This lush houseplant is immensely popular, and it is also a great plant to propagate and make other smaller plants.
Yet, I felt a little intimidated at the thought of cutting from the mother plant, so I called up a dear friend who was born with green thumbs to come and help me with my first propagation session.
It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I imagined, and this is how you do it!
How to Propagate Mass Cane
Select a stem section of a healthy, mature mass cane that’s at least 3 inches long and where several buds have formed. Cut the stem just under the horizontal line of the stem, insert it into soil that is appropriate for growing mass cane, water it, and place it in a sunny spot to root and grow.
Propagate Mass Cane in 6 Steps
Yet, with a few easy steps, I managed to propagate several beautiful new mass cane plants.
Step One: Select Your Cuttings
The best time for you to propagate your mass cane is either late in the spring or early part of summer as your stems will grow quickly, root, and thrive. Choose which cuttings you would like to make by viewing your mother plant from all angles.
I don’t like leaving my mother plant looking lopsided, so I carefully mark my selected stems with colored string or garbage bag ties.
This gives me some idea of just how much I will be cutting from the mother mass cane plant.
Step Two: Prepare Your Potting Mix
Before I cut, I want my new cuttings to have their pots ready to receive them to prevent the cuts from drying out while I mix potting soil.
I find that mass cane cuttings thrive in a soil mix that is aerated and well-draining. To achieve this, I mix in enough bark or peat moss to leave plenty of room in the potting mix for drainage and airflow.
I would also warn you about going heavy on fertilizer as mass cane is a lean plant that doesn’t need a lot of food, so over-fertilizing will lead to root or mineral burn.
Ensure that the pots you choose for your cuttings have appropriately large drainage holes, and if you feel these may be a little too small, you can also line the bottom of the pot with coarse gravel to encourage better drainage.
Before you start with your propagation process, you may also want to flush the soil.
Do this by running water through the soil for 2-3 minutes, then let it drain well before starting with the cutting and planting process.
Step Three: Disinfect the Blades
I always disinfect my garden shears or box cutter with alcohol before I make any cuttings. The last thing I want is to lose my mass cane mother plant to infection by bacterial or fungal spores.
This also ensures I have a viable and healthy cutting to root in the new container.
Step Four: Make the Cuttings
Next, I start with even pressure as I cut the stems I previously marked. These stems all have horizontal lines that run around them, and I will cut just one of these.
This will give me a good place to cut from, and it will ensure healthy root growth when the stems start to root in their new containers.
Step Five: Planting the Cuttings
Planting is really easy. Simply place the cuttings in their new containers, planting them about one inch deep into the soil.
Gently pat the soil around the base of each stem cutting, water well, and then set up your pots in a sunny but not hot place.
Step Six: Caring for Your Cuttings
If you notice your pots drying out quickly or the leaves of the stems are wilting, then you need to water more often.
Stick a finger into the earth. If you feel damp by the time your first digit is into the soil, then you don’t need to water.
I like to add a pebble tray with water near my cuttings to help them enjoy the right humidity for growth. Remember that mass cane prefers a higher humidity and temperature as it is a tropical plant.
The stems you are propagating are no different, so ensure you give them a temperature of 60-75°F and enough humidity to keep the leaves moist.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Propagate Mass Cane
Can you propagate mass cane in water?
You simply place the stem cuttings in water, wait for roots to take, then transplant them to good quality houseplant potting soil. When you place the stems in water, you will notice roots appearing first, then there will be thickening of the growth nodes higher up as leaves start to form. Wait until the first leaf starts to appear before planting to potting soil when propagating with water.
Do mass cane plants need sunlight?
As mass cane plants are tropical plants, they prefer high humidity and good light. Direct sunlight would dry them out quickly, so a filtered light such as from a curtained window would be best. The propagated stems also require light to help with the leaf formation process, and since these leaves are fragile when they sprout, you should avoid harsh light, but bright light is encouraged.
The Last Sprouting
Propagation of mass cane isn’t as complicated as you think it is. I am now confident in the cutting process, rooting, and transplanting.
It comes down to working with a plan, which I’ve shared with you here, and ensuring the cuttings are healthy and happy.
Enjoy making many more cuttings as you propagate to your heart’s content.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.