How to Get Free House Plants: Propagating Spider & Pothos Plants

Amelia’s frugal life
by Amelia’s frugal life

It’s incredible how many free house plants I’ve managed to propagate from just two plants. I’m going to show you how I have made tons of new plants from my spider plant and my pothos plant.

The pothos plant also goes by the name devil's ivy. These are great plants to work with because they are easy to grow and difficult to kill. All I need is a pair of scissors and a little jar of water, and I can make new plants to give out as gifts or use them to add more greenery around my own home.

Propagating a pothos plant

When propagating a pothos plant, I cut off a hanging branch with leaves. I can use it to grow one long pothos, or I can cut it up and get an individual plant for each leaf. I prefer to do the latter. The cutting doesn’t affect the plant. More will grow down, and the leaves will fill out again.

Nodes on the branch

The plants have little nodes on the branch on the opposite side of the leaves. That is where the roots are going to grow. I’m going to cut between each node, leaving about a quarter to half an inch on either side of the node. Each node has a leaf attached to it.

Once I cut, I’m going to submerge the nodes in water. The water will feed the nodes and the roots will start to grow. I’m going to get about eight pothos plants from this one cutting, which is pretty amazing.

Submerging the nodes in water

I'll submerge these nodes into some water in a small glass. The water will need changing every week. I’m going to leave them in there for a few weeks until the roots start to grow. Then I can pot them.

Potting propagating plants

 I started this process with other cuttings I submerged in water about a month ago. They’ve started growing roots and are ready to be potted.

When you pot them, you could put each one in a separate pot or you could put all of them together. I will put all of them together because I like the look of a full, bushy pothos plant.

How to propagate plants

Once I fill up my pot with dirt, I poke some holes, grab a leaf with a node and put the roots into the hole. Then I fill the hole with dirt and press down around the plant. If I keep the soil damp for the first few weeks your pothos will get rooted.

After that, I only need to water them once every few weeks. If you’re trying this at home, don't overwater your plants. If anything, underwater them. If they start to look droopy, that means they need water.

How to propagate a spider plant

How to propagate a spider plant

Now, I will show you how to do the same thing with a spider plant. I have taken so many cuttings and made so many baby plants from my original spider plant. I’ve had the mother plant for 8 years.

Spider plants make fantastic gifts. If I had kept all of the plants I propagated my entire house would be covered.

Baby spider plants

These little sprout-looking pieces grew from the spider plant flowers. They are essentially baby spider plants. I potentially have four or five babies on here that I can use to grow whole plants.

Submerging the spider plants in water

You don’t need to completely submerge spider plants in water. They're quite hardy. They don't even need roots. If you just put them straight into a pot with very damp compost, they will grow roots in there.

However, I like to submerge them in a bit of water first so I know they have roots before I pot them. It just makes me feel more confident that they will survive and thrive. I use just enough water to cover the bottom of the plant for the roots to grow. I won't need to change it because they'll drink the water quickly. 

Spider plants really like to be root bound, so they do not need a massive pot. They prefer a smaller pot for the roots to be condensed. If you are new to house plants, start with a spider plant. They are extremely easy to care for.

How to get free house plants

In just a few weeks these new plants will start to grow. In about six months’ time, I should even be able to take cuttings from them. The pothos plants grow quicker in the summer months. This time next year, these baby plants will give me loads of new plants. 

Now you know how I get tons of free house plants. I have loads in my house and give them out as presents all the time. This is all for just the price of the compost and the pots that you put them in.

I don’t even spend much money on pots because I find them cheap or find people giving away pots for free. I always have an eye open to collect cheap or free pots.

You can buy compost or make your own. I would normally use my own compost from my garden, but I actually had some packaged compost I wanted to finish up. 

Most house plants can be propagated. Some, like the pothos and spider plants, are easier to propagate. I have found that the easiest plants to propagate are also the easiest to keep alive.

How to get free house plants

Do you have any houseplants that you want to try to propagate? I hope this inspired you to start making your own new, free plants. Fill your home with greenery and give plants to friends and family as a lovely gift.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you’re going to give this a try. I love hearing from you and would be happy to give you any guidance you might need. 

Join the conversation
4 of 14 comments
  • Wen60516935 Wen60516935 on Jul 24, 2023

    I’ve got a rescued spider plant from the trash….I can’t believe someone would throw one of them or any plant away!!! I’ve had it for about a year and I can’t get it to bloom. Can you give me some ideas?

    • Carolyn K Carolyn K on Jul 24, 2023

      Make sure to give them good light. They can survive with fairly low light, but won't blom.

  • Carol de la Fuente Carol de la Fuente on Jul 24, 2023

    Thank you soo very much for this information!!! I will definitely try these ideas!!!

    • Rosalie Rosalie on Aug 05, 2023

      I've started so many spider plants by just clipping the babies and sticking them in a pot. They grow like crazy. I'm going to try it with my what did you call them pothos. I have some clippings I bought also 3 adult plants.. I love them