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Increasing Your Bounty

Ron Finley

Lesson time 17:12 min

Ron created an oasis in an urban jungle—one that would have cost a fortune if he had bought every plant. Ron shows you how propagation can be used to multiply plants, including cacti, succulents, sugarcane, and citrus trees.

Ron Finley
Teaches Gardening
Community activist and self-taught gardener Ron Finley shows you how to garden in any space, nurture your plants, and grow your own food.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - Propagating is cool as fuck. Why is propagating so cool? Look around you. All of this basically is from propagation. It's going to increase your bounty of all the plants that you have, and the fact that you can take a branch, and put it in the ground, and you can have a fruit tree. That's how this garden came to be. It's from a lot of propagation, and I'm about to show you guys how to do it. [MUSIC PLAYING] So say you were kind of envious of your friend's citrus tree, and you always wanted one. So what you can do, you can go in the middle of the night, and you can take a branch or two off of their tree. I'm going to show you how to propagate that branch so you can have your own citrus tree. You go and you clip it, and you take it home. What you want to do, you don't want to do a straight cut. You want to cut it diagonally, because it exposes more of the branch to where we're about to put this into. What you want to do, too, you want to remove the leaves, because actually, where you remove, these are roots for all intents and purposes. So all of these nodes where these are coming from, these will become roots. All right, take this off, too. I would remove the leaves and fruit. The way that you can get leaves off fast is just to go down like this. You can just go the opposite direction down the stem remove the leaves. What you want to do, I would give multiples, multiple branches. So you have this branch, and you can get a rooting compound or sometimes, even potatoes work. You stick the branch in a potato, and they work. So you have this. You have your rooting compound on this. Sometimes, I've had fruit trees grow without any root compound, but if you have it, try it. It's a good thing. Nice healthy organic soil, lots of compost, and that's what you do. Pretty soon, what you'll see, you'll see the leaves and flowers coming where all of these nodes are. So you stick it in the soil, give it plenty of water. Sometimes too, you can give it a whole 'nother environment where you can cover it with-- if you got a big enough glass container, because it'll get the humidity in there, or you can cover it with a plastic bag to create its own atmosphere. Believe me, I know it sounds crazy, but you have to trust me. This is going to work. And If you have multiple branches, some of them we're not going to take, but if you have multiple branches when you do this, you're going to have a citrus tree, and you're going to have a mulberry tree, and you're going to have a plum tree, and you're going to have a pomegranate tree. [MUSIC PLAYING] One of the things that I want to show you guys how to propagate is probably one of the healthiest things in your garden, which you wouldn't think of, and it's sugar cane. Sugar cane has zinc, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. And guess what? This actually helps your teeth instead of rotting it. So what happened was, they took sugar cane, and they flipped it and made it o...

Plant a revolution

When Ron Finley first grew a garden on a curbside dirt strip, he got cited—and then a warrant was issued for his arrest. He fought back, got the laws changed, and started a movement. Now the community activist and self-proclaimed “Gangster Gardener” is teaching you how to grow your own food, keep your plants alive, and find beauty and freedom in gardening no matter the size of your space. Start planting a revolution.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I love gardens! I learned about how cool Ron Finley is and I'm excited to connect with his community

Great guy to look and listen to, my professor

I have learned that gardening isn't super complicated; anyone can do it.

Delightful, entertaining and useful. I have a wonderful garden space but never know how to tend it or where to start. I loved this class.


Louise Z.

la la la, i growing up eating those sugar canes~ did not know it is that easy to grow

jeremy L.

Ron's enthusiasm was terrific. He showed how easy it is to propagate. It would have been helpful to hear how he chose the size of the pot. I pull hostas from my garden all the time and divide them. It is surprisingly easy

Monica S.

Agave/Aloe, similar, but not the same. Definitely happy plants in similar climate zones.

laura R.

"Decrease man's need for greed and increase man's need for seed. Go plant some shit" absolute GOLD

A fellow student

Sugarcane was the main crop in Puerto Rico for years; we actually juice it, it's so good for you

A fellow student

Awesome! I've tried propagating, but I haven't been successful at it; to take the citrus branch as an example, is there a specific part to cut the branch, like under or over a node?

A fellow student

This is great especially for a novice herb gardener. I want to stop buying herbs at the grocery store because they ARE ridiculous prices and never last more than 1-2 days. I'm starting an herb garden.


Great lessons for a person with a brown thumb. Yes I have killed herb plants by leaving them in the plastic pots, now I know better.

A fellow student

A nice one Ron ! I have a question , Can we propagate the Aloe by it's leaf rather than the need to have the plant with the root ?

Bernardo F.

Good, I will consider sugarcane in the future. I have a collection of succulents and cacti and whenever I have them all crowded I use to separate them. At the begining it was wonderful, my house turned green, but then those give children too. Sometimes I use them as a gift, or change them for another I don't have... but sometimes they're too many, what to do?