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How to Propagate New Plants from Leaves

Split-vein Propagation and Wedge Cutting Methods

The leaves of some plants that have prominent leaf veins can be used to propagate multiple new plants from a single leaf.
Rex Begonias, Gloxinias (Sinningia), and Temple Bells (Smithiantha) can all be propagated using these methods.
The medium used for rooting your cuttings, like your tools and work area,
must be clean and sterile to prevent disease.
This is especially important when you are doing these types of propagation!

The most appropriate rooting medium for wedge cuttings is vermiculite
which is sterile, and it retains moisture and air.
Moisten the vermiculite with distilled water before beginning to make your cuttings,
and keep it evenly moist during the entire propagation process.
Using a nail or small stick, make evenly spaced slightly angled, shallow cutting holes.
Because they have no roots, your cuttings will need very high humidity, and will really benefit
if they are kept in a propagating case, terrarium, or in a miniature greenhouse.
Keep the tray in a warm (70°-75°), brightly lit area or preferably, under a grow light for 14 hours a day.
Willy the Garden Gnome

Split-vein Propagation

Select a mature, healthy leaf and using a sharp, sterile knife, remove it from the plant.
With the leaf laying face down, cut the petiole back at a slight angle to about 1".
With a sterile knife or razor blade, make cuts across several prominent veins,
right below where the vein splits, on the underside of the leaf.
Place the leaf, vein side down, onto the vermiculite, pressing the stem down into the medium.
The cut veins need to be in contact with the rooting medium, so if the leaf curls up,
use toothpicks or plastic tacks to hold it in place, or by covering the edges of the leaf with rooting medium.
New plants will begin to form at each cut in about 3 months.
Split-vein Propagation
a Begonia Rex leaf used for vein cuttings Rex Begonia leaf with the veins cut
Begonia Rex cuttings in a propagating tray
Leaf Wedge Cuttings
Begonia rex-cultorum leaf to be used for wedge cuttings Begonia rex leaf cut into wedges for propagating

Leaf Wedge Cuttings

Another, related method of propagation is take a leaf and cut it into wedges,
with each cutting containing a section of a prominent vein.
Using a sterile knife, razor or scissors, remove the outer ¼"-½" edge of the leaf, and cut the petiole back to 1".
With the leaf laying face down, use a sharp knife or razor to cut a small,
1"-1½" circle around the petiole, leaving you with a crescent shaped piece of leaf.
Divide the remaining portion of the leaf into small wedges,
making sure that each cutting contains a primary vein.
Dip the bottom end of each segment, including the section with the petiole,
into a good rooting hormone before inserting them ½" deep into the rooting medium, making certain that the growing end is up.
Gently press the rooting medium in around the cutting.
Wedges will take a couple months to form roots and plantlets.
When the plantlets are large enough to handle they can be moved into small pots. Treat them as you would seedlings of the same size.

Other Methods of Plant Propagation

Growing Plants from Seed
  Collecting Wild Seeds
Propagation from Softwood Cuttings
Propagation by Air Layering
Propagating with Stem Cuttings
Propagating with Leaf Cuttings
Split Vein and Wedge Cutting Methods
Propagation by Stem and Tip Layering
New Plants by Crown Division

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