The good news is that you don’t need a ton of expensive equipment to get started propagating your plants. Awesome! But you will definitely needs a few things. To get you started quickly, I put together a list of plant propagation supplies you might want to buy before you start propagating. Heck, you might already have many of these items on hand.
Basic Plant Propagation Supplies
Rooting Hormone Powder helps speed up the rooting process, and also protects the cutting from disease and bacteria. I’ve tried propagating cuttings with and without using rooting hormone, and I’ve definitely had much greater success with the cuttings that I first dusted with rooting hormone.
Vermiculite is a naturally occurring mineral and is commonly found in potting soil mixes because it helps to keep the soil evenly moist. It’s one of the ingredients I use in my recipe for DIY propagation soil.
Perlite is a lightweight soil amendment; it retains very little moisture and prevents soil compaction. In other words, it helps the soil drain faster which is exactly what we want for our rooting medium.
Peat Moss – I sometimes use this as an ingredient in my recipe for DIY propagation soil, if I have some on hand. Peat moss is a renewable resource, but it is very slow to renew so it’s not as environmentally friendly. Coco coir is a great alternative to peat moss, and it’s much more sustainable.
Coco Coir is the by-product of coconut processing, which is why it’s much more sustainable to use -vs- peat moss. It’s a wonderful additive to any DIY soil mixes, and I really love the consistency of it. I’ve switched to using coco coir in my recipe for DIY propagation soil instead of using peat moss.
Pruning Snips or Sharp Knife – Small clippers are my favorite tool to use for taking cuttings to propagate. I love these precision clippers. They are nice and sharp and easy to use. Over the years, I’ve purchased more expensive and fancier clippers, but I always find myself reaching for these little guys.
Plant Pots – Once your plant cuttings sprout roots, you’ll need somewhere to pot them up. These pots are the perfect size for potting up rooted cuttings. You can even propagate plant cuttings right in the pots. These pots are reuseable too.
Nano Dome propagation kit with grow light – If you don’t want to make your own propagation box, there are commercial ones available too. This one comes with a grow light and a nice high dome with room for tall cuttings.
Hydrofarm propagation kit with heat mat – Here’s another option for a commercial propagation box. This one also has a nice high dome, but it comes with the heat mat instead of the grow light.
Optional Plant Propagation Supplies
Heat Mat – Adding bottom heat under your plant cuttings during propagation will speed up the rooting process, and definitely makes plant propagation easier. This is the same heat mat you’d use when starting seeds.
Plant Mister/Sprayer – Humidity is a crucial ingredient in plant propagation, and misting your cuttings is a great way to give them the humidity they need to sprout roots. This plant mister/sprayer is pressurized, which really saves on your hands when you have a lot of cuttings to spray.
Humidifier – A humidifier is another great way to keep the humidity level high when you’re propagating plant cuttings.
Indoor Humidity Monitor – If you’re not sure whether the humidity is at the right level for plant propagation, a humidity monitor is a great tool to add near your cuttings. With this one, you’ll be able to be sure that both the humidity level and the temperature are always kept at the perfect level for plant propagation.
Soil Moisture Gauge – It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist during plant propagation. If it’s too dry or too wet, the cuttings won’t survive long enough to grow roots. A soil gauge like this one will keep you confident that your soil holds the perfect amount of moisture to ensure your cuttings will root.
Small Grow Light – If you only have one propagation box, or only a few cuttings propagating at a time, this small grow light is perfect. I usually have a few of these hanging above my propagation box. They don’t take up a lot of space, and they’re easy to store.
Grow Light System – If you have a larger setup for your propagation station, then a grow light system would be the perfect way to make sure your cuttings are getting plenty of light while they’re busy growing new roots.
Shop Light Fixture – Another way to add the light your cuttings will need during propagation is to buy an inexpensive shop light fixture, and add plant grow light bulbs to it (see next item).
Fluorescent Grow Light Bulbs – These are the grow light bulbs that you would add to your DIY grow light system (if you decide to use a shop light). Make sure to choose the right size to fit into whichever shop light fixture you decide to buy.
Outlet Timer – An outlet timer is great to use for your grow lights. Set the timer so your cuttings will get 12-16 hours of consistent light every day. That way, you won’t have to remember to turn the grow lights on and off every day.
Neptune’s Harvest Fish Emulsion – In my quest to be 100% organic in my gardens, the hardest thing for me to find was a good organic fertilizer for my seedlings and gardens. I tried Neptune’s Harvest Fish Emulsion a few years ago, and OH MY – I could not believe the difference it made in the health and growth of my seedlings and plants. This is a must.
Pure Blend Tea is another awesome organic fertilizer I have used on my seedlings and garden plants. Fish emulsion can get a bit smelly when used indoors. Natural compost tea is a great alternative. I like to alternate, one feeding with fish emulsion, then water with pure water, then one feeding with compost tea, then pure water…etc. It’s been an amazing combo for my seedlings, houseplants and containers.