Vegetative Propagation

Vegetative propagation is a form of asexual reproduction taking place in plants in which a new plant emerges from a particular part of the parent plant. The advantages of vegetative propagation are immense and they are avidly used in horticulture. 


This process is natural in many plants, and it can be done artificially as well to grow hybrid new plants. Moreover, using this process, many plants which do not produce any seeds go on to reproduce. For example, sugarcane, banana, pineapple, etc. 

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For more insight about what is vegetative propagation and when it is used, read on this article!


Natural Vegetative Propagation

Natural vegetative propagation occurs in the plants that can self-propagate. Following is the list of plant structures that take part in this method. 

  • Bulbs - These are a kind of modified stem from which new plants can grow when the condition is favourable. It consists of underground bud and fleshy overlapping leaves. There are two types of bulbs in such plants. Onion is covered by protective fleshy leaves which make a type of bulbs. On the other hand, the second type is scaly bulbs that are seen in lilies. Likewise, some of the examples of plants having bulbs are tulip, hyacinth, garlic, leek, etc. 

  • Stolons - Runners or stolon are horizontal stems that contain tiny plantlets. Also, the roots start growing where they touch the soil. However, when the connecting breaks with the parent plant, they grow independently. For examples, Strawberry plants contain stolon. 

  • Tubers - These are swollen part of the underground stem which store food and in which plants lie dormant for a specified period. Most tubers contain scale leaves containing a bud that potentially can give birth to new plants. For example, potato, Jerusalem artichoke and red oca have tubers.  

  • Spores - Spores are reproductive cells that are capable of giving rise to new plants without fusing with another reproductive cell. Generally, parent plants locally shed spores. Usually, underside of plants, spores are located. Most of the non-seeds plants like mosses, ferns, hornworts and liverworts. 

  • Corms - It is fleshy, the vertical underground stem which functions as a food-storage organism in several seed plants. Corms generally store starch and help in plant growth and surviving in unfavourable conditions. Several plants produce offshoots called cormels or daughter corms that aid in propagation. Plants having corms are gladiolus, crocus and taro.  


Did You Know?

The bulbs of red squill (Drimia) plant contain bulbs that contain poisonous compounds and are a useful source of rat poison!


Artificial Vegetative Propagation 

One of the advantages of vegetative propagation is that ardent gardeners and horticulturists can produce new plants in large numbers economically. This process involves several techniques, some of which are discussed below. 

  • Cutting 

It is a process by which the stem of a plant is kept in moist soil to form root system. Plants like money plants and coleus are propagated by keeping a portion of stem containing nodes and internodes. In few species, stems can produce roots when placed only in water. Example: African violet leaves can root in this manner. Cutting vegetable propagation is also used in propagating roses, sugarcane, grapes, cactus, etc. 

  • Grafting 

In this method, two species of plants are used. The desirable plant stem is grafted onto a stock or rooted plant. The part of which is attached is known as scion. Both the parts are connected closely in an oblique angle. 

This process is extremely crucial as they grew to be a single plant. After a specific time, the scion produces shoots, bearing fruits and flowers. Grafting is widely practised in viticulture and citrus industry. Apart from that, it is primarily used to grow different rose varieties. 

  • Layering 

This is a technique in which a stem of a plant is bent and then covered with soil. In this process, the new plant, as well as the parent plant, remains undamaged. In a few cases, an additional air layering is provided. The outermost coating of the stem is removed and is enveloped with mosses and taped. 

However, when the roots start growing, that part is removed and placed into another pot. Following this method, bougainvillaea and jasmine are propagated. Moreover, some gardeners even use rooting hormone for better results.

  

Advantages of Plant Propagation 

Following are a few advantages of vegetable propagation. 

  • Since the new plants are clones of the parent plant, people can produce their desirable plants in large numbers. 

  • Unlike seeds, this technique requires much less time to grow a plant thus cost-effective. 

  • Using this method production of seedless varieties of orange, banana, etc. is possible. 

  • It can be useful in preserving the parent characters of plants in next generation. 


Do It Yourself

Now make a note on the disadvantages of vegetable propagation and get it checked by your biology teacher. 


Be Confident and Conquer the Exam Fears!


One of the key mantras to crack any important exam like NEET is keeping your confidence level up. Once you are done with learning the concepts like what is vegetation and when it is used, it is time for the final revision and solving of conceptual questions on this topic. 


For that, you can start with the basic questions like what are the advantages of vegetative propagation and so on. Besides preparing all the lessons, it is also essential to stay fit and healthy before the exam. For that, you have to follow a nutritious diet and take proper rest. 

All the best!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Vegetative Parts of a Plant?

Ans. The vegetative parts of a plant are leaves, roots and stems.

2. What is a Banana Corm?

Ans. The above-ground part of a banana tree forms from a structure that is called a corm.

3. What are the Advantages of Vegetable Propagation?

Ans. The primary advantage of vegetable propagation is the new plants contain the DNA of its sole parent. It means that the new ones are the clones of the parent plants. Also, with this process, the plants reach the mature phase faster.