Grafting Plants: Advantages and Types

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grafting plants

Grafting plants has been extensively used to improve horticulture traits. Moreover, it helps to transport molecules that are key for biological processes.

Plant grading is a vegetative propagation technique that connects 2 severed plant segments together.

Moreover, this technique helps to continue the growth of the plant and the upper part of the combined plant is called a scion.

While the lower plant is called the rootstock.

This success of the plant joining requires that the tissues of the plants grow together and this joining is called Inosculaion.

This technique is commonly used in the Asexual Propagation of commercial plants for the horticulture and agricultural trades.

In most cases, gardeners select one plant for its roots and are called stock or rootstock.

While the other is selected for stems, leaves, flowers, or fruits.

This scion contains the desired gens you want to duplicate in the future production of stock or scion plant.

Keep on reading to learn about the advantages and types of plants being grafted.

Advantages of Grafting Plants

There are a number of advantages of plant grafting. Let’s discuss them as follows:

Precocity: The ability of the plants to produce a flower without passing the natural phase before it becomes productive.

This phase is called Juvenility and a fruit plant lasts in this phase for 5 to 9 years.

Dwarfing: To induce dwarfing or cold tolerance in plants, gardeners use this technique.

For instance, most apple orchards are grafted onto dwarf trees that help provide more fruit.

grafting plants

Propagation: As scion is difficult to grow by other means, like cutting, however, you can easily grow cutting to provide rootstock.

Hybrid Breeding: To speed the process of maturity in hybrids in a fruit tree, hybrid seedlings may take 10 or more years to flower and fruit on their own.

However, grafting can help to reduce the time of flowering and also shorten the breeding program.

Hardiness: As scion has weak roots, gardeners may graft them onto other plants to make them more resistant to harsh conditions.

Other Advantages of Grafting Plants

Other advantages of plant grafting include:

Disease or Pest Resistance: In some areas, growing plants can be difficult because of soil-borne pests or pathogens.

Thus, using pest or disease tolerant rootstock helps to increase the cultivation.

Pollen Source: In some cases, when there is overcrowding of tress or different plants, cultivators can graft at regular intervals.

advantages of grafting plants

This helps to take care of the pollen sources at the time of blossom.

Repair: If you want to repair the damage to the truck of the tree, grafting is helpful.

Genetic Consistency: If you want your apples or other fruits to have multiple characteristics, like size, color, and flavor, you can maintain consistency.

You can do this by grafting a scion with the desired fruit traits onto the hardy stock.

Types of Grafting Plants

For grafting, you will have to do it during the winter season or early in the spring, while both scion and rootstock are in the dormant phase.

If you have plants in your container garden, then you can shift them indoors for the process of grafting.

After plant grafting, you can move your plants back to their original place.

However, for field-grown stock, you will have to carry out the process in place.

For deciduous trees, you will have to graft as bare rootstock during the winter and store them until spring planting.

Moreover, indoor winter grafting is referred to as bench grafting because it is accomplished at a bench.

The types of grafting are as follows:

  • Cleft Graft
  • Bark Graft
  • Side Venner Graft
  • Splice Graft
  • Whip and Tongue Graft
  • Saddle Graft
  • Bridge Graft
  • Inarch graft

Let’s discuss them as follows:

Cleft Graft

One of the most popular and simple forms of plant grafting is cleft grafting. It involves both flowering and fruiting trees like apples, cherries, pears, etc.

Many gardeners also use cultivate camellias that are often difficult to root.

You may perform it in main stems or on lateral or scaffold branches.

For this type of grafting, rootstock should be 1 to 4 inches in diameter and should be straight.

However, the scion should be about 1/4 inches in diameter, straight, and long enough to have at least three buds.

Thus, scions that are 6 to 8 inches long are easy to use.

cleft graft

Preparing Rootstock: You should clean the sawed-off, cut it perpendicularly to the main axis.

Make a split or cleft through hr center of the stock and down to 2 to 3 inches.

Preparing the Scion: In cleft grafting, you will insert one cleft into each end, however, select scions that have 3 or 4 good buds.

Start off near the base of the lowest bud and make 2 opposing smooth cuts 1 to 2 inches long towards the basal ends.

Make sure that the basal ends of the scion gradually tapers off along both sides.

Inserting the Scion: In this step, insert a scion on each end of the cleft facing outward.

Securing the Graft: After you remove the clefting tool, pressure from the rootstock will hold the scions in a place.

Use grafting wax or grafting paint to keep out water and prevent drying.

Bark Graft

To top flowering and fruiting trees, many gardeners use bark graft.

You can apply this technique to a rootstock of large diameter from 4 to 12 incels and can be carried out during spring.

just like cleft grafting, you can make a lean cut.

Preparing Stock: Start at the cut surface of the rootstock and make a vertical slip.

This will give you a scion that you can insert.

Preparing Scion: As you will insert multiple scions in the surface of the rootstock, you will have to prepare different scions.

For this, cut the base of each one to 1 1/2 to 2 inches on one side only.

bark graft

Inserting the Scion: Under the flap of bark, insert the scion to taper the surface against the exposed wood.

Puch it down firmly into place behind the flap of the bark, replace the bark flap and nail the scion into the rootstock.

Insert a scion every 3 to 4 inches around the cut perimeter.

Securing the Graft: Using a grafting was or pain, seal the surfaces. Only leave the most vigorous one on each stub, prune out all the other, once they begin growing.

However, it is important to note that bark grafts form weak unions and thus, require support or staking during the first few years.

Side-Vaneer Graft

Once many gardeners used this technique for camellias and rhododendrons.

However, today, many cultivators use it for conifers, especially for the ones that have a compact or dwarf form.

Most often, gardeners see it for potted rootstock.

Preparing the Stock: Before grafting you will grow the rootstock and store them with other container nursery stock.

To encourage root growth, you can bring the rootstock into a cool greenhouse for a few days.

Make a shallow downward cut about 3/4 inch to 1 inch long at the base of the stem.

Moreover, make an inward cut so that you can remove the flap of bark and wood.

Preparing the Scion: Choose a scion with a diameter same as or slightly smaller than the rootstock.

Make a sloping cut about 3/4 to 1 inch long at the base of the scion.

side venner graft

Inserting the Scion and Securing the Graft: Insert the cut surface of the scion against the cut surface of the rootstock, however, be sure that the cambia contact each other.

To secure the graft, use a rubber grafting strip, tape, or grafting twine.

Seal the area with warm grafting wax or paint and remove the rubber it twine after healing of the union.

Keep in mind that you should not bind the material to girdle the stem.

Splice Graft

To join a scion onto the stem of the rootstock or onto an intact root piece, you can use this splice grafting technique.

You can use this method to herbaceous material that callus or knit easily.

Or make use of them with a stem diameter of 1/2 inches or less.

Moreover, in this technique, both the scion and stock should be of the same diameter.

splice graft

Preparing the Stock and Scion: For this, cut off the rootstock using a diagonal cut of about 3/4 to 1 inch long.

Make the same type of cut at the base of the scion.

Inserting the Scion: Fit the scion to the stock and wrap this junction with a rubber grafting strip or twine.

Securing the Graft: Seal it off with grafting wax or paint. Water the rootstock until it kits, however, overwatering can cause sap to drown the scion.

Make sure to remove the twine or strip as soon as the graft heals.

Whip and Tongue Graft

If you want to graft nursery crops or woody ornamentals, you can effectively use this technique.

Both the scion and rootstock are of the same size, and no more than 1/2 inch in diameter.

Moreover, this technique is similar to split grafting, except your whip on the rootstock that holds that tongue of the scion in place.

You will make some cuts on both scion and rootstock to form a good union.

Preparing the Stock and Scion: Cut a stick in a diagonal shape and it should be 4 to 5 times longer than the stock you ant to graft.

Make the same cut on the scion and stop at the base of the initial diagonal cut and second cut halfway between the bark and pith.

whip and tongue graft

Make sure that the second cut must not follow the grain of the wood and should run parallel to the first cut.

Inserting the Scion: Prepare the scion in the same way and fit it into the rootstock so that they look like interlock whip and tongue.

Make sure that the cambia are in an aligned position.

Securing the Graft: You can wrap the junction with a grafting strip or twine and seal it with a grafting was or paint.

Make sure to not allow the binding material to girdle the stem.

Final Thoughts

Grafting plants are popular for commercial plants, as it helps maximize the profits and is convenient. However, many farmers can use it to create unique plants.

It has a number of advantages like it is disease resistant, can help boom the flowers early, is cost-effective and the quality of the fruit, leaves, and flowers is also retained. With different methods, you can use this method effectively to make the most out of it.

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