DIY: Make Your Own Plant Propagation Box Greenhouse (That Doubles As Home Decor) (2023)

DIY and Tutorials

June 16, 2022June 19, 2022 - Leave a Comment

DIY: Make Your Own Plant Propagation Box Greenhouse (That Doubles As Home Decor) (1)If you enjoy houseplants, chances are you’ll also enjoy propagating more plants!

Propagating plants is actually very easy to do, and you don’t need a lot of supplies. In the simplest form, you can propagate plant cuttings in a jar of water on your windowsill. This works very well for most plants, but does take some time. If you want to speed up the propagation process, using a simple greenhouse enclosure – or propagation box – will help! By using a greenhouse, your plants benefit from the extra heat and humidity, and they will root – and grow – faster.

Any plastic storage container with a lid will work as a DIY greenhouse, but if you want your greenhouse to look like a piece of home decor at the same time, here’s a quick way to accomplish this.

Make sure to see the notes at the very bottom of this post for even more ideas, tips, and information.

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What You Will Need:

What You Do:

  1. Gather all your supplies, along with cuttings of the plants you want to propagate.
    TIP:When taking plant cuttings, make sure to include at least one node along the stem, as this is where the roots will form.
    DIY: Make Your Own Plant Propagation Box Greenhouse (That Doubles As Home Decor) (2)
  2. Open the bag of sphagnum moss and add water to completely cover the moss. Allow the moss to soak for a few minutes to absorb the water.
    TIP: If you don’t have many plants to propagate, remove a handful of moss from the bag and soak it in a bowl instead of directly in the bag. This allows you to save some of the dried moss for later.
    DIY: Make Your Own Plant Propagation Box Greenhouse (That Doubles As Home Decor) (3)
  3. Pull out the moistened moss and place a generous amount into as many plastic cups as you’ll need. Add fresh water to the cups, filling them to just below the rim.
    TIP: If you use the plastic storage container linked to in the list above, you’ll be able to easily fit 10 of these cups into the container. You could also fit 15 cups into the container by placing the last 5 cups slightly elevated in the last row as shown in the image below.
  4. Use your finger, a chopstick, or a bamboo skewer to make a hole in the moss, then insert your plant cutting into the hole.
    TIP: You can place multiple plant cuttings into each container if you would like. I recommend placing each cutting into a corner of the plastic cup to help keep the roots separated – this makes it easier to remove the rooted plant when it’s time to pot in soil.
    DIY: Make Your Own Plant Propagation Box Greenhouse (That Doubles As Home Decor) (7)
  5. Place the plant cups into your large plastic ‘greenhouse’ container, then close the lid.
    I currently have 10 plant cups in my container (as shown), but will be adding five more cups to the center area to propagate more Sansevierias. I think the Sansevierias will add height and interest to this display, and… well… I can never have too many Sansevierias!
  6. When all your plant cups are in the ‘greenhouse’, place the greenhouse in a bright, sunny area. For example, on a coffee table or end table, on a bedside table, on a shelf, or next to a window. Display the greenhouse as part of your home decor!
    TIP: Avoid placing the greenhouse in direct sunlight. If you don’t have a sunny location, you can put this container under grow lights instead.
    DIY: Make Your Own Plant Propagation Box Greenhouse (That Doubles As Home Decor) (11)
  7. Check your plant cups at least once a week and add more water to each cup as needed.
    TIP:A watering pitcher with a long spout, such as this Long Spout Watering Can (my favorite watering can – I have four of them!) works great for adding water to the plant cups without having to remove them from the greenhouse.
  8. When the roots are well established on your plants, you can transfer them to soil. Carefully remove the moss and the plants from each cup, then gently remove most of the moss from around the roots. Be careful not to tear the roots! Place the plant in soil and water frequently until the plant is acclimated to soil, then reduce watering to a regular schedule.
    TIP:Place the moss back into the plastic cup, add water and more moss as needed, then pop in another plant cutting for even more plants!

Additional Tips:

  • Clear Plastic Storage Box– This clear plastic storage box worksso well for this project for many reasons. I really like that the plastic is completely clear (not translucent), as I think it makes this look like a terrarium used in home decor. I also really like that it has a hinged lid that doesn’t have an air-tight seal, as this allows just the slightest amount of air into the container, which helps prevent mold. And, because the lid is flat, you can stack multiple containers for an even more dramatic look, to save space, and for more plants! And who doesn’t want more plants?!?! I also like the height of this box – it allows for taller plants.
  • Square Plastic Dessert Cups – I like using these square plastic dessert cups for several reasons. First, they don’t have drain holes like growers pots do, so they hold the water in the cup. I also like that they’re square, which makes them fit better inside the ‘greenhouse” container. And, I like that they are clear (not just translucent) as this allows you to see the progress of the roots. I also like that they taper with a wider opening, as this makes it much easier to remove the moss and rooted plants when it’s time to transfer the plants to soil.
  • Clear Glass Jars– If you prefer, you could use clear glass jars in place of the square dessert cups. For example, recycle the containers of Oui Yogurt – they are just the right size.
  • Use a Plastic Tote – If you don’t mind not being able to see the plants in the ‘greenhouse’ container, you could use a translucent plastic tote with a lid instead of the container linked to in this post. For example, this Sterilite Plastic Latch Box would work well. Just make sure to open the lid once a day to allow fresh air into the box (this will help prevent mold).
  • Add Perlite– If you’d like, you can add a tablespoon or so of perlite to your water cups. This can help break up the moss a little more for more room for the plant roots.
  • Use a Rooting HormoneRooting hormone powder can help your plant root even quicker! To use this rooting hormone, dip the cut end of your plant into the powder before inserting the plant into the sphagnum moss.
  • Use Rain Water– Regular city water (tap water) will work for most plants. But… rain water works even better! Rain water doesn’t have any of the chemicals found in city tap water, so is healthier for your plants. Rain water also stays clear much longer in a greenhouse, so you won’t have to refresh the water as often to prevent green algae growth. Most well water works just as well as rain water. Make sure to read “How to Collect Rain Water for Watering Houseplants” for more tips!
If you have additional tips, please share in a comment below.

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DIY: Make Your Own Plant Propagation Box Greenhouse (That Doubles As Home Decor) (12)

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