Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mother and Daughter Doing Well

Plants propagate in a number of ways, either naturally eg. seed or with man’s assistance eg. cuttings.
Sexual reproduction by seed generally does not produce a daughter plant with same characteristics as the mother plant although there are plenty of exceptions particularly in cereal crops eg. lines.
Asexual or vegetative reproduction however does and the daughter plant is always an exact replica of its mother.
Examples of asexual reproduction include cuttings (stem, leaf, bud and root), grafting and budding, layering (simple, mound, air) all of which are mostly carried out by man.
But plants can also reproduce vegetatively themselves eg. runners, suckers, crowns, bulbs.
We have a very old Camellia plant (C. japonica) growing in our garden.

It produced a sucker (adventitious shoot) which was growing about 1m away from the mother on her horizontal root system.
So as an experiment, I chopped it off leaving a piece of the mother plant root attached, dug it up and replanted it in a pot.
It grew well for a couple of years and this winter it produced its first flowers which, surprise surprise, are exactly the same as its mothers.

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