Problems With Grafting

Grafting is used in horticulture to propagate plants by removing the tissue from a healthy donor plant and grafting it onto another plant so a fusion takes place. The method is often used to combine the perfect roots of one plant with the perfect limbs of another. Although grafting is a proven method of plant propagation, a variety of problems may arise.

Grafting Incompatibility

One of the main problems in grafting is an adverse physiological response to the graft. This can include parts of the plant growing faster than others due to a different genetic makeup between the donor plant and the plant grafted, as well as the transmission of viruses and molds. This can show up as yellowing in the grafted limb as well as a lack of buds and bad health of the plant. Growth rate may also cause breakage at the area of the graft.

Root Problems

Rootstock grafting can create its own problems, such as early maturity, a lack of or premature budding, abnormal fruiting and inconsistent fruit yield. In addition, grafts of rootstock may not last through the winter if not given time to mature properly.

Failure Types

Generally, problems arising from a graft come form two different sources; graft incompatibility and graft failure. Incompatibility of the graft may arise from trying to graft one plant to a plant of a different family, which does not work. Grafting a plant within its own species within a genus has a 50 percent chance of taking. Grafting between genera within the same family will rarely take. Graft failure often occurs due to improper care of the graft during the transfer process, or due to genetic incompatibility.

Keywords: grafting plants, problems grafting, biology of grafting

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.