Horticultural techniques

Horticultural techniques


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Horticultural Techniques  

We’ll finish our discussion of asexual propagation with a look at some horticultural methods of propagating plants from plant parts.

Cuttings. Propagation by cuttings involves taking a portion of stem, root, or leaf, and providing it with the environmental conditions necessary for inducing it to form a new, independent plant.

Perhaps you’ve rooted stem cuttings in a vase of water. If all goes well, after several weeks the underwater portion of the stem will begin to form roots. You may have noticed that some plants form roots much more readily than others.

Many indoor plants are commercially propagated by cuttings, as are certain flowering plants such as carnations, chrysanthemums, and geraniums. Plants usually respond best to a specific form of cutting—for example, one plant might root more easily from a cutting taken in the spring, while another may propagate more easily from a cutting taken in the fall.

Some plants that are difficult to root under normal conditions will root more readily if a rooting compound (actually a plant growth regulator) is applied.

Rooting geranium cuttings

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Layering. Some plants reproduce naturally by layering. Black raspberries, for example, form new plants wherever their arching stems, or canes, come into contact with the soil. Adventitious roots form on the stem while it’s still attached to the parent plant.

Layering, then, involves the rooting of a "cutting" before actually cutting it from the mother plant. Not all plants will readily reproduce by layering, but for those that will, a common method is to bend a suitable branch to the ground, bury a section, and secure it in place. If the layering is successful, roots will eventually form on the buried section, and you can separate and transplant the new daughter plant.

Commercially, layering is used to propagate many fruit tree rootstocks. The method is also useful in producing large plants quickly. Home gardeners can multiply some evergreen and deciduous shrubs, currants, and gooseberries by layering.

Propagating raspberries by layering

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