Introduction to Plant Propagation
\It is always been the nature of human beings to try to improve on nature. That is why, you can be certain that millenniums ago when some enterprising soul learned how to domesticate wild plants and grow them in his own little yard for food, shelter and wood, one fine day he decided – what is going to happen if I can grow the branch of such and such tree on such and such other tree? That means I am going to have oranges and apples in one parent tree.
The start of such creative ideas must have given rise to many bizarre experimentations, most of which would fail monumentally. However, as time went by, and more and more people started to experiment, they gained more knowledge and gardening experience related to plant propagation.
In the natural state, you are going to see different vegetative propagation methods through which a plant can grow. That means the plant is going to grow its own seeds, and use natural methods like air, wind and water to spread the seeds far and wide.
In a strawberry, you are going to have the plant sending out long branches trailing on the soil. Stimulus of moisture causes the production of roots below a bud on a long branch. The bud is then going to send out shoots. Soon the connection between the new plant and the old plant is severed by a withering up of the intervening branch.
the same way, the Agave – which we also know as aloe – produces a tall pole on which small bulbils grow. These are going to fall off and each would usually produce roots, which will then grow into new plants.
Each plant bulb that you see is just a potentially germinating bud packed up in food material.
In the case of Bryophyllum, you are going to have a leaf that can be planted and it is going to bring forth shoots.
This is a popular mode of plant propagation in which you are going to select a firm and healthy branch of a plant. The wood should be well ripened. Take off a small ring of bark under a leaf bud. This should be about 1 inch wide.
Scrape the woody part, well so that no bark remains.
Now apply a ball of well-tempered clay. Bind it on secure with soft binding, tow or a bandage.
You can make it fast to a stake, if necessary. Hang a small pot having a hole in the bottom just over the Marcotee. Supply it with water daily. In a few months, you are going to have a fine and well rooted new plant.
As more and more growth is emitted from the bud that is above the “wound” the fibers are going to descend into the ball of earth and form roots.
There are some plants which can be propagated by cuttings at nearly all times of the year. On the other hand, there are plants, which grow only in one particular season – that of the most vigorous growth. For example, Verbena cuttings are made most successfully in the cold season, but Stephanotis grows best during the rains.
Some cuttings are going to strike so readily that you do not have to worry about how you are going to put them in the ground. On the other hand, other cuttings are going to strike even better if you insert them sloping wise into the ground. They may not give you the best results if you just plant them upright.
“Striking” Cuttings Successfully
When you are trying to propagate a plant through cuttings, your main priority is to see that you maintain a proper water supply to the cutting. That is, so that it can absorb nutrients for itself. This is going to promote the development of the shoot. It is also going to secure the proper and adequate aeration of the rooted end of the cutting.
A large number of the plants can be raised from cutting which have been laid down in common garden soil. This is normally done in wet weather in an open situation without shelter, either from the sun or from the wet weather.
The location is thus going to be exposed to the full action of the atmosphere and this is the best for your plants. That is because your new cuttings definitely cannot bear sour earth, which normally occurs during the wet weather in situations which are sheltered and secluded without any exposure to air, and the sun.
Here is the best way in which you can propagate your favorite kinds of plants, by just using these easy to implement this.
Propagation through Buds
Propagation through buds is a very popular method of propagation, especially in the matter of grapevines.
The method of this propagation is simply to take a plump shoot on which the leaves are healthy and the buds have not yet started. About half an inch or less above and below a bud, you cut the shoot sloping wise into the wood.
The cut each way is going to be just about a quarter of an inch behind the bud. This piece of the shoot with the bud upon it just as it is, is now going to be planted firmly in a pan of sand. The point of the bud is just going to be visible above the surface.
Make sure that the bud has the leaf attached to it which should not be taken off. This method of propagation is excellent for citrus fruits, and Camellias and roses.
For this the scion and the stock must be nearly of the same thickness and age. Select a vigorous stock. “Head” it to within about six – 8 inches of the soil. Cut it cleanly with a sharp knife.
Then get the scion and cut it into the stock firmly. It is going to be quite sufficient if one side only fits in the square. But take care never to separate the scion and the stock after they have been fixed. If that happens, the graft is not going to be a success.
This book has given you lots of information about plant propagation, and the best way in which you can grow plants from other plants, in we can almost say cloning vegetative methods.
Points for Water Cuttings
Here are some points which you want to keep in mind, when you are doing water cuttings. The bottle should be capacious, so that there is less likelihood of the water becoming foul. The water should be changed often to ensure it being fresh and pure.
The water when changing should be lukewarm, so as to afford in some degree to provide the plant with “bottom heat” which is so necessary for the speedy transformation of the roots and “callus”.
The cuttings should be taken from the summit of the youngest shoot in a state of vigorous growth at the time of removal.
The cuttings should be sheltered from the wind and the sun otherwise without the proper amount of air and light, they are going to grow in a stunted fashion.
They should be removed out of the cold air, and taken into your house at night. You can also plunge the bottles half way up in a lukewarm bath, so that your plants can keep warm in harsh and cold weather.
So, allow your garden to flourish with all these plant propagation methods which have been in use for centuries all over the world.
Live Long and Prosper!