How to Propagate from Leaf Cuttings

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There are lots of ways to grow plants. Here is a propagation method that uses only one leaf. It's perfect if the plant you wish to grow has prominent veins, such as philodendrons, begonias and African violets.

Things You'll Need

  • Misting Spray Bottles
  • Garden Shears
  • Miniature Clay Pots
  • Potting Soil
  • Kitchen Utility Knives
  • Plastic Bags
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic bags
  • Select a healthy, mature leaf from the parent plant. The leaf should not be tender, new growth, but one that has been on the plant for a while.

  • Remove the petiole (leafstalk) with sharp shears or a knife. The stem should be removed close to the base of the leaf.

  • Slice across several of the larger veins on the underside of the leaf with a sharp knife. Try not to cut all the way through the leaf.

  • Dust the cut veins with a rooting hormone. Rooting hormones encourage the production of new roots.

  • Place the prepared leaf into a pot filled with damp, sterile potting soil. The soil should be premoistened prior to introducing the leaf cutting so that the soil underneath the leaf is damp.

  • Pin the leaf flat, bottom-side-down, to the surface of the soil using toothpicks or bent wire. (You will actually pierce the leaf.) You want the leaf to stay in contact with the soil at all times.

  • Place the prepared pot with the cutting into a plastic bag. The bag will provide humidity while the cutting is taking root.

  • Use a spray bottle to water the cutting while it is inside the bag.

  • Remove the cutting from the bag when you see new leaves beginning to form.

  • Wait until each of the small plants growing from the original leaf has two sets of leaves. Then divide and transplant the new plants into separate small pots filled with sterile potting soil. Either cut the leaf apart with your clippers to separate the little plants or use a knife to divide the leaf into separate sections, each containing a new plant.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place the bag of cuttings in a warm location away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep the cuttings moist while roots are forming.
  • Don't overwater new plants. The roots are very small and delicate and subject to root rot if not watered correctly.

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