Leaf-bud cuttings can be taken from any type of stem—soft wood, green wood, semi-ripe wood, hard wood or evergreen. Each c utting consists of a leaf, a bud in its leaf axil and a very short piece of stem. The leaf supplies food to support the cutting and the regenerative processes; the bud provides the basis for the new stem system; and the piece of stem is where the first roots are produced.
To be successful, the gardener must use stems that have a high capacity to produce roots. Therefore, prune the parent plant rigorously should it be a woody plant. This will encourage new stems, which will grow rapidly and so have a high rooting potential.
For leaf-bud cuttings, select one of these new stems with an undamaged leaf that is fully expanded and mature. If the leaf is immature, the cutting will complete leaf growth before it starts producing roots, and this increases the chances of peripheral problems, such as rotting. Also, ensure that there is a viable bud in the leaf axil. (For example, some Virginia creepers do not have a bud in every leaf axil.)
Make the cuttings with a razor blade, knife or sec ateurs, depending on the hardness of the stem. Cut close above the bud so that as small a snag as possible is left. This minimizes the likelihood of rotting and die-back, which might endanger the bud.
Make the basal cut about in below the top cut so that sufficient stem is available to anchor the cutting firmly in the cuttings compost. This is especially important with plants that have big leaves and are liable to rot.
Plants with big leaves are also difficult to plant at a realistic spacing, so reduce their leaf area either by removing some of the leaf or by rolling the leaf and placing a rubber band round it so that it takes up less room. Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone.
In a pot filled with cuttings compost make a hole with a dibber. Plant the cutting with its bud about level with the compost surface. Firm sufficiently to prevent rocking. Label and water in with a fungicide. Place hardy cuttings in a cold frame and less hardy cuttings in a well-lit, more protected environment, such as a mist unit or closed case.
1 Prune the parent plant, if suitable, to encourage new stems with a high rooting potential.
2 Select a new stem with an undamaged mature leaf and a viable bud in its axil, later in the seasoa.
M.ihonla K.imonda Vine
DOUBLE LEAF BUDS
DOUBLE LEAF BUDS
1 Cut a stem with leaves that grow opposite each other just above a bud and again in below it.
2 Split the stem down the middle, using a sharp knife, to make two cuttings.
OR Remove one leaf. Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone. Then plant and label clearly.
4 Make a straight cut 1-1^ in below the top cut.
5 Roll up or cut a large leaf. Dip the leaf-bud cutting in a rooting hormone.
6 Plant in a pot with its bud about level with the compost surface. Firm well. Then water in a fungicide.
Was this article helpful?