Day 7: Propagating the Species

You might expect a lot of sex talk in a class on propagation; you would then be disappointed to learn that gardeners prefer asexual propagation.



Asexual propagation is cloning; the resulting plants are genetically the same as the parent plant.

Lessons Learned

  • Plants propagate sexually and asexually.
  • Sexual propagation involves seeds and spores.
  • Asexual propagation involves a number of techniques requiring human intervention.
    • Cuttings
    • Division (of roots)
    • Layering
    • Grafting and budding
    • Micro propagation (requires a lab)
  • Asexual propagation involves more materials and work than I plan to invest. (This may be the most important lesson I learned. Self-knowledge is a good thing.)


  • Germination – Sprouting of seed and start of plant growth.


    Source: Wikipedia

  • Layering – Probably the neatest kind of vegetative propagation. You take a stem still attached to a parent plant and place them in a rooting medium – it can be the ground – where they grow their own roots and can be cut from the parent plant, resulting in two plants, the parent and the clone.
  • Seed scarification – Breaking, scratching or softening the seed coat to that water can enter and begin germination.
  • Seed Stratification – Some seeds must be chilled to dormancy lest they germinate before conditions are satisfactory for their survival, i.e., remaining dormant over the winter. Creating this dormancy artificially is called stratification.
  • Vermiculite – Heat-treated, expanded mineral used to condition soil, start seeds, or root cuttings; holds moisture and nutirents well, acting as a soil substitute.

Today’s Photo

Along the parking lot at Green Spring Gardens.


Read chapter on Entomology. Mid-term next Thursday!

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