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Leaf cuttings

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Leaf cuttings are a plant propagation technique that involves growing a new plant from a leaf.

This technique works for some plants only; you may need to experiment first if there is no information available about the likelihood of a particular plant growing from a leaf.

Water method[edit]

Choose a large, good quality leaf from the plant you wish to propagate. Cut it away from the parent stem with a clean cutting tool.

Fill a clean container (such as a tumbler glass), with water.

Make a support at the top of the glass: a suggested support is to cover the top of the glass with parchment/baking paper and keep in place with a rubber band around the top of the glass and folded-down paper edges. Poke a hole in the middle of the paper for inserting the small stem of the leaf through. Only this leaf stem should be submerged in the water, with the rest of the leaf sticking upward above the support.

Leave in a warm place (not too hot) and regularly check the water, topping up as needed.

Check for small roots. If a new plant is going to arise from the leaf, little roots will appear after a time (the interval of time will vary depending on the plant species but it's a good idea to give it at least 4 weeks for this to work). When you see little roots appear, keep caring for the plant by ensuring its water supply.

In time, two tiny leaves will appear on the leaf's stem. This is your signal to remove the large leaf from the new plant and to begin to care for your new plant. Transfer it from the glass to a small container filled with quality soil and rooting compost.

Hormone rooting powder method[edit]

If you wish, you can add rooting hormone to the freshly removed leaf. This is done by dipping the stem of the cut leaf into the hormone rooting powder, coating it generously.

Instead of using the water method, plant in a container that has been filled with rooting compost. Use your finger or a tool, such as a pencil or dibbler, to make a suitable hole space in the middle of the soil in the pot. Then place the powder coated leaf cutting into this hole and gently infill with your fingers. Pat down gently.

Water gently. Place the pot and leaf inside a plastic bag and seal the bag. Keep an eye on it, adding more water now and then. If the leaf is going to take root, it'll take a few weeks, then you can remove the plastic bag and keep tending to the plant as it grows.