Propagating Leaves Outside

You can propagate your plant leaves outside if the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather is not the only factor to consider when propagating plant leaves out, as you will learn from this article.

We will walk you through the process of propagating plants from leaf cuttings and leaf-vein cuttings.

propagating leaves outside SC
A picture of a plant growing

What to Consider When Propagating Leaves Outside

If you are propagating your plant leaves outdoors, consider the following:

Propagation Media

When propagating leaves, ensure your propagation medium comes with components that offer optimal aeration, water-retention properties, and drainage system. The soil should be a mixture of perlite, sand, vermiculite, and peat moss.

The soil should be able to provide the necessary nutrients and support for your plant to grow. Similarly, the potting medium should sustain a growing plant but is not required for propagation purposes.

For plants grown in a water medium, their roots tend to be stringy and fibrous. For this reason, such plants will find it difficult to grow when you transplant them to a container.

Moisture

A great propagation medium should contain adequate moisture for the plant to grow well. If your propagation medium has a large amount of peat moss, ensure you slowly water the plants to get an even distribution because peat moss is known to resist wetting.

Sometimes, the propagation soil may appear wet on the surface but quite dry at the bottom. If that is the case, ensure the soil is moist before sticking in the leaf cuttings.

Light

Light is very vital when it comes to propagating leaves outside. The lower the light in an environment, the slower it takes a plant to root.

But then, the plant leaves might burn or fall off if the light intensity is too high. To prevent any injury to the leaf cuttings, and ensure optimum rooting, do not keep the leaf cuttings under direct sunlight.

Humidity

Cuttings do not possess roots to replenish the water expelled during transpiration, so maintaining high humidity is very important. To prevent rot, your cuttings need adequate ventilation. Place a plastic cover over the cuttings in a way that allows air to flow freely; when you do this, condensation forms around the underside of the plastic cover, which is necessary for humidity.

Temperature

For your cuttings to develop well, propagate them at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter, you need to provide adequate bottom heat because the soil temperature drops drastically.

Rooting Hormones

You can use rooting hormones to enhance root establishment. Root hormones contain chemicals called auxins, which stimulate your plants to form roots during propagation. You can get root hormones in gel, liquid, and powder form.

The thing is, plants do not precisely need root hormones to develop roots. Plants can carry out propagation through natural means, under the right conditions. However, you can use root hormones to hasten the root formation process. The product also comes in handy for plants that find it difficult to propagate.

Propagating Plants from Leaf Cuttings

Propagating plants outside from a leaf is relatively more comfortable and faster than seed propagation. Plants with lots of foliage can propagate from leaves.

Get a leaf cutting from a plant, snip it off a fresh leaf with its stem. You can then dip the end of the leaf-cutting in a rooting hormone to speed up the propagation process.

After that, place the stem in your propagation media, be it soil or water. If you are putting the leaf-cutting in the ground, ensure that the earth is moist. Ideally, the soil’s bottom temperature should be about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but a little lower temperature works just as well. To maintain the right humidity levels, ensure you frequently water plant and cover the propagation medium with translucent plastic.

The leaves need about two to three weeks to root correctly and produce a fresh plant at the stem’s base. These new plants around the branch will be transplanted while the old leaf is discarded.

Some of the plants that root somewhat easily from leaf cuttings are Sansevieria, African Violets, Crassula (Jade plant), Begonia rex, Peperomia, Kalanchoe, and Plectranthus (Swedish Ivy).

African Violets roots so quickly that you can suspend it in a jar of water with good aeration. You only need to support the plant’s suspended leaves by covering the lid of the pot with a piece of paper or foil. You can create holes in the covering and insert the leaf stalk into the water.

Sansevieria is also relatively easy to propagate from leaf cuttings. Its leaves are leathery, sword-shaped, and long. Get a whole Sansevieria leaf and start cutting out a 2-inch section beginning with the leaf’s top and work your way down. Note that leaf cuttings will not roof if you stick them upside down.

Also, note that you can stick leaf cuttings close to each other, affecting their development. But once you notice their roots start developing, you can report them.

Propagating Plants from Leaf Vein Cuttings

To propagate plants from leaf vein cuttings, cut a leaf into several equal sections. Each section should have a vein. Press the bottom end of the vein into the soil with the leaf section sticking to the root. This way, a leaf-cutting can form over ten new plants.

Another way to propagate plants from leaf vein cuttings is to select a leaf and cut the veins at a 2-inch interval. After that, allow the underside of the leaf to touch the soil. After a few weeks, new plants will spring up from each cut section of the leaf.

Some common plants you can propagate from leaf vein cuttings are Sinningla, Rex begonia, and Smithianthas.

Quick Recap

Propagating leaves outside is not all that difficult. It would be best to use the proper propagation medium, humidity levels, lighting, and rooting hormones.

You can either propagate a plant from leaf cuttings or leaf vein cuttings. If everything is done right, your new plant should spring to life in a couple of weeks.

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