Propagating Plants- My New Favorite Trick!

So, a while back I attempted something I’ve never done before- propagation. I took a cutting from our elderberry bush, and stuck it into a pot of compost hoping it would develop roots and sprout into a whole new plant.

And guess what. It worked!! (I didn’t even have to use a root toner.)

Here’s a reminder of what the cuttings looked like at first. Just a stick stuck in the dirt…

And here’s a picture I took of them today, about three months after planting…

Awesome, right?! I can’t believe how easy that was! All I really did was keep them watered, and they’ve sprouted right up! (If you missed exactly what I did with these, go read about it HERE.)

What makes this so exciting is that: 1) The possibilities are almost endless! And 2) This trick will be a real money saver, and could even bring in a little cash!

Since learning how to propagate, I’ve found myself eager to try my hand at growing other shrubs from cuttings. My mother-in-law’s gorgeous climbing roses, my dad’s rhododendrons, and various berry bushes and such that I have planted around the house… think about it! An endless supply of any shrubs I can get my pruning sheers into!

I can grow all the elderberry bushes I want, and sell them if I so choose.

I can take cuttings from my tea plants, my azaleas, my witch hazel, and grow more to plant here or to give away, or to make a little money off of.

I love that!!

So, if I want a dozen elderberry bushes around my property, I no longer have to buy the rest. I can get all I need from the two plants I initially purchased.

If you’ve never propagated anything and you have some shrubs you’d like to have more of, do give it a try! Learning this trick is a great way to build your landscape for free with cuttings from other people’s plants.

I just love it when experiments work. Don’t you?

About Kendra 1123 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. I propagate about 1,000 plants each year and donate them to fish &game depts, forest service etc.
    I take sucker/ root cuttings in the fall and place them in 5 gallon pots and get 98% success. Also take hardwood cuttings in the fall and put them in 1 gallon pots and get about 80% success.
    first year they sleep,
    second year they creep,
    third year they leap

  2. Those look great! I just took 3 cuttings from our tree today, first time I have tried it. They went into pots, also, because we will be moving. The leaves are drooping, though. Is that to be expected with new cuttings?

    TIA for your help!

  3. which type of Elderberry bush was it.. I see Adams/Johns Pairs, and York/Nova pairs.. but can’t find any info which is better and why? thanks!

    • Shani,

      I believe I have York and Nova bushes. I don’t know that one is better than the other, perhaps research which varieties might do best in your region.

  4. I always take a drive around the high-priced subdivisions in the spring when the gardeners are subdividing their plants. I have landscaped several yards with thinnings that would otherwise have been thrown away!
    Peonies, irises, herbs, tulips and daffodils, to mention a few. Many perennial plants have to be regularly thinned to keep them in their ‘proper’ places in the fancy flower beds; many of those with bulbs multiply and eventually overcrowd and kill themselves off unless thinned. So I just drive around, chat up the gardener, complement them profusely (many are happy to have an excuse to take a break) and then casually ask if I could please take the thinnings.
    I love free stuff–you can’t beat the price!

  5. That’s super kewl! I bought some property west of Asheville NC and plan on moving up in 2016. I’ve been working on my wish list for 2 apple trees, 2 pears and 2 peach as well as blueberry bushes and Elderberry bushes!!! Thanks for sharing the info. Your blogs are AWESOME and VERY helpful! God Bless and keep up the good work!!

  6. This is off topic just a little but I just have to tell you what I did with an aloe plant this spring. I had a very large one and for some reason it died, or at least I thought it did. It was all brown and lifeless. I started to just throw it away but decided to stick it in some newly tilled dirt in my garden instead. I checked on it a few times for about a month but saw no improvement. Then one day, after a hard rain the night before, I noticed it had a little green, right in the center of it. I was so excited! It was coming back! I watched it for a few days and I just could not believe my eyes. The whole plant was restored. The leaves that had been brown where all green again and it was growing new leaves as well. I had no idea this would happen. Now I have a big beautiful plant again!

  7. Propogation is great. You can do what you did or make a slit in a small branch and insert a clipping and surround it with peat with soil insertion and cover with plastic wrap and it will root well.

    Roses need to be started on the mother stock. (Details needed) Try going to a good gardening place or research on the Internet to get good info on all of this and keep growing “stuff”!

  8. I’ve been trying to propagate wild black raspberries bushes from my parent’s house at my new house. So far I’ve had about 50-60% success rate, but after my initial try, I upped my odds 😉 Propagating is definitely a lot of fun! I think it would be a great money-making hobby; do post about it if you try it. It has been something that I’ve thought about trying but never have [yet]. Maybe I’ll order an elderberry cutting from you when you start selling them. 🙂

  9. Propagation is on my summer “to-try” list, so THANK YOU for sharing your success! I just might go out and do a little clipping today. 🙂

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