Plant Cutting Propagation

If you are skilled in the art of plant cutting propagation you will not only save money on new plants but look at the enjoyment you will derive from propagating your plants, I can help.

Have you thought about propagation of plants? It is most interesting and one of the most important parts of gardening. Most plants will produce seeds, but you can propagate plants by many other methods as well. There are actually two methods of plant propagation, one is by seed (the secual method), the other is by cuttings or other vegative reproduction (the asexual method).

The easiest and most natural method is by sowing seed, and the advantage is that seeds for the most part are very cheap, you can buy in a large quantity and they are treated to be free from disease and against infection. But then you have a disadvantage as some are not true to type, sometimes seed from a purple Petunia, may produce flowers of many different colors. Also sometimes the seeds are too vigorous in vegetative growth and don't produce floweres for fruit quickly or abundantly and seeds of certain plants are hard to germinate.

Let's discuss first the propagation by seed, and your only requirements are live seed, warmth, moisture and air. Naturally having fresh seed will be an advantage to you, and some seeds will remain vital for many years, but it is best to use fresh ones. Remember that warmth is essential for germination and that the temperature requirements for different seeds will vary. Air must be present in the soil, light porous soil is best as it contains air, but is a good growing medium also for the tiny roots. Food is not needed for germination and seeds can be sprouted on such mediums as moistened bloting paper or wet bricks.

They contain within themselves enough food to grow, until the first leaves have formed then they must draw food from the soil.

Cuttings or slips are detached pieces of plants that are taken for the purpose of producing new plants and under the proper conditions they will root readily and produce large plants more quickly than would seed, which makes it possible to increase your plant stocks quickly. These new plants will also be true to type, identical to the plant from which the cuttings or slips were detached so this is an advantage. Be sure to only use clean good stock when cutting and slips are detached form the original plant. There are three typesof cuttings: shoot, leaf (sometimes called herbaceous cuttings) and root cuttings. The shoot cuttings are made from pieces of stems and are called green or softwood cuttings and hardwood cuttings also will depend on the condition of the wood from which they were taken.

You could also use a method called layering and this consists of making cuts lengthwise through several nodes on the stem, or little cuts or nicks in the stem. The cut area of the stem is pegged down in the soil with a wooden peg or stone to hold it in place and then is covered with soil. It can take up to a year or two for the roots to form. I much prefer the two above methods of propagation.

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