Plant Propagation – Getting Started at Home
Plant propagation is a fun and useful way to enhance your garden. It’s quickly become a favorite hobby among gardeners and plant lovers. What is it about this gardening technique that’s made it so popular? In this blog post, we take a look at everything plant propagation and how you can use it in your home garden.
What is Plant Propagation?
Plant propagation is the creation of new plants. This method of developing crops has been around since ancient times. There are many ways of creating new plants from coaxing new roots to grow in water to stem cutting to create a new leaf. If you are looking for a quick and fun way to multiply plants in your home, then give it a try.
Advantages of Plant Propagation
Propagating plants has numerous benefits, such as:
- Cost-Effective – Propagating plants can reduce landscaping costs for plants, flowers, and shrubs. You can create seeds for flowering annuals that you can use for the next season. For perennials, growing seeds from scratch to maturity can be expensive, so plant propagation can help save costs.
- Timing – Another benefit is that it drastically reduces the time it takes to grow individual plants. Through plant propagation, the time it takes for some plants to mature has been reduced from several years to a few months.
- Cloning Hybrids – Two strong traits from two different plants can be merged to create a high-performance hybrid. With advanced research, scientists have developed dominant clones of parent plants. For example, you can enjoy seedless fruits and plants because of plant propagation.
- New Varieties – Grafting, which is a result of propagation, has been a game-changer in agriculture, especially in fruit varieties. You can quickly harvest fully mature fruits from dwarf trees. Through methods such as layering, it’s possible to get high yields from plants that are remarkably disease resistant.
Types of Plant Propagation
While there are several ways to propagate plants, the two main categories are asexual and sexual reproduction.
With this method, one takes a part of one plant and uses it to create another. Doing so creates a new plant that’s identical to the parent plant. Common methods of asexual propagation include:
- Cuttings – This method involves taking the parent plant and rooting it to create a new plant. It’s popular with woody and herbaceous plants. Propagation through cutting includes leaf cutting, stem cutting, leaf, and bud cutting.
- Layering – Layering involves rooting the new plant while it’s still attached to the parent plant. As a homeowner, you can do simple layering or air layering. Compound layering is for large scale plant propagation.
- Division – To propagate perennial plants, crown division is the best method. It involves lifting the plants, including the roots, to create a new plant.
- Grafting – In simple terms, grafting is joining two plants to form one. One can whip graft, cleft graft, or bark graft.
Sexual Plant Propagation
In this method, a farmer uses seeds of the parent company to create new plants. While this method isn’t as popular as its asexual counterpart, it’s a great way to create ‘super’ seeds.
Tools Used for Plant Propagation
The best tools for plant propagation include:
- Grafting knife – used to open up tissues to prepare the cuttings with its sharp point
- Claw cultivator – helps break up the soil and aerate it before planting
- Pot tamper – helps compact the compost and remove air gaps for better growth
- Bulb transplanter – helps get the right depth when transplanting
- Rootrainers – helps with sowing seeds to prevent kinking and twisting
Best Practices in Plant Propagation
Plant propagation is relatively simple once you get the hang of it. There are several best practices to keep in mind.
- Invest in an excellent growing medium with an adequate water holding capacity and efficient air porosity
- Ensure the growing temperature is warm to accelerate cell division
- Apply mist to the plants early enough during propagation to help minimize transpiration
- Ensure there’s adequate light and offer supplementary lighting during cold months
Plant propagation is a great hobby. When done right, it has limitless potential. House plants and small gardens are ideal ways to start plant propagation. Whether you’ve had success in propagating a bountiful garden or just starting out, let PlantTAGG help. It’s free to use with nothing to download or install – text ‘PLANTS’ to 46376 to get started today!