Plant propagation is both an art and science. It is the deliberate production of new plants that is achieved by two means – either sexual or asexual. Getting basic knowledge of both the types can help growers in selecting the right method according to the plants they grow. This article gives the explanation of both types along with their respective pros and cons. Read them to find the best one for your plants:
Plant Propagation Types:
As the name suggests, sexual propagation involves contribution of both female & male sexes for creation of new plants. It is a natural process in which a parent species create offspring that are genetically different from them. The process starts with flowering followed by pollination, fertilization and ultimately seed formation. These seeds when sown, results in formation of new plants.
Advantages of Sexual Propagation:
- Simplest, easiest and the most economical process among various types of plant propagation.
- Some plants, trees, vegetables or fruits species can propagate only through sexual propagation. E.g. – marigold, papaya, tomato.
- This type of propagation leads to better crop species that are stronger, disease-resistant and have longer life-span.
- Viral transmission can be prevented in this type of propagation.
- Sexual propagation is responsible for production of large number of crops and that too with different varieties.
- It is the only propagation process in which resultant offspring have genetic variation and exhibit diversity of characters from parent crops. This genetic variation is responsible for continuous evolution that keeps on producing better & better offspring.
- Easy storage and transportation of seeds.
Disadvantages of Sexual Propagation:
- Seeds take a long time to turn into mature plants i.e. time interval between sowing and flowering is longer.
- Seedlings propagated through sexual propagation are unlikely to have same genetic characteristics as that of parent plants.
- Some plant species do not produce viable seeds through sexual propagation and hence are unsuitable to propagate for the same.
- Plants that do not have seeds can’t be propagated through this process.
Also known as vegetative propagation, this process involves production of species through vegetative parts of the plants such as roots, leaves, stems, bulbs, tubers etc. In this process, no exchange of genetic information takes place as the offspring is formed through material of a single parent. Thus the resultant plants formed are identical to the parent plant (also known as clones).
Propagation by cuttings, division, layering and grafting/budding are various methods of asexual propagation process.
Advantages of Asexual Propagation:
- As resultant species formed through asexual process are genetically identical, useful traits can be preserved among them.
- Asexual propagation allows propagation of crops that do not possess seeds or those which are not possible to grow from seeds. For e.g. Jasmine, sugarcane, potato, banana, rose etc.
- Plants grown through vegetative propagation bear fruits early.
- In this type, only a single parent is required and thus it eliminates the need for propagation mechanisms such as pollination, cross pollination etc.
- The process is faster than sexual propagation. This helps in rapid generation of crops which in turn balances the loss.
- Injured plants can be recovered or repaired through techniques involved in asexual propagation.
Disadvantages of Asexual Propagation:
- Diversity is lost in asexual propagation which is the main reason behind occurrence of diseases in future plant species.
- As many crops are produced with this process, it leads to overcrowding & lack of nutrients.
- New varieties of crops cannot be developed in this type of propagation.
- Asexual propagation is an expensive process that requires special skills for successful cultivation of crops.
- Crops produced through this process have shorter life-span than those grown through sexual process.
- Species involved in this process are less likely to resist pests and diseases.
Tips: If you are propagating through asexual process that involves cuttings, make sure to dip your plant cuttings In Olivia’s Cloning Gel for their successful propagation.