Asexual Reproduction in Plant - Artificial Vegetative Reproduction - Conventional Method



  • Artificial vegetative reproduction
  • Types of artificial vegetative reproduction - conventional and modern methods
  • Artificial method of vegetative reproduction
  1. Cutting
  2. Layering
  3. Grafting
  4. Suckering
  5. Micropropagation
  • Advantages and disadvantages of artificial vegetative reproduction


Artificial vegetative reproduction:

  • Artificial vegetative propagation is a type of plant reproduction that involves human intervention.
  • Apart from the natural methods of vegetative reproduction, a number of methods are used in agriculture and horticulture to propagate plants from their parts. Such methods are said to be artificial propagation.
  • Some of the artificial propagation methods have been used by man for a long time and are called conventional methods. Nowadays, technology is being used for propagation to produce a large number of plants in a short period of time. Such methods are said to be modern methods.


Artificial methods of vegetative reproduction

  1. Conventional Method
  2. Modern Method


A) Conventional methods:

The common methods of conventional propagation are cutting, grafting, and layering.

  1. Cutting: It is the method of producing a new plant by cutting the plant parts such as root, stem, and leaf from the parent plant. The cut part is placed in a suitable medium for growth. It produces roots and grows into a new plant. Before planting, cuttings are occasionally treated with hormones to stimulate root formation. Depending upon the part used it is called root cutting (Malus), stem cutting (Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, and Moringa), and leaf-cutting (Begonia, Bryophyllum). Stem cutting is widely used for propagation.  

    Root cutting - Malus

     Stem cutting - Hibiscus

    Leaf-cutting - Begonia

  2. Grafting: In grafting, parts of two different plants are joined so that they continue to grow as one plant. Of the two plants, the plant which is in contact with the soil is called stock, and the plant used for grafting is called the scion. Over time, the tissue systems of the cutting graft into or integrate with the tissue systems of the base plant. Examples are Citrus, Mango, and Apple. 


    Types of grafting:
    There are different types of grafting based on the method of uniting the scion and stock. They are bud grafting, approach grafting, tongue grafting, crown grafting, and wedge grafting.

    i) Bud grafting:
    A T-shaped incision is made in the stock and the bark is lifted. The scion bud with little wood is placed in the incision beneath the bark and properly bandaged with tape. 

    Bud grafting

    ii) Approach grafting: In this method both the scion and stock remain rooted. The stock is grown in a pot and it is brought close to the scion. Both of them should have the same thickness. A small slice is cut from both and the cut surfaces are brought near and tied together and held by a tape. After 1-4 weeks the tip of the stock and base of the scion is cut off and detached and grown in a separate pot.

    Approach grafting

    iii) Tongue grafting: A scion and stock having the same thickness is cut obliquely and the scion is fit into the stock and bound with a tape.

    Tongue grafting

    iv) Crown grafting: When the stock is large in size scions are cut into a wedge shape and are inserted on the slits or clefts of the stock and fixed in position using graft wax.

    Crown grafting

    v) Wedge grafting: In this method, a slit is made in the stock, or the bark is cut. A twig of the scion is inserted and tightly bound so that the cambium of the two is joined.

    Wedge grafting

  3. Layering: In this method, the stem of a parent plant is allowed to develop roots while still intact. When the root develops, the rooted part is cut and planted to grow as a new plant. Examples: Ixora and Jasminum.

    Types of layering:
    Mound layering and Air layering are a few types of layering.

    i) Mound layering:
    This method is applied for plants having flexible branches. The lower branch with leaves is bent to the ground and part of the stem is buried in the soil and the tip of the branch is exposed above the soil. After the roots emerge from the part of the stem buried in the soil, a cut is made in the parent plant so that the buried part grows into a new plant.

    Mound layering

    ii) Air layering: In this method the stem is girdled at nodal region and hormones are applied to this region which promotes rooting. This portion is covered with damp or moist soil using a polythene sheet. Roots emerge in these branches after 2-4 months. Such branches are removed from the parent plant and grown in a separate pot or ground
  4. Suckering: Suckering is the process through which suckers adhere to a parent plant and form a dense, compact mat. Excess suckers are trimmed because too many can result in reduced crop size. Mature suckers are separated from the parent plant and transplanted to a new location where they produce new plants. Suckering serves two purposes: it grows new shoots and removes nutrient-sucking buds that prevent the main plant from expanding. 

    Suckering - Banana tree

Advantages of conventional methods:

  1. The plants produced are genetically uniform.
  2. Many plants can be produced quickly by this method.
  3. Some plants produce little or no seeds; in others, the seeds produced do not germinate. In such cases, plants can be produced in a short period by this method.
  4. Some plants can be propagated more economically by vegetative propagation. Example: Solanum tuberosum.
  5. Two different plants with desirable characters such as disease resistance and high yield can be grafted and grown as a new plant with the same desirable characters.

Disadvantages of conventional methods:

  1. Use of virus-infected plants as parents produces viral-infected new plants.
  2. Vegetative structures used for propagation are bulky and so they are difficult to handle and store.
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