this year we sold our old house. And I wanted to keep some of the plants that I had there. Namely Sedum Neon. I really like the bright green-yellow leaves with the bright pink flowers. Since I could not carry the entire plant with me, I opted to carry the leaves. Small, compact, fits in the bag and has the potential to create a new plant. At least in Sedums. Although now we should call them Hylotelephium. I cannot get used to this name what so ever.
The propagation of plants using their leaves is possible in some plants. The leaves are referred to as leaf cuttings. But leaf cutting is usually just the leaf with its stem. So the first step of propagating my Sedum was to take some leaf cuttings, or simply strip several leaves of the plant stem. I chose the leaves from several stems that looked ok and weren’t really noticeable, so new owners won’t complain. And I simply broke them off the plant stem at the spot that the attach to the stem. Some people cut them off. But for propagation it is a bit better to snap the leaf off with your fingers.
Once that I had my cuttings, I did similar thing that you would do with a stem cutting. I left the leaves out for a few days so that their wound calluses over. You could just stick the leaves into the soil. But if you do let the leaf wound callus it is less likely to rot. And the main nemesis of all cuttings is the rot.
After my leaves wounds have dried. I have planted the leaves into the seed starting mix. It does not need to be a seed starting mix. It can be any less water retentive soil. But the soil I used this year to propagate some cuttings does not seem to work that well for this job. I had cuttings rot, so I decided to try my luck with some other soil.
When planting yours leaves. Make sure that the 2/3 to 3/4 of the leaf are above the soil, and that the part where the leaf was attached to the stem is below the soil. Basically you plant them scar into the soil. If you have any stem tissue on the cutting, leave it. It won’t do any harm. The cutting might root sooner.
After some two weeks the cutting should start forming roots. And when the little plant reaches out of the soil, you can transplant it into its own container. I will keep the cuttings indoors during the winter, so they continue growing until spring.
Since my cuttings will be growing indoors, come spring they should be ready for the planting outside. However, I don’t want them to die from shock. Therefore I will harden them before I plop them in their spot in the garden. The hardening will take me at least a week. And it is the same procedure I do for the other plants as well.
First I will take them out in the hottest part of a warm day. The next they I will leave them out a bit more, the day after that a bit more. And so on and so forth, until they can stay out entire day and night. I will plant them into the garden after the danger of hard frosts has passed. But knowing my garden’s microclimate, that will probably be around 1st of May.
Since my cuttings are currently in the rooting stage, I will keep you posted when I get to them growing and hardening parts.
So, see you soon 🙂 Keep on propagating 🌱