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How to Propagate Multiple Leaf of Life Plants From Just One of Its Leaves

Updated on October 5, 2017
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

In addition to being a certified herbalist and aromatherapy consultant, Gina finds the unrelenting allure of gardening very strong.

Leaf of Life: An Herbal Remedy For All Different Types of Ailments

Leaf of Life is widely used as an herbal remedy for all different types of ailment, especially bronchial conditions.

Common names include:

  • Air Plant
  • Cathedral Bells
  • Miracle Leaf
  • Life Plant
  • Leaf of Life
  • Live Forever
  • Goethe plant

This plant can be found in:

  • the Caribbean
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Nepal
  • Brazil
  • the United States of America
  • and more

I personally use it as alternative remedy for any type of respiratory condition and always receive great results.

Although I have experimented with drying them recently, I noticed that the leaves do not wither very quickly. They can be picked and stored for days without getting withered.

Leaf of Life is Very Easy to Grow.

I've written extensively on the Leaf of Life plant (Bryophyllum Pinnarum). It has numerous health benefits, but I won't go into all those here. I encourage you to read about those in this Leaf of Life hub.

Leaf of Life is very easy to grow. in all soil types … once there is moisture. I’ve even found some growing on rocks. it grows all over my yard in Florida, and propagates itself frequently, from just a leaf dropping on the soil. Once you have this plant, it is very difficult to get rid of it, but why would you want to with all the health benefits of the Leaf of Life.

To grow this plant, all you simply have to do is place one of the leaf of life leaves on top of moist soil and in just a few days you will start to see roots appear, with full grown plants in a few weeks.

Once the plant is fully grown, and a leaf of this plant falls unto moist soil it starts growing new plants.

Leaf of Life plants are:

  • very fast growing
  • drought tolerant
  • can thrive in almost any weather conditions

Live Forever Plant

Leaf of Life is also called the ‘Live Forever plant’ since each of it leaves can produce new plants from the indention on the leaf’s edges. So, if there are 20 indentations, the plant has the potential to produce 20 new plants.

More likely, it will produce about 8-10, as I have seen with results.

Here are the steps to propagating new Leaf of Life plants from one Leaf of Life leaf:

  1. Get a Leaf of Life leaf.
  2. Drop it onto some soil.
  3. Water it in well.
  4. Wait.

After a few days you will see roots, and then new plants will start to shoot upwards.

These can be grown in pots, also. Do not mulch these plants, as you want to be able to get more plants when the leaves drop later on.


Drop a Leaf of Life onto soil.

I collected a few leaves and dropped onto a recycled fruit container.  I removed the stem on the leaf so it laid flatter.
I collected a few leaves and dropped onto a recycled fruit container. I removed the stem on the leaf so it laid flatter. | Source

Water well, so the leaves have some moisture to get started.

Once these plants are established, they can be neglected or if watered, do so no more than once or twice a week. These succulent plants are adapted to dry conditions and can survive long periods of drought.
Once these plants are established, they can be neglected or if watered, do so no more than once or twice a week. These succulent plants are adapted to dry conditions and can survive long periods of drought. | Source

5 Days later

After 5 days, you'll see root growth appear and what looks like the stem of a new plant.
After 5 days, you'll see root growth appear and what looks like the stem of a new plant. | Source
Roots are clear in this image.
Roots are clear in this image. | Source

Leaf of Life plants (Bryophyllum pinnatum) thrive in well draining, sandy soil.

The plants establish well in leaf litter or other debris on shallow soils.
Some recommend to space the plants about 6–10 inches apart to make room for the leaves to display their plantlets, but I prefer to have them grow as naturally as possible.

Sometimes I do dig them up and transplant in another area, if that spot is getting cluttered with plants. They transplant easily.


To promote new plants, do not mulch the ground around Bryophyllum pinnatum. The plantlets which loosen from the plant will grow much better if allowed to fall directly onto soil rather than onto mulch.

10 Days Later

New plants are clearly visible here. I lost some of the leaves from the container due to wind and rain that took place that night.  They lodged in the ground in the garden.
New plants are clearly visible here. I lost some of the leaves from the container due to wind and rain that took place that night. They lodged in the ground in the garden. | Source

One Leaf Will Give Multiple Plants.

There are 7 new plants emerging from this leaf.
There are 7 new plants emerging from this leaf. | Source
Here is a leaf that has dropped from a mature plant and has sent off new plantlets.
Here is a leaf that has dropped from a mature plant and has sent off new plantlets. | Source

One of the Leaf of Life Plants in my Garden

Source

Do you have a Leaf of Life plant?

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Leaf of Life Plantlets Transplant Well.

Plantlets growing at the base of the plants may be

  • dug up at any time,
  • replanted in 2-3 inch pots of standard potting mixture or local soil
  • treated as mature plants.

Or plantlets may be picked from the leaves and shallowly planted in standard potting mixture or local soil.

Leaf of Life Plants Transplant Well.

Plants can be dug up and transplanted elsewhere, if needed. You can see a new plant dangling off the side of the soil.  This was separated and planted in a pot.
Plants can be dug up and transplanted elsewhere, if needed. You can see a new plant dangling off the side of the soil. This was separated and planted in a pot. | Source
Plants growing at the base of the mature Leaf of Life plant.
Plants growing at the base of the mature Leaf of Life plant. | Source

Have you used Leaf of Life?

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© 2017 Gina Welds Hulse

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    • Susan SJ profile image

      Susan SJ 6 months ago

      This is quite informative. I hope I can get one soon. Thank you for the hub. :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 6 months ago from The Caribbean

      This sounds like a miracle plant. Also looked at your Leaf of Life hub. Thanks for this valuable information.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 6 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      That's really cool, Gina. Now I'm going to want to get one. I'll have to look at one of our stores that sells plants like that. I love seeing new little plants grow, especially from a leaf like that. Thanks for sharing.

      Blessings to you. I pinned it.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 6 months ago

      I have seen the plant grown as a house plant but I don't have one, though I might think of getting one now. I have never heard of it usex as medicine.

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