Published on February 15, 2014
Plant Propagation Workshop GREENING QUEENS LIBRARY GIL LOPEZ, COMPOST ASSISTANT
Propagation Methods Sexual propagation Seeds Spore Asexual Propagation Division Cutting Grafting Layering Special Techniques Micro propagation Tissue Culture
Sexual Propagation Seeds Seed Structure Seed Sowing Depth Seed Starting Equipment Spores grow ferns
Seed Sowing Depths Seeds should not be buried deeper than their diameter Some seeds need light to germinate and should not be covered at all including: Ageratum, Astilbe, Balloon flower, Cleome, Coleus, Coreopsis, Dill, Impatiens, Lettuce, Mexican sunflower (aka tithonia), Ornamental peppers, Petunias, Savory, Shasta daisy, Snapdragon, Strawflower, Stock, Sweet alyssum, Yarrow
Seed Staring Equipment Containers Flats, Trays, Pots and Cell Packs Milk cartons, yogurt cups, egg cartons (need holes in bottom) Peat, Paper or Cow Pots Soil Blockers and Blocks Seed Starting or Potting Soil Mixes Peat moss, compost, perlite, and/or sphagnum moss Lights Seeds need 14 hours of strong light a day for healthy compact growth Heating Mats and Cables Most seeds germinate faster in warm soil (70-75 degrees) Capillary Mats Wicks water up to soil and maintains even and steady soil moisture Fertilizer Half-strength solution of fish or seaweed fertilizer or compost tea
Get The Timing Down To calculate when to sow your seeds, go to our seed-starting chart, print it out and then fill in the blanks. Then you will have a planting plan you can follow through the season. http://www.organicgardening.com/sites/default/files/pdf/Seedsaverchart_2.pdf
Seed Starting Tips Place Sure Bets Some plants lend themselves to home germination better than others. Surefire vegetables include basil, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, leeks, lettuce, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Some reliable annual flowers are alyssum, cosmos, marigolds, and zinnias. Perennials include Shasta daisies, columbines, and hollyhocks. Gather containers Reuse last year's nursery flats if you have some around. Otherwise, any container 2 or 3 inches deep will do. Punch holes for drainage into the bottom of containers and set them into trays. Protect against plant disease by thoroughly cleaning all used containers: Wash them in hot, soapy water, and rinse with a dilute solution of household bleach or distilled white vinegar. Pick the right growing medium You can buy bags of seed-starter mix or you can make your own seed-starting mix by blending equal parts of perlite, vermiculite, and peat. Add 1/4 teaspoon of lime to each gallon of mix to neutralize the acidity of the peat. You'll eventually want to repot most of your seedlings into larger containers before setting them into the garden. But lettuce, melons, and cucumbers are finicky about being transplanted and should go directly from the original containers into the garden. When starting these fussier plants, always add two parts well-aged, screened compost to your mix to give them a healthy beginning. Sow carefully Moisten your medium in the containers before sowing the seeds. Next, drop seeds onto the surface of the mix, spacing them as evenly as possible. Cover the seeds to a depth about three times the thickness of the seeds. Some seeds, such as ageratum, alyssum, impatiens, petunias, and snapdragons, should not be covered at all because they need light in order to germinate. Cool down Seedlings don't have to stay as warm as germinating seeds. Move them away from radiators and air vents, or off the heating mat, as soon they have germinated. http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/14-tips-starting-your-own-seeds
Seed Starting Tips Top it off Lightly sprinkle milled sphagnum moss, a natural fungicide, over everything to protect against damping-off, a fungal disease that rots seeds and seedlings. In the case of seeds that need light to germinate, sprinkle the moss first and then drop the seeds onto the moss. Keep seeds cozy Cover the flats with plastic wrap or glass to keep the environment humid and place them near a heat vent or on a heat mat made especially for seed starting. Most seeds germinate well at about 70 degrees F. Keep them damp Mist with a spray bottle or set the trays into water to wick up the moisture from below. Lighten up At the first signs of sprouting, uncover and move the containers to a bright spot—a sunny window, a greenhouse, or beneath a couple of ordinary fluorescent shop lights (4-footers with two 40-watt bulbs). The lights are worthwhile, especially if you live in the North. They provide a steady source of high-intensity light. Short days restrict window light, and your seedlings need 12 to 16 hours of light a day. Suspend the lights just 2 inches above the plants and gradually raise them as the seedlings mature. If plants have to stretch or lean toward the light, they can become weak and spindly. To turn the lights on and off at the same time each day, hook them up to an electric timer. http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/14-tips-starting-your-own-seeds
Seed Starting Tips Feed them If you are using a soilless mix without compost, begin to fertilize your seedlings as soon as they get their first true leaves. Water with a half-strength solution of liquid fish/seaweed fertilizer every week or two. Give them room If the seedlings outgrow their containers or crowd one another, repot them into larger containers filled with a mix that includes compost. Extract the seedlings with a narrow fork or flat stick, and handle by their leaves and roots to avoid damaging the fragile stems. Pet them Lightly ruffling seedlings once or twice a day with your hand or a piece of cardboard helps them to grow stocky and strong. Or, set up a small fan to gently, continuously blow on your seedlings. Toughen them up AKA Hardening Off. About 1 week before the plants are to go outside, start acclimating them to living outside. On a warm spring day move the containers to a shaded, protected place, such as a porch, for a few hours. Each day—unless the weather is horrible—gradually increase the plants exposure to sun and breeze. At the end of the week leave them out overnight; then transplant them into the garden. http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/14-tips-starting-your-own-seeds
Asexual Propagation Types Reasons Why Division Clone desirable specimens Cutting Propagate difficult Layering Grafting http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/d ocuments/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf germination plants Create larger plants Save desirable plants from disease Maintain genetic traits
Propagation by Division When to Divide? Reduced plant size or reduced flowering Dead areas or sparse bottom foliage Depends on the species Divide Spring blooming plants in the fall. Divide Fall blooming plants in the spring. Preparation Before Dividing Water plants thoroughly Prune stems and foliage Lifting Use sharp shovel or spading fork Cut in on all sides of plant 4-6 inches from crown Pry under plant Separation Remove loose soil Remove dead leaves and stems Note root system of plant: Spreading, Clumping, Rhizome, Tuber http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Dividing Spreading and Clumping Plants Spreading Plants Clumping Plants Many slender roots Many fleshy roots from from center of plant Plants can be invasive Cut with shears or pull apart by hand Asters, bee balm, lamb’s ear, purple coneflower, and many common perennials crown of plant Can crowd own centers Keep one bud/eye with each division Astilbes, hostas, daylilies, ornamental grasses http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Dividing Rhizome and Tuber Plants Rhizome Plants Tuber Plants ‘Horizontal stems’, Enlarged roots for primarily bearded Iris Divide after flowering through fall Inspect for disease and insect damage Cut back leaves to ‘fans’ Replant with top of rhizome above soil storage Divide with sharp knife Each root must contain stem tissue and bud Can be replanted or stored Dahlias http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Propagation by Cutting Types of Cuttings Hardwood, Semi-hardwood, Softwood, Herbaceous Types of herbaceous cuttings Leaf, Leaf-bud, Cane, Stem, Root The goal is to reduce transpiration while maintaining photosynthesis This is often done with mist systems or humidity tents http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Herbaceous Cuttings Can make numerous cuttings from parent plant Cuttings 2-6 inches long Remove bottom leaves, leaving 2-4 leaves at the top Roots will grow from the node where leaves were removed Benefits from high humidity Bottom heat helps speed rooting Place cutting in growing medium in a flat Water Cover with glass or plastic When new shoots sprout, move plants to nursery row http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Rooting Hormones Not required but can speed the process Discovered in the 1930s by Dutch scientists The chemical is called indole-3-butyric acid, or I3B Willow Trees Soak yellow tipped shoots in warm water for a few hours Make a tea with the bark Salicylic Acid Found in the bark of willow trees Originally used to make aspirin – crush 1 aspirin in 1 gallon of water Honey Soak cutting in diluted honey for 2-3 hours Soak in water for 15 minutes Plant into soil
Propagation by Layering Layering is the process of forming roots on a daughter plant while it is still attached to the parent More complicated than cutting but useful when for propagating large pieces or for plants that form roots slowly. Types of Layering Ground Layering Air Layering http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Ground Layering Procedure Maintenance Bend the tip to the Wait a few months for ground Wound branch at rooting spot Use rooting hormone Stake in place Cover with 4 inches of soil roots to form Check for roots Cut branch below new roots Pot the new plant Keep in moist soil and in shade until root system has fully develops http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Air Layering Procedure Maintenance Choose a branch Wait a few months for Cut and strip bark Apply rooting hormone Prepare and apply moss or coconut husk Cover with plastic Wrap with aluminum foil roots to form Check for roots Cut branch below new roots Pot the new plant Keep in moist soil and in shade until root system has fully develops http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/bryan/anr/documents/AsexualPropagation_000.pdf
Propagation by Grafting A horticultural technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together. Rootstock is a plant selected for its roots. A scion is a plant is selected for its stem, leaves, flower, or fruits Advantages of grafting Precocity, Dwarfing, Ease of propagation, Hybrid breeding, Hardiness, Sturdiness, Pollen source, Repair, Changing cultivars, Maintain consistency, Curiosities Types of grafting Approach, Budding, Cleft, Whip, Stub, Four flap (or banana), Awl, Veneer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grafting
Bud Grafting Grafting with a single eye or bud is most commonly used for citrus trees, deciduous fruit and shade trees are well suited to budding. Normally performed at the height of the growing season by inserting a dormant bud into a shallow slice under the rind of the tree. The bud is sealed from drying and bound in place. There are many styles of budding, shield budding is most common but also included inverted T, patch budding, double shield, flute budding and chip budding. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grafting
Removing Buds from the Budstick The bud to be inserted is often just a shield of bark with a bud attached or a very thin layer of wood with both the bark shield and bud attached. Begin the first scion cut about 1/2 inch below the bud and draw the knife upward just under the bark to a point at least 1/4 inch above the bud. Grasp the petiole from the detached leaf between the thumb and forefinger of the free hand. Make the second cut by rotating the knife blade straight across the horizontal axis of the budstick and about 1/4 inch above the desired bud. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/budding.html
Inserting the Bud Insert the bud shield into the T flaps of the stock and slide it down to ensure that it makes intimate contact with the rootstock. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/budding.html
Securing the Bud Pull the cuttogether by winding a 4- or 5inchlong budding rubber around the stem to hold the flaps tightly over the bud shield and prevent drying. Secure the budding rubber by overlapping all windings and tucking the end under the last turn. Do Not cover the bud. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/budding.html
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