A great many different greenhouse plants can be propagated using different types of leaf cuttings. I usually take one complete healthy leaf off the plant with the petiole still attached. The petiole is then pushed into the cutting compost - I still like to use New Horizons peatless compost and sharp sand in a 3:1 ratio but I am using a 3:1 compost to perlite in the photographs. The leaf stalk is pushed into the compost until the leaf lamina is lying on the compost surface.
|Taking a leaf cutting from a Saintpaulia|
A different method is used when taking cuttings of Begonia Rex. A healthy leaf is taken off as I did with the Saintpaulia.
|Taking a cutting from the Begonia Rex|
The petiole is removed, although I have often left a stub of petiole on the leaf and pushed this into the growing media.
Then the veins of the underside of the leaf are scored with the knife although I have had success with horizontal cuts across the veins as well.
|Scoring along the veins on the back of the leaf.|
The leaves are then placed onto the growing medium and weighed down with stones to provide a good contact with the soil.
|Leaf lamina cuttings on the growing media|
In some books it is suggested that wire is used to peg down the leaves. This damages the leaves and allows a possible entry point for pathogenic fungi so I avoid using it.
Begoinia Rex can also be propagated using leaf sections.
|Taking leaf sections|
Sansevierias (Mother in law's tongue) can be propagated like this as well. They do not grow to type though because they are chimeras.The veins going from thick at the bottom to thinner at the top.
Sansevierias (Mother in law's tongue) can be propagated like this as well. They do not grow to type though because they are chimeras.
Leaf cuttings need to be rooted in a warm, damp atmosphere so it is essential to keep everything used in the propagating procedure as clean as possible; compost and containers being sterilized if necessary. It is also important to get the right balance with watering because provide too much and the leaves will rot, while too little will dry them up. Most of these cuttings will need a temperature of about 16oC to 18oC to root well. If they can be put into a heated propagator this will increase success.