by johnah on November 14, 2020
Propagating Blueberries – How To Propagate Blueberry Bushes
How to Propagate Blueberries – How To Grow Bunch Of Plants
Growing Bunch of Plants: What Is A Plant?
What Are Some Benefits Of Growing Bunch of Plants?
Grow Your Own Vegetables!
Why Do You Need So Many Cuttings For Grafting?
A Few Tips On Grafting Blueberries
The Best Way To Start Off With A New Plant And Get More Cuttings For Grafting?
You may want to start off with a new plant and get more cuttings for grafting. This way you will have a better chance at getting good results when grafting your own plants. Here are some reasons why you might want to do so:
If you don’t like the look of your current crop or it doesn’t grow well. If you just got a new house and need to put up some fence posts quickly. Or if you just started a new job and need to buy supplies for planting.
It’s not always easy to get enough cuttings for grafting, especially if they’re small ones. It really helps to have a head start on this process. Time is also of the essence when it comes to grafting as well. The longer you take to do it, the less likely the plant will accept the “foreign” roots and vice versa.
The sooner the two combine, the better chance you have at growing a new tree or bush!
It’s not an exact science by any means so don’t expect it to be perfect every time. With a little practice though, you should be able to get it right most of the time. Some plant species are just easier to graft than others so don’t get discouraged if your first few tries don’t work out.
It’s also important to keep good records of what you’ve done and when. This will help you keep a good track record of which plants and grafting methods work and which ones don’t. You can also use this information next year when doing it all over again! The more you do it, the more you’ll understand about plants and their growth cycles, etc.
It really is a great thing to know how to do and you’ll have a lot of fun along the way too!
The following steps describe how to graft your own plants:
1. The first thing that you need to decide about the plant is whether or not it’s a good one to use for grafting.
If it’s a breed or type of plant that doesn’t take well to being grafted then it’s not going to work no matter how hard you try. The easiest plants to use for this process are the ones that tend to naturally regenerate or reproduce from cuttings. These types are often shrubs or bushes. Conifers, such as Christmas trees, are often used for grafting since they have a tendency to grow back wherever there is a “cut” of some sort.
Most plants can be grafted but it all depends on the type of plant, its growth habits and the location of the graft site.
2. The next thing you need to decide about the plant is where you want to make the cut.
For shrubs and bushes, it’s common to graft above the root system. This will often give you a new plant that has the same growing habits as the parent plant since this is where new roots will grow from. For trees, it makes more sense to graft just below the root system. This will give you a new tree that has the same growing habits since this is where the root system is at.
3. After you find a good place to make your cut, it’s time to select your plant to use for the grafting process.
Make sure that it’s in good health and isn’t suffering from any disease or defect. If it is, you might want to try a different plant or just give up on this idea and start anew next year.
4. Take your knife or sharp scissors and make your cut on the plant.
If you’re using a shrub or bush, make the cut right above the root system. For trees, make the cut just below the root system. Be very careful not to damage any of the feeder roots while doing this!
5. Take the scion (the top part of the plant that you plan to use) and make a shallow cut on the bottom end.
Don’t cut it too deep or it won’t properly heal together!
6. Now it’s time to get to work grafted the two parts together.
It’s important to make sure that you match the tissue of each plant part as closely as possible. This will help keep a good seal and prevent disease from possibly infecting your new plant. I like to gently rub the cut part of the scion on my skin to rough it up a bit. This will help the plants bond together when you join them.
Hold both parts tightly together and wrap them firmly in electrical tape. You can use rubber bands as well but make sure you cover them with electrical tape as well to keep out any possible disease.
7. Next you need to take steps to keep the plant upright and supports its weight.
Cut two small stakes and drive them into the ground on either side of the plant about a foot or so out from the plant. Tie the plant to these stakes using some soft string or soft twine. The tent stakes are there to keep the plant from falling over as it grows.
8. Keep the area around the new graft well watered and keep an eye on it through the growing season.
9. After about a year or more, you should start to see some growth on your new plant.
You can cut the strings and stakes away at this point but make sure it is very strong and well rooted before you give up on the tent stakes.
10. Thatch yearly by cutting off all the top growth and using it as mulch or compost around other plants in your garden. If you want to really get picky, you can also carefully remove the outermost ring of bark and use that for mulch. This helps keep the plant roots from growing too large for the container, so it doesn’t have to be planted in the ground.
11. After a few years, your plant will eventually grow large enough that it’s top growth will start to bend over or lay down. At this point, it’s time to move it into the ground or give it a place of honor in your garden!
12. Continue care for your plant as you would any other tree or shrub.
Grafting is a very common practice and is used all the time in orchards and gardens across the world. Apples are a great example of this technique. All the different types of apples we eat are all actually the same tree. The way this works is, a root stock will be grafted with a desirable variety of apple.
This gives the grower a lot of control over how the fruit grows on the tree and how large it gets. It also allows them to use a smaller amount of land to grow a greater amount of apples!
You can also create new varieties using this method as well. If you find a sport (a type of mutation) of an existing fruit tree that you like, you can graft it to a root stock of your choosing. For example, I have a nice juicy red apple that got sported into a more orange colored fruit. I was able to graft that mutation (which is too soft and falls apart when cooked) to a crab apple rootstock and now I have my own crab apple/orange hybrid with the same lovely coloring as the original sport.
The same technique can be used to create new fruit or hybrids as well. If you find a nice cherry that you like, but it flowers early and is prone to disease, you can graft it onto a rootstock that will delay flowering and make it stronger/hardier.
Grafting can also be used to make stronger plants in general. As the plant grows it puts a lot of energy into making the new graft union. This means that for a brief time, your plant will be able to grow at a faster rate and become stronger than it otherwise would have been. This growth burst can be timed for when you want flowers or fruit to develop to maximize their size and number.
Now you too can make your own hybrid plants!
Here are a few examples of plants that would work well for grafting. Your local nursery or garden center should have these available.
• Apples (use rootstock from crab apples)
You can also experiment with different types of Roses. Grafting roses is similar to grafting fruit, but there are a few differences. Let’s start with some simple examples and work our way up.
Grafting is very easy. It’s a lot like tackling a tree. If you’ve never done it before, watch someone who has do it first, until you feel comfortable handling the process yourself. Wear gloves and long pants to protect yourself from the thorns.
First, cut the branch you want to graft so that it has a clean cut and isn’t bleeding. Wait a few days until the cut has sealed itself over and then carefully cut around the branch, exposing the inner tissue. Take your time with this. You don’t want to damage either part.
Now your going to need a second plant for your graft. I recommend choosing one that is different from the first plant since this will strengthen your new tree or bush. Again, cut off a branch and carefully cut around the center to expose the inner tissue. Take a moment to examine the two.
You want to make sure the cambium layers match up nicely. Remember, they will grow together as one so they have to be a good match. Once you are satisfied with your choice, join the two together and wrap them tightly in grafting tape or grafting compound . This will keep your new graft from drying out and protect it while it bonds together. This can take several weeks, during which you should keep the grafting area moist but not soaking.
Once the graft has knitted together into a single plant, you can cut off any extra tape or covering. Keep an eye on it for a few days for any signs of disease or other problems. If all is well, you’ve successfully grafted!
Here are a few other types of grafts for you to try.
For this one, you will need two plants that have a similar structure and roughly the same size branch. You are basically creating a T with one plant and grafting the other onto it. You cover the cut area with grafting tape and keep both cuts moist until they heal over.
These are a little more complicated since you need to cut around a branch and several inches down the stem to get to the cambium layer. Then you carefully expose and align it with a similar cut out of the second plant. You then join the two together and wrap it up to keep the moisture in. Lots more care is needed with this one since you are cutting into the main stem, but the results can be well worth it.
For instance, I used this technique to graft a cutting of a thornless blackberry onto a root stock of thorny blackberry. The new plant was thornless!
Here you are basically creating a bridge between two plants that don’t grow well together. Let’s say you have a rose bush that is doing OK where it is, but you really want it over by the fence. You take a cutting from the rose bush and create a T graft with the desired root stock. The bottom of the T goes under the soil next to the fence and sprouts new roots.
The top of the T gets wrapped and kept moist until it grows out new shoots and then is planted where you want it. The two plants will fuse together over time and you will be able to train the top to grow exactly where you want it.
The hardest part about this one is coming up with a clever name for it! Ha! No but seriously, this is similar to the bridge graft in that you are using one plant to help another, but this time it is a little different. You are going to take a cutting from your first plant and create a bridge between two similar plants.
Let’s say you have a row of blackberry bushes that are really crowded and want to make them into one longer row. You take a hardy root stock and create a U shape out of it. The legs of the U go in two different directions and make contact with the soil. Then you take a cutting from one of the plants in the row and create a circle around the leg of the U. The root stock makes the plant “super root” into the soil and helps it maintain dominance over the weaker roots of the plant you cut from. Over time, they will meld together and you will have a longer row of bushes all working together to produce delicious berries!
This is the most complicated of all the grafts, but it is also the most exciting! You are basically creating an entirely new plant that has characteristics from two different plants. Let’s say you find a really great tasting blueberry, but it doesn’t produce very many berries. You also have a plant that produces a lot of berries, but they taste horrible.
By grafting the stems together you can create a new plant that has the best of both worlds!
These are just some of the techniques that you might be interested in exploring and you will have plenty of time to practice them. In the meantime, your garden is still growing and you have a nice crop of peas and some potatoes ready for harvesting. You walk over to the plants and start plucking the peas right off the vines and pop them into your mouth. Mmmm!
So good! You then grab a potato and take a big bite out of it. Again, just delicious!
You are finishing up the last of the peas and thinking about starting on the next row when you suddenly get a call from Brenda. You accept the call.
Hey Brenda, something wrong at the fort?”
“No, not at all. In fact everything is going really well here. Well as well as it could given the situation.” Brenda responded.
“Oh good, I’m glad to hear it.
So what can I do for you?”
“Well, I was going over the plans for the fort and I had a few questions about them.”
Didn’t you send Ozzy with some engineers? Don’t they know what to do?”
“Yeah, about that…it’s complicated. Look I’d rather explain when you get here.
Are you able to come now?
“Uh…yeah sure. I actually just finished up harvesting my garden for this year. I can come right now.”
“Great, see you soon.”
Brenda ends the call and you put away your gardening tools before walking back to the road. You figure it will take you about a half hour to walk to the fort so set out at a brisk pace. On your way there you begin thinking about what could be going on at the fort. You haven’t heard any news in a while so you hope everything is OK.
You walk up to the gate and are stopped by a guard.
Who are you?”
The guard asks.
“Uh, my name is Kyle.”
Wait, Kyle, as in the guy that Brenda found and brought here a couple days ago?”
“Yeah, that’s me.”
Shit, did you really just get here?”
Yeah, why? What’s going on?”
“Well, I’ll let Brenda explain. Just head on in.
Sources & references used in this article:
Field performance of highbush blueberries (Vaccinium× Corymbosum L.) cv.’Herbert’propagated by cuttings and tissue culture by W Litwińczuk, G Szczerba, D Wrona – Scientia Horticulturae, 2005 – Elsevier
Influence of indole-3-butyric acid and propagation method on growth and development of in vitro-and ex vitro-derived lowbush blueberry plants by SC Debnath – Plant Growth Regulation, 2007 – Springer
A comparison of blueberry propagation techniques used in New Zealand by J George, SA Miller, EK Rawnsley… – … Symposium on Vaccinium …, 2004 – actahort.org
Field performance of in vitro-propagated’Northblue’blueberries by PE Read, DK Wildung, CA Hartley… – … on Vaccinium Culture …, 1988 – actahort.org
Strategies to propagate Vaccinium nuclear stocks for the Canadian berry industry by SC Debnath – Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 2007 – NRC Research Press
Developing seed-propagated lowbush blueberry families by AR Jamieson – HortScience, 2008 – journals.ashs.org
Commercial blueberry growing by DH Scott, GMM Darrow, AD Draper – 1973 – books.google.com