If I wanted to maximize the number of new plants I can produce from a single stock plant, without stressing it to much. How many leaves could I remove at one time and how often ?
JD - -lets say - you have a rare plant you want to propagate.
Depending on the size of the plant - if it is a standard - you can take at once several rows of leaves - doesn't make sense to take leaves that are young - they do not do well. Older leaves take longer - but they do produce. So everything to the level when the size of the leaf is 2/3 of a normal., Then you take the mother plant - and repot it in a new soil covering the neck and probably covering the plant with a dome or a baggie for a couple of weeks.
Your 20 harvested leaves go into solo cups 2 a piece, trim the tips of the leaves. put them in a tray with a dome. Mother plant and babies go under fluorescent light.
In 2-3 months you start extracting the bigger babies accurately - adding soil to the solo cups giving the chance the small ones to catch up. If your culture is good and everything is right you will get 5 babies from each leaf - and you will have 100 starters growing,If you still want more - you can start taking lower baby leaves from starters when they are at least quarter size.
Semi-minis and minis - your initial leaf harvest will be smaller - you can probably take 6-12 leaves, you can put 3 leaves in a solo cup and you do not need to trim the tips of the leaves.
You do not let the mother plant bloom, disbud it - so it will grow back faster. If you just take a leaf or 2 at a time - it is easier on the plant and you do not need to baby it all the time. But if you strip all the adult leaves - you need to let them grow back to the size before taking more.
Thanks Irina, that helped a lot. I am retired early from the commercial contracting business and looking for a hobby/business. AV's caught my attention a few weeks ago. I have one plant right now that actually belongs to my wife. She had some health issues a year ago and I have taken over the house work and this AV is in the kitchen. It was neglected for quite a while and looked pretty bad but instead of throwing it out I decided to see if I could bring it back. It actually looks great now with new flowers and even new leaves just coming out. Watching that one little plant has been really enjoyable and I decided to look into AV's a little more so I am reading as much as I can find. Next step is ordering a few plants and see if I can keep more than one alive and healthy. From there who knows !!!
JD - there is no money in AV propagation. It is hobby - and hobbies usually cost money...
But from the point of view of enjoyment and life enrichment they are great. So you can have fun together with your wife and lower the blood pressure at the same time. You can experiment on different techniques if growing and propagating them and use your creativity.