Common methods of Propagating Plants from Cuttings?
The cuttings themselves can come from four sources:herbaceous cuttings, softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings, and hardwood cuttings. Herbaceous cuttings are taken from non-woody, herbaceous plants. A piece of stem that is between three and five inches long should be cut from the parent plant and the lower one third to one half of the leaves on the stem should be removed. Herbaceous cuttings are very easy to propagate from cuttings and a high percentage will root. Softwood cuttings are made from the soft, new growth of woody plants. Softwood is the wood as it just begins to harden. Shoots are best for this type of cutting. The process if the same, but when using a cutting of this type it is important not to allow the shoots to dry out.
Semi-hardwood cuttings are made from partially mature wood that is part of the current season's growth. The wood is semi-hard and the leaves have reached a mature size. The process is the same for propagating this as the others. There are three types of cuttings that can be taken from hardwood sources: straight, mallet, and heel. Plants from which hardwood cuttings are taken are both fully dormant and non-active (not actively growing). Straight cuttings are straight cuttings taken, much like the other types. Heel cuttings have a small section of older wood included at the base. Mallet cuttings have entire sections of older wood included at the bottom of the cutting.
The procedure by which stem cuttings are rooted is relatively straightforward. The cuttings should be taken from either the past season's growth or the growth of the current season. Material containing any type of flower buds should be voided. Any flowers or flower buds should be removed from cuttings. If they are not, energy used to produce roots may be diverted to flowers. Cuttings should be taken primarily from the upper part of healthy and non-diseased plants. The fertility of the parent plant can also play a role in influencing rooting. Cuttings should not be taken from plants that show any signs of being nutrient deficient. Also, plants that have been fertilized (especially with nitrogen) may not take to rooting as well as others. Avoid taking cuttings from plants under any sort of moisture stress as well.
Cuttings should ideally be taken from young plants and should be taken from lateral shoots rather than terminal shoots. Because plants are fully turgid in the morning, this is the best time to take cuttings. Cuttings should be kept both moist and cool in order to maintain their moisture levels and not dry out. If there is going to be any sort of delay between the time that the cuttings are taken and when they will be rooted, it is important to put them in an ice chest or refrigerator in a plastic bag. Cuttings should be taken from the terminal part of a shoot or lateral branch rather than the middle, and should be taken with a sharp knife or sharp shears.
After taking the cutting, remove the lower one third to one half of the leaves. Then dip the cut end of the cutting into rooting hormone (separate from the main stock of hormone, to avoid contamination). After rooting hormone is applied, the cuttings should be placed in a sterile and aerated medium for growth. This is typically a mixture of peat, sand, and perlite. This medium should be very well watered and the cuttings should be placed into the medium at between one third and one half of their total length. The cuttings should then be covered with plastic to help conserve moisture and should be placed in indirect light.
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )