Why spend money to grow new plant cuttings when you can DIY a propagator with things you might even have around the house?

Jars/plant propagator next to bookshelf

Deanna Kizis

I love, love, love propagating plants. First of all—free plants! Second of all, it is so easy. Third of all, I can gift them to friends—or even use them at a plant swap party.  

But what I really don’t love is paying money for a plant propagator. Yes, there are cute ones out there—I especially liked Hilton Carter’s for Target—but really, buying one can be a waste of money. After all, the only thing you need for a great plant propagator is a clear vessel that holds the plant and some water. That’s it. Honestly, a clear vase will do the trick. (I’ve used one myself at home many, many times.)  

However, if you want to propagate more than one plant at a time, it’s nice to have them in one place. And there’s the added fact that a propagation station can enhance your decor. That’s what I love about this DIY: For next-to-nothing cost wise and with very little time invested, it creates a cute little plant propagator that I can hang on my wall and looks great.  

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What did I use to create this? Simple: garden twine and yogurt jars. Oh, and a plant to propagate, of course. I used a satin pothos. And honestly, I think the result looks like I bought it at a store. Even better, I get the bragging rights for making it myself.

I already showed the results to one friend and she said she was “starstruck.” High praise, indeed. Another reaction: “Ooooooh, I want one! Where can I get it?” She was thrilled when I told her she didn’t have to buy it, she could just make it! So can you. Just follow the steps below.

WHAT YOU NEED 

  • 4-5 yogurt or baby food jars 
  • Garden twine 
  • Scissors 
  • A plant to propagate 
  • A ruler (not pictured) 
Items needed to make plant propagator

Deanna Kizis

STEP 1 

Clean out your jars and remove any labels. You want the sun to be able to reach your plant, which will help the roots grow faster, and you don’t want your cute station to look like, well, old jars.   

STEP 2

Take your jars and lay them out on the table. Cut a long length of twine that will leave you with about 4 inches between each jar after you tie the knots.  

Tie knots in twine for plant propagator

Deanna Kizis

STEP 3

Start at the bottom and tie each jar with a double knot. Work your way up to the top, then tie a loop. Cut off any excess twine.  

Jars for plant propagator

Deanna Kizis

STEP 4 

To get plant cuttings, look for the node—a small protrusion that will turn into roots—between each leaf or set of leaves. Make a clean cut with sharp scissors or pruning shears until you have one cutting per jar.  

Plant leaf
First, locate the node.

Deanna Kizis

Cut between leaves for DIY plant propagator
Then, make the cut.

Deanna Kizis

STEP 5  

Add water to each jar. (Be careful not to overfill!)  

STEP 6 

Find a spot in your home to hang your new plant propagator. You want a place that gets bright, indirect light. (Don’t hang it in a window or your plants will burn.)  

Once you’ve hung it up, pop in your new cuttings.  

Jars hanging for plant propagator

Deanna Kizis

Check the water to make sure the node is submerged every couple of days. Congratulations! You just made a cute propagator all by yourself.