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Propagation: Making New Plants

Propagation is the process by which plants are multiplied or reproduced. It is used for ornamental as well as edible plants. Propagating your own plants can be fun and rewarding because you can grow many species not found in nurseries. This includes many tasty and unusual vegetables. 

Sexual or seed propagation is nature’s method of reproduction for flowering plants. Pollen grains (male part of a plant) combine with the egg (female part of a plant) to result in the formation of a seed. Seed propagation produces plants that differ from its parent and from each other. 

Asexual or vegetative propagation produces a new plant that is a clone of the parent plant. Asexual propagation methods are dividing, cutting, layering, and grafting. 

Time of year can be important. Fall and early winter are ideal for propagating many California natives as they show healthy new growth when the rains fall. Cuttings from some plant species will root almost anytime.