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Glaukus

Propagating psychotria from leaves: a side by side comparison of two methods

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Having been supplied with leaves from 4 different psychotria varieties by the generous member Bardo, I set about trying to propagate them.

I haven't done leaf propagation before so use the search engine I did.

Rather than put all my eggs in one basket I tried a few methods to mitigate the risk of failure.

Approximately half the leaves were "cracked", the other half were left whole. Half of each were planted directly into moist potting medium, the other half were kept in wet paper towel in plastic bags. All were kept in a humidity dome and left in a shady spot outdoors, fate was left to take care of everything else, other than an occasional misting.

Around 6 weeks later (I didn't note the date, I'm terrible at record keeping!) I can say that the paper towel method wins hands down for speed of rooting.

100% of the leaves in paper towel have produced roots, barely 10% of the leaves planted directly have roots. The roots look much more vigorous on the towel method leaves too.

The cracked leaves in paper towel have all shot roots from each crack, none of the cracked leaves which were planted directly have.

All the paper towel leaves still appear fresh, crisp and green whereas the others have browned and curled around the margins.

I repotted all the paper towel leaves and switched the others to the superior method.

If you haven't tried the paper towel propagation method, I recommend you try it and I think you will be impressed.

The varieties were: viridis, carthagenensis, nexus and shipibo. All varieties responded similarly, there were no significant differences between them.

Pic 1: paper towel method

Pic 2: direct in media

Pic 3: pots ready to go

Pic 4: repotted and bagged up

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They will also root right from the vein if left not broken, or if cut in half, or if the vein is broken.

Also rootable in a sterile closed jar of perlite.

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Please go into more detail with paper towel method? ?

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I literally just wrapped leaves, both whole and cracked, in wet paper towels. These were placed in snaplock bags, sealed up and left to do their thing. I opened them up maybe every 2 weeks to check they weren't going mouldy, and that's it. Easy peasy.

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Sorry to be a pain.. . I just don't wanna use the search engine when u just did ;-)

So literally roll? I imagined lay leaves flat in between 2 squares of paper towell?? Also, like just enough water to make it, the towell, damp? ?

I've tried so many times with soil with poor results :-( would love to get the roots u talking about

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I laid the leaves flat, then folded the towel in layers with more leaves, kinda like a pastry!

Towels were wet, more than just damp. Probably not so wet that water would drop off a piece if you held it hanging up, but water would definitely drip out a fair bit if you wrung it in your hands.

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I'll post a couple more pics of the remaining leaves in towel for you tomorrow. Bit dark now.

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Thanks glauk :-)

Makes me excited!!

I better send u some luna leaves :-) if u dont have already.. .

Edited by doublebenno

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Ooh, sounds nice. I'm a novice with psychotrias, I only have the 4 varieties I listed above.

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Awesome stuff Glaukus! :)

Love the ghetto approach nice and easy and basically can almost forget and they will do their own thing, exactly how i do it. Should get multiple shoots/plants per leaf cutting too.

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My hands up, Glaukus if you want to help out a fellow novice with some of your sweetly cracked and rooted friends.

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Sorry to be a pain.. . I just don't wanna use the search engine when u just did ;-)

So literally roll? I imagined lay leaves flat in between 2 squares of paper towell?? Also, like just enough water to make it, the towell, damp? ?

I've tried so many times with soil with poor results :-( would love to get the roots u talking about

The easiest way for me is to simply root them in rainwater covered with a plastic bag. Works every time.

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Awesome stuff, looking great : )

And as YT said you should get multiple plants from each leaf, you can even tare/cut the leaf into pieces and root the pieces.

Good job Glaukus, great to see em cranking : )

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When I still lived in a warm climate I had really good success rolling the leaves into short tubes and planting that vertically in the soil.

A friend used a similar approach but folded them accordion-style prior to planting.

Either approach typically produces multiple offshoots.

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Very nice bit of science, Glaukus! I'm getting deeper and deeper into the P. v. mystique:

I've killed three leaves already, which makes me a profssional P.v. killer, yay! I had them in soil with humidity bags over, and they DID begin to root . . . but as soon as I saw rooting action, I thought I was GOOD TO GO, and took the humidity bags off. Leaves turned crispy brown, bit by bit, and the much-awaited shoots never came up.
TIP: bluelotus on ebay mentions that when you get his 4-leaf sprouted plants, you must leave them in bag for THREE MORE MONTHS. Well, that's a pro-tip to take seriously.

(I'm a cactus guy, still adjusting to LEAFY plants.)

Also: knowing the winter is on the way and I want to keep sprouting and propagating, I've got a 55-gallon terrarium set up with lights, and the inside is STEAMY WARM. (Several flats of cactus seedlings going now.)

So I bet THAT will help a lot too.

VERY GLAD to hear that the wet-paper-towel trick is 100% effective.

---RogerColgreen

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Well, I'd better get mine rebagged! I took the bags off on the weekend because they looked like they were pretty well established and I didn't want any damping off to happen in this warm weather.

Edited by Glaukus

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Different methods work for different folks, but this works for me: I've had issues with keeping them in bags for too long because I find they need a mix of high humidity and air circulation. My solution is to put them in in a humidity box (clear plastic storage container with lid) in water with a bag to achieve 100% relative humidity (RH) while rooting. Once rooted, I remove the bag but let them remain in the box ( measures around 80% RH) until sprouted about 3" tall before acclimating them to normal outside humidity which is normally about 50% where I live.

I've been successfully growing them for a little ove 2 years now but I can identify with the frustrations of learning what they need. I've burned my share of leaves to a crisp while trying to find out. By the way, I'm still learning. :)

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I've got some on the windowsill in bag now, been there for about 2 weeks, theres no mould, but no action yet either...

Do they need light?

What temperature are you keeping them at?

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I think soft light is ok. I wouldn't blast them with strong sunlight or leave them in the dark either. I rooted some at ambient temperature of between 15-25 degrees. As long as it's not too cold.

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Leave them, they'll do their thing eventually when they're ready.

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I had the opportunity to see the leaves rooted in paper towels and have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the vigor of the roots.

Well done!

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That thumbs up gesture is supposed to be a sign of approval but it looks a bit obscene. If I could edit the post, I'd replace it with.

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Digging a hole here, sorry. I'd replace it with

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very nice thread that comes handy

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