Propagating From Cuttings

by Daisy

Thank you for visiting Little House in the Suburbs. If you like what you see, please SUBSCRIBE.

This is the first year I planted pineapple sage (above).  I didn’t know what to expect, except I heard it was a great “tea” herb, and who doesn’t love making her own herbal tea? Not me, certainly.

I watched the thing grow all Spring and Summer.  And grow.  And grow.  And grow.  It got HUGE. It smelled really great when I crushed the leaves, nice and pineapple-y, but none of those beautiful cardinal red blooms I’d been promised.  Where were the blooms?

I waited impatiently.  At last, the first little bits of red began to show at the tips of the branches.  It was Fall already, and I wondered if they would have time to get going good before the frost.

Well, they did, plus, light frost didn’t bother it.  And much to my joy, the honeybees LOVED it.  The by now huge plant hummed with activity.  I would stand nearby and watch and listen as the bees made a meal out of the blossoms.  I was so pleased, it was like finding a dish your picky teenager raves about.

I wanted more.  I also wanted more of the patchouli that smelled so fantastic.  Patchouli is also a good bee plant.

The procedure for propagating the patchouli and pineapple sage was pretty much the same.

I cut some branches from each beginning near the crown of the plant and cut each branch into segments, 2-3 (or sometimes more) inches long.  I made sure there was at least one node on each segment.  A node is the part of the stem with buds from which leaves, flowers, or roots grow.

I moistened some potting soil, filled large pots with it, and stuck a stick into the soil where I wanted to put branch segments, making little planting holes.

Then I put the segments in the holes, being sure to leave one node sticking above the surface of the soil.

I watered them in a little more, covered the pots with a couple of glass cloche-like things I found at Goodwill over the years to keep the moisture level steady, and put the pots in a partly shady spot in the yard.

Over the next few weeks, the little baby leaves that were on there dropped off of both plants.  New baby leaves have grown on the pineapple sage and I hope the patchouli will regrow some leaves soon.

I’ll bring them inside before it freezes and keep them in a sunny window until Spring when I can separate the individual plants into their own pots or plant them directly in the ground.

I’ll report back in the Spring with the final results.  I want to have these plants all over the neighborhood.

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmen November 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

This is a great post. Where did you find patchouli? I would dearly love to find this plant. Where I live, patchouli essential oil is $22 per ounce but a scent I buy just to open the bottle and sniff! Thank you

Barb November 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Love them! I’m looking for plants for my bees. Just started bee keeping this last summer. Wondering will they grow in Michigan. Thanks

Daisy November 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Carmen–I got the patchouli as a plant from a farmer’s market. I’ve never tried growing it from seed, but it may be easier to find the seeds than the plants.

Daisy November 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Barb–I think it would grow fine in Michigan!

KimH November 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm

How cool.. I never thought to take cuttings from pineapple sage.. I just buy a new plant every year. Its definitely one of my favorite herbs… Yum!! I’ll have to give this a shot one of these days!! Cant wait to hear how it goes for you!!

Lori November 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I also have pineapple sage and wanted more. I took cuttings and would break off some of the leaves, stick the cuttings in water and they put out roots like crazy within a couple of weeks. Once there was a good amount of roots I would plant them and it worked great. I also found that it spreads, I have new plants coming up on the other side of my flower bed in the second year.

Kathi November 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I also love pineapple sage and have had it winter over a time or two here in SW PA.

Farmer Doug November 25, 2012 at 1:43 am

Thanks for this post, Daisy. The photos are particularly good. Best of luck with the project. Your neighbourhood is going to look pretty spectacular when it’s all done! Best wishes, Farmer Doug @ Ladybug’s Mew in Yellow Point (on Vancouver Island).

katrina November 25, 2012 at 6:23 am

i love propagating things to get more plants ive done it with many dif herbs and flowers but i always thought u were supposed to have one node under the dirt for the roots to start from , maybe someone can tell me for sure?

Daisy November 25, 2012 at 7:33 am

katrina–Yes, I should have said. It’s recommended to have at least one node below the surface and one above the surface. Some of the sections in the photo don’t have two nodes, but I was just cutting and snapping pics willy nilly. I tried in the end to pick the best ones to use. Sorry for the confusion!

Stephanie March 1, 2014 at 12:32 am

Does ANYONE know where I can get patchouli cuttings? I have wanted to grow patchouli for decades. I can’t find any.

Carmen March 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

Hi Stephanie, I finally broke down this year and ordered 3 plants from The Growers Exchange. I ordered 3 to make sure at least one will survive! They won’t ship them til later this month (growing season) so I don’t know what they look like. I’m pretty excited having waited so long.

Stephanie March 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

Carmen, THANK YOU for writing!!!!! <3 I LOVE sage but am not familiar with "pineapple sage." I will certainly check that out. :o) I am zone 8 and I thought shipping would probably be later on. The patchouli plants I am looking at are on eBay and the gal I have been communicating with is not too friendly OR a wealth of information. :oD I think I will follow suit and go ahead and order more than one and then share with someone else when I get my bumper crop. :oD Will certainly get them from someone other than her. Just trying to find patchouli is a chore in itself. Thanks for the "heads up" on the Growers Exchange. Pineapple sage, huh? I want some of that, too. :oD)))

Lee Sutter November 24, 2015 at 8:41 pm

Owner of smoke shop had some flowers in basket. Got them from a friend. Owner from Syria and didn’t know name of herb, he thot maybe jasmine. Took me a few minutes but I guessed patchouli? YES, he said. That’s it.
I only know it as an oil (usually overwhelmingly fragrant), but the dried flowers subtle and heavenly and unique.
Thanks for your information. I also read they get up to 4 to 6 feet high!
I’ll try to order a plant, for cuttings, and also seeds. Have use of a greenhouse. Live in Mediterranean climate, Calif. Central Coast.
What luck did you have from cuttings?

Daisy November 25, 2015 at 7:32 am

Lee Sutter–Well, I would say mixed results. It’s hard to tell exactly what variables have determined my successes vs. failures. Time of year, certainly, and freshness of cuttings and type plant.
Patchouli is great in the garden. Makes the whole area smell wonderful. I got a plant one year from a grower who stopped propagating it the next year because he was scaling back on the different varieties he plants, and it was well worth growing. I miss it, though.

MAUREEN WILLIAMS June 21, 2017 at 3:49 am

Just popping in with a source for the Patchouli. Shipping is pricey but well worth it for lovely, healthy plants:

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: