Leaf propagation questions

quinnfyre(z7 PA)April 10, 2008

What is the longest it has taken you to get a leaf to produce babies? I have leaves that I started almost a year ago with no action. Worst offender: Snowy Sky. For some reason I really want to see this plant. The first set of leaves I got were a bit suspect, and ended up rotting. No big deal, got another set. This is the set I started last summer. One finally succumbed, but the other is still here, with no babies. I feel like I'm doing something wrong, as I have only managed to successfully grow out one baby, from Rhapsodie Teressa. I've successfully gotten babies to start from others, but not in the quantities that other people seem to get, mainly 1-2 per leaf. I also can't seem to manage to keep sucker babies alive either (the suckers you remove that are large enough to make it). Is it really just a question of bagging them? Is that the key to success? Just looking for some input.

I also have a bunch of leaves started that I've placed in a mini-greenhouse (more like a terrarium) thing that are starting to show signs of babies, but again, in low quantities, about 1 per leaf. These were started in Oct, I believe. I was hoping that the enclosed space would provide better humidity and speed up this process, but it didn't really seem faster, and I still have a low baby count. I don't really mind, as I don't want a million baby plants to find homes for, but I'm curious as to why I never get more than the 1 or 2.

So in a nutshell, should I be bagging them individually? Why don't I get more babies? And why can't I get sucker babies to take?

Thanks!

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cajunkisses2007

Well i'll tell you what I do and have great success, although everyone has their own way of propagating from leaves.

I use a small, 1oz. shot glass from the party store. Fill it up with dampened vermiculite, stick my leaf in and put it in a domed tray or other type container that seals well. If you are putting down many at one time, the large sandwich tray with clear lid from the deli works well. Or one of those foil roasting pans with lids. Anything that has a clear lid and seals. Then I place it under lights and leave it. I usually have mouse ears popping up in 4 to 6 weeks. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 7:45AM
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dragonfly2008

Sometimes if a leaf is slow in putting up babies, you can snip off the top part of the mother leaf and it spurs formation of the new plantlets. Some people snip the top part of the mother leaf off when they put the leaf down in the first place.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 10:24AM
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fred_hill(6)

Hi,
I am questioning how long the petiole is that you put down.
I cut off the stem at no more than 1 inch on an angle with the cut facing forward. I sink it into my mix up to the leaf. I also chop the leaf off and put it into an enclosed container. Dependning on where the leaf came from on the plant determines how quickly it will send up babies. The third row is ideal. Older leaves take longer. Right now I think I have a leaf of Powwow from the 12th row. It's been there since last September.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 10:44AM
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donna_c

Thanks everyone for the tips. I have the same problems as quinnfyre does. Two days ago I spotted my 3rd set of babies from leaves put down in Feb. 2007! I think some of the other leaves are trying to get into the violet book of world records! I'm also wondering if they are in too dark of a location. How bright is the light that you put your leaves into?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 11:58AM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Well, I can't control what row it came from, as I bought the leaf, but that might be part of the problem... it may have been an old leaf. That particular leaf is in one of those 3oz bathroom cups, in a south facing window, but uncovered. That was how I first started leaves. Now I've changed my system to these little 2oz sauce cups, clear so I can see in, in a covered mini greenhouse thing from Ikea (basically, a terrarium or seed starter). I think I'll revise my system once more, to really get this down. When I started leaves last year, they were more of an afterthought, except for Snowy Sky. My very early success with leaves I started from my own plants made me think this was going to be a lot easier than it turned out to be. Well, it's not necessarily harder, just slower : )

So, here's the plan. Leaves put into the small 2oz sauce cups, enclosed in a smaller space than the mini greenhouse, in good light. Snip tips if no action is going on for more than 3-4 months. We'll see how that goes. And maybe this time next year I'll be saying, look how beautiful Snowy Sky is!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 4:01PM
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nova12(zone 2)

I laid my first leaves a little over a year ago, and most are starting to show their first flowers now. My way is similar to the ones mentioned, but I added a little more neglect....lol. I started most in little dixie cups and I never covered them. I had them about 6 inches under a small 20 watt florescent. I let them go bone dry, although I don't recoomend this, I lost a couple that way. I too cut the stem on a slant no longer than an inch. I misted them very irregularily, so it probably didn't do much for them. I think I have come to realize that more neglect than we think they can handle is healthier than doting on them like crazy (I do this too, it's never good for me to dote on a plant, because it's then doomed to die on me....lol)

I started seeing babies a few weeks later, and from there has taken a year to reach it's size now. Most of them are 3-4 inches across, 12-20+ leaves, most the size of coins. and some have had their first flowers, they started blooming a couple months ago.

No one mentioned or asked about whether rooting hormone was used. There isn't much need for it, but if it was used, it could take longer to see babies, because the leaf is more interested in growing roots than babies.

Is there a chill around them? Maybe the room is kept cooler than they like, causing them to grow slower??

It does seem really odd that there are no babies after a year, but if the leaf isn't dead, it's got to be doing something. Some take longer than others, but I would think you'd see something by now.

Keep us posted on how they do. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 5:13PM
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violetta1976(8 Portland OR)

I've given up on finding rhyme or reason to why sometimes I get tons of babies and sometimes I don't. I started something like 75 different leaves from 15 or so varieties all at the same time last October. They all were treated exactly the same from day 1. Some leaves died, some produced more babies than I know what to do with, some are just now producing babies, and some are alive and well but have yet to do anything. I don't understand it and I've given up!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 6:24PM
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cindee11461(z9CA)

I ordered leaves and received mine last week. I did the root hormone and placed them in potting soil I mixed myself. I am keeping them moist but not wet. I just read all these comments and am thinking OMG a Year??? That is to long to wait. I should have just bought the plants. On the other hand I have started leaves just in water and had really good success and it was fast too. Within a couple weeks I had roots. So I don't know what is the best way to do it. I hope yours grow some babies soon.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 11:39PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

I've found that my leaves don't do nearly as well if I baby them. I use regular potting mix, *BARELY* damp, like a wrung out sponge, bag 'em, and when they're well rooted (2-6 weeks depending on the variety) I wean them from the bag and put them with my plants; they do fine and throw up tons of babies, with maybe 98% success.

If you have large leaves, you can even cut a wedge from the top of the leaf (with the central vein as the tip) and plant that too.

Never, ever, use rooting hormone; the type of hormone they use encourages roots, but discourages suckers. You *want* suckers; those are your babies.

The damp soil method above also works for all kinds of AV rooting, such as suckers and de-rooted crowns. They take surprisingly little water to root, but you *must* bag them.

As for rooted leaves taking too long to make babies, try disturbing the roots; either bang it on the table or squish the sides of the pot a bit. That seems to give them a bit of a wake-up call.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Korina

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 4:15PM
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ProfSprout

Years ago I rooted leaf cuttings in water overall successfully. Now I would like to try rooting in soil-less medium. I have a clear plastic bakery container that could house 4-5 little solo cups. Since Korina mentioned above that her potting mix is BARELY damp, I was wondering if it would be alright to place alongside the leaf cups another cup containing just water to help with the humidity.

Thanks.
Sprout

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:14PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Sprout -

If you close your container well enough - you do not need any additional source of humidity. They will maintain themselves. Soak the piece of acrylic blanket -or similar synthetic fabric - and wring it practically dry - put it on the bottom of your container under your solos. transparent shoebox or sweater box containers work well.

The issue is not to have water on the bottom - it can provoke rot.

OT question - why you do not want to start your own topic - instead of reviving an old one? Nothing wrong with it- but probably people who started it 5-10 years ago are not active now.

Irina

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 6:30PM
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ProfSprout

Irina,
Taking out that cup of water asap before the humidity in there gets too high...

OT: When I transitioned from being a lurker to a poster I noticed the user instructions at the top of GardenWeb and was quite nervous of unknowingly committing forum faux pas. So I figured instead of me clogging up the forum with brand new threads for my seemingly endless questions, musings, epipanies, and whatnot, that I would 'add on' to existing, directly related old threads. Still playing this by ear, and thankful to have "met" some fellow AV-lovers :-)

Sprout

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:29PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

You know what - I am hanging here for 10 years - thank you Fred from NJ for being a patient teacher to an enthusiastic newbie!

I think a couple times there were postings of non-adequate people and it was unpleasant and the administration of Gardenweb removed these postings in a hurry.

Otherwise - the more you ask the more you learn, the new approach of the beginners is fresh and useful to all of us. It is a forum for beginners who in turn teach the next generation. You can read books, you can study everything you can find on rachelsreflections.com - but there are always things you need to clarify - and people who do troubleshooting for you - they enjoy doing it.

So - if you want to ask if red pot is better than green - go forward- somebody probably tried and figured it out. (it is an example - I really have no idea)

Cheers

irina

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:37PM
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elliewilbanks(8a)

Seemingly simple questions are actually the ones I most learn from as it fills in the missing bits and pieces. Not having a local club means not having hands on help. So appreciate everyone's experience. Thanks!
Ellie

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Allen_60517

I was just separating babies from the mother leaf yesterday and came upon something I haven't seen before. I had purchased a leaf that I put down. The leaf was old and huge. When I put it down, I used rooting hormone. When I was putting the stem in rooting hormone, I accidentally got some on the "leaf part."

Believe it or not, that is where the babies grew! The stem was rooted but the babies grew from the bottom corner of the leaf (which was touching the soil). I can't wait to see how the babies do.

Anyone else have this kind of experience?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:58AM
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azpedsrn(Arizona)

In early March I put down 26 pairs of leaves I purchased on e-bay. As an experiment, I put each pair in a solo cup and cut the tip off of one of the two. Nearly all are sending out babies and I don't see any difference in the ones that had the leaf top cut vs. the uncut leaves. I have the leaves in their cups in a large sheet cake container (bakery type). The generous seller sent me three of some of the leaves. With the varieties I received a third, I put the extra leaf in a baggie with a little of the soil mix in the bottom and clothes-pinned it to my plant stand. I've started several leaves this way through the years. Well, of the leaves in the baggies, not one has sent out a baby - I guess I won't do this anymore. It has been a fun experiment.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:48PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Easy to start plants in a spring - everything just loves to grow...
After the leaves are rooted - baggie or dome - it is OK to keep them in the open.

I like to cut the tip of the leaf - especially LARGE leaves - prevents the solo cup from tipping over. The babies emerge fast in spring time - but in the fall - sometimes instead of growing babies - the leaf starts increasing to the size of a rhubarb - so cutting the tips to some extent prevents it.

Happy Separating and Repotting!

Irina

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:03PM
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