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Growing plants from seeds - page 6 / 12

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Cuttings

People often take stem cuttings to grow more plants for their gardens or farms. Stem cuttings are pieces of stems from which new plants grow. When planted into the soil, stem cuttings develop roots and new shoots of leaves. Examples of plants that you can grow from stem cuttings are figs, granadillas, sweet potatoes, cassava, kiwi fruit and many different garden plants. new roots

new shoots

A stem cutting

Grafting and budding

Grafting is joining the stems of two different plants so that they grow together as one plant. Budding is joining the stem of one plant with buds from another so that they grow together as one plant.

There are a number of reasons for grafting and budding. The main one is to produce plants which are the same as a parent plant with good characteristics. Grafting and bud- ding are usually done with woody plants, such as fruit and nut trees which cannot easily be grown from cuttings.

If you want good quality, high yielding fruit and nut trees, it is best to buy grafted or budded trees from a nursery.

Activity 10.2

Growing trees from cuttings

You will need: potting soil, strong plastic packet at least 20 cm long, sharp knife or secateurs, tree cuttings

Follow these steps to grow plants from cuttings.

Individual work

  • 1.

    Use a sharp knife or secateurs to cut off pieces of stem as thick as a pencil. Choose stems which have buds. The new shoots will grow from these buds.

  • 2.

    Cut the top pieces of the stems off, so that you are left with pieces that have at least four nodes. A node is a joint in the stem. Buds form at nodes.

cut off the top piece of the stem

cut the top end at an angle

bud

remove the bottom two leaves

a piece of stem with four buds

node

Taking a cutting

G R O W I N G P L A N T S F R O M PA R T S O F A PA R E N T P L A N T

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