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  procedure for cuttings
From: Kathy Upton <SKKUPTO at UMSLVMA.UMSL.EDU> on 1997.12.01 at 18:56:38(1675)
Dewey-To make a cutting of Amorph. go up the petiole to where it is
3-parted, then further on to where it is 2-parted. Right where it
branches there into 2 divisions is where you should cut. You can get
2 cuttings from there, and 2 from each of the remaining divisions for
a total of 6 cuttings from something that branches in a similar way.
You want to end up with a cutting about 8-12 inches long and the bottom
3 inches will be placed into soil (a good rooting mix like peat and
perlite is what I used). The bottom 3 inches should be free of
leafy material except for the "vein", so cut back to there so it looks
like a stick on those 3 inches. You can try rooting hormone because
I used it when I experimented with Amorph cuttings at MoBot when I
worked there, although recently when I rooted the Chlorospatha I
didn't use it. So for the portion of the cutting that will remain
above the soil, reduce the size back to 5-7 inches or so, by cutting
off heavy leaflets that the "vein" can't support or cut leaflets in
half. Place in a warm humid area and it takes about 6-8 weeks for
roots and a small bulbil to form. I did it with A. bulbifer and
A. konjac but the success rate was always low. I haven't tried it
with any other species, so let me know if it works for you.
-Kathy Upton

From: Steve Marak <samarak at arachne.uark.edu> on 1997.12.02 at 19:50:18(1688)
My procedure is very like Kathy's. It sounds like I am using much less
leaf area per cutting (my cuttings may be 3-4 inches long at most) and
that I am less careful about them (I don't bother to trim anything before
potting them up). Probably I would do better than 67% if I were as careful
as she is.

I also get up to perhaps 6 cuttings from a leaf, since I want to leave
some surface area for the original plant to use. On a large plant, I'm
sure I could get many more. I'm a firm believer in benign neglect (or,
less charitably, I'm just lazy and want to minimize my time invested) so I
have a very hands-off approach. I dip the lower end of the cutting in a
standard garden-center type rooting compound, the kind with a small amount
of IBA and some fungicide in some inert base (talc?) up to the point they
will be inserted in soil, and tap off the excess. I use my standard
potting mix, thoroughly wetted, using something flat to open a slit in
which to place the cutting without wiping the rooting compound away. I
usually put these in small plastic seedling trays, put the whole thing in
a plastic bag, fold over the top but do not seal it completely, and forget
it. (Ok, I do check every few weeks to be sure they have not dried out

Over weeks to several months, the cuttings will slowly yellow, wilt, and
start decomposing among the mosses and liverworts and such that have begun
growing on the surface of the soil. When the last have pretty much wilted,
I open the plastic bag further to let things dry out and kill off the
pteridophytes. After some further time - I'm sorry that I haven't paid
more attention - I'll see leaves coming up from the tubers formed on the
cuttings that "took", and I remove those soil plugs and pot them up. It's
my impression that the cuttings which remain green the longest are most
likely to root, but all cuttings of species which I consider likely
prospects will remain green surprisingly long.

In addition to Amorphs. bulbifer and konjac, I have had success with
albispathos and TAFKAP ("The Amorphophallus Formerly Known as Parvulus").
I haven't tried titanum because the leaf just doesn't look promising to
me, and I'd rather have that surface area producing food for the tuber
than rotting away and not rooting. I could be wrong, of course.

Someone asked about my very nonscientific criteria for judging which will
and won't root. This may be as silly as reading tea leaves but here goes:
if the leaf is relatively shiny (reflective) and smooth in texture, and of
what an orchid breeder would call "light substance" when referring to a
flower, I can't seem to make it root. If it is more of a matte surface,
less reflective, and of heavier substance, it seems likely to root.
Perhaps others can compare some of the species we've succeeded with, and,
if I'm not imagining this completely, do a better job of describing it.
Even if I'm right, it doesn't rule out someone who uses more care
succeeding where I've failed, of course.


From: Tony Avent <tony at plantdel.com> on 1997.12.02 at 23:41:29(1691)

While we are rooting everything in sight, has anyone tried the leaf
cuttings on arisaema?

Tony Avent

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