To study the plant propagation by stem cutting

Horticulture Guruji

Exercise 5

To study the plant propagation by stem cutting

HORT 111

Cutting:Separation of part of the plant and planting it in the media suitably and developing it as a new plant is called cutting.

Material required

  1. Best quality parent plant
  2. Secature
  3. Grafting Knife
  4. Rooting media
  5. Rooting Hormones viz. Rootex


Procedures for Stem Cuttings

  • Usually, the branch of the current or previous season should be selected for the cutting. Avoid material containing flower buds if possible. Take cuttings from healthy, disease-free plants, and preferably from the upper part of the plant.
  • The fertility status of the parent plant can affect root formation. Avoid taking cuttings from plants showing signs of mineral nutrient deficiency. Conversely, plants that have been given heavy amounts of fertilizer, especially nitrogen, may also not take root well. The parent plant should not be in moisture stress. The lateral branch cutting is often better than the top cutting.
  • Morning is the best time to take a cutting. It is important to keep the cuttings cool and moist until they are planted. A dark plastic bag with a wet paper towel can be used to store the cuttings.
  • While the tip of the stem is best, a long branch can be divided into several cuttings. The cutting should usually be 4 to 6 inches long. Use a sharp, thin-bladed pocket knife or sharp pruning shears.
  • If necessary, dip the cutting tool in a mixture of rubbing alcohol or 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to prevent the spread of diseases from infected plant parts to healthy plants.
  • Cut the leaves in half from the bottom third of the cutting. On plants with larger leaves, the remaining leaves can be cut in half to reduce water loss.
  • Treatment of cuttings with root-promoting hormones may be helpful in stimulating the rooting of some plants in which the roots are difficult to grow.
  • Root medium should be sterile, low fertility, and well-drained to provide adequate aeration. Sufficient moisture should also be maintained in it so that frequent watering is not required. Commonly used materials should be coarse sand, a mixture of one part peat and one part perlite (by volume), or one-part peat and one part sand (by volume).
  • Press the cuttings one-third to one-half their length into the soil/medium. Maintain the vertical orientation of the stem (do not turn the cutting upside down). If the container or frame is 3 or more inches deep, water again after planting. Avoid direct sunlight. Keep the medium moist until the roots are initiated in the cutting.
  • Newly rooted cuttings should not be planted directly in the field. Instead, transplant them into containers or into beds.

Types of cutting

(i) Herbaceous Cutting: – Ornamental plants are usually propagated with herbaceous cutting. The cutting is made from a 1-2 months old branch. The leaves are cut off from the base of the cutting and the upper leaves are allowed to remain, as the carbohydrate accumulated in the branch is low and the leaves are used to make food. This cutting is used in the propagation of Alternanthera, Coleus piles, Iresine.


(ii) Softwood Cutting: – This type of cutting is not commonly used in the propagation of fruit trees. And there should be more humidity when making cutting. The cutting should be taken from a 2-3 months old branch. The length of the cutting should be kept 10–15 cm. This type of cutting is prepared in apple, pear, guava, and some ornamental plants.


(iii) Semi Hardwood Cutting: – The cutting is taken from a semi-hard wooden branch of 4-9 months old. The length of the cutting should be 7-20 cm. The entire leaves are removed, leaving the top 2-3 leaves of the cutting. This type of cutting should be made in the rainy season. When there is high humidity in the atmosphere. After treatment with PGR, it is planted in a prepared nursery bed. This cutting is made in mango, guava, jackfruit, lemon, aonla, etc.


(iv) Hardwood Cutting: – In this method, the cutting is taken from a woody branch of a year or elder. The cutting should not be taken from a branch with high Vigorous Growth and long internode. Cutting length 10–45 cm. should be kept. A cutting with two to three buds, which is cut from near the bottom bud and 1 to 2 cm above the top bud. The top cut on the cutting should be slanting. Due to the slanting top, the water does not stop over the cut when irrigation. The cutting should be treated with a solution of 1500 ppm IBA before planting, which leads to quicker root development. The cutting should be made from November to February. This type of cutting is made in grapes, figs, pomegranate mulberry, rose, etc.

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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