It only takes a Leaf

With all the odd plants we grow, we are constantly experimenting with new propagation techniques. An idea we’ve played around with for years is being able to root agaves from leaf cuttings. Below is our latest success rooting a variegated selection of Agave ghiesbrichtii from a single leaf. The leaf was stuck right at 12 month ago, so as you can see this isn’t a fast process.

We have found that older leaves do not work, but when very young leaves are removed from the parent plant, there is obviously some, often nearly invisible, bud tissue at the leaf base that can regenerate a new plant. There is also a dormant leaf bud on the plant where the leaves are removed, but our leaf cuttings often have no easily visible buds. That said, the leaf must be removed very carefully from the parent plant, so as not to loose the bud tissue. We encourage those of you who are prone to experimentation to give this a try, and let us know of your results.

6 thoughts on “It only takes a Leaf”

  1. Bryan McCulloch

    I’m surprised that this works. Did you need to treat the cutting with a high level of rooting hormone and do you see a significant quantity of callus at the base before shoots form? This variegation looks like it might be a pretty stable variegation so possibly it is from adventitious shoot production (from callus at the cut end). We might need to try to play around with this more in the lab.

  2. Fantastic help
    I’m new to working with Agave and the like, I found this incredibly helpful and interesting
    Thank You

  3. Deborah McCorkle

    What if I only have the tip of a leaf or half of a leaf? I didn’t cut it off at the base. Can I still regrow a plant? Do I leave it in the air and let it kill us over or do I put it in water or do I put it directly in soil or what do I do with the cutting?

    1. No. You must have the base and it must be carefully removed with growth bud tissue. We put these directly into potting soil

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