Plant Propagation Resources

The intent of this page is to provide easy access to plant propagation tools, materials, and supplies for home gardeners interested in propagation.

I have used affiliate links where possible and Growing The Home Garden may make a small amount of money for each purchase but this does not effect the price of the products you purchase.

Related Page: Plant Propagation Articles and Tips

Reference Manuals

These are useful plant propagation manuals that I have in my library.

Plant Propagation by Alan Toogood

This has been my reference book on plant propagation for years although with an earlier addition. Lots of great info here! I bought it initially simply because it said Plant Propagation (Am Aff.) It has a ton of info and is probably the most affordable option with the most information. It is a good starter book to learn what you need to know on Plant Propagation. That is after you visit Growing The Home Garden!

Amazon Aff.

The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture

Second Edition 2nd Edition

If your focus is on trees and shrubs then The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture book is an absolute must have. It’s more technical and gives specific doses of rooting hormone applied and success rates from various institutions. The specific notes on how propagators had success set it apart from other plant propagation books. It is written by Michael Dirr, an absolute authority on propagating plants. It is in my library and this book with the previous one make a good 1 – 2 punch to cover all the basics.

For Taking Cuttings

By-Pass Pruners

I use a pair of bypass pruners from Fiskars just like these. They work very well overall. I use them for shrubs and trees mostly with cuttings from greenwood to hardwood. The important thing with cuttings and pruning tools is to keep the tools clean. Diseases can and will transfer between plants through the pruners.

Pruning Snips

For smaller plants like perennials and annuals that usually have more tender branches these snips work great. They are small and you can easily get into side shoots with nearly pinpoint accuracy.

TIP: Get a second pair to keep in your car so when you visit a friend and need to take a cutting!

Rooting Hormone Powder

This is a good basic rooting hormone for general use in the garden. It’s pretty much what I use with 0.1% indole-3-butyric acid. For most of your common uses this will be just fine. Some gardeners like the gels but the powder is usually available locally and easy to find. If you are experimenting with tissue culture you will want to use a different type that is more adjustable in the dosage.


1020 Flats – No Holes

I use 1020 flats without holes as a bottom tray for the 1020 flats with holes. It keeps the water contained and allows the water to form a small reservoir to gradually soak into the plants.

1020 Flats – With Holes

Plants need good drainage so I used the 1020 flats with holes for normal everyday plant flats and for seed starting. With regular use you can get 2-3 years of use from a tray although stepping on them drastically reduces their lifespan (personal experience).

Heat Mats

Bottom heating for plants is highly effective at encouraging good root systems. For my seed starting the heat mats are critical since I use them in the garage. I use 48″x20″ heat mats on our garage shelves with a thermostat. This link will take you to page with a variety of Heat Mats. Be sure to get a thermostat with them so you can better control the heat settings. The image to the right has the thermostat and heat mat included but it’s dimensions are only 20″x10″ which is good for a single 1020 flat but if you’re like me you will want more than just one flat of plants!

1020 Flats Humidity Domes

When starting seedlings humidity is critical. With a dome covering the seedlings more moisture is contained and you water less often.

Soil and Soil Amendments


Perlite is used to help create good drainage in your potted plants and seed starting mixes. You can also mix it 50/50 with peat to create a sterile mix for cuttings.