DIY Hanging Propagation Station

How to make a propagation stationHappy Earth month friends!  I’ve been focused on scrap wood projects lately and wanted to do something to celebrate Earth month.  I’ve always wanted my own propagation station so I made one.  Actually, I made two!  These little propagation stations will be perfect for propagating my houseplants, storing my cut herbs in the summer or I could use them as bud vases.  Before we get into the details of how to make these cute little propagation stations, let me answer a few basic propagation questions that you may have.

What is Plant Propagation?

Simply put, plant propagation is the process of making new baby plants out of existing mature mama plants.   You cut a clipping off of the mature plant, put it in either soil or water for a few weeks to grow roots and then you have a new baby plant.  

It’s an easy and free way to add more plants to your home using the plants that you already have.  

What is a Propagation Station?

While a propagation station sounds complicated, it’s actually very simple.  It can be defined as a designated spot for the plant clippings that you are propagating.  This could be as simple as a few jars that you place somewhere in your home or you could make a wooden base with glass test tubes like the tutorial in this post.  

Can All Plants be Propagated in Water? 

Not all plants will root in water but many of the popular house plants will!  

Some of the easiest house plants to propagate in water are:

  • Pothos
  • Fiddle leaf fig
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Philodendrons
  • Monsteras
  • ZZ plants
  • Snake plants 
  • Spider Plant
  • Arrowhead plant
  • Shefflera Arboricola
  • Croton

How to Make a Plant Propagation Station

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Thanks for the support!

Tools

Miter Saw

Table saw

Drill press or hand drill

Forstener Bit(s)

router (optional)

Keyhole router bit (optional)

Supplies

2×4 Wood Board 

Glass Test Tubes

Paint (optional)

Directions – DIY Propagation Station 

Below are the general steps to make a DIY propagation station out of a 2×4 board.  Detailed instructions for the two design options are provided after the general steps.

DIY Propagation Station 7

Step 1 – Cut your 2×4 to the desired length

Figure out what length you want your propagation station base to be and cut the 2×4 using a miter saw.

Step 2 – Mark the centerline for each hole

After you have cut your board to length, determine the spacing of your test tubes and mark the centerlines of each hole on the board.

Step 3 – Drill a 1″ hole for each test tube

Use a 1″ diameter forstener bit and either a drill press or hand drill to drill holes for each test tube.

Step 4 – Optional: Cut an angle at the top of the propagation stand

To improve the aesthetic, you can cut a 30 degree angle at the top of the stand.

Propagation Station Design #1: (4) Test Tubes with Partial View

The first design that I made was for 4 test tubes and provides a circular window to view the bottom of the test tube.  This will allow you to see more of the roots as they grow.

DIY Propagation Station 12

Step 1 – Cut 2×4 to length

Cut a 2×4 board to 10 – 1/2″ in length.  Note that a standard 2×4 is actually 3.5″ x 1.5″.

DIY Propagation Station 15

 

Step 2 – Mark centerlines for holes

First, mark the centerline where you will drill 1″ holes for the test tubes.  The exact spacing that I used is shown below.  The centerline of the two test tubes on each end are spaced 1.5″ from the end.  The test tubes are then spaced 2.5″ apart on center.

The view holes on the front of the base are 1.5″ in diameter.  The centerline matches up vertically with the centerline for the test tubes and the center is spaced 1 – 5/16″ from the bottom of the board.

 

DIY Propagation Station 20DIY Propagation Station 1

Step 3 – Drill holes

Use a 1″ diameter forstener bit to drill the holes for the test tubes.  They should be drilled to a depth of 2″.

DIY Propagation Station 21

DIY Propagation Station 2

DIY Propagation Station 4

Then, switch to a 1.5″ diameter forstener bit and drill holes on the front of the base all the way through the board.

DIY Propagation Station 22

DIY Propagation Station 6

Step 4 – Cut top angle

Cut a 30 degree angle at the top of the board as shown below.  You can use  a table saw to make this cut.

DIY Propagation Station 25

DIY Propagation Station 11

Step 5 – Add keyholes to the back (optional)

This step is  optional but if you want to hang your propagation station on the wall you can easily do that by using a keyhole bit and your router.

DIY Propagation Station 9

Propagation Station Design #2: (6) Test Tubes With Full view

The 2nd design that I made used 6 test tubes spaced closer than the first design.  I also designed it so that you could view the entire test tube.

DIY Propagation Station 10

Step 1 – Cut 2×4 to length

Cut a 2×4 board to 10 – 1/2″ in length.  Note that a standard 2×4 is actually 3.5″ x 1.5″.

DIY Propagation Station 15

 

Step 2 – Mark centerlines for holes

Spacing for the test tubes is shown in the schematic below.  Since they are partially exposed on the front, the centerline of the 1″ diameter holes should be spaced 1/4″ from the front face of the board. The centerline of each of the 6 holes are 1 1/2″ apart as shown below.

DIY Propagation Station

 

Step 3 – Drill holes

Use a 1″ diameter forstener bit to drill the holes for the test tubes.  They should be drilled to a depth of 2 – 3/4″.

DIY Propagation Station

DIY Propagation Station

Step 4 – Top angle

Use a table saw to cut a 30 degree angle at the top of the board.

DIY Propagation Station 18

DIY Propagation Station 11

Step 5 – Add keyholes to the back (optional)

This step is totally optional but if you want to hang your propagation station(s) on the wall you can easily do that by using a keyhole bit and your router.

DIY Propagation Station 9

How I Finished My Propagation Stations

First, I sanded the wood with 120 grit followed by 240 grit.  One simple trick for sanding the holes is to wrap the sand paper around the handle of a small screw driver.  Be sure to test fit the test tubes before you apply any finish.  There should be a little bit of wiggle room to ensure that there will be enough space after you have added a tiny bit more thickness with the paint or polyurethane finish.

DIY Propagation Station 8

I chose to go with a two tone finish for mine.  First, I sprayed the holes with copper rose spray paint by Rustoleum.  It took 3 coats to fully cover the wood.

DIY Propagation Station 23

Then I rolled on a black finish coat on the outside.  I used a foam roller and applied very light pressure so that the paint didn’t seep into the holes.  I love the look of rose gold with black!  What do you think?

DIY Propagation Station 24

I love to propagate my plants for two reasons.  First, because plants can be super expensive so why not create new plants for free?  Second is that I find it very rewarding watching the new plant babies grow.

Here are the finished propagation stations hung up on my wall.

How to make a propagation station 4

How to make a propagation station 2

How to make a propagation station 3

How to make a propagation station 1

How to make a propagation station 5

Frequent Propagation Questions

Now that you’ve learned how to make your own propagation station, here are some answers to common questions about propagating plants in water.

What do you need to know about your plant?

You’ll first want to identify what type of plant you have and research if the plant will root in water or if it needs soil.  Also research where to cut the plant.  You’ll want to cut below a node in order for new roots to grow.

Can you use tap water to propagate plants?

While spring water or well water is ideal for plant propagation due to the higher level of minerals, tap water can work just fine too.  One other thing to keep in mind with tap water is that it has chlorine in it which isn’t good for the plant.  That said, I’ve used tap water ever time that I’ve propagated plants and they grow roots just fine.  

When should you change the water?

Change the water once a week or sooner if the water level is low.  You want the stems to remain submerged as the roots grow.  

How long does it take to propagate houseplants in water?

Most houseplants will take between 2 weeks and 4 weeks to root in water.  

Where should you put a propagation station?

It’s best to place your propagation station somewhere that gets a lot of sunlight and is nice and warm.  While window sills may be your first thought, keep in mind that windows can be drafty and may be cold during some months.  

More DIY Projects

Check out some of my other plant related DIY’s

And if you’re looking for more scrap wood projects, here is some inspo.

16 Comments

  1. With garden season upon us, I’m loving this idea! I’ve been starting plants indoors and these would come in very handy. Much better than my current cups lined up along our living room window sill. Thank you for the excellent tutorial!

  2. What a great idea. It look beautiful and you get more plants! I appreciate the step-by-step instructions.

  3. What a lovely craft and a great way to bring a little green into various spaces. Thanks for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg 🙂

  4. Hello, this is one of my personal favorites for last week’s Encouraging Hearts and Home. I hope you stop by and say hello, this post has also been pinned to the Encouraging Hearts and Home board! Thank you for being a part of Encouraging Hearts and Home, we appreciate all that you share. Have a great week ahead!

Leave a Comment :)