The Beginner's Guide to Propagating Plants
Creating new flowers from those already in your garden isn't just about saving money.
Want to have some fun with nature? Create a new plant. You can do that through a process called propagation, by which new plants are produced either by sowing a seed or taking a cutting from an existing plant. Propagation can be broken down into two basic methods. The first, known as sexual propagation, involves the floral parts of a plant and the union of the pollen (male) and egg (female) to create a new individual, or seed. Plants grown from seed may not be identical to, and have different characteristics from, the parent plant. The second method, called asexual propagation, uses the vegetative parts of a plant (stems, roots, or leaves). It involves taking one of those parts from a single parent plant and causing it to make a new plant that's genetically identical to, or a clone of, its parent. If a parent has a special characteristics, such as variegated leaves, so will the new young plant.
There are several benefits to learning how to propagate plants, all outlined below.
You'll be saving money.
Instead of buying new plants every year, you can get them for free through propagating the plants you already have. Also, propagating is more affordable and faster than other methods, which may require pricey equipment and more time.
Making something new is an amazing feeling.
You can watch a plant grow and know that you were a part of its creation.
It's better for the environment.
Asexual propagation is a way to avoid the spread of certain diseases by multiplying plants that are disease-free. Through cutting or layering, the best qualities of the mother plant will be carried on by a future generation.
It could be a new hobby.
Propagation, using such methods as seed collection and cuttings, is easy enough for the beginning gardener to learn and enjoy.