What are the different types of plant transplants?


Some plant varieties cannot be reproduced by layering, cuttings, or even by sowing. Others are unable to autonomously acclimate to certain substrates. Whether it is to multiply these plants or allow them to live in good conditions, it is necessary to resort to grafting. For example, certain conifers, vines, numerous ornamental shrubs and all fruit trees are concerned, which includes citrus fruits. A minimum of experience in the field is required and a good knowledge of the possible techniques is preferable for pass a transplant on plants. Let’s do a check in.

Principle of a plant transplant

Grafting consists of using a plant support with roots, capable of supplying a portion of another plant element by providing it with the sap essential for its development. The support plant is called the rootstock and the implanted fragment is called the graft. The best example is that of the rose bush which is grafted onto the rose hips.

To be able to be grafted, a plant must have tissues which can be welded. This is exclusively the case of dicotyledons. It is also necessary to respect the following points for a successful union between rootstock and scion.

  • Use only perfectly healthy plants to eliminate any risk of contamination.
  • Disinfect beforehand the grafting knife or grafting knife and any other tool.
  • Select plants belonging to the same botanical genus or at the same family because the transplant can only take if there is a physiological compatibility between the two elements.
  • The inner bark or cambium of the scion and the cambium of the rootstock must absolutely coincide, i.e. be in contact to allow fusion. This can only be done at the cambium level since it is made up of very specific cells proliferating continuously. If we are content to make the rhytidoma (ie what is commonly referred to as the “outer bark” of the two plants) the weld cannot take place.
  • Carry out the grafting at the right time, knowing that it is appreciated on a case-by-case basis. At the end of winter, in spring, even during the summer or at the beginning of autumn: everything depends on the variety concerned. In order not to make any mistakes, the gardener has every interest in finding out about the particularities of the species he wishes to graft in order to choose the most favorable time of the year.
  • Choose the appropriate type of graft, namely by approach, crown, slot, escutcheon or veneer.

It is not abusive to consider plant grafting as a surgical act since it consists in inserting the tissues of one plant into another so that the two plant elements become one.

The transplant by approach

It is by far the type of plant transplant that guarantees the best results since scion and rootstock continue to be nourished by their respective root systems until the weld is effective. The grafting by approach takes place as follows.

  • Plant the rootstock plant in a pot so that it can be as close as possible to the mother plant from which the scion will be taken.
  • Remove a flap of bark on the shoots of the year of the two elements to be grafted together.
  • Make sure that these shreds are strictly of the same dimensions so that when applied one on top of the other, the notches absolutely coincide.
  • Ligate intimately, contact between the notched areas to be maintained continuously.

For a transplant by approach started in the spring, it is advisable to wait until November to proceed with the weaning. This consists of making a cut in order to release the graft from the mother plant. With a very sharp pruning shears, it is therefore advisable to cut below the welding point for the scion and above the welding point for the mother plant.

The adjustment between generating areas is undoubtedly the only major difficulty with this type of transplant. If it is not done precisely, it can therefore be the cause of failure. A minimum of experience and good dexterity are essential for this grafting to be successful.

Crown grafting

This technique should only be performed on plants in full sap which have leaves and the rhytidoma is easily detached. The best period is in April and May. However, the graft must be taken during vegetative rest, that is to say in winter. While waiting to perform the transplant, the graft should be reserved at a temperature of 2 to 4 ° C, so it can be in a refrigerator.

The crown graft does not pose no particular difficulty, and many home gardeners use it to multiply fruit trees thanks to a small-diameter rootstock grown in the ground or in tanks.

The procedure is as follows.

  • Prepare the rootstock by generously heading it up to 20 cm from the ground and prune it in order to keep only the trunk thus freed of its branches and lateral branches.
  • Cut the graft at an angle at the level of the lowest bud and remove the rhytidoma only on one side.
  • Make a vertical cut on the rootstock making sure that it is of equal length to that of the bevel of the scion, then peel off its rhytidoma.
  • Insert the scion where the outer bark of the rootstock has been detached.
  • Ligate the two parts.
  • Put a putty on the wounds.

If the crown grafting is successful, the graft revegetation is possible after 15 to 20 days.

The cleft graft

Slot grafting takes place at the beginning of spring because at this time of the year, the resumption of vegetation is imminent. To perform this type of transplant, it is necessary to have a handsaw and a pruning knife. The first is useful for section first the rootstock horizontally and the second serves to perform a lunge which, depending on the diameter of the rootstock, can measure 4 to 6 cm.

Here again, it is necessary to make the cambiums coincide rootstock and scion (s) as accurately as possible for the graft to take. Obviously, the ligature is essential. Ideally we opt for links in natural material such as raffia for example.

Note that it is possible to position two grafts at the suture point. They must have been taken in January from the mother plant using a double bevel cut and each have at least three eyes. While waiting to graft them, it is important to bury them over 75% of their height in an area of ​​the garden facing due north and sheltered by a low wall. The aim is to delay their re-vegetation compared to that of the rootstock. It is fundamental to respect this point, certainly the most important because it is the pledge of success a cleft graft.

Escutcheon graft

The best time to perform an escutcheon transplant is summer, although specialists sometimes do it in the spring, but then it is more complicated. It is ideal for roses and can also be used to multiply certain fruit trees.

Equipped with a grafting machine, the gardener take an eye on a twig. It is this eye that will serve as a graft. It is then necessary to carry out on the rootstock a T incision whose lips are delicately removed in order to be able to insert the eye or badge. It remains to put a kind of raffia bandage as a ligature so that the rootstock and the escutcheon are perfectly in contact with each other.

All you have to do is wait between 14 and 21 days to know if the transplant is resumed. Success causes the petiole to drop after it turns yellowing. On the other hand, success is not at the rendezvous when the petiole turns black and then dries up but remains in place.

Veneer graft

This is the technique used when the scion is roughly the same diameter as the rootstock. We start with bevel the graft then we cut the rootstock quite deeply 4 cm above the neck. Care must be taken to start the soft part between the bark and the hard wood. This whitish area is called thesapwood. Then, the two elements are pressed against each other then well maintained thanks to a ligature.

Very young containerized conifers and potted evergreen shrubs can be propagated through veneer grafting which can take place, depending on the grafted species, in the spring or the latter part of the summer.