What are Propagation Cups and Are They Hindering Growth?

by | Oct 10, 2016 | 2 comments

I recently bought my 6th variety of Aglaonema. Yes, I’m obsessed with the amazing color of the leaves and can’t resist a different one when I see it. This newest acquisition is called ‘Pink Dalmation’. I brought it home and of course, had to re-pot it into a more attractive (green) container. While removing the plant from its plastic grow pot, I was surprised to find some interesting things going on in the root area of the plant.

A surprise in the root ball

As I turned the plant out of the pot, the soil fell away from the roots and I was surprised to see these plastic baskets with roots protruding from them.

The plastic propagation cups with the aglaonemas

The plastic propagation cups with the aglaonemas

The story behind the cups

I had to know the story behind these plastic, root-filled cups, so I contacted Justin Hancock (Consumer Marketing) of Costa Farms to find out about them.

Justin said these plastic cups are part of the propagation process and ensure high-quality cuttings that continue to grow well after planting. These cups also help keep the plant stable during shipping, a huge factor in the end retail product. The plants are started in the Dominican Republic and are planted in coconut coir, a sustainable product. They no longer use peat moss in the production of their houseplants.

I was amazed at the extensive root system growing out of these cups. Thank you Justin for enlightening us about the production of these plants. It is so interesting to me and I’m sure to the people reading this and buying Costa Farms plants.

The newly repotted 'Pink Dalmation ' aglaonema

The newly repotted ‘Pink Dalmation ‘ aglaonema

I personally am obsessed with these beautiful, easy plants!

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  1. Annette Noga

    I recently came across these plastic baskets, by accident, on my chinese evergreen whereby the roots were so entangled and tried to remove them immediately and repotted the plant. Now my plant is wilting after repotting it, all because these were not removed at the store following shipping.
    I’m not a happy customer with how Costa Farms does business and hope that my plant will survive this abuse and neglect.

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Annette,
      I didn’t remove my basket from my aglaonemas. They seem to be doing fine. I’m sorry you tried to remove them. I am pretty sure they are meant to be left on. It may be a good idea to take a cutting of your plant to make sure it survives. I hope this helps.


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