Propagation - Overview
Propagation is a branch of horticulture that every gardener should know a little about if he / she wishes to increase or reproduce plants.
The subject is often approached with a certain amount of trepidation when in fact, the techniques described in this section of the website are adaptations of the simple processes occurring in nature, and well within the scope of most amateur gardeners.
Basically all the 'novice' gardener needs to know is that there are two primary forms of plant propagation, and these are;
This relates to propagating from viable 'seeds'
Plants raised from seeds are entirely new and may differ from the parent plant.
This relates to propagating by vegetative methods in the form of cuttings.
Vegetative Propagation usually provides exact replicas of the parent plant.
Prior to propagating any plants be it by sowing seeds or taking cuttings you would be well advised to consider the following;
- Decide what you want to grow then consider "do you have the facilities to grow them?"
- Establish if what you want to grow are hardy, half hardy, biennial or perennial plants, this will determine which varieties require heat.
- Decide on how many plants of each variety you require, there is not much point in growing more than you require.
- Establish when you are going to sow your seeds or take cuttings.
- Sort out your seed packets in order of sowing*.
- Consider your source of heating**, e. g. Hotbed, Propagator, Windowsill, Airing cupboard.
* Later sowings reduce the caring period prior to planting out.
** the more 'half hardies' you grow the more heating facilities you will require.
- Establish where you are going to put your seedlings to harden off until planting out time***. e.g. Cold frame, Cool greenhouse or Conservatory.
*** Subject to how early in the year you commence sowing and the number of plants you produce, you may require quite an amount of 'frost free' space for a period of 4-5 months before the plants can be planted out into their final quarters.
As you can see the above points are basically a form of planning that you can choose to follow or ignore, however in the fullness of time you will find that by following them you will often save yourself much heartache and disappointment.