Plant Reproduction

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The three main methods of plant reproduction are cuttings, layering, and grafting.

Plant Reproduction: Cuttings

For reproduce plants with cuttings, you clone a mother plant by taking a cutting and planting it. The cutting needs to be free of buds or flowers so that all of the it’s energy can be used to grow and develop.

Successfully growing plant cuttings starts with having clean equipment, choosing the mother plant carefully, and selecting the proper cuttings.

Clean Equipment

Clean and sterilize all equipment that you will use in the cutting process. Introducing foreign substances or bacteria can doom your efforts to grow plant cuttings. Cuttings are under a lot of stress and are not fully functional plants, which means they are susceptible to disease.

Make sure that you sterilize the work area, tools used to create cuttings, and any other object likely to come into contact with the cuttings. You can use a bleach solution consisting of nine parts water to one part bleach.

Proper Choice of the Mother

The success of a cutting is largely determined by proper selection of a mother plant. Every cutting, if successful, will produce a clone of the source plant, so choose a mother plant that reflects what you want to reproduce. Only take cuttings from clean, healthy specimens, free from insect pests and disease.

Proper Selection of Cuttings

You need to properly select and sever the cuttings. Make the stems of the cuttings approximately 5mm in diameter. Cuttings taken from shoots near the top of the mother plants tend to grow well, but they do need to be about 5mm in diameter. For woody cuttings, make sure the cutting is not too well-developed or too green. Use cuttings that appear strong and that have leaves with a healthy appearance.

Please click here for more about growing plant cuttings.

Plant Reproduction: Layering

Layering is another means of asexual plant reproduction. You take a branch or other attached outgrowth of a mother plant and compel it to take root on its own. After the branch develops its own root structure, you canseparate the new plant from its mother.

Layering works because the branches and outgrowths of many plants have a tendency to develop “their own” roots when in contact with an appropriate medium. Many plants naturally propagate themselves by layering.

Layering methods include tip layering, compound layering, mound layering, and air layering. Though different in exact implementation, all share common characteristics, including the need to use an appropriate rooting medium.

Please click here for more about plant reproduction by layering.

Plant Reproduction: Grafting

Grafting refers to attaching a part from one plant onto another living plant.This method of plant propagation is often used with trees and other particularly sturdy plants. Grafting is a valuable tool in situations where a particular plant would fail to thrive under other methods.

Please click here for more about grafting.

Updated: November 13, 2012 — 8:32 pm

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