Plant Propagation Types

by Jeff Wasielewski

Plant propagation is used to produce new plants from a desired parent plant. There are two categories of plant propagation: asexual and sexual.

Asexual propagation is used to maintain selections of known identity and quality and includes such techniques as division, air-layering, grafting and cuttings. Asexual propagation creates plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant. Sexual propagation is a natural process resulting in a parent plant forming seeds that create offspring that are not genetically identical to the parent plant, as in asexual propagation.

Both types of propagation have positive attributes. Asexual propagation allows you to reproduce or clone the parent plant exactly. This is especially useful when the parent plant has desirable characteristics such as brilliant flowers or superior fruit. Asexual propagation preserves the characteristics of the parent plant. The plants produced by asexual propagation will also flower and fruit faster than those produced by sexual propagation because plants grown from seed need to pass through a juvenile period before they flower and fruit. Asexually propagated plants are mature when they are propagated and begin to flower immediately. Sexual propagation has several benefits as well. Growing from seed is cheap and easy. Growing plants from seed produce offspring which are not genetically identical to the parent; therefore, the propagated plant will be genetically diverse from the parent plant which is a desired characteristic in a natural setting.