While studying Biology in secondary school, students would have certainly come across the topic named vegetative propagation. So what exactly is it all about? Simply put, it is a process where propagates viz. plant fragments functions by developing into a new plant entity. There are certain plants which could multiply without the medium of sexual union or fertilization and just by relying on vegetative methods.
The vegetative or asexual propagation is that process where a new individual plant originates from another (parent) plant’s vegetative part (stem, root or leaf) as the former would resemble the latter in terms of their characteristics. Here we will be discussing the natural ways of vegetative propagation:
- Vegetative propagation by roots:
In this case, adventitious buds are formed by certain plant roots like poplars, guava, murraya, shisham etc. Necessary food quantities are present in certain tuberous adventitious roots despite having adventitious buds like sweet potato and Dahlia. Given the proper conditions, these buds sprout well, provided they are planted after separation. In the case of plants like shisham, new roots that grow fast would rise from the stump cuts.
- Vegetative propagation by stems:
Here, the newly formed branches are isolated by the older parts that undergo decay. The former hence has an individual life.The decay of older parts isolates the newly formed branches. The latter henceforth lead an independent life. Certain corms like freesia, colocasia, crocus etc have ample food stored while being able to produce buds that are adventitious. Bulbs like Narcissus, Garlic and Onion are able to bear further bulbs
(i) Stem tuber:
These are found in items like Artichoke and Potato. Stem tubers are found in Potato and Artichoke. The potato tuber is that part of an underground stem branch that is swollen apically that could bear plenty of eyes or node. Every eye could bear further buds. More plants are formed from the eyes with buds.
Stems that are aerially weak like doob grass, oxalis and so on once in contact with ground produces adventitious roots at nodes. Once the old parts of the plant decay, the branches split to gain individual existence.
- Vegetative propagation by leaf
Certain plants are able to bud adventitiously on leaves like streptocarpus, saintpaulia, bryophyllum and so on. While the leaf is attached to the plant, the buds are in the dormant state. But once the leaves are in contact with moist soil, new plantlets with margins are formed. There are certain species of bryophyllum which could form plants from intact leaves margin.
From the above discussion, one would have certainly realized the importance of this system of plant reproduction. This is exactly the reason why biologists around the world are fascinated by them and would continue to do so in future.