How to Make Grafting Sealant
Grafting one plant onto another allows very productive, but delicate, plant varieties to be grown on a base of hardy root stock. Several kinds of grafting--including clefting, bridging and side limb insertion--must be covered with grafting sealant to keep out microorganisms that might infect and kill the new plant.
Commercial preparations of grafting sealant are readily available, but you can also make a simple and effective grafting wax out of commonly available ingredients.
Heat one part raw linseed oil or tallow in a metal container to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Small amounts can be heated on a household stove top, while a propane burner works well for larger amounts.
Add two parts beeswax (by volume) to the heated tallow or linseed oil. Allow the beeswax to melt.
Add four parts powdered rosin (by volume) to the melted mixture of tallow or linseed oil and beeswax. Stir until completely mixed.
Fill a bucket halfway with cold water and pour the grafting wax mixture into the bucket to cool. Remove the wax from the water and form it into a ball.
Pull and knead the grafting wax between your hands until it turns a uniform light tan or yellow. Separate it into 1/4-pound balls. Place each ball in a resealable plastic bag for storage until it's needed.
Examples Of Plant Grafting
Grafting requires roots from one plant, called the stock, and a shoot from another plant, called the scion. Depending on the type of graft, you cut the scion into various shapes to make it fit onto the stock. Cleft grafting is the most commonly used method for flowering and fruiting trees, such as apples and peaches. Grafting an heirloom tomato scion onto hybrid stock combines the soil-borne disease resistance of hybrids with the superior taste of heirlooms. Make 45-degree cuts in the stock and scion, and clip them together with a silicone grafting clip. This method is a variation on the splice graft, with both scion and stock first cut at 45-degree angles.
There's no need to melt the grafting sealant before use. It's often called "hand wax," because you can simply work it in your hands until it's pliable, then press it over the grafted area to seal it.
- There's no need to melt the grafting sealant before use. It's often called "hand wax," because you can simply work it in your hands until it's pliable, then press it over the grafted area to seal it.
- Metal container
- Heat source
- Raw linseed oil or tallow
- Powdered rosin
- Stirring stick
- Resealable plastic bags
- Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences: Grafting and Propagating Fruit Trees
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Grafting and Budding Nursery Crop Plants
- California Rare Fruit Growers: The Fruit Leaf November/December 2007
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Grafting for Disease Resistance in Heirloom Tomatoes
- Washington State University State Extension: Vegetable Grafting -- Eggplants and Tomatoes
- California Rare Fruit Growers: Collecting and Grafting Evergreen Scionwood