How to Propagate a Chinese Evergreen Plant
A friend gave me a snippet of a plant she had in her office. It makes berries starting out green, turning yellow then red. I attached a picture. I am wondering what plant it is and is it best to root it in water or put directly in soil.
Thank you for your help.
Your plant is a Chinese Evergreen. Chinese Evergreen plants are propagated using stem cuttings and by plant division.
Stem Cuttings: Use a sharp, clean scissors or razor blade to cut a 3”-5” piece from the end of a healthy stem just below a leaf node. A node is where a leaf joins the stem. Remove leaves from the bottom 1/3 of the stem. Dip the cut end of the stem into a small amount of Rooting Hormone that contains a Fungicide. Plant the stem in moist potting soil. Cover the pot with clear plastic to increase the humidity and prevent the soil from drying out. Check the plant every few days to be sure the soil stays moist. Tug on the stem cuttings after a few weeks, if there is resistance, roots have developed, the plastic can be removed, and the propagation was successful.
Division: Propagating houseplants by plant division works well with plants that form root clumps as they mature. When the roots fill the pot, take the plant out and gently pull the root ball into sections, never use a knife to do this. Plant the sections in pots that are a few inches larger than the new root balls. Try to use the same soil mixture that was used for the original plant. Tuber Division is a specialized form of plant division. Certain plants develop thick stems or roots called tubers that store food for the flowers and leaves. These plants, such as Caladium, Gloxinia, tuberous Begonias, and Cyclamen, should be propagated in the spring when they emerge from dormancy. Take the plant out of its pot and cut the tubers into sections. Each section should have a bud. Dip the cut ends of the tuber into a Rooting Hormone that contains a Fungicide. Plant the tuber pieces just below the soil surface.
Chinese Evergreen Plants are Poisonous Houseplants with a #2 toxicity level due to the calcium oxalate crystals in the plant. Adverse reactions to a Chinese Evergreen Plant include skin irritations after contact with the sap, irritation of mouth, lips, throat, and tongue if the leaves are eaten. Always wear gloves when propagating this plant. You can read more about poisonous houseplants in my book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat; A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.