How to Propagate Plants?

Want to learn how to propagate plants? If you’ve been gardening for quite some time, chances are the term has popped up at least once in your life.

This post will reveal the methods of plant propagation and details about propagating vegetables in your home garden.

What is plant propagation?

Plant propagation is the process of several new plants growing from old ones when particular techniques are performed.

To put it simply, plant propagation is the reproducing of plants from their parent plants. The techniques that have been developed were used for different purposes.

These include increasing plant productivity, decreasing the spread of diseases, preserving the crucial features of a plant and uniformity.

Plant propagation and replanting house plant concept with flowerpots, soil and gardening tools

There are two types of propagation, sexual and asexual:

Sexual propagation is where the egg and pollen of a plant are combined forming a seed. This is popularly done for flowering vegetables, fruits, and other plants.

The seeds can be stored for a long time but there are downsides to this technique as well. Flowering may take longer than expected, this method isn’t best for plants that don’t produce seed and the chances of this being a go-to for mass production is very low.

Asexual propagation is the process of using a section of a parent plant such as leaves, stem or root and causing it to renew itself into a different or new plant.

This method is best for cloning plants to produce similar matches to their parent plant.

Methods of plant propagation:

Let’s take a look at six methods of plant propagation.

1. Seed collection

The seeds of a plant are collected and used in other areas. Some gardeners also harvest and store seeds for future growing seasons.

Collecting seeds will depend on the type of plant species but there are videos available on YouTube that can assist you. This is excellent for preserving rare plant types from becoming extinct.

2. Layering

If you’ll be using the layering technique of plant propagation, there is no removal of any part of the parent plant.

Two or more branches of the plant are bent and partially separated but still attached to the original structure. The bent area should then be covered with soil for the roots to properly form.

After a period of time when the roots have fully developed, that bent area of the plant is then cut, planted and allowed to grow into new vegetation. This is then referred to as layering.

There are different types of layering, namely simple layering, mound layering, tip layering, air layering, and serpentine layering.

layering or marcottage propagation

3. Cutting

The cutting method is quite simple. It involves removing a part of the parent plant such as the leaf, root or stem.

To grow the roots from that area, you can place the snipped section in a container with soil or even water. The beauty of this method is that the new plant will grow identical to the parent plant.

Growing the same plant from the seed, however, doesn’t have a 100% chance of gaining the same occurrence. This method is preferred by many because the cuttings tend to mature very fast.

The three ways of cutting are named after their respective parts. They’re referred to as leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, and root cuttings.

4. Grafting

The grafting method involves the cutting of one area of a plant and then attaching it to another plant’s stem to heal and function as one unit. It is done to improve the quality of crop turnout and to produce more attractive blooms.

Although this may sound simple it is actually the most complex method of plant propagation. However, if done correctly, it will bring out the result you need from the plant.

Be sure to sterilize your hands and tools before doing this to limit the spread of any diseases or infections. It’s best to think of it as performing plant surgery, so you want to be extra careful.

5. Budding

The budding method of plant propagation can be inclusive of the grafting method. It involves making a cut in the rhizome. The rhizome is an underground stem that consistently grows lateral shoots.

A single shoot or mature bud is removed with no woody areas and inserted into a plant to grow as a new one.

Often times gardeners use this method during the late growing season to hike crop production. Do adhere to the necessary steps to correctly perform this technique and never forget to sterilize.

6. Division

This method is most suitable for perennial plants. A perennial is a plant that lives beyond two years.

Division is where a plant is dug out of its current location and taken to another prepared site. This is generally done to allow the plant to gain more nutrients and water without having to compete with surrounding plants.

7. Tissue culture

Tissue culture is a new and improved technique involving the growth of plant tissues or cells by using artificial controlled mediums rather than the original parent organism.

It is called micropropagation and is used for commercial purposes to produce clones of different plants for mass distribution.

This is preferred for its advantages such as fewer diseased plants, increased productivity, a better outcomes for needed plant features, and plants difficult to grow with the other methods produce a greater turnout.

Vegetables you can propagate:

These are vegetables that you can produce through sexual propagation:

  • Asparagus
  • Bean
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Pea
  • Pepper
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomato
  • Turnip

These are the different vegetables that you can propagate through asexual propagation:

  • Artichoke
  • Garlic
  • Rhubarb
  • Pointed Gourd
  • Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • Taro

Propagation seed pot with soil and physalis seedlings or sprouts in growth


Plant propagation has a lot of benefits and it is very useful especially when you’re trying to restore indigenous plant species. Collecting and storing seeds also prevents plants from becoming extinct or disappearing.

If you’re trying to grow a plant identical to a parent plant then the methods mentioned above will definitely be of good help to you.

Sometimes planting from the seed only doesn’t produce the results you originally wanted, so it’s a process you will want to learn and perfect over time.

Stay tuned for more details on all things gardening and health.

Other gardening articles:

  1. How to Start Organic Farming
  2. Benefits of Gardening
  3. How To Keep Basil Alive
  4. How To Grow Green Onion
  5. Easy Fruits And Vegetables To Grow
  6. How To Grow Lettuce
  7. How To Grow Kale

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