Last Updated on August 4, 2023 by bethrmartin
If you’re a plant lover, you know the satisfaction of watching your collection of house plants grow and thrive. But did you know you can turn one house plant into many with a plant propagation station?
Creating new plants is easy by propagating the plant cuttings. And even better, it’s a simple and fun process anyone can tackle.
And honestly, it’s a bit addicting.
Every windowsill in my house was starting to be lined with bud vases, so I created an easy DIY propagation station. This project is beyond simple, and it looks great as a large piece of wall art.
In this tutorial, I’ll guide you through creating a DIY propagation station to help you grow your house plant collection.
With just a few basic materials and creativity, you’ll be on your way to propagating your house plants and expanding your greenery collection in no time.
So let’s start crafting!
Making Things Beautiful – The Easy Way
I’ve used a riddling rack as the base of my DIY propagation station. This structure is used in the traditional French method of champagne making during fermentation, and today it makes great decor.
Riddling racks are available in many sizes, proportions, and finishes, so it’s easy to find the ideal one for your home. A wall-mounted option usually arrives with the necessary hanging hardware, so installation is a breeze.
Most importantly, a riddling rack will still look beautiful even if you temporarily don’t have it filled with plants. It’s easy to get busy and not have time to care for a propagation station, and most options just look like strange science experiments without plants.
A riddling rack can be used for wine (obviously), air plants, flowers, and other seasonal decorations.
This solution isn’t the cheapest option for plant propagation, but for large-scale wall decor, this idea makes a significant impact for a relatively low price. The additional cost will be worth it when you are propagating plants immediately.
No matter how many plants you have propagating, a riddling rack will always look like an attractive design feature.
Your Plant Propagation Station Materials List
- Riddling Rack (with mounting hardware)
- Flexible Wire (This wire can be easily cut with standard scissors)
- Measuring Tape
- Glass Test Tubes (These test tubes have markings, but you won’t see them once they are in the openings. I like the kind that doesn’t come with cork tops to reduce waste)
- Rubberbands (You won’t see these, so the colors don’t matter. I used rubberbands from my junk drawer)
- Plant Cuttings (see a list of some plant options below)
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How To Make An Easy DIY Propagation Station
1. Select Your Location
Choose where you want to propagate your house plants.
Your cuttings will be rooted in water (also called water propagation), so the level of sunlight on the wall you choose is essential.
Ideally, your location will have bright, indirect light without direct sun. Direct sun is too harsh for this stage of the plant’s life and can hinder its ability to root.
My window has northern light, and my houseplants have been loving this.
2. Select Your Riddling Rack
Now that you have your display spot, it’s time to choose your riddling rack.
You will find some riddling-style frames with only horizontal openings to hold the wine bottles.
Not only would this type of frame not hold wine bottles well, but this will not have enough space for plant propagation.
Instead, ensure you find a rack with angled openings, as shown on the left in the diagram below.
Here are a few options in various sizes, shapes, and wood finishes to consider for the structure of your plant propagation station:
Once you have your structure, hang it in your desired location. This rack will be heavy, so use anchors or mount it directly into the studs. You want to ensure your hanging propagation station is very secure.
3. Make A Wire Framework To Hold The Test Tubes
Now we will make a wire armature to hold the glass test tubes in each hole of your DIY propagation station.
Don’t worry – it’s much easier than it may sound, and I promise you don’t even need to be too crafty!
Just follow the diagram below, and the final armature will look like a cute flower.
Follow these easy steps to make the armature to hold the test tubes for your diy plant propagation station:
Step 1: Gather your materials + tools: wire, glass test tube, scissors, + rubber band.
Step 3: Wrap the wire around the tube twice, then twist it to hold the position.
Step 5: Repeat and form two more 1” loops, moving away from the center. Twist to hold, + tuck ends.
Step 7: Move the wire to 1.5” from the top lip. Secure the position with a rubber band.
Step 2: Cut 24” section of wire + position the test tube in the middle of the wire.
Step 4: With each end, form a 1” loop. Twist once or twice to hold the shape.
Step 6: Straighten loops until you are happy. They don’t need to be perfect.
Step 8: Gently push “petals” slightly up towards the tube. You can adjust this later.
Step 9: The frame is done and ready to be placed in your plant propagation station. Repeat with the rest of your test tubes, and hang your desired location.
Once you have completed your wire framework, wrap a rubber band around the wire a few times. It’s best if at least one rubber band loop is on top and one below the wire so it is held securely.
You can easily change the location of where the wire armature sits on the test tube by gently sliding the whole thing up or down the glass.
Don’t worry if your wire work doesn’t look perfect. It will look fantastic once it’s in the riddling rack with plant cuttings.
4. Place The Test Tubes + Add Plants
Gather plant clippings from species like pothos, and position the stems in each test tube. Fill the glass test tubes with tap or spring water, and ensure the whole stem portion is submerged.
Be prepared for your plant babies to flourish!
I’ve found that new roots grow on most plants propagated in water in just a few weeks, but some plant types will take longer.
Great Plants For Your Plant Propagation Station
(These locations may vary depending on your region)
- Angel Wing Begonia
- Rubber Plant
- Arrowhead Plant
- Snake Plant
- Strawbery Begonia
- Fiddle Leaf Fig
- Sweet Potato Vine
Change the water if it ever looks murky, and add fresh water to keep the glass jars full.
I chose only to fill a portion of the openings of my riddling rack, so I made a diagonal design with my plants. Even added a succulent and some air plants, so be creative!
The pattern is up to you, which can switch as you replace your plants throughout the year.
5. Transplant Your Plants
Time for free plants!
Once the roots are 1-2″ long (longer is fine), the baby plants are mature enough to be transplanted into soil. Prepare pots based on the type of plant you are growing.
The roots can weaken if you leave a plant in water for too long. Extended water propagation may make them less likely to survive when you plant them in soil.
Keep your eyes on the roots and plant them in soil when ready. You can propagate the same plants repeatedly as long as they continue to look healthy.
Lastly, enjoy your new houseplants, and when they get a little leggy, start propagating. You will be shocked at how many new houseplants you can propagate over a year!
This plant propagation station added so much character to our dining room and completely transformed the space. This project is beyond simple, it’s a beautiful piece of wall decor, and my biggest problem will be what to do with all these new baby plants!
Propagation stations are a great gift idea for plant lovers. Or you can gift your propagated house plants because your whole house will soon be covered in new plants!
Most plants will grow even better with an occasional trim, so now you can turn these scraps into a new hobby with this simple technique.
Buying plants for your garden and houseplants can be expensive, so propagating your own is an excellent budget way to add greenery to your home. Cute little potted plants also make lovely gifts, so you will never be empty-handed for the next housewarming party.
I hope you found this guide helpful, and if you make your own, I would love to see it, so please send me your photos!