How to - Techniques

Propagate houseplants using leaf cuttings

Simple steps to filling your home with the houseplants you love


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4.
Place tray in an area with bright indirect light or under grow lights at a temperature between 18 and 21°C. Mist plants lightly several times a day to maintain a high humidity level while new growth is being initiated. Keep the mixture moist, but not wet.


propagating-houseplants-4.jpg5. In five to six weeks, new plantlets (typically one to three) will appear at the soil surface, having developed from the surface of the cut petiole; leave them attached for a further four to five weeks until they can be handled easily and have generated their own roots.

6.
Snap off plantlets from the leaf cutting (or remove them with a sharp knife or one-sided razor blade) and pot them up in individual seven- to 10-centimetre pots; feed them with an all-purpose liquid plant fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, at one-quarter strength. These may be moved to a full-sun location if required by the specimen. Plants that have grown four to six new leaves are ready to transplant. 

Easy houseplants to propagate

  • Flame violets (Episcia cupreata cvs.)
  • Wax plants (Hoya carnosa cvs.)
  • Peperomias (Peperomia caperata cvs.)
  • African violets (Saint­paulia cvs.)
  • Begonias (Begonia spp. and cvs., except B. rex)


Illustrations by Cybèle Young

 

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