How to Graft Tropical Plants

Overview

Grafting is an asexual means of plant propagation that combines two different plants together to form a new cultivar. The lower part of the plant is the rootstock, under stock or stock and develops into the root system, while the upper part is the scion that bears foliage and fruit. Like most other plants, tropical plants too can be grafted and used as landscape or houseplants. Take proper care of the grafted plant so it develops into a healthy tropical shrub, vine or tree.

Step 1

Cut a healthy, disease-free branch off a tropical plant with your desired growth habits, qualities and size off the parent plant in winter. Make sure this scion wood is a year old and has two to three buds on it. Form a diagonal 1-1/2-inch-long cut on the exposed surface of this cut with a single stroke of a sharp knife.

Step 2

Fill a plastic zipper bag with moist peat moss and place the scion in it. Refrigerate the scion until spring.

Step 3

Cut off a branch from the host plant leaving a foot long stub behind to serve as the rootstock. Make a sharp, diagonal 1 1/2-inch long cut at the tip of the stub. Cut through the center of the diagonal cut to form a "tongue" that penetrates the tissue.

Step 4

Remove the scion from the refrigerator and form a similar "tongue" through the center of its diagonal cut as well.

Step 5

Insert the "tongue" of the scion into the "tongue" of the rootstock. Make sure they form a secure fit so the cambium layers of both pieces meet. The point where they join is the "union."

Step 6

Wind grafting tape tightly over the union to protect the bind and encourage both pieces to grow as a single plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Two compatible tropical plants
  • Sharp knife
  • Zipper bag
  • Peat moss
  • Grafting tape

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Grafting and Budding Fruit Trees
  • "Sunset Western Garden Book;" Kathleen Norris Brenzel, 2001
  • National Tropical Botanical Garden: Grafting
Keywords: tropical plant propagation, grafting tropical plants, graft tropical plants

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Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.