How To Grow Free Plants From Clippings

There are few plants that are harder to kill than the philodendron, and we’ve already chatted about how fresh greenery breathes life into your home (both literally and figuratively). But sometimes they look a bit less chic and a bit more Little Shop Of Horrors if they’re overgrown and snaking all over the place like the ones in the background of this down-home seafood restaurant that we loved in Savannah (ignore our crab-like expressions in the foreground):



So whenever ours threatens to spread out a bit too much, we grab the scissors and get our clip on.


And the greatest thing about it is that by clipping close to the root of the plant…


…each too-long branch that we snip can be placed in a glass of water only to grow roots and become a clone of the original plant. Really, the entire plant will regenerate from one small cutting once it’s placed in a cup full of water near a window. Is that sci-fi or what?!


Then once those spider-like roots form, just plant each branch in their own pot with some lush potting soil and watch them grow up to be a spitting image of their momma. There you have it. Free house plants for little to no effort. Gotta love philodendrons… when they’re not giving house plants a bad name.

How about you guys. Do you have any cheap house plant tips to share with the group? Any impossible to kill varieties that are tickling your fancy these days? Spill the house plant dirt.

Wanna know what other plants live here at Casa Petersik? Here’s the long and leafy breakdown.


  1. says

    I swear by peace lillies. It’s really hard to kill them. They need just a little bit of daily sunlight (really any room with some natural light) and water only 1-2 times per week. Just prune the leaves that will inevitably die, and I’ve also heard you’re supposed to prune the flowers when they bloom, but I never do.

  2. maryann says

    The plant-clipping idea brings back a great memory:

    My 5th grade teacher, Sister Dorothy, used to have a windowsill full of those planets. She would snip & grow dozens of little plants that she would give out as bingo prizes to benefit the missions.

  3. laurel says

    Great post, but I think those plants may be “pathos” (aka Devil’s Ivy). . . spider plants have spiky leaves and send out long offshoots with more spiky leaves! You can just plant the offshoots separately after you break them off the offshoot part.

  4. Jennifer says

    We picked up a few “balloon flower” plants (I don’t know the technical name but you can see them on this site towards the bottom Home Depot the year before last. Their purple flowers look like a hot air balloons before they burst open. My MIL showed us how to get the seeds from them. You simply pinch off the flower, set it somewhere to dry for a couple of days and then dump the seeds out into a bag for the following year. We had nine plants originally and the first year, we got about half of a sandwich sized ziploc full of seeds. They like lots of water and lots of sun. They are virtually maintenance free.

  5. Rachel says

    We have a “mother in law’s tongue” plant outside next to the front door. We ignore it for weeks and months, not even remembering to water it…and it lives.

  6. Barbara says

    Those look like philodendrons. Spider plants are the ones that drop the little baby spider plants all over the place. Of course they can look a little unruly at times as well!

  7. Eryn says

    I bought a fun moss plant on Etsy the other day. It was in a cute concrete bowl. You mist them with water every day and keep them out of the light. They are almost impossible to kill and a beautiful green color!

  8. Jennifer says

    Great tips. Are those philodendrons? I thought spider plants had long and skinny leaves. Love your blog.

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Sorry for the spider plant snafu. Consider it fixed. We somehow confused the other spreading house plant that can be cloned in the same way (spider plants can also go crazy and get pretty hairy looking, so feel free to use this technique on yours as well). Thanks so much for all the sweet corrections.


  9. says

    I’m sure you know by now it’s a philodendron ;-), but spider plants are also fantastic! Plus they are easy starters and love bathrooms. I have one in mine!

  10. jill says

    i really like to have african violets in my house. they are very low maintenance and have pretty blossoms when they bloom. i keep mine in a selfwatering (no water directly on the leaves) pot and just make sure it has water in it and the plant waters itself!

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