Vegetative Propagation

May 12, 2021

Vegetative propagation -  \ˈve-jə-ˌtā-tiv ˌprä-pə-ˈgā-shən\ - noun

To produce or breed a new plant from the existing parent plant. Techniques include planting seeds, using cuttings, layering, or grafting.

Vegetative Propagation in the Forest Garden

Farmers in Trees for the Future's Forest Garden Program use seed and vegetative propagation methods to accelerate and diversify fruit and vegetable production in their Forest Gardens. Nurseries are the most common method of seed propagation while the most common vegetative propagation techniques are cuttings and grafting.


Propagation through cuttings refers to the process of taking a part of the plant's stem or leaves and planting in the soil. Roots will grow from the stem or leaf and a new plant will develop. This technique is very useful for mangrove plantation propagation.


The other commonly used technique is grafting. Here, farmers will take a cutting (called a scion) from one plant and attach it to another plant's stem that is already rooted to the ground. Over time, the tissues of the cutting and the grounded plant will develop as a single plant.

Grafting fruit trees allows farmers to control fruit quality and quantity while also increasing a tree’s tolerance to climatic extremes. For example, in citrus trees, a tree that was not grafted may flower and fruit within five years after planting, whereas grafted trees can begin fruiting after one year.


A third vegetative propagation technique that is not as frequently used in the Forest Garden Program is layering. For this propagation method, farmers bend a stem to the ground so that it can be covered in soil. Eventually, roots will emerge from the stem in the soil and new growths will emerge, at which point the stem is cut and separated from the original branch to create a separate tree.

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