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Planting cuttings in soil | when & how

When is the right time to transplant cuttings from water to soil? How do I do it? How often do I need to water it? These are all questions we ask ourselves the moment we see new roots poking out of our cuttings, right? Here are a few tips on when and how to transplant a cutting from water to soil!

There are many ways to propagate houseplants, and water propagation is probably the most common one we use. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s a no-brainer! You simply take your cuttings, you place them in a jar or a vase, or wherever you prefer, and you wait as new roots start to grow.

But once new roots start poking out, when is the right time to plant those rooted cuttings to soil?

WHEN to plant rooted cuttings in soil

If you propagate a cutting in water, the plant actually develops water roots. This means that those roots are adjusted to live in water and the longer they are, the bigger they get – in water – they’ll have a harder time adjusting to soil.

Because of this, it’s better not to leave a plant in water for too long when roots start to grow.

You can easily plant the cuttings when roots are about 2″ (5cm) long. Of course, if your cutting is bigger (from a bigger plant) you can wait for roots to get even longer.

But you know what’s one of the best things plants do? They adapt!

They can adapt to so many conditions, it’s amazing! You could even root a cutting in water, forget about it and plant it when it already developed an entire root system.

You can see in the pic on the right how long were my Monstera’s roots before I planted it in soil. >>>>

The bottom line is that you can plant your cuttings in soil as soon as they develop some roots ( ≈ 2″/5cm long).

Just don’t keep your cuttings in water for too long, letting it get big and developed roots, because it will only take longer for the plant to adjust to new conditions.

here are some examples of rooted cuttings that are ready to be planted in soil

HOW to plant rooted cuttings to soil

When you transplant a cutting from water to soil, you have to keep in mind the plant and its roots were accustomed to water.

Once you plant the cutting in soil, water it thoroughly.

That’s why it’s good to keep the soil moist for the first couple of weeks from transplanting. Not keeping it soggy, just moist. I find that the easier way to know when to water it is when the soil surface starts to dry out.

After a couple of weeks, ease down on the watering and slowly start to water less often until you reach the usual watering frequency for that specific plant.

Not to mention, when you do transplant your cutting to soil, choose a pot that has holes on the bottom so that the excess water can always drain through them.

To read more about specific types of pots, and which one to choose, check out – Plastic pot vs. terracotta pot | Which one is better for your houseplant?

The size of the pot should be big enough so that roots still have place to grow, but not too big so that they drown in the sea of wet soil.

Take it like you are repotting a plant, choose a pot that’s 1″ (2cm) larger than the root system.

In case you have more than one cutting (which will probably be the case, especially with vining plants) you can choose even a little bit bigger pot, one that’s 2″ (5cm) larger than their root system combined.

Happy planting!

Want to learn how to properly water your houseplants?Download for FREE our houseplant watering guide

 It will help you understand how to avoid mistakes and grow happy plants!