I’m going to start this article by saying that Odd Spot Plants DOES NOT sell cuttings. Neil and I made a decision years ago that this was not an avenue we were going to go down. Why? We truly want you to have a plant you will LOVE and the risk of whether a cutting will or will not grow ‘into what you really imagine’ is just too high.
To give you an idea – of the Variegated Monstera adansonii cuttings we take ONLY about 30% make it to a plant we deem good enough to become a Sale Plant. You may be shocked by this figure, but the truth is not all cuttings are going to produce gorgeous variegation; a portion will grow all green or all white; a portion will be weak; and a portion I deem not “pretty” enough.
But, sometimes a cutting is the only option. So, here are some hints and tips to make sure you get the best second option – the best option being a fully rooted plant 😊
I cringe not sure to laugh or cry at some of the cuttings I see being sold. And so here is an explanation of cuttings I would NOT buy – this is just my opinion and the ultimate risk/choice is yours.
This is not a plant we would buy.
Ok, so this is a Variegated Monstera adansonii. The small amount of stem shows gorgeous variegation. But… wow, the stem is tiny. We would like to see you with much more stem and not cut so close to the node. And honestly, when buying a cutting that is coming through the post, from someone you don’t know – two or more nodes would be preferential!
The node has not shoot and there is a risk that it will not produce one – it happens. Also, just because the stem is that pretty, there is NO GUARANTEE that the leaf will be pretty. There is a high chance it could be all white.
Whilst the root is healthy and looks to be actively growing (white and plump), these are not mature roots and high risk of it drying out in transport. And when you get it home, you have to know what you are doing to get it to grow.
Again, this is one we would shy away from.
Once again, this cutting is one node, not a lot of root and no shoot. Absolutely no clue to what the plant will be like. A photo of the Mother plant is really of limited value – the most gorgeous variegated Mother can produce plain green babies and vice versa.
Ok, so this cutting has better stem length, though still only a one node. The roots are more developed.
And whilst the node has shot and the shoot has started to grow, you still have no clue as to what you are getting.
One issue was, that this was being sold in the middle of winter. So depending on how it was handled before, during and after post could severely affect its viability.
Well, after reading the above I’m sure you know what I will say about this one. Stem a bit short, not a lot of root and a barely-there shoot.
Also, this was being sold as a Variegated Rhaphidophora tetrasperma – now if you can see any variegation, you are doing better than me and good luck to you.
So, What Is A Good Example?
I am constantly amazed when I see really nice little plants/cuttings achieve less price than some of the examples above. Is it because when they are potted, you can’t see the roots? Because if it has pushed out a leaf and another shoot appearing, it’s pretty certain to have great roots.
We still do not sell our Variegated Monstera adansonii at this stage because our experience has show that the plant needs to have about 4 leaves before it settles down and gives a ‘high’ probability of continued long-term success. But these next examples are certainly a better options.
These two photos above are of the same plant/cutting. Now the ‘Propagation leaf’ is the original leaf that came with the cutting and it supplies energy to the node and roots whist they grow. Eventually this will wither and die.
Good amount of roots. Node has shot away AND you can see what the first leaf looks like – ‘gorgeous’. And if you look closely you can see the next new shoot. BUT please don’t ask people to take it out of the pot to show you the roots unless they are going to send bare root.
Nice example of healthy, growing roots – look close and you can see how the roots are branching the tips are growing. Again, you can clearly see the ‘Propagation leaf’ and the new shoot is growing.
Ok, so there you have my opinion on buying cuttings. Neil and I buy cuttings from time to time, as often it’s the only option. We scrutinize the photos thoroughly and even we get it wrong at times. It really is a matter of Caveat emptor “Let the buyer beware”!
Good Luck and Happy Growing