How to take leaf cuttings
Always select healthy, young, fully grown foliage. Avoid any damaged, diseased material or leaves affected by pests. Use pot or trays filled with free draining compost such as seed and cutting compost or mix equal quantities of multipurpose compost and sharp sand or perlite.
Streptocarpus: Select a full-grown leaf and cut in half along the midrib, which should be discarded. Using a seed tray make a shallow trench and insert the leaf, cut side down and firm in.
Sansevieria, Eucomis: Cut leaves horizontally into 5cm (2in) pieces and insert lower edge down. Make sure to keep the cuttings facing the direction that it was growing on the plant, alternatively cut into shallow chevrons. Insert the cuttings vertically about 2cm (3/4in) deep.
Begonia, Sinningia: Cut across the main veins on the underside. Pin the leaf, cut side down onto the compost. Alternatively, cut the leaf into squares 2.5cm (1in) across each with a main vein. Pin the squares to the surface of the compost.
- Water and allow to drain. Place in a propagator or a clear plastic bag in a light place out of direct sunlight. Leaf cuttings from tropical plants must be kept in high humidity at about 20°C (68°F).
- When plantlets form, remove covers and allow them to grow on until large enough to pot up individually.
Sinningia (syn. Gloxinia), Streptocarpus (African violet, syn. Saintpaulia), Peperomia: Cut the leaves with the stalk intact from the parent plant. Using pots, insert with the base of each leaf just touching the surface and treat as for part-leaf cuttings.
Kalanchoe, Echeveria, Crassula: Leaf cuttings of succulents should be left a day or two to callus (the cut surface thickens) before potting. Insert into pots filled to three-quarters depth with two parts cactus compost to one part fine grit, topped off with fine grit. Do not cover. Place in warm position and good light. Keep the compost just slightly moist.