First The Leaf !!

Time to  put down a leaf

………….and WAIT,  like an expecting parent!

Very simple to do. The same rules apply whether you are starting with a leaf, a sucker or a beheaded crown.

Here a 3oz solo cup  illustrates  the principle, the size container is up to you.

View cut away cup leafMost will start with a leaf. Trim the stem to length (you decide) cutting at a slight angle.

Set in cup on top of moist (about wrung out dishcloth feel)medium. Push firmly into medium but not deep.

Some growers cut the large top off the leaf, it makes the cup easier to handle and doesn’t hurt the leaf. I have put the cut top into another cup and got babies.

A sucker is handled the same way. Set the sucker (remember, it has 3 leaves) on top of the medium push firmly, but don’t bury the bottom.

Put the prepared container in something that will conserve moisture. A plastic baggy is great for single pots. I use an alum baking pan with clear cover to hold a lot of pots. Use your imagination to make a little greenhouse for your maternity ward.

in about 30 days,

Roots will develop.  During the next 30 days you should begin to see tiny baby plants develop on the end of the mother leaf.    These are “rabbit ears”.

In about 90 days

(remember the rule of 3? (30 days x 3) you will have babies who have some leaves at least the size of a dime. Each is ready to go into its own In 3 monthspot.

These are part of a group of leaves that I put down 3 months earlier,

On some of  these I have left each  attached to Mama); if I wanted more babies I would just take Mama away so I could put her back in a nursery cup to re-root and produce more little ones.

The mix will be kept about the moisture level of a wrung out wash cloth.  They will be feed a very weak fertilizer according to the program I have decide to follow.  Using a plastic cover over the plants makes maintenance simpler.

about 5 months

The babies are now about 5 months old.
There were different varieties in this batch which accounts for the 5 months oldvarious size plants. Even now I am trying to encourage the single round shape that the large plants will be groomed to.   
Continue the feeding program with weak fertilizer.  The stems are relatively short and the leaves have a nice color (most of these are variegated).

Within a Year

Optimara Little Inca

 Originally published in a Facebook Group  – The Plants Exchange.   All photographs property of the author

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