Top 10 Easiest Plants to Propagate That Grow From Cuttings

Are friends always admiring your gorgeous flowers? Spread the splendor of your garden with the easiest plants to propagate, perfect for starting from plant cuttings.

I’ve never met a gardener who didn’t want to share or expand his or her garden. And there are so many ways to do just that. One easily overlooked way is by taking plant cuttings. You can take a snip of a plant to start a whole new one—for yourself or a friend! Bear in mind that you can’t take a cutting from a plant that is patented. That’s usually any new variety, but you can tell by checking the plant tag. Most old fashioned favorites and garden classics are fine to use for cuttings. Most important, though: Don’t get discouraged if growing from plant cuttings doesn’t work the first couple of times around. It can be a tricky process and takes some trial and error. This list includes some of the easiest plants to propagate.

Learn more tips for plant propagation.

Ball Horticultural Co.

Impatiens

Impatiens, Annual

It’s true: This garden standby is in danger, but research is underway to save this beauty from downy mildew. But for the meantime, don’t count impatiens out in gardens that haven’t been afflicted with the disease! Resilient and reliable, it’s a cheerful, shade-loving flower that will do well in almost any part of the landscape.

Taking cuttings: Take cuttings only from healthy plants and keep them short, with no more than two or three mature leaves on each.

Aleksander Kurganov / Shutterstock

Inch Plant

Tradescantia, Zones 8 – 12, Annual elsewhere

A longtime favorite houseplant inch plant can be grown outdoors in containers or as a ground cover where winter-hardy. For prime leaf color, grow inch plant in filtered sun.

Taking cuttings: It’s easy to start this colorful plant from cuttings because you can take them from outdoor plants anytime during the season and year-round from houseplants.

potted flowers that attract hummingbirdsCourtesy James Fawcett

Fuchsia

Fuchsia, annual

Fuchsia’s dainty flowers might be some of the most recognizable blooms of all. Some even say that the delicate blossoms resemble a ballerina. Outdoors, this graceful plant will benefit and thrive in shade. Fuchsia is most commonly grown in a container. Try it mixed with other annuals, too! Fuchsia also attracts hummingbirds.

Taking cuttings: The good news is that fuchsia cuttings will root quite quickly, sometimes even in 10 days or fewer. Take cuttings in late summer, and don’t allow them to wilt. Place the cuttings in the growing pot right away.

Green and pink coleus from White Flower Farm.White Flower Farm

Coleus

Solenostemon, Annual

Coleus is both a garden classic and an ever-evolving star, with fresh varieties popping up every year. And it’s not just a shade favorite anymore, either. New hybrid plants can tolerate full sun, but this means they also need more water than traditional cultivars. Coleus will do best in rich, moist, well-draining soil. Check out our top 10 favorite colorful coleus.

Taking cuttings: Take a 2- to 3-inch stem cutting and remove the lowest leaf. Stick the cutting in vermiculite, perlite or a well-drained potting mix, covering the leaf scar, and put it in a warm, bright location out of direct sunlight. Cuttings root in about two weeks, and several weeks later they can be planted in a well-drained potting mix.

Proven Winners

Copperleaf

Acalypha wilkesiana, Annual

This copper-colored charmer can be grown as both an annual outdoor plant and a houseplant. Use it to add fiery color to partially shaded beds, borders or even a large container. You may see yellow-white summer blooms.

Taking cuttings: Easy to maintain, copperleaf is equally easy to grow from stem cuttings. (See instructions for coleus, above.) Take the cuttings in late summer and let them root and grow indoors over the winter.

sweet potato vineVia Proven Winners

Sweet Potato Vine

Ipomoea batatas, Annual

Classic sweet potato vine is generally grown for its fabulous chartreuse foliage, but new varieties like Blackie are options, too. The foliage has a more intense color when planted in the sun, but it will perform in partial shade.

Taking cuttings: Make a cut straight across the stem about 6 inches from the tip. These cuttings are actually the easiest way to start new plants; some gardeners swear by placing the cutting directly in the ground in spring, keeping the area moist until the roots develop.

Plant Cuttings, easiest plants to propagateBall Horticultural Co

Annual Vinca

Catharanthus roseus, Annual

Also known as Madagascar periwinkle, this annual is great for full sun or part shade and tolerates heat stress. Annual vinca is similar to impatiens in look and growth habit, so it is an excellent substitute for impatiens in hot, sunny areas. The glossy green leaves are a nice complement to the colorful blooms.

Taking cuttings: Vinca cuttings can be taken throughout the growing season before the first frost. They’ll root quickly and may bloom when grown in a sunny window.

alternantheraVia Proven Winners

Alternanthera

Alternanthera, Annual

A visual delight because of its riotously colorful foliage, alternanthera is a bushy shrub you can pinch and shear to maintain shape and size. Because you can keep it under control, it’s an ideal container plant. Grow it in full sun to bring out its knockout leaf color.

Taking cuttings: You’ll want to make any divisions of alternanthera in spring, but take cuttings in late summer. Then overwinter the young plants indoors.

Top 10 Drought-Tolerant Plants: Licorice Plant easiest plants to propagateProven Winners

Licorice Vine

Helichrysum petiolare, Zones 9 to 11

Here’s a drought-tolerant vine you’ll want to use as a trailer or filler, especially in large containers or hanging baskets. It can be grown as an annual in places outside Zones 9 to 11. The fuzzy, silvery foliage offers wonderful texture in a grouping of plants. It loves to soak up the sun but will do well in partial shade, too.

Taking cuttings: Licorice vine cuttings will do best when taken in late summer. The rooted cutting will be ready for planting in spring when the danger of frost has passed.

blooming houseplants, easiest plants to propagateElizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images

Geranium

Pelargonium x hortorum, Annual

Geraniums have so many virtues, and they don’t always get enough credit. Sure, they’re somewhat old-fashioned, but they’re pretty, sun-loving, long-lasting, tough, and perfect in containers and window boxes.

Taking cuttings: Make sure your tools, rooting mix and pots are sterilized; geraniums are very susceptible to disease. At the end of summer, make a cut about 4 inches down from one of the growing tips of the plant, remove flowers and buds, and place cuttings in a pot. They should root within 20 days. You can also try a rooting hormone for increased success.

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Kirsten Schrader
Kirsten has more than 15 years of experience writing and editing birding and gardening content. As content director of Birds & Blooms, she leads the team of editors and freelance writers sharing tried-and-true advice for nature enthusiasts who love to garden and feed birds in their backyards. Since joining Birds & Blooms 17 years ago, Kirsten has held roles in digital and print, editing direct-to-consumer books, running as many as five magazines at a time, and managing special interest publications. Kirsten has traveled to see amazing North American birds and attended various festivals, including the Sedona Hummingbird Festival, the Rio Grande Bird Festival, The Biggest Week in American Birding Festival, and the Cape May Spring Festival. She has also witnessed the epic sandhill crane migration while on a photography workshop trip to Colorado. Kirsten has participated in several GardenComm and Outdoor Writers Association of America annual conferences and is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. When she's not researching, writing, and editing all things birding and gardening, Kirsten is enjoying the outdoors with her nature-loving family. She and her husband are slowly chipping away at making their small acreage the backyard of their dreams.