How to make plant babies

I love plants. I use plants in pretty much every interior dressing job that I do. They bring colour, shape and most importantly, life, to interiors and to shoots. For work, I buy them, hire them and sometimes I use my own. And I have quite a few. One of my fave plants is a Tradescantia. The way they trail over shelves, the colour contrast of the the purple and the stripey green. There have been so many generations of this plant in my family as they're super easy to look after and to create more of. My mum is a wonderful source for plants and plant guidance. She's very green fingered.

I've seen quite a few of these plants to buy recently, so in case you have one and would like more, here's my mum's lesson on how to propagate a Tradescantia...

Step 1: Break off a "meaty" branch just before the knuckley bit.

Step 2: Remove any leaves lower down on the stalk of your cutting. Just look at the beautiful shade of purple on the underside of these.

Step 3: Put in water. A re-used jam jar is my most favourite vessel for this, purely for simple, homely aesthetics. And you need to be able to see how the roots are growing so clear is essential.

Step 4: Pop them in the sunshine and leave them to start growing roots. Change the water if it starts to get murky or unpleasant looking.

Look! There's some roots growing...

My mum recommends doing lots of cuttings at once then putting the "Mother" plant out for composting. I didn't I like this idea of the mother plant dying in order to give life to her babies. So I didn't do it, and she died anyway. Probably best not to get emotionally involved with plants.

Step 5: After 6 weeks or so, the wee cuttings have grown enough roots to be potted. You'll need a medium sized pot, compost and water.

Some good roots!

Put a little soil in the pot to cover the bottom. then pop a few cuttings in. I've put in 4 so that the plant looks full enough.

Fill up the pot with more soil and pat down so that the sprigs are nice and snug.

Give the new plant lots of water and you're done! I find these guys are happiest in a bright room, not direct sunlight and watered once a week. I also feed them with plant food every two weeks from the spring to autumn. And they make wonderful, thoughtful presents for folk.

So let me know if you've done this or if you're going to give it a go. I'd love to see more plant babies!

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