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- The four phases of a leaf cutting
Propagate a plant for cutting it means reproducing it by means of a portion of a branch with one or more leaves, or even a single leaf or even a piece of stem or root. Exist cuttings woody, semi-woody, foliar and herbaceous which, depending on the case, can be practiced in spring, mid-summer, late summer and winter. Let's see the how and when of playback for cutting.
The first thing to know is that propagation for cutting it is not possible with all plants because there are species whose cuttings they do not emit roots or they do it too long. Whenever possible, the system for cutting it is however the most used because it allows to obtain plants perfectly identical to the mother plant, which is impossible starting from the seed. In some cases, patience is needed: the rooting time, that is, the root issue from the cutting, varies from species to species from 4-5 days up to 4 months or more.
Woody cutting.Also known as 'mature wood', the cuttings woody are portions of well-formed branches that are taken after the leaves have fallen and are kept in bundles by burying them for two thirds in damp sand in a cool room. Towards the end of March, when the branches have developed a callus on the cut surface, the branches should be buried in boxes with soil and sand with at least two buds out of the ground. With regular watering, the issue of roots usually occurs in 20-30 days after which the cutting can be planted. For indoor plants, the cuttings they must be planted in peat and kept in a warm (18-22 ° C) and humid place, preferably covered with cellophane sheets.
Semi-woody cutting. In this case it is obtained by taking parts of branches with leaves making a transversal cut. The best time is between June and September. There cutting semi-woody is suitable for example for camellia and rhododendron. For plants that prefer shade, even the cutting it must be kept in the shade. For full sun plants, just keep them in the shade during the summer heat.
Leaf cutting. It is used to multiply plants with fleshy and thick leaves, such as begonias. o A mature leaf is taken and placed in a container filled with light and permeable soil, the lower leaf page in contact with the substrate. Using a sharp knife, incisions are made on the ribs about 5 cm apart. The cuttings they will develop from the incisions and when they have reached 6-10 cm they will be detached and repotted.
Herbaceous cutting. Cuttings of this type are made using the apex of herbaceous shoots, such as geraniums. They can be done all year round for house plants, while for the others the best time is June-July. The shoots are cut immediately under the knot and put the cuttings to root in a compound made of universal soil, sand and peat, taking care to adjust the pH according to the needs of the plant.
Watering. With the cuttings woody and herbaceous, a faster and safer rooting is obtained by spraying them with water very often, even 10 times a day. Abundant air humidity is in fact essential, especially for cuttings herbaceous because it limits transpiration.