Asian Plum Tree Grafting
image by Joeysplanting: Flickr.com
Grafting is the process by which a branch from an established plant (budstick) and the root from a new plant (rootstalk) are surgically combined to produce a new plant. Grafting plants ensures healthy and successful harvests at a much sooner time. If residing in an area where certain plants cannot tolerate the climate, grafting can provide a means of successfully growing. While grafting must be done quickly, care must be taken to ensure the graft succeeds.
Obtain the root or rootstalk to be used and place in a portable container while grafting. Rootstalks must be a compatible plant type. For example, roses can only be grafted to other roses. When selecting the rootstalk, consider a root that is native to the desired area to produce a more hearty plant.
Sharpen the grafting knife. Grafting knives are a one-sided bladed knife that must be razor sharp for proper grafting. To test the blade, carefully shave some arm hair. If the hair comes off easily, the blade is sharp enough. If not, consider having the blade professionally sharpened before grafting.
Select the budsticks from established plants. Ideal budsticks are those where the flowers are just beginning to wilt and fall off, but new buds have not yet begun to appear. The budsticks should be well established, having some wood.
Remove the budstick using a single, clean cut going from the bottom of the grafting knife to the top. Do not make a sawing motion with the knife, as this will harm the budstick and the graft will likely fail.
Place the budstick in your mouth against the tongue to keep it moist. Saliva will not harm the budstick. If the budstick drops onto the ground, it should be discarded due to the possible contaminates it may have come into contact with.
Make a clean cut on the rootstalk where the budstick will be grafted. Immediately match the budstick and the rootstalk together.
Tightly wrap the graft with budding tape. The wrap should be stretched so tightly that it is almost to the point of tearing while wrapping the plant. Continue wrapping until the two are firmly attached to one another.
Keep the tape on the plant for at least three weeks, or until a callus has formed over the grafting. Once the graft is established, transplant the flower into its desired location.