In leaf cuttings, the leaf blade (or the leaf blade and petiole) is utilized in starting new plants. Adventitious buds, shoots, and roots form at the base of the leaf and develop into new plants.
Only a limited number of specialized species can form new plants from leaf cuttings. Some species commonly propagated by leaf cuttings include peperomia african violet, Sansevieria, and begonia.
Begonia grown as pot plants are usually propagated by leaf cuttings. Large leaves are cut into triangular sections, each containing a piece of a large vein.
These leaf pieces are then inserted upright in sand or on a peat-perlite medium. The new plant develops from the large vein at the base of the leaf piece.
Leaf cuttings usually regenerate from wounds made at the main veins or from the base of the leaf.
New adventitious shoots forming from African violet petioles inserted into the medium.
The major difference between a stem and a leaf cutting is that the leaf cutting must regenerate both shoots and roots. In the examples to the right, you can see regeneration in peperomia.
The new plantlets develop from the main leaf veins. More than one plantlet can form from each leaf piece.
The new shoots that develop from leaf cuttings come from the LII cell layer.
This impacts regeneration of chimeral cultivars where the LI and LII layers are different.
In the case illustrated to the right with African violet, you can see that the new plantlets are no longer chimeral (green and white) like the parent leaf and are all non- pigmented.
This is because the LII in this chimera is non-pigmented.
Leaf cuttings of variegated chimeral Peperomia and Sansevieria showing all green new shoots.