Advantages of Asexual Reproduction in Plants

Asexual plant reproduction can be as simple as cutting off a young branch tip, inserting it into a growing mix and keeping it moist until the cutting sends out new roots. Planted in nursery pots or even directly into the ground, the cutting will soon grow into a plant identical to its parent. Other methods include division, layering, grafting or tissue cultivation performed in a laboratory using only a few cells from the parent.

Offspring is Identical

Propagation by asexual reproduction methods results in offspring identical to the parent plant. This is a method used to initially produce breeding stock of a particularly desirable variety, which in turn is used to propagate dozens, if not hundreds, of cuttings. All are exactly the same as the plant from which the initial cutting was taken. This method is most often used to increase the supply of newly discovered varieties, endangered species or newly developed hybrids. The seeds of hybridized varieties rarely produce offspring that exhibit the same growth habits and traits as their parents.

Faster Getting Established

Herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs reproduced asexually become established much faster. They exhibit more vigorous growth during their first few years of life, and they have a greater resistance to pests and diseases than seedlings of the same variety. Some plants are so slow-growing that seedlings will exhibit much less growth during the first two growing seasons than asexually reproduced cuttings started at the same time as the seedlings.

Bears Fruits or Flowers Sooner

Depending on the genus, asexually reproduced fruiting or flowering plants or trees often begin bearing weeks, months or years ahead of seedlings of the same variety. For commercial growers, this means the crop will go to market much sooner. It also reduces costs associated with caring for plants that are not yet producing a crop. For the home gardener, landscape plant materials will reach maturity much sooner.

Keywords: asexual plant reproduction, advantages asexual reproduction, reproducing plants asexually

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.