How to Graft Plants

Grafting a Hot Pepper PlantThe garden of any given house is often it’s crowning glory because it makes all the difference to its outward appearance. An untidy garden can make a home look sloppy and old, whereas a tidy and blooming garden can give your home a little life and beauty.

However, plants, shrubs, trees and flowers can cost a lot of money today because they tend to be expensive. Even seeds are relatively expensive these days, and then there are the tools you need as well. There is a cheaper way of making your garden bloom though, and it comes from using what you already have by grafting plants.

Grafting a plant is literally joining two plant parts together. The plants fuse together and grow as one. It may sound simple but it is a rather tricky procedure to carry out and it does usually require some practice before you become good at it. However, before you actually try to do it, you should understand just why we graft plants in the first place.

Step By Step Guide To Grafting Plants

1. Wait until early spring to collect the sections ready for grafting. The scion should always include at least three dormant leaf buds. It should also be of last year’s shoots, meaning that it came well last year. This will ensure that the process stands a chance. Place the scion in water until the rootstock has been readied for the process to begin.

2. Prepare a sterile and sharp knife in order to make the cut.

3. Cut the rootstock about 6” above the ground and make sure that the cut is clean. It should be cut upwards, meaning that there is a diagonal slope on the top of it, which will fit the scion perfectly.

4. Take the scion out of water and place the two edges together until they fit perfectly. When they do, use rubber grafting tape to bind the two sections together and use grafting wax to seal the tape.

5. Check on the graft regularly to make sure that t is not diseased in any way. After a few weeks, the graft should begin to take, which you will be able to see from the level of fusion in the join. After six months, it should be fully fused and sprouting.

Why Do We Graft Plants?

The grafting of the scion of the plant (complete with a dormant bud) with the root stock is a common practice amongst experienced gardeners for a number of reasons, most of which are related to the effect that it has on the plant itself. All of the following are valid reasons:

    • You can graft plants to either increase the growth of the existing plant or reduce the growth. It is actually an effective means of dwarfing a plant.

    • It can enable you to propagate plants that you have but cannot find in seed form. You can encourage the growth of the plant by grafting year after year, whereas it may otherwise fail with no hope of coming back again.

    • It can help prevent against disease in that t can help to build up a level of resistance against pest and existing disease that other plants may be subject to.
    • It can also help to prevent the effects of the environment from damaging the plant because it does make the plants hardier.

There are also a variety of other reasons why grafting can be a good thing, including an increase of the incidence of pollination and to increase the variety of plants you have.

Photo by desi.italy, Creative Commons Attribution License