Growing plants with the help of seeds is quite common and people are mostly familiar with this method. But what about plants which cannot produce seeds? Or plants which produce seeds but those seeds do not have the capacity to develop into plants? Did you know that some plants have the potential to develop into new plants through leaf cuttings. Before learning how to propagate through this method, let us first learn how to identify plants which can be propagated through leaves.
Identify type of buds
There are basically two types of buds on plants – axillary and adventitious.
Axillary buys are normal buds out of which branches, leaves and flowers arise. On the other hand, adventitious buds arise on unexpected sites like on trunk, roots or leaves. So if you see buds or outgrowths arising on places except on stem apices or tips and leaf axils, those are adventitious buds.
How to propagate through leaves?
- Sharp and clean pair of scissors or blade
- Propagating media
- Mother plant
- Some fertilizer
- Rooting hormone (Optional)
Propagating leaves with petiole
Petioles are slender stems which join stems with leaves. Money plants, syngonium, African violet, peperomia, episcia, hoya, sedum etc. can be propagated through leaf petioles. Take a sterilized blade or scissor and cut from just above the place of attachment from stem. Dip the petiole in a rooting hormone and remove the excess solution. Place the stalk in water or directly into potting mix for some days. After a couple of weeks roots will develop and your cutting will be soon transformed into a new plant.
Propagating leaves without petiole
There are certain plants on which develop directly through stem and lacks petiole. In such cases leaf blades are used to propagate plants. Snake plant, aloe vera, begonia, bryophyllum, kalanchoe, sedum etc. can be multiplied using this technique. Cut a healthy-looking leaf with a sharp blade and dip the cut portion in rooting hormone. You can then place the leaf in water or in potting mix. You can make multiple incisions and develop several plants from a single leaf. Make sure you insert the bottom part in soil and keep the tip towards the sky.
Propagating through leaf buds
There are a couple of plants which develop little buds on leaves or on stems which can be directly used to develop new plants. Cut the bud with a sharp blade, insert it into a rooting media and bury it in a potting mix. Eg – poinsettia, hydrangea, geranium, camellias, bryophyllum etc.
Succulents which can be propagated through leaves
Succulents are very easy to multiply through leaves. You can cut a leaf using sharp blades or scissors and place them in a tray with shallow water or potting mix. Don’t submerge the leaf in soil simply place it on top. Sprinkle light showers of water on top of the leaves regularly and after a few weeks new plant will sprout. Eg- Graptopetalum paraguayense (Ghost Plant), Sedum morganianum (Burrito), Echeveria lilacina (Ghost Echeveria), Sedum nussbaumerianum, Echeveria (Lola).
So, what are you waiting for? Gather all your tools and start multiplying your existing plants to create beautiful plants. Why to spend so much on new plants when you can propagate on your own?