How ToPropagation

How to Propagate an Arrowhead Plant

Propagating an Arrowhead may feel a little daunting at first but if you have a strong and healthy mother plant it can be a really simple process.

How to Propagate an Arrowhead Plant

Native to the tropics of Central and South America, the Arrowhead plant is not only easy to care for, but can be pretty easily propagated too. Propagating an Arrowhead may feel a little daunting at first but if you have a strong and healthy mother plant it can be a really simple process. They are quite resilient plants with strong stems so can deal with propagation well.  

In this post we will guide you through the complete Arrowhead propagation process; the various ways you can propagate your Arrowhead, the dos and don’ts, what tools you’ll need to propagate and things to look out for to ensure it’s a success!

Why propagate an Arrowhead Plant in the first place?

There are several reasons why plant parents might choose to propagate their Arrowhead plants. Firstly, houseplants don’t always grow how we want them to! Arrowheads sometimes grow sideways, too leggy or can sometimes even outgrow the space in your home. Pruning these plants is a great way to keep them in shape and looking healthy. But instead of throwing away those incredible cuttings, why not propagate them and create new plants.

If you notice that your Arrowhead is dying then sometimes the only option is to propagate the healthy part of the plant and give up on the rest. We always recommend that you first diagnose the issue and try to fix it before propagating but sometimes if there is no positive change, it might be your only option. You need to make sure that the part of your plant that you’re propagating is healthy as any issues will just get worse as your cutting is a lot more susceptible to common problems. 

But it doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom, you may also choose to propagate your Arrowhead plant to simply make new ones. Propagating is a great way to multiply the amount of greenery in your home without actually having to spend any more money on plants. Arrowhead cuttings also make great gifts for friends and family so the reasons you might want to propagate one are almost endless…

What tools will I need to propagate my Arrowhead plant?

Let’s start off with the easy part. It’s important to make sure you have all the right things before taking your first Arrowhead cutting!

 

  • Healthy and mature Arrowhead Plant

  • Sharp scissors/shears

  • Spare pot

  • Fresh soil and water

  • Newspaper or plastic sheet if propagating indoors

What methods can I use to propagate my Arrowhead Plant?

There are two main methods of propagation you can use for Arrowhead; stem cuttings and division of the mother plant. We have had a lot of success with both methods but there are some pros and cons to each of the methods. 

The stem cutting method does take a lot longer to grow into new plants but it’s also a lot of fun to see the roots growing and the brand new leaves emerging. The other great thing about the stem cutting method is that it can be done without taking too much away from the mother plant making it ideal for less mature or bushy plants where you might not want to, or be able to, split up various sections to create new plants. 

Below you will find a step by step guide to each method of Arrowhead propagation so you can figure out what’s best for you and your plant. 

Propagating an Arrowhead plant through the stem cutting method

 

  • 1

    Locate a healthy and mature stem

    When taking an Arrowhead stem cutting you want to make sure that the part of the plant you are cutting is healthy to help your propagation be a success. Another thing to look out for when choosing what section of the stem to cut is nodes. Nodes are stem joints where the ariel roots grow out from. They are really easy to spot on Arrowheads as they are just below each leaf on the main stem. Some nodes on an Arrowhead plant might have a small ariel root starting to grow out of it, other less mature nodes may just have a bump if you run your finger along the stem.

    If you can, try to choose a section of the plant that contains a few nodes as this will help speed up the propagation process a little. The ideal number is 2-3 nodes as any more will mean your cutting requires a lot of energy to keep it alive.

  • 2

    Make the cut 

    This is the scary part of the process! Now that you’ve picked the perfect section of the stem, you need to cut it off. Use clean scissors/ shears or a knife to make a diagonal cut across the stem. This increases the surface area which helps with root growth. 

    Clean your shears before and after you make the cut. This avoids passing on any bacteria or pests to your other houseplants. It also gets you into the habit of cleaning your tools which is super important when handling toxic plants. 

  • 3

    Fill up your container with fresh water 

    Next, you want to fill up a container with fresh water to place your Arrowhead cutting into. Make sure the water is temperate and not hot or cold as this will very quickly shock or burn your cutting which can cause it to die.

  • 4

    Place your Arrowhead cutting in water

    Make sure that the node(s) on the stem cutting is sat in the water so that the roots will start to grow out from there. Try to only submerge the part of the plant that needs to be in the water. Placing too much of the cutting in water for weeks on end increases the risk of leaf rot which will harm your chances of a successful propagation. 

    Place your cutting in bright but indirect sunlight. Intense light will damage and burn your Arrowhead cutting. Too little light however will mean root growth is very very slow.

  • 5

    Change out the water regularly 

    This is one of the most important steps in the propagation process and can often be forgotten. You might think that your hard work is over once you’ve cut the stem and put it in water but now you need to make sure that the water doesn’t stagnant. Switching it out every couple of days will help to keep it free. 

  • 6

    Be patient

    This is the point at which Arrowhead propagation can get a little boring. There is nothing left to do other than change out the water and wait for roots to grow. Don’t worry if this process takes several weeks or months as that is totally normal! Arrowhead propagation is very unpredictable and depends on a lot of things so just make sure your cutting is healthy and you should start to see new roots soon.

  • 7

    Plant your Arrowhead cuttings into potting mix

    Once the roots on your Arrowhead cutting have matured and are about 10 centimetres long, you can pot your cutting into soil. You want your cuttings to be this long as Arrowheads are vertical growing plants so need strong stable roots to support this growth. When propagating other lower or hanging plants, the roots won’t need to be this long before you pot them in soil.

    Make sure you are using a high-quality potting mix to aid with drainage and aeration. Carefully place your cutting into the mix making sure not to damage the delicate newly formed roots and continue regular Arrowhead care.

Propagating an Arrowhead plant through division of the mother plant

You can only use this method if your Arrowhead has several stems growing in the same pot. If your plant is only one offshoot then you must use the stem cutting method.

 

  • 1

    Locate the various offshoots of your Arrowhead mother plant

    When looking for a part of the Arrowhead to divide it will become very obvious if there are various offshoots/stems. They will be completely separate and leaves will grow out from each of the stems. A good way to determine how many offshoots you have in your Arrowhead plant is to follow each of the stems down to the soil.

  • 2

    Take your Arrowhead out of the pot

    Whilst the other methods of propagation you can do without really getting your hands dirty at all, this method is a little more hands-on. In order to divide up the plant, you need to pull the various sections of the root system apart. 

    Carefully lift the plant out and shake off the potting mix around the roots. An easy way to loosen the potting mix is to gently run your fingers through the roots to start to separate them. This also helps stop too much damage to the root system.

  • 3

    Separate the sections 

    You may have to trim off the odd root if they aren’t detangling easily but you should be able to carefully pull the sections apart from each other. It’s ok if you have to slice around the plant a little to separate them but just make sure that each part of the plant has a good amount of the root system as this will help them grow new leaves in no time.

  • 4

    Place in water or fresh potting mix

    Pot the main mother Arrowhead plant back into its pot and decide whether you want to place your new Arrowhead plant(s) in water or potting mix. 

    If the roots on your new plant are still quite small then you may want to pop it in water for a few weeks to help them mature. However, if the roots look strong then you can pot your new plant in fresh potting mix straight away. 

    Use a high-quality potting mix to make sure that your new plant gets the right balance of nutrients. It can be quite a shock for plants to be separated and moved into a new pot so you want to give it the best shot at thriving! 

  • 5

    Continue normal Arrowhead care

    Now that your new Arrowhead plant is happily in its new home with plenty of fresh potting mix, your propagation is complete! You can now care for your new Arrowhead plant like you would the other one, making sure it gets the right amount of light, warmth, water and humidity to thrive!

Arrowhead Plant Propagation FAQs

Here’s a few of the most common questions we find people have when looking to propagate their Arrowhead Plant.

Common problems when propagating an Arrowhead Plant

Propagating houseplants will always be slightly different each time around and occasionally you may face some issues along the way. This is why we recommend keeping a close eye on your cuttings to help you spot any early warning signs. 

Below we have all of the answers to how to fix any common problems you might run into when propagating your Arrowhead.

Hopefully, this complete guide to the different ways you can propagate your Arrowhead has been useful. It can feel a little scary to chop parts of your beloved plant off but trust us when we say it’s totally worth it as soon enough you’ll have loads of Arrowhead plants all around! With the right care, processes and the ideal environment, you shouldn’t have too many problems. 

Check out our full Arrowhead Care Guide that has all the information on how to continue caring for your Arrowhead cutting once it has matured.

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