Plant Propagation Techniques – Leaf Cuttings

Plant Propagation Techniques

There are several different plant propagation techniques and this article will cover how to propagate plants using leaf cuttings.


Leaf Cuttings

If several new shrubs are required from a limited amount of propagating material, leaf-bud cuttings can be taken. Provided the material is taken at the right time, individual buds can root and break into growth more quickly than those on a traditional cutting. Camellias, in fact, are propagated more successfully by this method than by any other.

leaf cuttings In late summer or early autumn, take cuttings from semi-hard lateral shoots — those which began growing in the spring. Each shoot should have several healthy leaves, with a growth bud in each leaf axil.

With secateurs, cut off the shoot near its base. Then with a sharp knife, cut through the shoot at an angle, about 2cm (3/4in) below the lowest leaf.

Sever the cutting just above the bud in the leaf axil, cutting straight across. Three or four leaf-bud cuttings can be made in this way. Scrape some bark off the cutting with a knife, then dip the end and the wounded part of the cutting in rooting powder. Shake off any surplus.

Fill a pot to just below the rim with a proprietary cutting compost. Insert the cuttings so that the bud just shows above the surface. Take about 12 cuttings for each 15-18cm (6-7in) pot.

leaf cuttings With camellias, a leaf-bud cutting should contain only a small bud with a leaf and a sliver of wood attached — the sliver being scooped out of the parent stem with a sharp knife Insert these cuttings in the rooting medium firming them lightly until only the leaf shows on the surface.

Water both types of leaf-bud cutting lightly after insertion. Use a small hand sprayer, or shake water on with your fingers. Cover the pot with a wire and polythene hood as before to provide a humid atmosphere, then place it in the greenhouse or cold frame.

Six months later, knock out the rooted cuttings from the pot and gently separate them. Place potting compost in the bottom of the necessary number of 9cm (3-1/2in) pots — one for each cutting.

Stand the rooted cutting centrally in the pot, and then top up with compost so that the cutting is covered to just below the original leaf. Firm the compost so that the surface is about 1.5cm (1/2in) below the rim, to allow for watering. Water in generously and keep the pot in a greenhouse or frame. Never allow the compost to dry out.

In three to six weeks, the roots should reach the outside of the compost. Hardy species can now be planted out in the open. Less hardy ones should first go into a larger pot in the greenhouse, or a frame, for the following summer and winter before being planted out in the spring.

Other plant propagation techniques include:

Dividing plants

Taking cuttings

Heel cuttings

Layering plants

22. November 2010 by admin
Categories: Garden Management, Propagating Plants | Tags: , | Comments Off on Plant Propagation Techniques – Leaf Cuttings


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