When I first moved to the Washington, DC area out of college, I was so poor that I couldn’t afford much in the way of decor to spruce up my tiny one bedroom apartment.

One day I was at Target and I was looking at all their plants. I saw this pretty Wandering Jew and wished I had the money for it. I didn’t. But then I looked on the floor and there was a piece of the plant’s stem that had gotten knocked off. I picked it up and slipped it into my pocket. I took it home and thus began my new form of apartment decorations – houseplants. I nursed that little bugger into a huge gorgeous plant, and there were lots that followed.

Today my house is full, and I do not need any more houseplants. But I can’t resist saving cuttings to give to other people.

That Wandering Jew stem didn’t need to root before it went in the soil. But most plants need to grow roots in water before you can plant them in soil.

Here are some cuttings I took this morning at the mortgage company:

Pothos cuttings

Pothos cuttings

I could stick them in water that long, but instead I’m going to cut them into small pieces. That way, when all those small cuttings root, I’ll have a nice big bunch of them to put in the soil all at once. The aforementioned healthy foundation.

Start at the end where you just cut the vine from the plant (as opposed to the other end, that’s growing a new leaf). I usually hold that end in my hand, and count up five or six leaves, then make a new cut, like this:

Where to cut a vine

Where to cut a vine

Now I’m holding a smaller cutting in my hand. I cut the lower two leaves (because the stem will be underwater, leaves will rot underwater). It looks like this:


Here’s what the mini cutting looked like when I was done:


Obviously, the part without leaves is the part that will go in the water. I repeated the process for the remaining stems. Here’s the beautiful bunch I got from just two of those medium-length cuttings.

Pothos cuttings

Pothos cuttings

Now, I was in a mortgage company so I needed a container. There are lots of ladies in the office who get flowers. I knew I could find a vase if I looked around.


Nope, not in there. I could’ve used a coffee cup, but I wanted a vase.

How about under the sink, that’s usually a surefire place for abandoned vases.


Score. Every office has one!

So I filled the vase up with water and put the cuttings in, then put the vase up by the other cutting-filled one that was already up there.



You want to shove them way down in the water so they have a better chance of rooting.

They should start to sprout roots right away, and should have some good long healthy ones in a couple of weeks. We’ll check their progress in the weeks to come.

Anyone want to call dibs on some plant cuttings?