Hydroponic Hacks: Boosting Your Propagation Game

Hydroponic Hacks: Boosting Your Propagation Game

Are you tired of failed plant propagations? Do you want to achieve lush, thriving cuttings? Well, look no further, because I'm about to share with you the secrets to my propagation success.

What Can Make Plant Propagation Challenging?

Let's face it, plant propagation isn't always a walk in the park. There are a few things that can make it tricky:

  1. Genetics. Some plants are not propagable and others are just plain finicky and require specific conditions to propagate successfully. The Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree is one of these lovely ladies.
  2. Environmental factors play a role too. Temperature, humidity, light, soil composition - all can make a difference. 
  3. Disease and pests can also be a bummer. Nobody likes a sickly plant, and plants I this situation can be more susceptible to these downfalls.
  4. And let's not forget human error. Using the wrong nutrient solution, water, or overall environment will cause your plant to take an L (that stands for "Loss").
  5. Lastly, patience. Propagation takes time. Sometimes a lot of it. It can be a test of patience and dedication, and often times we just get tired of waiting or lose interest.

In this article, we'll discuss the best method for success when it comes to propagating your propagable plants.

Read on...

Increasing Plant Propagation Success Rate

The Propagation Experiment

First, let's take a look at the results of my experiment. I have two snake plants that started propagating at the same time. Snake plants, like many plants, can be hit or miss when it comes to propagating, so this felt like a good experiment. One cutting was placed in tap water and one in my special recipe. (To make sure of my results, I put 4 other cuttings in plain tap water). Most of my tap water cuttings grew some roots, while the "special recipe" cutting is already sprouting a new pup.  

snake plant propagations

Now, have a look at my fiddle leaf fig tree cutting (I only have one plant to show for this experiment because all other attempts failed, ha!). It went from sad and stunted to a thriving, leafy wonder. Yep, not only did she do some amazing root growth, she pushed out a leaf in no time! For this one, I started out fully hydroponic and transferred it to LECA after some roots began to peak out, about 5 short weeks later this leaf pushed out.

The key to my success? Two important aspects: the nutrient solution, warmth, and light.

fiddle leaf fig propagation help

Distilled Water and Bless Your Soil®: The Magic Combination

It's tempting to use plain tap water to propagate your plants, but for elusive types like the fiddle leaf fig tree, you'll need something more special. That's where distilled water and Grow Goodies™, our all-purpose superfood for plants, come in. This nutrient solution is like gold for anything you want to boost - in this case, I use it for all my propagations to start. Once the plant has established sufficient roots, I use Big Green Leaves™ or Fiddle Leaf Treats™ at the dosage levels below for healthy growth:

Ficus varieties Leafy and Tropical Houseplants  Blooming Plants (Orchids*)
Fertilizer Fiddle-Leaf Treats Big Green Leaves

Big Green Leaves™ (while plant is in flower stage)

Grow Goodies™ (pre-bloom/budding stage)

1¼ tsp per gallon of water
1½ tsp per gallon of water

Big Green Leaves: 1½ tsp per gallon of water

Grow Goodies: ½ to ¾ tsp per gallon of water

*For orchids, cut these ratios in half to a third the recommended amount for constant feeding


Why distilled water, you ask? Well, it helps get to the ideal pH for your plant prop. When your houseplant is in a hydroponic setting, it is happier in a slightly lower pH so as to uptake nutrients. Tap water tends to have a higher pH and varies with geographical location. With an ideal pH, your plant will have access to all the powerful nutrition and naturally occurring plant hormones in Grow Goodies™.

The first step is to place your stem in the nutrient solution. Top it up as needed with distilled water and change out the nutrient solution every few weeks. This works for fully hydroponic settings as well as semi-hydroponic ones, such as LECA or perlite.

Keep it bright.

In addition to the nutrient solution, you'll want to make sure your propagation is in a bright spot. After all, what good is all that nutrition if your cutting isn't getting enough light to thrive? (You can prevent algae developing in the propagation jar/glass by using an opaque vessel)

Keep it warm

Proper temperature is crucial for the health and growth of your plant, especially during the propagation stage. However, finding the right balance can be a bit tricky. You want to avoid exposing your plant to extreme temperatures that could cause it to wilt or even die, but you also don't want it to be too cold, which could stunt its growth. So, aim for a warm spot in your house that provides a stable temperature without direct sunlight (sometimes a simple grow light can do the job). Not only will a warm environment help activate growth, but it will also keep your plant happy and healthy. So, snuggle up with your plant and keep it cozy!

The recipe for successful plant propagations

In conclusion, the magic combination for successful plant propagations is distilled water, nutrition (fertilizer), and warm, bright light. So why not give it a try for yourself?

Good plant luck to you all!


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