To study the plant propagation by budding

Horticulture Guruji

Exercise 6

To study the plant propagation by budding

HORT 111

Budding: – The process of connecting scion, which is a bud, and rootstock in a manner such that they may unite and grow successfully as one plant is termed as budding

Material Required

  • Budding Knife
  • Secature
  • Plant Material
  • Polythene tape (Strip)
  • Wax

Types of Budding

  1. T-Budding (Shield budding): This method is known as T-budding because the incision on the rootstock is shaped like the letter T, and called shield budding, because of the bud shape. This method is widely used for the propagation of fruit trees and many ornamental plants. In this method, the rootstock is about 0.75 to 2.50 cm in diameter and is actively growing so that the bark is easily separated from the wood. For example, citrus, rose, etc.

Procedure: After selecting the rootstock, select an internodal region in smooth bark at a height of 15-25 cm from the ground level. Make a vertical incision about 2.5-3.75 cm in length from the middle of the bark. On top of this vertical cut, make another horizontal cut (1 cm or 1/3 of the circumference of the stem) in such a way that both the given incisions are similar to the letter T. Open the piece of bark on either side of the vertical cut to insert the bud. Select a required bud branch and start making an incision from about 1.5 cm below the bud and continue it upwards and about 2.5 cm above the bottom of the bud. Make another horizontal cut about 1 cm above the bud. Remove the shield of bark containing the bud. The traces of wood, if attached, can be removed. With the help of a budding knife, insert the bud on the rootstock between the flaps of the bark in such a way that the horizontal cut of the shield coincides with the horizontal cut of the rootstock. Immediately after budding, wrap it tightly with a polythene strip so that only the bud remains open.

Note:- T budding requires that the scion are fully formed, mature, dormant buds and the rootstock is in a state of active growth as if the “bark is slipping”. This means that the vascular cambium is actively growing, and the bark can be easily peeled off with little damage to the rootstock. This propagation method is used in branches with thin bark.


  1. Patch Budding: – In this method, a regular patch/piece of bark from the rootstock is completely removed and replaced with a patch of the bark of the same size that contains the bud of the desired parent plant. For this method to be successful, the rootstock bark and the bud stick should slip easily. The diameter of the rootstock and the scion should preferably be approximately the same (1.5 to 2.75 cm). For example, plum, citrus, cocoa, and rubber, etc.

Procedure: Make two transverse parallel incisions through the bark at the desired location (10-15 cm above ground level) on the selected rootstock and approximately 1-1.5 cm long or 1/3 of the distance around the rootstock. The distance between the incisions can be 2-3 cm. Join the two transverse incisions with the two vertical incisions at their ends. Remove the patch/piece of bark and reapply it until the patch of bark is formed with the bud of the parent plant selected. Make two transverse incisions on the bud stick – one above and one below the bud and two vertical incisions on each side of the bud. The measurement of the transverse and vertical incisions should correspond to the measurement given on the rootstock. Remove the patch of bark from the bud by sliding it sideways. Immediately put the bud patch on the rootstock in such a way that the bud patch sticks completely together on the root. Wrap the inserted bud patch with a polythene tap, which should cover all the cut surfaces but expose the bud properly.


  1. Chip Budding: – In chip budding, a chip of tree wood (along with bark) is inserted into a corresponding groove on the host – rootstock. Chip budding is done in late summer and early autumn and when there is a lack of sap flow and the bark does not remove easily from the wood. This method is used in plum, peach, apricot, cherry, etc.

Procedure:- Remove the lower twigs and leaves from the rootstock. Secure the “bud stick” of the donor tree, the tree you are taking bud from. Using a sterile sharp knife, make your first incision 3/4 inch wide X 1/4 inch deep in the scion branch just below the bud you want to remove. The incision should be at an angle of about 30o. Make your second incision about one and a half inches above the first, the bud you are removing from between the two incisions. Cut in and around the bud to match the two incisions. Take care not to damage the bark excessively. Then remove the bark along with the wood by making an incision of the same size as the bud in the rootstock. These incisions should be about 5-6 inches above the ground.

Insert the bud chip into the rootstock. It is important that the cambium layers are as closely matched as possible. Tie the joint with grafting tape or even a polythene strip. Leave the bud open, do not cover it with grafting tape or polythene strip.


  1. Flute Budding or Modified Ring Budding: – This method uses a ring of tissue adjacent to the bud, which trees with relatively thick bark more than 1 cm thick and in the active state can usually be propagated by this method. It is successfully used in plum and cashew trees.

Procedure:- Two horizontal incisions approximately 1.5 to 2′ apart are made on the bark of the rootstock to the extent of about 3/4 of the diameter of the stem. A vertical incision is made to connect the horizontal incisions at both ends and the semi-ringed bark is removed. The bud is prepared by repeating the same method on the scion branch and pasted by placing the bud on the peeled part of the rootstock with a bark flute. After this, it is tied with a polythene strip in the same manner as t-budding.


References cited

  1. Commercial Fruits. By S. P. Singh
  2. A text book on Pomology, Vol,1. by T. K. Chattapadhya
  3. Tropical Horticulture, Vol.1, by T. K. Bose, S. K. Mitra, A. A. Farooqui and M. K. Sadhu

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