[pleurothallid-l] Restrepia Leaf Cuttings/Culture Medium

Dan Newman hgardens at earthlink.net
Sun Dec 19 00:35:54 EST 2004

Hi Ron,

I have a pretty good collection of Restrepias, and whenever I groom or repot
the plants, I remove the old or blemished leaves for propagation.  Many
Restrepias produce keikis while the leaves are still on the mother plant -
sometimes to an annoying extent!  These keikis can be removed and potted or
mounted on their own once they have two or three leaves.

For leaf cuttings, I select mature, previously bloomed leaves which have not
produced keikis.  I cut the ramicaul at the base to remove it from the
mother plant, then cut it again at an angle (I don't know if this helps it
absorb water, but it does make it sharper) leaving about 1" (2-3 cm) of
ramicaul below the leaf.  I loosely pack some moistened, long-fiber NZ
sphagnum into an unglazed clay pot, then poke the leaf cuttings down in to
the point where the leaf base is at or just below the surface of the moss.
You can put several leaves from the same mother plant in one pot, but leave
enough room for the new plants to emerge from the inflorescence at the base
of each leaf.  I put the pots with the leaf cuttings in among the mature
plants, with intermediate to cool temperatures, moderate shade, and watering
every few days.  Not every leaf produces a plant, but many do.  Once the
keikis have a few leaves, I take them out of the CP and pot them
individually, usually removing and discarding the old leaf.  They reach
blooming size a year or two after sprouting.

This method works with almost all Restrepias.  R. chocoensis, which I
believe may eventually be removed to another genus, is more recalcitrant
than the others, but even that will occasionally grow from a leaf cutting.

On the subject of taxonomy, I didn't think R. striata had made it onto Dr.
Luer's list of valid species - I thought most of the striped ones were R.
trichoglossa, R. brachypus, R. antennifera, or maybe something else...  A
difficult genus to classify!

I have followed some of the recent correspondence between you and Thomas
regarding in-vitro culture medium for Masdevallias.  I pollinate many of my
plants to produce seed, and send the capsules to an independent lab for
flasking.  The person who does my lab work is successful with many genera,
but pleurothallids are sometimes a problem.  If either or both of you would
be willing to share your recipes for mother flask and replate media for
pleurothallids, I would be most grateful.  My local Asian grocery is
offering a holiday special on green coconuts!

Thanks and regards,

Dan Newman
Hanging Gardens
San Francisco

More information about the pleurothallid-l mailing list