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Psychotria propagation

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Rising Star
Senior Member
OG Pioneer
I've done this lil grow guide for several forums out there.
I like to do it as the knowledge is free (for you).

I encourage people to spread this information far and wide, please download the pictures and repost them with the guide in other places, just please credit the post with my username "Ringworm".... I have lost these images twice already and have found them once on an old computer and once online simply by some savvy googlin :)
The only other thing I ask is this:
I do not have any, I do not grow any plants anymore, and it'll hurt my feelings a lil bit that I can't just give you a hundred plants because you asked... ok?

There has been some confusion through the years regarding Psychotria species. I am not a botanist, taxonomist, etc I simply had a farm for many years where I grew as many of these little buggers and got them out into the world. There has been some speculation that these are Psychotria alba due to the lack of Espina.... I can only say that the several cultivars I grew did indeed have the espina, but it seemed weather dependent, they only really had them in the hottest part of the year.
No matter the species, the technique for propagating via leaf cutting would be the same, so take the info for what it is worth.

you may need to download these photos and zoom in with a seperate browser to be able to see the images clearly... sorry for any problems with that.

The mother plants were from several sources that I had acquired sometime between 1997-2000.
This one was originally from Theatrum Botanicum Psychotria viridis

This one was dropped off by the original owner and founder of Cielo Ethnobotanicals when he visted the farm, also Psychotria viridis, listed as seed grown. Note the flatter color

I also received a Psychotria carthageninsis at that time from the same donor. note the more rounded leaves.

So I did the obvious thing.... I grew the plants out until they were large enough to start experimenting with mass production.


In order for a leaf cutting to work properly, several things must occur. First the leaf should be mature, this aids it's survival simply by the leaf being harder and more rigid... This is very important as the leaf very well may have to survive the next 6-8 months before having a substantial plant emerge from it.

I noted early on that a leaf will root and survive and make one little plantlet easily. However I also noted that by breaking the main stem/vein of the leaf, each crack functions as a node, thus 20-30 plants can be easily teased from one leaf.... when dealing with 500 leaves, this is an exciting proposition!

Due to the need for the soil to remain very wet and humid for a very long time, I did not use a Peat moss based soil (fungus gnats and stuff would be a problem).
I instead used a Pine bark based soil and encourage you to do the same. Lay the leaves in the pots like so:


Give it a month or so and you should have roots. Hotter and wetter the better, no direct light please!

Shoot, we got time, let a few more months go by. Now at this point, it is actually a very good time to divide the little plantlets as they are easiest to tease apart. One thing I noticed is that if you were to cut out as little of the leaf stem as possible, remove just the plant and replant the leaf, more baby Psychotrias will arrive in the future.

Fast forward another few months, many divisions have been made and two "crops" are visible.


Leaf cloning, if you've got the time is far superior. Here a traditional stem cutting is viewed next to a leaf cutting. The bushy plantlet is the leaf cutting.

The only pests noted were Aphids on young growth, some white fly, but probably only a problem in a greenhouse.

and those freaky horn worms on older growth. Both are treated easily in many ways.

Ok, well I hope that helps you folks out there,
Stay Green!
For reference, there were about 750 Psychotria plantlets in this particular batch.
I don't keep any real records of this sorta stuff, but over the course of 5-6 years this technique released a suspected 6000+ plants to the entheogenic community.

Give me a few days and I'll post on how to root Caapi.
In your experience, what is the ideal temperature range for growth? And regarding humidity, is 100% humidity all the time best, or is say 70% enough for optimal growth? I know it doesn't like dry air, that's for sure.

Excellent information! Thank you very much!
well, as far as temperature and humidity and all that, well I never had gauges for that sorta thing, I just kinda grow by feel.
This was in the deep south, in a greenhouse. So humidity probably never dropped below 80%, temps were around 100 most days. In the winter they'd stop growing and chill out, that was house #7 and it never got below 55 or so. These grew under hanging Nephrolepsis ferns I was growing for profit, over that wsa 70% shade fabric, so it was pretty dark.
I also had old corrugated fabric on the end of the greenhouse.... it got sprayed with water while the exhaust fans drew the cool air/moisture in. If I didn't use those pads it'd get to be very hot (120 at head level, 105 on the floor).

I guess I never answered your question..... if I had to guess I'd say 95 degrees and at least 85% humidity is what I'd aim for.

I liked the pine bark compost (ph was supposed to be 5.5 or something). Like crushed gravel it is a great draining rooting material. I never used any of that rootone junk, I just kinda stuck cuttings/leaves in REALLY porous material and kept it soaked. I've never been out of the USA, but I heard the amazon is sandy with constant rain, I tried to emulate this.

Feel free to ask any other questions, I did a good bit with these plants. I gotta get the caapi rooting tech up too.

More great stuff! Thanks alot!

I was asking because I am in the south too, and it seemed like they didn't like 90+. They were out of the sun in complete shade, but it was still hard to keep the humidity up. I like your insight on shading and using other plants, maybe my plants were still getting too much sun.

I've recently realized that it very much likes fertilizer. They pretty much stopped growing when I was giving them straight water, around 7 Ph. But it is back to growing now with african violet fertilizer. It's big enough for cuttings now, so I can experiment a little. I completely understand about getting a feel for the plants. I badly want a greenhouse, and would not recommend viridis without one.

Thanks again!
right right!
Well, as far as full shade, image the understory of a forest where all available light is being soaked up by trees and whatnot, it's pretty dark.
The soil was 5.5ph, mind you I watered these lil buggers out of a shallow/hand dug well, so the water was very acidic as well.
My favorite method far as all that goes is going WAY acidic on water/soil and fertilizing with Peters 15-5-15 cal/mag. It made all nutrients available.

i really want a greenhouse!
nice work, beautiful plants.

on another site, i came across a post explaining how to cut a single psychotria leaf into as many as 6 pieces. these were then rooted individually, and grown out. Just wondering if you have tried this method? i do like your plant the whole leaf approach, as it seems less intrusive and probably comes closer to how it would happen in nature.

your garden is awesome. i have one little psychotria plant that just shot out another stem (total of about 12 leaves!)
Sure I've done the slice and dice deal with the leaves. I just found the cracking the stem in an accordian fashion worked best. This process take awhile, the bigger leaves survive for a very long time.
Thanks a lot for your contribution. I was wondering if i could do this with leaves that recently fell from the plant? My plant is only about a foot tall with 6 leaves, I dont want to cut any leaves off, but i also cant wait to grow more plants. I took 2 green leaves that recently fell and did like you suggested, hopefully in a few months ill have some sprouts!
Excellent guide Ringworm!

I believe, if memory serves, I purchased a couple Sinicuichi's from you a number of years ago, like 2004 or so. Glad to see your still around.
Since my last post, ive grown about 50 plants from leaves. I started out putting my leaves in the dirt at an angle, like shown in this guide, but the multiple plants that shoot are always clumped together. So i thought, im going to try to lay a leaf flat in the soil (nicked the leaf in several spots in the center leaf vein) and hope my plants shoot out spaced apart a little more, for easier seperation. Low and behold, down the center of the flat leaf, the shoots came up about 1/2" apart. This way i could easily seperate the plants and roots from eachother for replanting. Thanks again Wyrm for this guide!
Regarding RW's comment about fallen leaves: The original discovery that Pv propagates from leaf cuttings was made in Hawaii by someone who observed fallen leaves doing just that. Pv will sometimes drop perfectly healthy leaves, especially after a cold snap. I'd say if they are still green, give it a go. Yellow/brown not so much...
I encourage people to spread this information far and wide, please download the pictures and repost them with the guide in other places, just please credit the post with my username "Ringworm"
Just posted your tek on another forum and gave you credit. :)
Ringworm: do you mind if I ask why you don't grow plants anymore? Is it just changes in circumstances, or is there something legally dangerous about growing this many entheogens that force you to stop?

I would love to start mass propagating like this, but if it will get me in some sort of trouble, I'd like to know the risks now.

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