How to Propagate Purple Heart Plant

My Grandma Corrigan loved propagating plants. African violets specifically.

She had quite a collection. There were purple ones, pink ones, ruffled ones, and miniature ones. She had a plant stand by the kitchen window where all the African violets lived. Each pot was set inside a metal ring at the end of a metal arm on her old plant stand.

When we sat at the table, my Grandma would clean up the bottom leaves of her violets, using her finger and thumb to snip off the damaged leaves, collecting them in a pile in front of her while she told us stories.  Every now and again, she’d take a leaf and put it into a glass of water.  When that leaf grew new roots, I thought it was the coolest thing…ever!

I’ve been in love with growing new plants ever since, and this year, I’m making a concerted effort to propagate new plants for our garden.  Making new plants is fun, but it’s also a great way to save money. 

My container garden plan calls for ten Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) plants this season. If I buy these plants from White Flower Farm, it will cost over $100. Luckily, I saved a plant from last year that I’ll use to take cuttings so I can make my plants for free.

It’s easy to propagate Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Heart’) plants. You can check out my quick video to see the step-by-step process. I’ve also included some helpful hints below that you can download.

Quick How-To video showing you how to take stem cuttings.

Helpful Hints for Creating Beautiful Purple Heart Plants from Cuttings

Hint 1

Take your cutting just below a node. The growth cells of a plant are most concentrated at the nodes. You’ll have the greatest success taking your cuttings just below the node.

Hint 2

You don’t need to place your cuttings into water to form roots. You can place Purple Heart cuttings directly into the soil to propagate. Just be sure to keep the soil moist.

Hint 3

Plant your stems into soil once you see healthy roots to avoid rotting. Although the stems can survive in water for a short period of time, it’s best to plant them once the roots form.

If you want your new plant to look bigger, use more stems in a single pot for instant impact.

Hint 4

It takes 2-4 weeks for roots to form on healthy stems. Your cuttings will grow more quickly if they are kept in a warm environment.

I hope you found this quick tutorial helpful. If you’d like to see more How-To videos, please leave a comment below. Thanks for watching, and happy gardening!

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