days to grow.

While fertilizing your propagated philodendron, be sure to use the same caution you would fertilizing soil-grown philodendrons. Overfeeding the plant will result in burning the roots and a more extended period of growth. Remember: when it comes to fertilizer, more is not necessarily better.

Ultimately, ensuring the plant has the necessary conditions for growth and selecting the proper cutting from the start of the propagating process will determine how long the roots will take to grow.

When You Should Move Your Philodendron From Water to Soil

If you’re ready to bring your houseplant out of its infancy, the time has come to switch from water to soil.

When the roots are 1-4 inches (2.54 – 10.16 cm) long, you can get ready to start potting your new plant. However, you can wait until the roots are longer, as long as you ensure there is always enough water in your philodendron’s vessel.

When potting your propagated philodendron in soil, it’s vital to maintain a balance of humidity, air circulation, and moisture. This will ensure your plant has the best chance to flourish. Using a pot with drainage holes is critical.

Here are some steps to help you repot your propagated philodendron:

  1. Fill a pot that has drainage holes with good-quality soil. Place soil in the first 1-2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm) of the pot.
  2. Take your rooted philodendron out of the jar of water. Thoroughly rinse it with clean water that is at room temperature.
  3. Put the cutting into the pot, ensuring you cover its roots with soil. Don’t fill the pot with soil to the brim. Allow for at least an inch of space.
  4. Water the plant. Water your plant until you see water seeping out of the drainage holes.
  5. Set your new baby plant on a windowsill that provides indirect sunlight. Be sure it receives enough indirect sunlight throughout the day while avoiding direct sunlight as much as possible.

Your philodendron will grow in water as long as the water inside its vessel is replaced weekly. Still, at some point, it needs to be transitioned from its aquatic life to one on land. If you’ve been caring for your philodendron well, you should have no trouble getting it through this transition.

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Growing a philodendron in water takes little time, equipment, or cost. With just a little time and a willingness to care, you should have no trouble getting your philodendron to grow in water. Make sure you have the correct amount of sun and plenty of space for your new plant to grow, and you should be practically swimming in plants in no time.

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