The propagation of plants, woody plants, annuals/ perennials, is important for numerous reasons:
- It can help with plant legginess that might affect a mother plant, which might cause that plant to fall over and hurt itself if you don’t treat that problem.
- Propagating plants can help save you money if you want to add more plants around your home or office.
- Propagating plants helps keep that plant species alive, which is important, especially if that plant is becoming extinct.
So, what are some reasons to propagate plants in your home, office, or garden? What is the difference between asexual propagation and sexual propagation? What are some ways to successfully propagate plants? How can you be more prosperous when propagating plants, and are there any plants you can’t propagate for legal reasons?
So, why is plant progation important? Here is the complete breakdown!
What is Plant Propagation?
Plant propagation occurs by taking a portion off a mother plant or using part of the mother plant and developing new plant growth. There are multiple ways to propagate plants, but propagating falls into two categories: asexual propagation and sexual propagation.
What is Asexual Propagation vs. Sexual Propagation in Plants?
Asexual propagation (vegetative propagation) occurs when you use plant parts that are not seeds or spores to produce new plants. Asexual propagation is a common way to propagate plants for plant owners since it comes from traditional methods like cutting or layering a plant. Chances are, you will use this method in your home garden or plants at your apartment.
Sexual propagation of plants combines pollen and egg to produce seeds through pollination and fertilization for plants. For example, think of the sexual propagation of plants out in a field with many flowers around them. As the wind blows and the pollen leaves the flower, like a dandelion, it can fall anywhere in the grass and begin propagating through the pollination and fertilization of seeds.
What Are Some Reasons to Propagate Plants?
Now that we understand what propagation is, which is essentially growing more types of plants around your home or garden from parts of the mother plant, what are the reasons to do so? Here are some common reasons people choose to propagate their plants.
Helps Create New Plants from the Mother Plant
If you are a master gardener or houseplant expert, you know you can’t have enough plants in your life. Propagating some of your favorite plants creates new ones, which you can start putting in more rooms and places around your home and fill that void in your life. Plus, you already know how to take care of the mother plant, so adding clones around your home is easy to care for daily.
Cost-Effective Way to Add More Plants from a Parent Plant
Buying plants can be fun, but it can become quite costly as you look to add more around your home and office. One cost-effective way to add more plants to your office or home garden is through propagation. By taking a small cutting or using the seeds of the mother plant, you can add more of these plants around your office and home without breaking your budget.
Another reason why propagation is essential comes down to horticulture. Horticulturists are individuals who grow and maintain flowers, plants, and gardens to create food and medicine and help experiment with plants to fight diseases. If you are in this field of work, you should be familiar with propagating all different types of plants to help with your study and research.
Creates More Food for You
Propagating some of your favorite vegetables in your garden is a great way to add more food for your family. For instance, you can take a single blueberry from a blueberry bush, crush it up, and then place it into soil covered by a plastic bottle. The micro-environment that the crushed blueberry is in can create a new blueberry bush.
Sometimes a plant will become too leggy for its good, which can cause problems. For instance, a leggy plant might start to weigh down a plant as it begins to fall to one side. If that becomes the case and you don’t treat that issue, your plant might topple over, which means structural and permanent issues. To fix this leggy problem, you can propagate the plant.
You receive two benefits in one by propagating the plant when it becomes leggy. First, the mother plant won’t have the stress of supporting that leggy portion of their plant since you have cut it off already. Second, you can propagate that cutting to form new plants and evenly distribute them around your home or garden.
Prevents Plant Extinction
While this might be an extreme case, propagating plants helps reduce the risk of plant extinction. For example, The Franciscan Manzanita Plant was thought to be long gone and extinct. However, a botanist in 2009 one day was driving and recognized the plant in California. From there, they took some small cuttings to help propagate this plant to keep it from going extinct.
What are Some of the Different Propagation Methods to Consider for Plants?
- Stem Cuttings / Root Cuttings: Stem or root cuttings result from woody plants, like Money Tree plants or roses. The process works by taking a small cut on the wooden stem or petiole and placing it into soil containing sand, perlite, and peat moss to create new plants.
- Leaf Cutting: Leaf-cutting occurs when you take a leaf off a plant, like a snake plant, and plant that directly into the soil. You can also use leaf cuttings for things like succulents, where you take multiple leaves off a plant and place them in the soil.
- Simple Layering: Simple layering works best when you have a plant or tree that is limp and lying on the ground already. From there, you can dig a small hole, partially put that droopy plant or tree part into the hole, and then have the rest stick out from the ground. You can use a stake or pole as extra support if you want to keep that part sticking out of the ground upright to encourage growth.
- Seeds: Plants, like sunflowers, can be propagated by planting seeds into the soil. You can take the seeds from the plant and put them in soil, water, or even a plastic bag to help them germinate. Seeds propagation is a great way to try propagation as it is generally the easiest way to produce new plants and vegetables.
What are Some Tips for Better Propagation?
The best time to propagate plants is during the early spring and summer months when the most growth occurs in plants. The spring and summer months encourage new roots to grow faster, and the warm weather helps the mother plant grow that part where you took the cut. Meanwhile, trying to propagate some plants during the winter months will be difficult since the mother plant is usually dormant, so there will be slower growth for both the cutting and mother plant during this process.
Another tip for successful proportion is to use a rooting hormone to encourage faster growth. A rooting hormone helps stimulate root growth and formation, which is a good idea if you are new to propagating plants.
In addition to a rooting hormone, consider testing out numerous ways to propagate a plant simultaneously to see what works best for you. For example, you can use leaf cuttings and stem cuttings that contain a few nodes and place them into water or soil to see what method produces better results.
Why is it Important to Learn Propagation?
Learning propagation is critical for adding more plant clones around your home and understanding more about plants. You will need to become familiar with what a node is on a plant, what type of plants do better growing in certain climates, and what plants perform better developing a shoot tip in water vs. soil. This direct experience will help you produce more plants from propagation and protect your existing plant collection by knowing what works and doesn’t.
Also, you can experiment with cross-propagation methods when you start learning more about plants. Essentially, you can create a new and exciting plant by combining two different plants from a cutting and making them into one new plant.
Are There Certain Plants You Can’t Propagate?
Some plants in the market have patents on them, meaning you can’t propagate them and, more importantly, sell them. Most plants in your home or your local nursery won’t have patents. However, if you purchase a rare and expensive plant, be sure to inquire about any patents that may be on that plant.
The patent law you want to be familiar with is the Plant Variety Protection Act for more information.
Conclusion: Why is Plant Propagation Important?
In summary, propagating plants is important for various reasons. To start, propagating plants creates new plants for your home or garden, is a cost-effective way to have more plants, helps reduce the risk of legginess on the mother plant, and even prevents certain plant species from going extinct. Also, propagating plants helps give you additional insight into how plants grow healthy and strong, which is essential for any houseplant owner.
In addition, you should remember that a Plant Variety Protection Act is in place to protect patented plants from being sold via propagation. While this law only pertains to a small fraction of plants, it is best to check out that resource to ensure you are not violating any act, especially if you are looking to propagate a rare type of plant.
So, next time someone asks “why is plant progration important,” you will have the answers now!
Are Grow Lights Good for Plants?
What Does Plant Division Mean?
How to Get Rid of Mold on Plant Soil?
Can You Bring Plants on a Plane?
How to Increase the Humidity for Plants?
How to Keep Cats out of Plants
Are Humidifiers Good for Plants?
Is Rice Water Good for Plants?
Are Banana Peels Good for Plants?