Plant Propagation By Grafting

Asexual reproduction or vegetative propagation through Grafting.

Previously we looked at propagation via cuttings, where stem cuttings were used to produce new exact plant copies. There are many plants that respond better to different methods of propagation like grafting for instance.

Today we will look into some successful grafting techniques.

After deciding on what plant cultivar you will be working with, you will need to gather some rootstock. What you want to be using here are plant siblings around three years old. This part is what makes up the root system of the graft combination.  

The next step will be to go out to your collection of plants and select some cuttings from one of your plants that you’re looking to propagate.

A stem section selected from your chosen plant is taken the same way as a cutting. This will be called the scion and that's what we're going to use in the graft combination. This scion is what's going to become the branch structure on the top part of the graft.

The type of technique we will be looking at today is called a ‘Side Veneer’ graft. This refers to when we make a cut in the side of the rootstock with our sterile blade. Essentially all you want to be doing is making a flap like cut about 19mm evenly into the side of the rootstock.

Following that we are going to make a wedge type cut in the base of the scion to match the flap cut we just made in the rootstock. The size of the cuts are approximately the same length.

After you cut the base of the scion into a wedge, the scion gets inserted into that flap like cut of the rootstock and then the whole graft wound gets wrapped with Parafilm, grafting tape or rubber bands which helps secure it in place.

The freshly grafted plant will typically be potted up and brought into a warm greenhouse environment and maintained in a high humidity atmosphere or fog tent. The higher levels of humidity and heat is going to help drive the healing process.  


The key factor you are looking for is that the vascular network of the rootstock aligns with the vascular bundle of the scion. That link will enable the scion to pull nutrients and moisture from the rootstock and that happens best in a humid and warm environment. I like to run those parameters quite high at around 95% humidity and up with the temperature controlled at around 28-29°C.

About the Author

Christoff Boltman is the Seeds for Africa / H2GRO Hydroponic specialist. Christoff has been growing hydroponically for the last 15 years and welcomes the opportunity to share his experience and knowledge with our customers. Feel free to pop in at our showroom and Christoff will be delighted to show you around and advise you on what would best suit your needs.