Leaf Propagation You can raise many different plants by using leaf propagation, by cutting off portions of the leaves as cuttings. This method is used with plants that do not produce a shoot freely. Some plants that can be propagated in this manner are the Begonia rex, Gloxinia, and the spider plant and African violet. There have been many methods of leaf cutting that have been adopted, but in any case a matured leaf has to be used. The leaf is prepared by cutting a notch just below the junction of the main vein. The leaf is laid with the bottom facing down on the top of a pan filled with sandy soil. Then the pan is covered with a piece of glass and put in a warm room or greenhouse, this is done in the spring or early summer time.
The new plants will then develop just above the notches; when they are big enough, they are detached and treated like a seedling plant.
African violets can be propagated by leaf cutting, the bases once cut are placed just below the compost. As previously discussed, there are many ways and many types of plants that can be raised from leaf cuttings, but which are not, because it is easier to obtain a cutting or seedling. Some other plants that can be raised from leaf cuttings are Coleus, Fucshia and Fittonia.
Increasing Your House Plant Community By Division
All plants that produce rhizomes (underground creepy stems), or have many offsets or crown, can be increased by division of these structures in separate containers. The process is best done during the spring or whenever new growth has begun. Before you do division, the compost must be prepared and you need the requisite number of pots and provide drainage material. The day before the plants are to be divided, the soil should be soaked with clean water, or the dried out soil will fall away from the roots when you try to divide the plants.
When everything has been readied, the plants will need to be removed from their flowerpots by holding upside down and tapping on the rim of the pot, gently on the edge of a corner or bench.
Next, the crocks are removed with a pointy stick and the plant gets separated into portions of required size. Some plants, it will be found, can be divided by lightly breaking the balls of soil into sections, still others will have to be separated by cutting through the rhizomes or crowns with a sharp knife.
In most cases, each separated portion will have more than one shoot and several healthy roots.
When it comes time to pot the new divisions, for instance African violet divisions, you need to place them in pots which are large enough to accommodate the roots without cramping them. Then you need to pack the compost firmly around the plant and water using a container fitted with a fine rose. The operation of plant division can be very disturbing to the plant, so caring for the roots is necessary until the roots penetrate the new compost. To encourage the plant to develop strong roots, they must be kept in a cool, shaded location and the leaves need to be sprayed and moistened 3-4 days per day. This can be done by either syringing them or sponging the leaves individually with clean water. After being treated this way for a couple of weeks, the plants should be returned to their normal positions.
Easy plants to propagate by division:
Asparagus, Billbergia, Clivia, Liriope, Spider plant and African violet.