How to Propagate an Autograph Tree

Last Updated: March 1, 2023

Autograph Trees (Clusia rosea), are beautiful houseplants that originate from Central America but adapt well to homes across the world due to their hardy foliage and low maintenance needs. But Clusia rosea plants are just easy to care for, but they are really simple to propagate too! As long as you know exactly how to take the cuttings and what you have to do to make them thrive, you’ll have plenty of new Autograph Trees before you know it. 

In this post we’ll guide you through the complete Autograph Tree propagation process; from the best way to propagate, as well as tools and equipment you’ll need and our top tips for a successful Autograph Tree propagation.

Why propagate an Autograph Tree?

Before we get into the detailed process, we thought it would be useful to cover off the different reasons you might choose to, or be forced to propagate your Autograph Tree. First of all, they don’t always grow how we want them to! They can sometimes end up quite leggy, or sideways or even just too big for your space. If this happens, pruning is the best way to keep your Autograph Tree in the desired shape but instead of just throwing away those incredible cuttings, why not propagate them and create new plants.

You may also have no other option but to propagate your Autograph Tree out of necessity if it’s starting to die. We recommend trying to diagnose the issue and fixing it first but if things just get worse you might need to propagate it to keep even some of it alive. If this happens, you need to make sure that you’re propagating only the healthy part of the tree. Any issues or pests will transfer onto your new cutting and most likely lead to an unsuccessful propagation.

And lastly, our favourite reason to propagate your Autograph Tree; get free plants! Propagation is the best way to multiply the number of plants in your home without actually having to spend any more money. Autograph Tree cuttings also make great gifts for friends and family if you already have enough plants.

What tools and equipment you’ll need when propagating an Autograph Tree:


  • Healthy and mature Autograph Tree 

  • Sharp scissors/shears

  • Spare pot

  • Fresh soil and water

  • Newspaper or plastic sheet if propagating indoors

What methods can be used to propagate an Autograph Tree?

The best way to propagate your Autograph Tree is through stem cuttings. Whilst you can grow Autograph Trees from seeds, the success rate is incredibly low when not grown by professionals. Stem cuttings are super easy to do but work best if you have a mature Autograph Tree.

Below you’ll find a step by step process to make sure you’re taking the stem cuttings in the right way when propagating your Autograph Tree.

How to propagate an Autograph Tree through the stem cutting method


  1. Locate the healthy stems on your Autograph Tree

    Only ever take stem cuttings from healthy parts of your Autograph Tree. If you try to propagate a part of the plant that’s looking a little wilted, yellow or dry, your chances at a successful propagation are much lower. 

    You can choose whether to take one or more stem cuttings from your plant, it doesn’t impact the process at all but just depends on the maturity of your plant and personal preference.

  2. Make the cut(s) 

    This is the scary part and the reason why a lot of plant parents shy away from propagating their Autograph Trees! Now that you’ve located the section of the stem that you want to propagate, you need to cut it off! Use clean scissors/ shears or a knife to make the cut diagonally across the stem. This increases the surface area and encourages more root growth. 

  3. Choose to grow your cuttings in water or soil 

    The simple thing about Autograph Tree propagation is that you can actually grow them directly into potting mix if you want as they grow roots fairly fast. We still recommend growing them in water for a couple of weeks as a middle step but if you prefer not to you can skip to step 9.

  4. Remove any lower leaves 

    As you’ll be placing your stem cutting in water for several weeks you want to carefully remove any leaves on the lower part of the cutting that may end up sitting in the water. This is because they will start to rot and release bacteria into the water which can harm your cutting. If your Autograph Tree cutting only has a few leaves then skip this step and just make sure the water level isn’t super high.

  5. Fill up a clear container with water 

    Next, you want to fill up a glass with fresh temperate water to place your Autograph Tree cutting into. Extreme temperatures will shock or burn your cutting which can kill it quickly. 

    We like to use a transparent container so that we can see the roots growing and spot any issues early.

  6. Place your Autograph Tree cutting in water

    Make sure that the lower part of your cutting is sat in water. Avoid placing too much of it in as it can increase your chances of stem rot.

  7. Change out the water frequently 

    It’s important that you keep the water fresh so we recommend refreshing it every couple of days. This keeps it free from bacteria and will help stop it from stagnating and smelling.

  8. Be patient

    Now that your Autograph Tree cutting is happily in the water, there’s nothing left to do but continue to switch out the water and be patient. 

    Don’t worry if this process takes several weeks before you start to see roots. Keep your Autograph Tree cutting in the water until the roots are several centimetres in length.

  9. Plant your Autograph Tree cuttings into potting mix

    Use a high-quality potting mix to make sure your plant is getting the right balance of nutrients. For Autograph Trees, we also recommend getting a well-draining mix including perlite to help avoid issues caused by accidental overwatering.

  10. Resume usual Autograph Tree care

    Now you can continue to care for your new Autograph Tree plant as you would the mother plant. Soon enough, it’ll be mature enough for you to propagate it all over again.

Autograph Tree Propagation FAQs

Although Autograph Tree propagation isn’t too difficult, it’s still really important to understand the basics as these can really impact how strong the roots grow and how quickly you’ll see new foliage. Below you’ll find all the answers to your Autograph Tree propagation questions.

Common issues when propagating an Autograph Tree, and how to fix them!

Propagating houseplants won’t always be a simple problem-free process and it may happen that from time to time you come across some issues in the process. We recommend keeping an eye on your cutting(s) daily for the first few weeks after propagation as this will help you spot any warning signs early. Fixing the issue at the early stages will give you the best chance at fixing it and getting your cutting back to full health.

We hope you’ve found this complete guide to Autograph Tree propagation useful. It can be a little scary cutting the beautiful stems off your mother plant to propagate but the end result is definitely worth it, trust us! 

Check out our full Autograph Tree Care Guide for more information on how to look after your stem cuttings once they have matured.

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