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Plant Propagation Guide for Beginners

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When you want to increase the number of plants in your yard or home, you can apply plant propagation techniques. Plant propagation makes use of several different methods to multiply plants in a particular space. Propagating a plant is not terribly difficult, although there are some things to keep in mind and particular steps to follow depending on whether you're multiplying flowers, foliage plants, or trees. But if you are careful and follow the best practices for propagating plants, you should be able to create new plants from what already exists in your yard or garden.

Plant Propagation Basics

Propagation of new plants from existing plants can be done via seeds, cuttings, dividing, or layering. The chief advantage of propagation is its affordability. Instead of having to buy a new plant, gardeners simply use existing plants and tools. Plant propagation also allows gardeners to get the most out of every plant that they purchase. Buy a rosemary tree, for example, and you can get many more rosemary plants from it when you employ plant propagation techniques.

Sexual Plant Propagation

Sexual plant propagation involves creating new plants by helping them to produce seeds and then planting the seeds in your yard or garden. Getting seeds from your yard or garden requires both male and female plants or plants that can produce seeds on their own because they contain both the male and female organs. Once seeds are obtained, you either plant them directly in the soil or start them in pots as seedlings before transferring them to the ground. Many seeds require special care for proper germination and growth.

Asexual Plant Propagation

In asexual plant propagation, cuttings such as leaves, branches, or stems are used to create new plants. Typically, these cuttings are placed either in water or in another host medium and roots are produced. These cuttings become new plants and remain where they have been planted, or they are transferred to a new location. Often, gardeners will apply a rooting hormone to the ends of the cuttings to encourage the growth of roots. However, not all asexual plant propagation techniques require this step.

Propagating Specific Plants

There are many different kinds of plants and many different plant propagating guides. These guides adapt the general principles of plant propagation to specific species. Gardeners would do well to find specific plant propagation guides for the plants they want to multiply. Using the right methods on the right plants can help to ensure gardening success.

  • Propagating Azaleas: This page focuses on azaleas, but it also includes information on propagating other plants.
  • Propagate Herbs: Herbs are easy to propagate from cuttings, and this resource explains how to do so.
  • Propagating Houseplants: Houseplants are among the plants that individuals most commonly want to propagate, and PennState Extension explains how to do so on this page.
  • Propagating Plants With Hardwood Stem Cuttings: Trees and shrubs can be propagated from hardwood cuttings, as this resource page demonstrates.

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