Propagating your plants
What is propagation?
Propagation is the act of creating a brand new plant from a parent plant, however, there are two different types - asexual and sexual
A sunflower is an example of sexual propagation as it relies on pollinators to transfer reproductive pollen from one plant to another.
This is a natural process in which two parent plants create a new plant.
Sexual propagation allows for “genetic diversity” this means that breeders are able to select the best traits from the parent plants to be able to create a new plant which has the parent plants charecteristics.
Asexual propagation occurs when a plant reproduces without fertiliser, this can be both a natural or an un-natural process.
A new plant grows from the parent plants vegetative parts – for example – it’s roots, stem or leaves.
Plants that a created in this way tend to be identical to the parent plant and leaves no room for enhancing a trait of a plant.
Growing a plant from a cutting
- Make sure your parent plant is healthy (it will be harder to propagate from a sickly plant).
- Use a clean, sharp knife, scissors or secateurs to take the cutting, a dull knife or scissors will cause more harm to your plant.
- Choose a shoot near the top of the plant which is growing to one side, and that doesn’t have buds or flowers on it (this will allow the energy to be put into growing new roots rather than flowers).
- Cut the shoot off with a clean straight cut.
- Plant your cutting in a pot with levelled-out compost out (I prefer a mixture of vermiculite and perlite and compost) and dip the end of your cutting in rooting hormone such as to improve successful root growth.
- Water your cutting, and cover it with a clear plastic bag – or in a greenhouse, if you have one – to help prevent it drying out. You will need a spot with indirect light as to not scorch your new plant.