Takeaway containers are amazing, not only do they keep our food fresh and free of insects and nasties, they provide a great terrarium-like environment for plant propagation. In the past, the takeaway tek has been a touted as a great, and easy, method of growing cacti from seed, see here. It is, its hassle free and you can acheive terrific results. We have also experimented with other species from seed, species such as Golden Henbane (Hyoscyamus aureus) and Dream Herb (Calea zacatechichi), and have found that they germinate readily and reliably in a takeaway container given the right moisture and temperature is observed, see here. So now for a new adventure, plant multiplication by leaf cuttings in takeaway containers.
Recently a friend showed us his method of doing Psychotria viridis leaf cuttings, with the takeaway tek and sphagnum moss. We tested it and found it worked really well, and the leaves rooted quickly. The problem with sphagnum is that it becomes hard to separate the sphagnum from delicate plant roots when you are ready to pot them up. Hence we substituted a fine coco peat for the sphagnum. Coco peat is probably one of the best mediums in the nursery industry; renewable, abundant (made from chipped up coconut husks), neutral pH (unlike peat moss which is quite acidic), excellent water storage and aeration properties.
Psychotria viridis, Nexus, and several of our new Psychotria hybrids were trialled in leaf propagation trials using the takeaway tek. Root formation was initiated in 2-4 weeks, probably cutting the propagation time in half compared to traditional methods. Excised leaves were cleaned and trimmed to fit inside containers, a layer of coco peat was added and leaves inserted. More coco peat is added to give leaves some support. A small amount of water is added to increase moisture levels. Lids are placed and containers put under 50% shade at ambient late summer/early autumn temperatures, subtropical Queensland climate. Leaves are monitored and when shoots emerge the leaves are separated and removed for potting on.
See photos below.