Propagating Leaf Cuttings


Generally, spring and summer are the best times to take leaf cuttings i.e. when the plants are at their peak.

If sufficient warmth, moisture and humidity is provided, leaf cuttings can be taken at any time of the year, although it may take a bit longer for new plants to form in autumn and winter due to low light levels.

Not all plants are suitable, but many are, including;

Begonia, Crassula, Echeveria, Peperomia, Sanseviera, Saintpaulia, Sedum, Sinningia, Streptocarpus.

Saintpaulia (African Violets):

  • Cut African Violets with their stalks attached, shortening the stems to 50mm (2”) long.

This is the same principle as taking a leafbud cutting.

Saintpaulia Leaf Cutting

  • Dip the cut end into hormone rooting powder.

  • Using a dibber, make a hole in the compost at a 45° angle, to help support the leaf, and insert the entire stalk, then firm the compost.
  • Several leaves can be placed in one pot, providing they don't touch one another.

    New plants will grow from the base of the cutting, and the original leaf will wither away.

    Eventually, these young plants can be potted up and treated as the parent plant.

    Ensure the leaves themselves are kept dry.

    The leaves will eventually send out roots and form new plants.

    *Do not use hormone rooting powder when adopting this method!


    New plants will grow from each slit.

    1) Select Begonia leaf
    2) Slit veins on underside
    3) Top Surface

    New plants will grow from each piece.


    New growths will emanate from each of the veins as the main leaf withers.

    1) Select Streptocarpus Leaf
    2) Cut into Sections
    3 )Insert Sections
    4) Cut length ways

    Sansievera, Saintpaulia,and Sinningia can be propagated in the same manner!

    Crassula, Echeveria and Sedum are prone to rotting.

    To avoid this, leave the cuttings to dry for a few days before inserting them shallowly and vertically into the compost.

    Covering the compost with a thin layer of sharp sand prior to inserting the cutting also helps prevent rotting.

    (The sand will trickle into the hole to form a drainage layer)

    It can take 1-2 months for roots to appear.

    When they do appear, gradually reduce the temperature and humidity in the heated propagator / plastic bag.

    As soon as plants are large enough to handle, pot into 75mm (3”) pots of potting compost.

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