Winter is here, So is the best time to grow Cauliflower and Broccoli

We are all very familiar with growing leafy veggies in pots and containers, but have you ever thought that vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli can be grown on your balcony too? The scientific name of cauliflower is Brassica oleracea var. botrytis while broccoli’s scientific name is Brassica oleracea var. italica. Both of these vegetables belong to the same family and hence have very similar requirements. Let us look at the materials required to cultivate them.

Materials required

  • Containers –

Both of these vegetables consist of a head that we consume. That head is large and needs space to grow. Take a pot which is 12 to 15 inches deep and has the same diameter. If you wish to plant more than one seedling, you can even opt for bigger pots or rectangular ones. The pots should be well perforated for better drainage.

  • Soil –

Both of these plants are heavy feeders, which means they would require a good amount of fertilizers. You can add vermicompost and FYM rich in nitrogen content. The potting mix can be made with clayey loamy soil and if the soil has low water holding capacity add cowdung manure or cocopeat or more clay soil than loamy as these veggies want their soil moist and well drained.

  • Mulching –

As mentioned above, these plants prefer good moisture at all times, in order to provide that you can opt for mulching. Sometimes we forget to water the plants or sometimes we need to go out for a couple of days. In such cases, mulching is going to save the day. You can take some dried-up leaves, and twigs and spread them on the soil to preserve moisture.

Seeds/ Saplings

You can prepare a nursey of these veggies using seeds. Plant them in a small container or pro trays (germination trays) at a depth of 2 to 4 cm, cover them with light soil and they will germinate in 7 to 14 days. After germination wait till the saplings reach the 4-leaf stage and transplant healthy plants into their individual containers. If you want to stay out of the hassle of growing a nursery you can also buy saplings directly.

When to plant them?

Both are winter season crops so it is desirable to plant them during October – November in India. There are some varieties available which can withstand a little heat and can be grown in early summers too.

How much light do they require?

As they are winter veggies, sunlight is going to be a little limited. It is better to place the pots in a bright sunny spot as 6 to 7 hours of sunlight is desirable.

Do they need to pollination?

Lucky for us, the parts of broccoli and cauliflower we consume are unfertilized, unopened flower buds which can be cultivated even without pollination. So one less thing for us to worry about.

Water, water and water!

These veggies constantly need water but will rot if over watered. Use of well drained soil and perforated pots will avoid water logging. Water them regularly and make sure that the top portion of soil never goes dry for a good harvest!

What about pests and insects?

Unfortunately, these crops are the favourite targets of those squishy insects and bugs. So in order to protect the plants, first of all, if you see any of these creepy crawlies on them, throw them away. You can use the force of water too to drive them away. Since we should try to minimise the use of chemicals, it is advisable to pick varieties which are resistant to insects and diseases.

Voila! It’s time to harvest.

After 50 to 70 days of constant caring, watering and saving the plants from attacks of insects, you can harvest your veggies. If the broccoli head has turned dark green with small compact flowers in clusters, it is ready to harvest. While cauliflowers are ready to harvest when they are pale yellow or off white in colour and all the florets are tightly packed. If florets start to open in any of these veggies, harvest them immediately.

  • Main head – Firstly, harvest the main head by using a sharp knife. Make a cut 5-6 inches below the head. This will encourage side branch growth too.
  • Side heads – If the summer heat hasn’t kicked in yet, then you can definitely get more heads from side branches too. They will be comparatively smaller in size but will be equally delicious.

Both of these veggies have good iron, protein and vitamin content. It is very good to consume them regularly and will taste extra delicious when grown on our own balconies.

Happy gardening folks!

Written by
Antra Thada

It’s indeed the perfect time to start your Balcony Garden! Here are 7 things you need to keep in mind before starting your li’l balcony garden!

Many of us live in such tight spaces in urban configuration that is next to impossible to think of having a backyard or a garden to grow veggies or anything else. But don’t give up yet, as we all have balconies or little spaces near our windows where atleast some veggies can be grown. So, in this post let’s focus on what are the basic things that you are going to require for balcony gardening, planning and then in the subsequent posts we will discuss which plants will be most suitable for cultivation.

Light

The first thing you should notice before starting a balcony garden is the amount of light your balcony is receiving. Observe and note down the number of hours the place is getting sunshine for as it will be important in choosing the type of plants/veggies you want to grow. At least 6 to 8 hours of sun is minimally required for any kind of plant to flower.

Water

If your balcony doesn’t have a tap or a direct water supply, the very next thing is to plan how you are going to irrigate your plants. You can of course carry the water from inside but trust me, that is going to become a tedious task later on. In such cases, a small pipe from the tap to the garden is very helpful. If you are someone who travels often, then I would suggest a self-watering system or drip irrigation to take care of your plants when you are not around.

Plan the use of space

If you are planning on growing edible plants like veggies or salad greens then you need to carefully plan your space. Is all the floor space is going to be used up? Are you going to opt for vertical space utilization as well? So, ask these questions before you proceed to start gardening.

Decide upon the containers

Containers are going to be a crucial part of your planning. You can have as many types as you want, you can have hanging ones or the ones that can be tied on the railings or any type of support. You need to pick deep as well as shallow containers to compensate with the type of veggies and leafy greens that you are going to grow. Ceramic or clay pots are the best as they don’t get heated up as quickly as metal containers and also, they don’t harm the environment as plastic containers. If buying plastic containers, opt for recycled ones!

Arrange your potting mix

Soil is one of the most important part as it is the substrate in which plants grow. You need to have a nearly perfect potting mix for your containers to get a good harvest.

Keep your gardening tools handy

When you are growing edible plants, it is possible that they will catch diseases very easily. You will need to dig up the soil frequently, cut infected parts etc. In some veggies you might even need to cut the tip of in order to get a bushy plant.

You would need some medicines

As I said above, veggies will catch diseases very easily and sometimes it may require you to take extreme measures like spraying with certain fungicides or neem oil for saving them.

Add some fertilizers

Organic fertilizers, FYM, vermicompost etc. should be incooperated on a regular basis. As you are growing edibles, they will be in a constant requirement of nutrients so that the plants can provide us with veggies full of nutrients for us.

So get all the things that you require and plan a perfect balcony garden for yourself and your family to enjoy.

Happy gardening folks!

Written by
Antra Thada

Heard of Bottom Watering? Here’s all that you need to know about bottom watering

Let’s face it, at least once in a week a thought does cross our mind as to whether have we watered the plants sufficiently or not. Or worse than this, we fear overwatering as it can lead to root rot very easily. Well I do have a solution for this problem – Bottom watering!

Bottom watering is also known as reverse watering. In simple words, this method requires you to keep your plants in pan or saucer full of water while they are still intact in their pots. And obviously, this will require a pot with drainage holes. You can also use a bathtub or a sink or big tub to water multiple plants at the same time. After some time you will notice that the level of water in the container has gone down as the roots have absorbed it. Keep your plants in the water for around 15 – 20 minutes and then transfer them into a dry saucer.

Benefits of bottom watering

• Plants absorb exactly the amount of water they need.

• Avoids the risk of over watering and hence you can let go of the fear of roots suffocating or dying due to root rot.

• Wastage of water is avoided.

• During top watering the leaves also get wet simultaneously. This can lead several fungal and bacterial infections which can be avoided by bottom watering.

• It increases the strength of roots.

Disadvantages of bottom watering

• It consumes more time and requires more effort.

• It can lead to accumulation of salt and minerals in the soil.

• Not all plants like bottom watering

So which plants like bottom watering?

Here is a list of house plants which can benefit from this –

• African violet

•Snake plant

•Cape primrose

•Seedlings

•Small plants with heavy foliage

You might have seen Instagram stories and reels where people promote this method a lot. But practically speaking it is not possible to bottom water our plants regularly. But occasional bottom watering can also provide the benefits that you are looking for. Whenever you are free or have a day off, plan to bottom water your plants. In my experience, top watering is also necessary as it will flush the excess salts and minerals which accumulates with time.

Written by
Antra Thada

Interested in creating your very own Butterfly Garden? Here are few simple steps to start a butterfly garden

There is one thing that we all can agree upon and that is, butterflies are the prettiest creatures on this earth. The range of colours they display are so vibrant and eye catching that we can barely miss a butterfly flying by. And what if I could tell you that you can actually create a place which attracts these insects. Yes by the way, butterfly are insects but unlike the creepy crawlies, we all love them!

Our country is blessed with enormous biodiversity and even in metro cities you can spot a butterfly in a garden or near some trees. So don’t worry, even if you live in some polluted areas or big cities, you can still enjoy the view of butterflies in your backyard.

Life cycle of a butterfly

Before learning about how to attract them, let us learn a little about the various stages of butterflies and they turn into such a magnificent creature.

  • First of all, an adult butterfly lay eggs on leaves of plants.
  • After a few days these eggs hatch into larvae.
  • These larvae are then converted into young caterpillars. The caterpillars feed onto host plant leaves and grow enormously in size. It’s like they feast 24 x 7 onto the host plants and gain weight by the minute.
  • Then comes the resting period. In this stage, the caterpillars turn into pupa. It would be kind of an injustice to call this as a resting period cause a lot is happening inside that tiny packet.
  • After 14 to 21 days, a beautiful, astonishing butterfly will emerge out of the pupa.
  • So basically, you need provide a place for the adult butterflies to feed and to lay eggs, a place where larvae and caterpillars can feed and transform. This will keep the cycle going and your garden will never run out of butterflies!

Step 1: Location

The place where you are deciding to establish your butterfly garden is going to matter the most. Try to find a location where plenty of trees are growing but make sure they are not blocking sunlight. As butterflies are cold blooded insects, they need sunlight to maintain their body temperature.

Step 2: Plants

Use diversity of plants in order to attract various types of butterflies. They should vary in colour, type, flowering period, flowering type etc. This would attract different types of butterflies. Choose plants that support butterflies throughout their life cycle.

Plants for laying eggs

Butterflies are very specific about their egg laying sites. Different species of butterflies prefer different types of plants. Here is a list of plants which you can grow.

  • Milkweed
  • Carrots
  • Parsley
  • Wild cherries
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflower
  • Pussy willow
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage

These plants host various kinds of butterflies which means you garden would be full of colourful butterflies once these eggs hatch.

Plants on which caterpillars feed on

Caterpillars basically feed upon leaves. Carrots, cabbage, violets, clovers, mustard, blue indigo, alpha alpha, passion flowers, violets, milkweed, pea, beans, lilies, rhododendron, apple, cherry, plum, curry leaves, custard Apple, castor, silk cotton tree, calotropis, cassia, citrus plants etc. all these plants will be like a feast to the butterfly caterpillars and they will happily live and feed in your garden.

Plants for nectar

Nectars are food for butterflies which they eat from flowers. They can be annuals or perennials. The choice of flowering plants is very important because your garden should have certain number of plants which are blooming throughout the year.

Butterfly attracting perennials – Lantana, Jamaican spike, Wedelia, Clerodendron, Alternanthera etc.

Butterfly attracting annuals – Ageratum, Gomphrena, Marigold, Cosmos, Zinnia, Celosia, Petunia, Sunflower, Sweet alyssum, Blue salvia, Lantana, Verbena etc.

Step 3: Provide water

Butterflies are special creatures so they drink water too in an unique style. Fill a saucer pan or any other container with sand. Saturate that sand with water and do not over water. The water should not be floating in the pan. Butterflies like to rest on that wet sand and from their only they absorb water and minerals. Keep it in a shady place or away from direct sunlight so that it doesn’t dry out fast.

Step 4: Add some stones and pebbles

Butterflies like to sit on rocks and sun bathe. With the help of sunlight, these rocks become warm and attract butterflies to sit on them. You can create some designs of your choice and decorate your garden too with different types of rocks.

Step 5: Avoid any chemicals

Butterflies have very sensitive noses (metaphorically speaking), but they do have a very sensitive olfactory sensory organ. They are attracted by smells of flowers and plants. Use of pesticides or any other type of chemicals will drive them away. Not even that, it will kill the natural smell of plants and wouldn’t attract these beautiful creatures.

Step 6: Create a small water body

If you have space then do consider creating a small pond or a small artificial fountain in your garden. This will give the butterflies a very good ambience as if they are in a beautiful jungle and will attract them more.

Step 7: Provide nutrients

Not just with the help of nectar, but butterflies also feed on rotting peels of fruits and vegetables. So you can use your kitchen waste for composting as well as for feeding butterflies. Identify a spot where you can keep a very little amount of peels. Try to use peels which are not older than 2 to 3 days in order to avoid a rotten smell in your garden. Replace them in every 2 to 3 days and using a small amount will also not attract too many houseflies.

By following these simple steps, you can create your very own butterfly garden. By all these things, we are basically trying to provide a natural environment to the butterflies in which they are comfortable and can consider that place as their home. Don’t wait too long, gather all the stuff you need and soon your mornings will be filled with a perfect sight of colourful wings all around your garden. Wouldn’t it be a perfect place to drink your morning coffee?

Happy Gardening!

Written by
Antra Thada

Did you know that you could drive away mosquitoes with the help of these plants?

Remember that irritation when you hear those mosquitoes buzzing or spot those flies flying around in your homes? (Yeahh.. I feel you!) There are so many different products available to repel these insects but none of them are without some side effects. Those chemicals can also cause certain type of allergies in many people. The sprays contain many harmful substances which can damage the environment too. So, it’s high time that we shift to some natural methods of repelling these bugs. Here is a list of plants which will repel mosquitoes. Remember to keep them near windows, doors, curtains or corners of the house where they can be found in bunch.

  • Basil

This plant is an excellent herb which is full of nutrition and antioxidants. But there is more to the picture than we can see. This plant acts as an excellent mosquito repellent too. It has an aroma which is soothing for us and toxic for the mosquitoes and bugs so it will drive them away. Furthermore, this herb has the capacity to refrain mosquitoes from laying eggs in water. So place them near any kind of water body in your garden or home to avoid mosquitos.

  • Catnip

As the name suggests, this plant is loved by cats but is a strong hater of mosquitoes and bugs. It has a chemical called as nepetalactone which is a strong insect repellant.

  • Garlic

Garlic has a pungent smell we all know that. Not just the cloves, even the leaves of garlic plants have that smell. Growing garlic in your garden will serve your kitchen as well as repel mosquitoes too. You can even crush the cloves and rub the juice on your clothes or curtains to repel bugs away.

  • Lavender

This plant is beautiful to look at and smells very pleasant along with driving mosquitoes away. Lavender has a typical aroma which keeps the insects and mosquitoes at bay.

  • Lemon grass

Members of lemon grass family and lemon grass itself contains citral as an essential oil. This oil has the capacity to repel insects and mosquitoes. It also used in many commercial products.

  • Citronella grass

This grass is used for preparing many different kinds of perfumes and other cosmetics from its essential oils. These essential oils are an excellent mosquito and insect repellant too. So, keeping them in your house would drive them away. In fact, they are so powerful that these essential oils are used in commercial industry-based mosquito repellents too.

  • Marigold

These flowering plants are great addition for hedges and boundaries. They have strong scent which drives away mosquitoes. In fact, you can even grow them in pots and keep them near doors and windows and they would do their job. Studies have shown that growing marigold around your kitchen garden will save your vegetables from insect attacks as they repel aphids, thrips, whiteflies etc. which are carriers of many different disease causing microbes.

  • Peppermint

This herb is used mostly for making chutneys and refreshing drinks in summer. Its aroma is soothing and refreshing for us but at the same time unbearable by the bugs and mosquitoes. You can even pluck the leaves, crush it and place them in a bowl for repelling bugs and mosquitoes.

  • Rosemary

This plant is recommended by the New York botanical garden for the purpose of repelling mosquitoes. You can grow it in your kitchen garden too as it will keep harmful insects away from your cabbage and carrot plants. You can also toss this herb in fire to drive away bugs through its aroma.

  • Citrosum

This plant is commonly known as the Mosquito Repellant plant. There are no hardcore evidences that it does the job better than others but what’s the harm in trying? So grow some in pots or along the outer boundaries of your garden to repel those nasty creatures.

  • Floss flower

This plant produces beautiful purple flowers which adds a colourful touch to your garden along with repelling mosquitoes. These purple beauties have a fragrance loved by birds but hated by mosquitoes. Although they are not that powerful as repellants but they will do a pretty good job.

  • Sage

This plant is perfect for driving away bugs and mosquitoes if you are fond of camping or bonfires in your backyard. Throw some leaves of this plant in a bonfire and as they burn, they produce a typical earthy smell which keeps the bugs away. You can even dry the leaves and use them as a bug repellent in your home.

To conclude, all these plants can be easily grown in your garden or in pots and would provide dual benefits. One, they will make your garden more diversified & happening, and two, they will drive away unwanted bugs and insects, especially mosquitoes. So, instead of using chemicals which may harm you and environment too, use some natural methods like insect and mosquito repellant plants.

Happy Gardening!

Written by
Antra Thada

7 Tips to decide when to repot your plants

Just like we say monsoons are the best time to plant new saplings, I know many of you have a standard practice of repotting during the monsoons. Or other times when we see a plant is not growing, or it is seeming like it has lost its charm and nothing seems to work – training, pruning or fertilizer application, it is time to change its environment. Let us go a bit deeper and have a look at certain signs that indicate – it’s time to repot our plants.

Time

So you got new plants from nursery and you are super excited to have them in your house. You also bring some attractive pots to place your plants in and once you are done, they remain in the same pot in the same soil for many years to come. What I want to say is that repot your plants in 12 to 18 months. Make it a habit to change the potting mix after 1 to 1.5 years.

When you see the roots peeking out

After a certain time, the plants grow out of the pot and roots start to spread out from drainage holes. In such a case you shouldn’t just change the potting mix, but also take a bigger size pot and repot it.

Plant is looking dull or yellowish

If you plant start to lose color or is seeming relatively dull even after adding fertilizers or any other supplements, then it is time to repot. The texture of soil is disrupted after some time and it is unable to support any plant growth. This can be cured by providing those plants with brand new soil.

Plants are falling sick again and again

If your plants are suffering with diseases or pest infestations regularly and even after using some chemicals, they are falling sick again and again, the soil is the main culprit here. Pests or microbes can leave their spores and eggs in soil which may lead to reinfections. This can be overcome by repotting.

A lot of leaves are falling off

When your plants are losing a lot of leaves, especially young or newly formed ones, then it is time to repot them.

Plant has become larger than the pot

There are times when the roots won’t come out of the bottom but the plant is growing up very fast and it seems like the pot is not able to harbor the plant comfortably, then it is better to get a new, larger pot and repot the plant.

High salt accumulation

As we irrigate our house plants with water usually from the tap, a lot of salts and minerals accumulate in the bottom of the pot. Natural soils and lands have their own drainage system in which these salts leach down automatically, but soil in pots cannot leach down salts. With time, they accumulate in soil and prevents proper aeration and block absorption of certain essential nutrients. In such a case, it is better to repot your plant immediately. So, look out for these signs which your plants are trying to indicate and act accordingly. Repotting regularly will keep your plants happy and healthy and full of life. You would also definitely love to have shining and cheerful plants around your home which will be super soothing to look at.

Happy Gardening!

Written by
Antra Thada

Budget constraints not allowing you buy new plants? Well, here’s how you can expand your garden with minimum expense

In the previous two posts, we discussed propagation through leaves and seeds. Did you know that plants can be propagated through stem cuttings or root cuttings as well? There are many plants which do not produce viable seeds or their seeds take very long time to germinate. In such cases, cuttings could be a very good alternate.

What are cuttings?

Cuttings are basically a vegetative part of stems or roots which can be used to generate new plants with proper care and maintenance.

Stem cuttings

It is one of the easiest methods of propagating plants. You simply take a sterile sharp blade or scissors, cut a part of already growing plant and replant it in a fresh container and that is it! Well, it is not that simple of course, you just need to take care of few things mentioned below.

  • Mostly we need to multiply herbaceous plants which have very soft stem like hibiscus, dahlia, rose, coleus, money plant, chrysanthemum etc.
  • Cut a young and green branch which is at least 10 to 12 inches in length.
  • Remove all the leaves from the bottom 1/3rd to ½ length of the cutting.
  • Dip it in a rooting hormone, if available.
  • Plant it in a fresh pot and try to keep the potting mix moistened at all times till roots start to appear.
  • Make sure to plant the cutting in a slightly tilted manner and the buds should be pointed upwards.
  • Keep the cuttings away from direct sunlight.
  • Soon you will see that roots have started to sprout.

Pro tip: This procedure should be performed early in the mornings which will increase the chance of a successful propagation.

Root cuttings

Certain plants like blackberry, raspberry, achillea, anemone, salvia, chrysanthemum etc. can be propagated using root cuttings. As we wait for roots to sprout in case of stem and leaf cuttings, here we need to wait for the buds to sprout.

Procedure:

  • Root cuttings can be used to multiply plants usually in late winter or spring season (Before onset of monsoon) as roots have maximum amount of stored carbohydrates during that time. This will ensure that they don’t starve in absence of leaves which perform photosynthesis and make food for them.
  • Dig up the soil near the parent plant and try to expose maximum portion of roots. If the plant is in a pot then try to take the whole plant out of the pot in order to minimize the damage caused by digging.
  • Look for large and freshly formed roots with ample amount of root hairs and secondary roots.
  • Take a sharp blade and cut 3 to 4 portions.
  • The length of cuttings can range anywhere in between 2 to 6 inches.
  • If the plants have shorter root systems, then cuttings of 1 to 2 inches in length will also work well.
  • Place the root cuttings in a flat surface in a tray or a box and cover with a layer of soil (around half inch for small root cuttings and 2 to 3 inches for larger ones). Don’t put too much soil on small root cuttings as it will prevent the buds from sprouting.
  • Alternatively, you can also cover them with cocopeat, saw dust or peat moss and keep them in a cool environment, away from direct sun.
  • Keep the potting mix moist till you see new buds or shoots sprouting from the roots.

Pro tip: Keep the stem or root cuttings in sun for 2 to 3 days before transplanting them. This will harden(strengthen) them and prevent them from transplanting shock.

Get ready with your scissors and other tools to multiply your plants and surround yourself with a mesmerizingly beautiful garden!

Happy Gardening!

Received Seed Rakhi this Rakshabandhan? Or planning on Eco Friendly Ganpati with Seeds? Read the post to know the significance of seeds and the best way to germinate them

The survival of any species depends upon their capacity to reproduce and to transfer their characters (DNA) to the next generation. In plants this is achieved through various methods one of which is seed. Seed propagation is the most common and reliable method of propagation in plants. In fact, it is very useful for us humans too. Imagine storing and transporting large plants for planting! Seeds make it very convenient for us as they are very easy to pack, store and transport.

What exactly are seeds?

In simple words, seeds are miniature versions of plants which have the capacity to grow and develop into fully functional plants. They have an embryo inside them which divides and divides continuously in order to develop into a full plant. They carry food which is essential for initial development of the plant and provides nutrition until the plant is capable for performing photosynthesis. Embryo is a tiny plant which has a shoot, a root and some leaves.

Types of seeds

They are basically two types of seeds – monocots and dicots. As the name suggests monocots have one cotyledon and dicot have two. Cotyledons are tissues which store and provide nutrition to the embryo. I will make it simple for you, you might have seen the seed of chickpea, if you immerse it in water for a couple of hours it can be easily split into parts. Groundnut can also be easily split into two identical parts, these are dicots. Now imagine the same with rice or wheat. Can you split it? These are known as monocots.

How to propagate using seeds?

  • So basically, all you need to do is sow these seeds in soil and they will develop into seedlings which will later turn into plants.
  • There is a thumb rule for sowing of seeds – seeds should be sown at a depth twice of their length. This way you won’t suffocate the seeds.
  • Sprinkle some water and be cautious not to flood the areas it can rot the seeds.
  • Sow multiple seeds at a proper distance to avoid overcrowding and struggle for nutrition and space.

Soon the seeds will germinate and you will be able to see small seedlings emerging out from the soil. You can prepare a nursery and later on transplant the plants into soil or you can directly sow the seeds too.

Which plants can be propagated by seeds? Almost all plants can be multiplied using seeds whether it is beans, flowers, annuals, perennials, herbs, shrubs, all common vegetables etc.

Did you know you could propagate plants through leaves? Here’s how..

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?

Materials required:

  • Sharp and clean pair of scissors or blade
  • Propagating media
  • Container
  • 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?

Written by
Antra Thada