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Thread: Leaf Cutting

  1. #1

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    So I'd like to try growing a new VFT from a leaf cutting, and had a few questions I was hoping you guys could help me out with. The method I've read is to hold the leaf (trap) as low as possible, then pull down and away from the plant to tear off both the leaf, and a little bit of the white part (rhizome?). What I'm wandering is how this works at all. If you try to pull down *thump* there's dirt there, unless you pull the main plant up out of the medium and I can't imagine that would be a good idea. Besides, doesn't all the jarring from the tearing motion potentially damage the plant?

    Can this be done more effectively with a razor blade? It would be much easier to just cut off a trap manually. I could make sure I get some of the white part instead of just hoping, and leave a clean incision that I would guess would be less stressful on my adorable new VFT. Any thoughts?

    Also, how often can I take another leaf cutting? I'd like to do two (and hopefully get them both to grow). Should I give it a day / week / month / etc between cuttings?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    The easiest way to do them is to uproot the plant and simply pull them off. I usually take cuttings when I am repotting plants.

    When I do cuttings from plants that are still in pots, I take the back of a teaspoon or butter knife and dig out some of the media around the base of the plant near where I will be pulling the leaf from to expose the bulb. Then I grab the leaf and gently pull away from the plant while using the spoon handle to press down at the base of the plant. This usually will yield a good ammount of the white base material.

    After I have my "cutting" I simply lay it on top of a prepared pot of media and cover the white end with a pinch of media. After that its time to play the waiting game. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to get any results from cuttings and in my experience sometimes they never grow at all.

    Keep in mind also that it is already August and the plants are going to want dormancy soon. Cuttings taken now will need to be kept indoors over the winter in order to avoid them going dormant when winter gets here.

    Good luck
    Steve
    There are only 2 infinite things... the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not too sure about the universe.

  3. #3
    larry's Avatar
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    Yes, dig around the plant and pluck. I've been using the water method and I must say, the results are amazing. I take the plucked leaf and cut off the trap. Then I cut the leaf into half inch pieces. Fill up a glass with some RO water and toss the cuttings in it. Change the water once a week and in about a month, you'll have a bunch of tiny vfts!
    larry
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigflytrap/
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    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    This water method works well with some sundews as well.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I've been having ~2/3 success with taking the leaf cuttings and embedding the white part in a tray of live, swampy LFS. However, I like Larry's approach and would give that a go.

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    Thanks everyone. The water method sounds really interesting. If that works, then that indicates that tearing the leaf all the way down isn't even neccessary; any piece will work so long as the internals are exposed to water! That's very cool. I'll probably try experimenting with that soon.

  7. #7
    larry's Avatar
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    I just did the water method again yesterday. While pulling off old dead leaves from my Dingley Giant, I tugged too hard and the entire plant came out. Instead of trying to replant it, I ripped apart the plant and put the pieces in water
    larry
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigflytrap/
    Save a tree, legalize cannabis.
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  8. #8

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    It's been almost two weeks and still no sign of new life. *sigh* patience is such a chore...

    So I was thinking; the new plant growing from the cutting should basically be like an 'extension' of the parent plant, so it should still have all the markers in place telling it that it's a few years old. So would that cause the new plantlet to mature quickly into a full grown plant? Or is the VFT's slow growth pattern simply a result of limited resources at the plant's disposal? In other words, will I still be waiting several years before seeing these little guys catch their first fly?

    And a totally unrelated question: Will plantlets sprouting in September need a winter dormancy this year?

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