Asexual Propagation is the process of using plant materials such as the stems, leaves, and roots to multiply the number of plants. These plants eventually grow to be a brand new plant that is genetically identical to the parent plant it came from. In several types of plants, asexual propagation is the fastest means of new plant growth. Asexual propagation is also a good way to maintain a plant species because they are genetically identical.
In this process, adventitious roots are seen in the growing cycle. Adventitious roots are those that grow form parts of the plant that they normally would not grow from. The cuttings must do this in order to form a completely new plant. There are multiple methods of asexual propagation; some include cuttings, layering, division, and budding/grafting. This experiment is designed to look into the method of using cuttings for asexual propagation and the success of the plant parts.
As this experiment goes on more herbaceous and succulent plants will root quicker than woody plants. II. Materials and Method- The materials used to complete this experiment were as follows: potting media that the plants would be planted in, a rectangular flat in which the plant cuttings and media will go in to, pruners to remove the cuttings, a ruler to collect data for the wandering traveler, stakes to divide each section of plants, and markers to label the stakes with.
There were many plants utilized in this experiment, the succulents included: the Snake Plant (Sansevieria sarmentosa), Mother of Thousands (Bryophyllum diagremontanum), the Umbrella Palm (Cyperus alternifolius), Jade (Crassula argentea), Peperomia (Peperomia obtusifolia), The Ficus Tree (Ficus benjamina), the Mouse Ear, the Wandering Traveler (Zebrina pendula), Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla), Swedish Ivy (Pelecutanthus australis), and lastly the Autumn Sage (Saliva greggii). To begin this experiment, take a rectangular flat and fill it up just near the rim with soil.
Next, take cuttings using pruners from each assigned plant and insert them in their designated area. For the Ficus, Japanese boxwood, Swedish Ivy, and Autumn Sage take one tip and one stem cutting. Each of these cuttings should be long enough to where there are four nodes present, two above the soil and two below. For the Mouse Ear Jew and the Wandering Traveler make two tip and two stem cuttings. To test the significance of polarity, take four tip cuttings from the Snake Plant, first cut one large cutting then make four V shaped cuts into it, two with tips up and two with tips down.
Also to test polarity, take two cuttings from the Umbrella Palm, take two cuttings that both still have the tips on them. Take the leaves off the top and place in soil upside down for reverse polarity and one right side up for positive polarity. For the Peperomia, simply take one leave cutting and put the petiole below the soil. Next, the Mother of Thousands calls for one plantlet and one leaf cutting. Take these and place in the soil. For the Jade plant take one leaf and one stem cutting. The stem needs to have four nodes available, two above and two below.
For the leaf cutting make sure it is planted about halfway into the soil. After these cuttings have been planted, put in a stake with a name on it to separate each individual’s plants. III. Results- During the first week there was not a whole lot of action, the Jade plant, Mouse Ear Jew, and Wandering Traveler all began to root, but the remainder of the plants had little change. During the second and third weeks the Swedish Ivy, and Japanese Boxwood began the rooting process. Also during these weeks, the Ficus plant had grown roots and shoots were emerging.
During weeks three and four is where some more change began to take place. The Mother of Thousands began rooting, but then was looking a little discolored. During weeks four and five the Peperomia plant began rooting and the Mouse Ear Jew and the Wandering Traveler began to grow much faster than before. Also by this time the Umbrella Palm was completely wilted, crunchy, and dead. The data that was collected on the Wandering Traveler can be expressed in the following graphs. This shows the tip root data (purple line), and the stem root data (blue line). IV. Discussion-
Throughout the course of this experiment it is obvious that the herbaceous and succulent cuttings formed adventitious roots much quicker than the wood plants using Asexual Propagation. The only woody plant that rooted well was the Ficus plant, while the others did not. The herbaceous and succulent plants were on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Wandering Traveler, Mouse Ear Jew, Swedish Ivy, Jade, Autumn Sage, Japanese Boxwood, Peperomia, Mother of Thousands, and the Snake Plant all rooted and were in the process of either just beginning shoot growth, and in some cases growing exponentially.
It is hard to say whether the polarity of the plants tested made a huge difference considering the fact that the Snake Plant grew adventitious roots on both polarities, but the Umbrella Palm did not even survive. This could have been an operator error, or because of competition from other plants that may have rooted faster pushing it out. This could also be the reason why some of the other dead plants did not survive the experiment. Looking at the data from the Wandering Traveler, the tip cuttings out performed the stem cuttings easily.
Also, the tip shoot growth had a slight edge over the stem shoot growth as seen in the line graphs. The tip cuttings most likely did better because of the auxin in the terminal bud, serving as a catalyst for shoot and root growth. V. Conclusion This experiment shows how the process of Asexual Propagation occurs, and some of its benefits. This experiment also proved that in general, herbaceous and succulent cuttings rooted fasted and thrived more than the woody plants did. This was a quick and easy way to show how asexual propagation is an efficient way to propagate plants.