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Discussion Starter #1
There are enough leaves on my single plant of C. elliptica to try my hand at propagating this species. This is the only known species of cryptocoryne that is known to be able to propagate via leaf cutting - or IS it? Read on!

The mother plant...


So the first step was to harvest some of the leaves. With a new razor blade, I cut off one of the older leaves. It was a little tricky to get that leaf cut without damaging the rest of the plant, so I decided the pull off the next leaf. To my surprise, the leaf came off with a tiny plantlet at its base. A little annoyed at myself for not noticing the plantlet earlier, I pulled off another leaf. Woah! What's that? Another 'bud' at the base of this leaf too. I pulled off a total of 5 leaves, and almost all of them have a very noticable little bud a their base.



You'll notice that in some cases, the bud is fairly well developed. In other cases, its just a little bump at the base of the petiole. The last leaf in the picture (bottom right) is the only one I cut off with a razor. All the rest were pulled off.



I potted up the leaves in 100% Amazonia and drizzled a little rooting hormone around each leaf.


So, the question now is - Does C. elliptica really have the capability to grow a new plant from just the leaf, like African Violets, or is it this little bud the the base of the petiole really the reason behind it all? The leaf in the middle of the pot is the only one that was cut - it doesn't have a 'bud'. I'll bet that little bud is the real reason why elliptica can propagate from a leaf. It also explains why Aaron Talbot's attempts at this failed - he was cutting the petiole. Take a closer look at pictures available online of others who've grown elliptica from leaf cuttings (Google) and you'll notice that the plantlet always grows from the same 'bud spot'. In anycase, I'll post some pictures in a week or two of any success or failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! You know I was pondering this plantlet thing today when I realized something. C. cilliata also has a similar behavior, where a plantlet emerges from the base of the petiole. Its just that in the case of C. cilliata being such a big plant, its very obvious.
 

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I would agree with you on C.ciliata. I have observed that on C.ciliata and recently on C. moehlmannii, but due to the size of these species I think its more easily seen. But can this truly be considered propagation by leaf?

Bhushan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, if this is truly how it works, I don't know if we can say C. elliptica can propagage via leaf cuttings. However, if this works, its still a faster way of propagating the plant than waiting for runners/seeds.
 

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Gazhanfar,
You might be right that the planlet might be there before the leaf drop off. My ellipicall have plantlet growing out at the side when the leafs are still with the mother plant.

I see that you plant the stem of the leaf into the substrate. Can't wait to see whether it is better then my method of just leaving it on top of the substrate.

Yoong
 

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It also explains why Aaron Talbot's attempts at this failed - he was cutting the petiole.
Actually, I was pulling leaves off and had some success. I would get the plantlets to be only a tiny bit larger than the ones you have showing and then the leaves they were attached to would melt away leading me to believe that the new plantlets were using the energy stored in the old leaves to grow. However, once I got to this point I had a tough time keeping them alive and never fully succeeded in propagating elliptica by leaf "cuttings."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good to know Aaron. Did you stick the leaves into the substrate or let the float around like Yoong did?
 

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Good to know Aaron. Did you stick the leaves into the substrate or let the float around like Yoong did?
I went to the extreme of securing each one to a toothpick to act as a sort of "stake" for them to stick into the substrate. I've had issues with the leaves curling such that the plant can't root itself. This seemed to help somewhat.

As an update when I was taking a picture of the cordata flower earlier today I noticed that I do have 3-4 small elliptica plantlets in that same pot that seem to have escaped my notice. They're growing submersed and nearly covered in algae. It looks as though I was successful afterall. :D
 

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Have either of you tried floating a leaf or keeping the base of the petiole submerged?

Using the african violet analogy, you can either root them in a substrate after dusting them with rooting powder, or just stick the petiole in a glass of water and plantlets form at the base either way.

Cheers.
Jim
 

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I wonder why this crypt do something like... I am not sure if there are another aroids which do the same.
Maybe there are another crypst species which do it too, what species are realted with elliptica? maybe we can try it. I have an special and easy way to do roots on petioles in beggonias, may be I can try with some others crypts.
 

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When you think about it, C. ciliata does it. New plantlets grow out of the leaf axils to a certain size and then stop. Don't know if they're attached to the petiole. I've snapped them off, potted them up, and they merrily grew away.

Ironically, Jan showed me a ciliata he has that produces runners instead of plantlets in the axils.

Cheers.
Jim
 

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Has this expirament been successful?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah - they curl up - but I dunked them back into the water - no problems. Once they put out roots, they kinda stabilize.
 
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