How to Propagate Purple Heart, aka Inch Plant
Someone told me recently that the way you keep a plant forever is to propagate it. This concept blew my mind. I thought you just kept the plant forever, watering it some. Picking off dead leaves. Not so. And now I forgive myself for the plants I couldn't keep going on my failed life-support plans.
Hanging basket plants like this purple heart here (photo below), they need to be regenerated too. His head will get all scraggly with aging growth that can't quite get enough light. It's not all my fault that it looks worn! The lasting life of a plant is a topic for continued discussion, but for now, let's talk about propagating Purple Heart, also known as Inch Plant.
Keeping this sucker alive is all about making babies. There is a video at the end of this post that you can watch. The basic concept is this: clipping some little stems off, clearing off the lower leaves, and sticking them in dirt. Shove as many in the dirt as you can and you'll soon have a fresh plant legacy.
Inch plant isn't the only plant that you can do this with; I've done it with philodendron, snake plant, and a few others. Ashley Palmer has a cutting from her mom's philodendron that's over thirty years old. I often tell customers that want to buy my Retro Den fixture plants that they should just call their grandma (aunt, neighbor, friends on facebook) and ask if she has any pathos to share. Someone will. If you can document that you've done the above asking, then you could probably twist my arm into a clipping of mine. We call this the vintage version of plant owning because it adds that extra history and meaning. Not that there aren't a ton of fine nurseries to shop as well. I like to champion ALL the ways to acquire plants.
Once you identify a source for clippings, scroll down and watch our little video how to. Feel free to ask questions and share your own tips! We can all become green thumbs if we ask enough questions and talk about plants enough! Let's do this!
"Thank you for not telling me that all my stuff is crap and that I should get rid of it all and come shopping. I didn't think you would do that, but one never knows...You all really showed the joy you find in making people happy in the home. Thank you for giving me permission to embrace my crazy plant lady-ness."
-Anne, Mini-Session Styling Client