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I do enjoy water propagating many plants, but I’m growing more and more fond of soil propagation, especially for succulents. Both methods will work of course, but I wanted to show just how easy and efficient String of Bananas propagation in soil really is.
And all without having to bother with rooting in water first and then transferring to soil.
First off, String of Bananas is much more forgiving than String of Pearls. If you’ve failed at growing String of Pearls, you may want to try String of Bananas. For whatever reason, they are much more robust.
STRING OF BANANAS PROPAGATION IN SOIL
My journey started because I had quite a few String of Bananas growing outdoors in planters all summer.
I left the plants outside until it got pretty cold, but still above freezing. They actually survived temperatures down to the mid-30s F! I really pushed the limit, and then decided to bring my plants indoors because it was about to plunge to freezing temperatures.
I had purchased several containers in the Spring that had various succulents in the same pot, so I took all the string of bananas from each of them, combined them all into one pot, and brought it indoors.
Here it is hanging in my bathroom now.
In the process of moving everything, I broke a few strands and decided to use those to propagate.
Here are the two methods that I used to propagate String of Bananas. You can use the exact same process for String of Pearls too.
Insert Multiple Cuttings Into Soil
I had several strands to work with, so I made cuttings that were a few inches long.
Then I removed a few leaves from the bottom part of each cutting. I was actually surprised how sturdy the leaves were and they did not come off too easily.
At this point, I let them air dry for a day or two. This is so that the cuts will callous over and prevent any rotting from occurring.
You can see in the photo above that some of the cuttings already had some aerial roots present, which is great because they will have a good head start.
Next, I made a potting mix that consisted of 1 part succulent/cactus mix and 1 part 1/4″ inch pumice. This will provide amazing drainage that succulents needs to grow well.
Next, I filled a pot with the potting mix, and used a chopstick to make a hole to insert each cutting until the pot was filled, like in the photo below.
Lastly, I gave it a good watering and that’s it! I have it under grow lights until they get established and start trailing. You can place it in a window too of course! Place in a bright location and even some direct sun is OK too. Avoid too much direct sun until it starts growing.
Once they have rooted and start to grow, give them as much sun as you can indoors for best growth.
Coil an Entire Strand on the Surface of Soil
This method is much easier, and it also will result in a full crown. Simply coil around an entire strand on the surface of the pot. Make sure the strand is in contact with the surface of the soil to encourage the roots to grow.
Give it a good watering, place it in good light like I described in the previous section, and then wait!
After it roots and starts growing, give it as much sun as you can indoors.
For both of these methods described above, I’ll wait until the surface dries out, and then will water again.
Progress After Just One Month
With both of the methods shown above in this post, here is what they look like just ONE month afterwards!
The top left is the coiled up version of the propagation, and the top right shows that exact pot one month later. Lots of new growth!
The bottom photos show the individual cuttings method. Bottom left is right when I inserted them into the potting mix, and the bottom right is the exact same plant one month later.
The plants progressed much more quickly that I anticipated. I attribute this to solid cultural conditions. Both of these have been in a warm basement (it stays about 74F or so) and under grow lights. Don’t underestimate what excellent light and warmth can accomplish for propagation and plant growth in general.
I’ll reiterate that String of Bananas is much easier to grow than String of Pearls and much more forgiving. For more care tips on growing these plants, check out my blog post on String of Bananas: The Ultimate Care Guide (Curio radicans).
Have you propagated String of Bananas? Comment below. I’d love to hear!
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