What is Grafting of plants?

If you’re a beginner when it comes to gardening, or if you have very little exposure to the art, chances are you might have turned to the internet for advice on finding a number of solutions to grow different kinds of flowers in your garden. Out of the hundreds of thousands of solutions that popped up on the first page of Google, you would most certainly have come across the suggestion of adopting a technique you hadn’t heard before – Grafting.

grafting plants

If the term has puzzled you for some time now, do not worry. Grafting is a concept that many people – especially beginners – do not know. In this article by Elitech Drip, we’re going to help you get accustomed to grafting, so that you can go ahead and have the greatest time creating flowers of different kinds and further beautify your garden. Let’s get started.

What is grafting?

Explained in simpler terms, grafting is the process of joining two or more plants to grow into a single plant with mixed characteristics.

If we get a bit more technical, the bud of the plant, or Scion, is the upper part of the plant in the process of grafting that grows on the root system, or rootstock, of the other plant. Basically, the bud of one plant is taken and grown on the root of another plant.

Even though budding – in which a new organism develops from an outgrowth – is a modern art and was invented recently, grafting has its history dating way back to as far as around 4000 years ago. It was believed to have originated from ancient China and Mesopotamia. But people were believed to have realized the value of grafting only 2000 years ago. It seemingly occurred when people realized that something special had happened when a fruit tree and an olive tree had mixed together.

Note: Since both budding and grafting have a wide range of advantages, they also require experienced nursery operators.

In grafting, the tree or plant that has grown from the bud will probably exhibit the same characteristics and will be more or less like the plant it came from. This is because both budding and grafting are considered asexual or vegetative methods of propagation and the plant grows from the scion or bud. This type of reproduction method is used to grow new species without the eradication of the present ones, that’s why it is considered to be an eco-friendly method of reproduction. Not only does it save the endangered species but it also gives the grown plant certain characteristics to withstand tough occurrences (drought tolerance, hardiness and disease resistance).

Why you should go for grafting and budding

The main reason for grafting and budding, and why you need to adopt these practices, is to increase the productivity of horticultural crops. The newer variety of fruits may offer improved disease resistance and prevention from insects.

If you paid attention in science class, you may know that some trees get self-pollinated but some trees need pollination from other trees and prefer other variety to pollinate. This process is called cross-pollination. Because a tree can not have both male (staminate) and female (pistillate) part. Hence a plant with pistillate and a plant with staminate must be close to each other for cross-pollination to take place.

The entire tree or selective portions of the tree can be pollinated in seconds using this method. In case if this is not possible then pollination is done by grafting scion( the male part) onto the female plant.

Certain rootstocks have superior characteristics that are used to inherit in the weak plants in order to increases its resistivity towards its environment. An interlock is caused when both scion and rootstock are incompatible. It can increase disease resistance and hardiness of the plants, thereby resulting in better yield and an overall happier garden.

Essential advantages of grafting

Many horticultural plants owe their beauty and benefits to this method of grafting and budding. Any large and specimen can have damaged roots or any other parts above the surface of the soil. This damaged part can be cured by planting several seedlings of the same species in the damaged area. This method is known as inarching, bridge grafting or, approach grafting.

Without grafting and budding methods if trees are left to develop then it might take around 10 to 12 years to become fruitful or successful. However, with grafting the time is reduced dramatically. Such a breeding tool saves one’s time, life, money, and space.

By grafting the scion from one plant to another, the presence or absence of a virus in the given plant can be determined. There are certain symptoms that determine if a plant is infected with a virus, and these can be identified with drafting. Watch the video below of a grafted tree that produces 40 different types of fruits:

Is grafting all good?

Grafting may have a ton of benefits, but it is also important to know what harm can come of the process, to better prepare ourselves for any damages. Grafting and budding cannot be done for any plant and be expected to succeed. The success rate of this root cutting method is considerably low.

When should you perform grafting?

Now that you have a fair amount of knowledge on the subject, you can cautiously proceed with deciding whether or not to graft your plants. Here, another important question might pop into your mind: When exactly should you graft your plants?

Even though budding can be one before or during or after growing session, grafting can only be done during early winters and spring. This is when the scion and the rootstock are most dominant and effective.

After grafting they are kept at low temperatures where there is less heat – your own house would serve best for this purpose. The best quality of scion should be moistened and kept in plastic bags.

Tip: The best quality of scion comes from shoots. It is always recommended to fetch Scions from the shoots.

For grafting or budding to take place, the vascular cambium of the scion must be aligned with the vascular cambium of the rootstock. Woody plants have considerably very thin cambium compared to that of other trees. So be sure to pay attention to the kind of plant you use for grafting. Again, not all plants can be grafted.

The tools used for collecting scion must be cleaned using isopropyl alcohol. You can even harvest the scion by allowing the plant to pass through fire. Harvesting a desirable amount of scion wood while grafting can give unexpectedly good results.