How to plant a palm cutting

Written by heather vecchioni
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How to plant a palm cutting
Growing palms from cuttings typically is not difficult. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Most palm plants are grown from seed or cuttings, which are parts of the plant that have been removed and placed in soil to promote new root growth. Some gardeners prefer cuttings to seeds, as they better guarantee the new plant will grow to look like its parent. Using cuttings also provides instant results. Palm cuttings typically are planted differently than other types of cuttings but are generally easy to care for.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Potting soil
  • Planting container

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  1. 1

    Place potting soil into a small container, about 15 cm (6 inches) deep. Leave 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) of room at the top of the pot.

  2. 2

    Dig a hole in the potting soil just large enough to hold the roots. The area of the cutting where the roots and plant meet should sit at the soil line. Planting deeper can result in a cutting that doesn't grow in the soil.

  3. 3

    Place the container in a sunny location. Water the soil when it appears dry. Pour enough water onto the soil until it stops accepting moisture or when the soil becomes soggy. If the pot has drainage holes, water until the liquid comes out of the bottom of the drainage holes in the container.

  4. 4

    Transplant the cutting to a larger container when it is 5 or 7.5 cm (2 or 3 inches) high. Transplant the palm to the ground outside or to a larger container when it gets too big for its existing pot. Dig a hole in the soil about twice the size of the palm's root ball, and nestle the palm inside the hole. Cover the roots with soil and give it water. Continue to water the plant based on its particular needs. For example, ponytail palms are given water only once every three weeks.

Tips and warnings

  • To create cuttings from a palm plant, cut a piece of leaf about 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) long. Dust the end of the cutting with rooting hormone. Insert its end into a container filled with well-draining potting soil. Mist the soil with water when it becomes dry.
  • Avoid over-watering the cutting until its roots are established, as you may give the cutting too much soil and cause it to rot. Gently pull on the cutting a few weeks to see if it has grown roots. If the cutting offers resistance, it likely has roots. If not, keep it in the soil a few weeks longer.

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