Propagating begonia

How to take begonia leaf cuttings

Increase your stock of rex begonias by taking leaf cuttings.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Summer is the ideal time to take leaf cuttings from your houseplants and begonias propagate well from leaf cuttings. A young plant will erupt from tissue along the leaf veins and then root into the compost. Then you simply separate each new plant from the mother leaf and pot it on.

A single leaf can produce many young plants, which you can use to increase your own stock of begonias or give to friends. This technique can be used for all begonias but is particularly useful for foliage plants such as Begonia rex.

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You Will Need

  • Healthy begonia plant
  • Clean, sharp knife and cutting board
  • Pots
  • Free-draining compost, equal parts multi-purpose and perlite
  • Clear polythene bags

Total time:

Step 1

Propagating begonia - removing the leaves
Propagating begonia – removing the leaves

Cut a young, clean, healthy leaf from right at the base. Cut off its stalk.

Step 2

Propagating begonia - laying leaf pieces on compost
Propagating begonia – laying leaf pieces on compost

Make slashes along the underside of the main vein. Pin the whole leaf down onto firmed, moist compost.

Step 3

 

Propagating begonia - rooted leaf begonia cuttings
Propagating begonia – rooted leaf begonia cuttings

Warmth and moisture will encourage growth at the damaged parts of the vein. Several young plants will form on each leaf.

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Roots and new plants will develop from the vein at the base of each cutting. You can tease the pot of plantlets apart and grow them on separately or transplant them as a group to produce a bushier pot plant.

Seedlings. Photo: Getty Images.