Plant Propagation Methods and Techniques
Plant propagation is the process of reproducing or creating a new plant or
seedling. Like all living organisms in Nature, plants must reproduce to for
the species to survive. Nature provides a variety of ways to do this in the
plant world. Different species propagate, or reproduce, in different ways.
Unlike the animal world, many plants reproduce in multiple ways. Pretty amazing,
Plant propagation techniques are important in gardening, whether outdoors,
or with your indoor houseplants. When you have a great plant, and you want
to create a new one "just like it" for yourself or a friend, you need to
know about plant propagation. Here are the most common methods and principles
of plant propagation.....read on!
Seeds are by far the most common means of plant propagation. The vast majority
of plants in the world produce seeds.
As avid gardeners, you and I often take seeds for granted. Each year we go
online, search seed catalogs, and visit garden centers, in search of a treasure
trove of our favorite seeds.
Cuttings and Rooting Plants
This is the second most common form of plant propagation. At times, this
can be the most difficult propagation techinuqe. Sure, there are lots of
plants you can easily and successfully propagate by cuttings. Then, there
are others that are more difficult. For example, roses require a more controlled
environment and protection during the "cutting" stage. Remember, cuttings
demand more attention.
A good candidate for cuttings, is a healthy plant, with young and soft wooded
new growth. Cut the end of a young stem, generally three to four inches long.
Look for a stem that does not have a flower or a flower bud. If there are
buds, remove them and the bottom leaves. There should be four to six healthy
leaves on the cutting.
Did You Know? Pumpkins can be propagated by cuttings where secodnary
roots have formed.
More on propagation from cuttings and rooting
Plant Division and Separation of Roots
Plant division and separation of roots are common plant propagation methods.
It's easy. Plants that can be propagated in this manner, usually transplant
easily. With just a little love and attention for a few weeks after
transplanting, they will quickly thrive n their new home.
Plant Division and Root Separation
Grafting is not true plant propagation. It is not the recreation of another
plant, but is the transplanting of part of an existing plant onto another
existing host plant. In this sense it does not create a new plant. Grafting
is however, a common practice.
Home gardeners who have limited space often use this method for fruit crops.
You can for example, graft a number of varieties of apple onto one host plant.
Some people have grafted up to seven varieties onto a single tree. For those
who try this, you can have a different apple every day of the week from a
Learn how to graft
plants and fruit trees.
Layering is a plant propagation technique, where a branch or stem, branch
or shoot, comes in contact with moist garden soil, and takes root. Once it
is rooted, the stem can be cut below the point where it it rooted. This new
plant, genetically identical to the parent plant, is then planted in another
Shoots and Runners
Some plants will send out shoots, or suckers. If you dig them up, they have
begun to develop a root system. They can be easly transplanted.
Some plants produce runners, with tiny little offspring attached. The offspring
already has some roots. The babies are redily transplanted to create a new
plant that is genetically identical to the mother plant.
More on Shoots
Bulbs and Corms
A wide variety of flowers grow from bulbs and corms. The mother bulb, or
corm, grows smaller bulbs as offshoots. Pull bulbs in the summer after
the plant has died back. Separate the smaller bulbs from the mother bulb.
Replant the bulbs in the fall with a bulb fertilizer to help your new plant
More on Bulbs
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