Can a rooted stem grow without leaves?

by Antia
(Manchester, England)


So I have this bonsai project with three cotinus coggygria softwood cuttings. 1 of them is slightly shorter than the others, and they have to be the same height for this idea. Therefore, I'm considering cutting the stem (and, therefore, the leaves as well) to match the height, and create "new growth" (?)

Can these cuttings create new leaves after being cut in half? I attach an image:

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Technically, yes.
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

If there are dormant buds below the top growth, right about the place you want to cut it, then yes, it will grow new leaves from them once you 'remove apical dominance'. This means that when you chop off the top, this removes the hormone produced by the top growth which prevents those buds from emerging as leaves.

The growth might not be absolutely perfectly even as it looks like the buds might be in slightly different places, plus they are not the same thickness. You'll be able to get them close, which might be good enough. Look at the stems carefully so you can get an idea of which will sprout into new leaves.

Another question; are these cuttings rooted? If not, I don't recommend cutting off their supply of food (the existing leaves).

No, they’re not.
by: Antia

The cuttings are only 2 weeks old, and I was not going to cut the only thing they have to create energy hahaha😱😂

Maybe I could wait until the short one grows tall enough to match the other ones. But anyway, thank you very much for your answer ☺️

Don't cut them
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

If they're not rooted, don't cut them, as you're right, they need the leaves to make the roots.

The short one will never grow to match the other two. You may need to use these in your garden or give them away (once they root) and do some more cuttings that match a little better if this is important for your project.

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