The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Fruit Crops
M. 1. Young and Julian Sauls
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension
PROPAGATION OF FRUIT CROPS
M. J. Young and Julian W. Sauls
Home fruit growers frequently prefer to propagate their own fruit
trees or they may want to change varieties by top-working an exist-
ing tree with another variety. Fruit trees can be propagated from
seeds or by vegetative means such as grafting, budding, cuttings, lay-
ering and suckering. Seeds removed from fruit can be grown although
the seedlings do not always come true and take longer to fruit. Plants
propagated vegetatively will be genetically identical to the plant
from which the propagation material was taken and will usually bear
fruit within 2-3 years.
This circular will discuss all of the techniques commonly used to
propagate fruit plants. Minor variations of some techniques will be
known by other names than those used here. Methods used to propa-
gate various fruits in Florida are listed in Table 1.
Seedlings are mainly used as rootstocks for the more desirable va-
rieties of fruit, but some tropical and subtropical fruits are propa-
gated by seed. Seed may be obtained from commercial suppliers,
nurserymen, fruit packinghouses or from plants maintained for seed
Seed Treatment and Storage
Seed should be removed from mature fruit, washed thoroughly,
treated with a fungicide and surface dried. Seed obtained from com-
mercial suppliers or nurserymen is often already treated.
It is a good precaution, especially for fruit collected from the ground
or from a packinghouse, to sterilize the extracted seed by soaking in
hot water (40-500C, 120-1250F) for 5-30 minutes depending on the
seed size, with larger seed requiring longer time. The seeds are then
cooled immediately in water, treated with a fungicide (arasan, 8-
quinolinol sulfate, captain, etc.) and surface dried.
Treated seed can be stored in plastic or cloth bags under refrigera-
tion (1-70C, 35-450F). Seed of many temperate zone fruit crops can be
stored for 1-2 years with little loss in viability. However, seed
of many tropical and subtropical fruits are relatively short-lived,
only retaining viability for several weeks to months, depending on
Prior to stratification or planting, dry seeds should be soaked in
water for several hours to facilitate germination.
Seeds of most temperate zone fruit crops have a dormancy require-
ment which must be satisfied before they will germinate. The moist,
cold storage of seeds to break dormancy is called stratification. The
seed should be soaked in water for several hours and treated with a
fungicide. They are then placed on a layer of sterile, moist perlite,
sand, peat moss or other media 4-5 cm (1.5-2.0 in.) deep, in a suitable
container such as a seed flat or box. The seed should be covered with
another 2-3 cm (%-1 in.) of media, thoroughly watered and drained.
Mixing the seed with media in a plastic bag also works well (Fig. 1).
Figure 1. Stratification of peach seeds in a plastic bag of moist perlite.
The seed container should be maintained at 1-70C (35-450F) for
several weeks to months, depending on the species. The home refrig-
erator is adequate for seed stratification. Care should be taken that
the media does not dry out during stratification. Emergence of the
root from the seed indicates that dormancy has been satisfied and the
seeds are ready to plant.
Seeds may be planted in late winter or any time that cold temper-
atures are not likely to affect growth of the emerging seedlings. Small
seeds can be broadcast or spaced in pots or flats of sterile media. After
they begin to crowd one another, the seedlings can be transplanted
individually to pots of clean potting soil for further growth prior to
budding and grafting or planting in the ground. Larger seeds can be
planted directly in pots, seed flats, polyethylene potting bags or other
containers (Fig. 2).
Figure 2. Peach seeds placed in a seed flat of sand, prior to being covered.
Growing seedlings will require frequent watering and occasional
light fertilizations. Common soluble houseplant fertilizers should be
adequate for most seedlings. Weak or off-type seedlings should be
Graftage refers to any process of joining 2 plants in such a way that
they will unite and grow as a single unit. The scion is the part of the
new combination which is inserted into the other plant to produce the
top of the plant, including branches, leaves and, ultimately, fruit. The
stock or rootstock is the plant into which the scion is inserted and it
produces the root system and usually the lower trunk. The rootstock
may be grown from seed, rooted cuttings, suckers or layers.
Grafting involves the use of a scion having 2 or more buds. There
are numerous types of grafts including whip, side veneer, cleft, bark,
inarch and others, which will be discussed in detail. Grafting is com-
monly used to repair or top-work existing trees and to produce new
Budding involves the use of a scion with only a single bud attached
to a piece of bark. It may or may not include a thin sliver of wood un-
der the bark. Budding is the most commonly used technique for prop-
agating new plants, but it is sometimes used to top-work existing
trees to a new variety. It is relatively simple and easy to do, so anyone
can bud successfully after a little practice.
Equipment and Materials
Some of the equipment used in propagation is shown in Fig. 3.
Figure 3. Materials and tools used in propagation include, left to right: budding tape,
patch-budding knife, budding knife, saw, mallet, clefting iron, wire nails,
tack hammer, grafting wax, loppers and pruning shears.
Hand pruning shears are needed for collecting and trimming propa-
gation wood. Budding and grafting cuts are best done with a good,
sharp single-bladed budding knife. Top-working will necessitate the
use of a saw and cleft grafts will require a wooden mallet and clefting
iron or large knife to split the stocks. Special double-bladed knives
are available for patch budding.
Grafting wax is used to seal the graft to prevent drying of exposed
cells and entry of disease organisms. Resin-based hot waxes are melted
over heat to a consistency which allows application with a brush. As-
phalt-based cold waxes are commonly available and are less likely to
crack than hot waxes. Polyvinyl acetate-based waxes work well, also.
Tying strips, labels and plastic bags are useful for storing budwood.
Paper bags, aluminum foil and plastic bags can be used to protect
scions on grafted plants. Polyethylene tape, cloth tape and rubber
strips are used to secure buds to stock plants during healing. Short
wire nails are useful to secure bark grafts.
Good varieties of fruits frequently may not perform well on their
own roots, so rootstocks with proven performance are used. Just as
scion varieties are selected for quality, color and size of fruit, tree
vigor, resistance to diseases and other desirable characteristics, root-
stocks are selected for size control (especially dwarfing), cold hardi-
ness, disease resistance, nematode resistance and other factors.
Most fruit crops are propagated on seedling rootstocks, as their per-
formance has generally been sufficient to justify their use. The major
disadvantage in using seedling rootstocks is the lack of uniformity
between seedlings, which could be important in some plants.
Clonal rootstocks are propagated by vegetative means such as cut-
tings, layers or suckers. They are more difficult to produce than seed-
lings, but desirable characteristics are perpetuated intact such that
all rootstocks in a particular clone are genetically identical. The ex-
pense and difficulty in producing clonal rootstocks have resulted in
relatively few rootstocks being propagated vegetatively for fruit crops.
Time of Propagation
Budding and grafting can be done at any time of the year suitable
stocks and scionwood are available. Some methods are used primarily
in the dormant season, others when the stock is actively growing and
its bark is "slipping," i.e., when the bark can be easily pulled away
from the wood.
Deciduous fruits are normally budded from late spring to early fall
but they are usually grafted during the month before or after growth
begins in the spring. Grafting in the late spring and summer is com-
mon in certain plants and in top-working established trees, but may
not be as successful due to problems associated with high tempera-
tures and proper hardening of the scions in the fall. Evergreen fruit
trees can be budded or grafted almost continually during the year.
Selection and Storage of Scionwood (Budwood)
Scionwood for grafting most deciduous fruits is collected from plants
that are not actively growing. Previous season's growth with dormant
vegetative buds is preferred. Frequently, prunings are salvaged for
propagation wood. The terminal third of the previous season's growth
is normally discarded as not completely satisfactory for grafting.
Budwood for budding is commonly selected from the previous sea-
son's growth or from the base of the current growth flush after it has
matured and hardened (Fig. 4). This is true for budding deciduous
fruits and for budding and grafting evergreen tropical and subtropi-
After propagation wood is cut from the tree, the undesirable wood
and/or growth flush should be discarded and the remaining budwood
trimmed to desirable lengths. Leaves should be cut off leaving a short
stub of the petiole to protect the bud. Trimmed scionwood is usually
tied in small bundles for ease of handling and labelled with the vari-
Figure 4. Citrus budwood that is too old (left), Figure.5. Citrus budwood tied
too young (right) and ideal (center). in a bundle and en-
closed in a plastic
bag for storage.
ety, source and date. It should be placed in plastic bags with a moist
paper towel to maintain turgidity and freshness and kept in a cool
place until use.
It is desirable to use budwood as soon after collection as possible,
but it can be stored for several weeks or months under proper condi-
tions. The bundled budsticks should be sealed in a plastic bag and
stored in a refrigerator (Fig. 5). The optimum storage temperature is
5-70C (40-450F). The vegetable drawer of the refrigerator works well
for budwood storage.
Stored budwood should be checked every few weeks for the presence
of mold or excess moisture in the bag. Budwood lightly affected with
.mold should be carefully washed in cold, mild soapy water, rinsed and
placed in a clean bag. Excessively moist budwood can be lightly blot-
ted on paper towels. Moldy, shrivelled or darkened budwood should be
discarded, as the buds are probably dead.
Position on the Rootstock
Normally, buds are inserted 10-15 cm (4-6 in.) above the soil. It is
advisable to place the bud on the north side of the stock to protect
against the sun during healing. However, it may be preferable to in-
sert buds and grafts on the windward side of the stock in windy areas
so the developing scion will be less subject to breaking off. The side
of the stock is not critical for plants propagated in containers, as the
containers can be oriented to protect the propagations from adverse
Root grafting involves grafting a scion to a whole root or part of a
root and is commonly used only with deciduous fruits. Roots are dug
in the winter and brought indoors for grafting. "Bench grafting" is
often used to describe this technique because the work is done on a
table or bench. The graft union is secured with budding tape and
placed in clean, moist soil, sawdust, peat moss or other media for sev-
eral weeks to heal before being planted outside.
Crown grafting involves inserting the scion in the crown of the
plant near the soil line. After binding for support, if necessary, the
union may be covered with soil for further protection.
Top-working is used to repair or change varieties of an existing tree
without having to remove and replace the tree. Generally, the top is
cut back to several major limbs and whitewashed to prevent sunscald.
Figure 6. Top-working of (a) cut-back
stubs of citrus and (b) sprouts of mango.
The resulting stubs may be grafted or budded, depending on the spe-
cies and size of the stubs (Fig. 6a). Occasionally, a limb or several
limbs will be left the first year to help maintain the root system and
shade the developing scions before being cut back the second year. Al-
ternatively, the cut-back stubs are allowed to develop and mature
sprouts, after which the sprouts can be budded or grafted (Fig. 6b).
Methods of Grafting
It is necessary to bring regenerative tissue of stock and scion in
close contact in all methods of grafting so that healing will occur. This
tissue, called the cambium, is located between the bark and wood.
The cambium of both the stock and scion produce callus cells which
intermingle and interlock, eventually forming a bridge between the
Figure 7. Whip grafting of pecan showing (a) prepared stock, (b) joined scion and
stock and (c) wrapped graft.
Whip grafting (Fig. 7) is useful for small material 6-12 mm (/-1/2
in.) in diameter. The stock and scion should be of the same diameter,
although this is not always possible. The scion is cut 5-15 cm (2-6 in.)
in length to include 2-3 well-developed buds. Smooth, straight diag-
onal cuts 31/2-5 cm (11/2-2 in.) in length are made at the base of the
scion and top of the stock. A reverse cut is then made in each, starting
about a third of the distance back from the tip. It is about half the
length of the first cut and should almost parallel it, not splitting the
grain of the wood, to obtain a smoother fitting graft. The stock and
scion are then inserted into each other, with the tongues interlocking.
After matching the cambium of the 2 along at least 1 side, the union
is wrapped securely with budding tape. The wrap should be removed
later before it constricts growth.
Side-veneer grafting (Fig. 8) is commonly used on plants with
stems 6-12 mm (/41/2 in.) in diameter growing in pots. A tangential
cut 5-7 cm (2-3 in.) in length is made into and through the bark and
just into the wood in an area on the stock where the stem is straight.
A short second cut is made at the base of the first one, forming a notch.
A scion with 2-3 buds and of equal or slightly smaller diameter than
the stock is prepared by making a slanting cut on 1 side equal in
length to that made on the stock. On the opposite side of the scion a
small cut is made at the base which will fit into the notch of the stock.
The scion is placed into position and the entire area wrapped securely
with budding tape. The stock may be partially cut back after new
growth on the scion has started and can be eventually removed com-
Figure 8. Side-veneer grafting of mango showing (a) scionwood, (b) prepared scion and
stock. (Figure 8 continued on following page.)
Figure 8. (c) scion inserted on stock, (d) graft partially wrapped and (e) completed
wrap. (Figure continued from previous page.)
Cleft grafting (Fig. 9) is one of the most commonly used methods
to top-work older, established trees. It should be used on branches 2-
10 cm (1-4 in.) in diameter and on plants with fairly straight-grained
wood which will split evenly. It is preferable to use this method during
the dormant season due to frequent separation of the bark from the
wood when the stock is actively growing. The branches to be grafted
should be free of knots for at least 15 cm (6 in.) below the intended cut
The branch to be grafted is sawed off squarely and split tangen-
tially several centimeters deep with a clefting iron and mallet. A
screwdriver or the wedge part of the clefting iron can be used to hold
the split branch open. Each scion is cut in the form of a wedge with a
long taper 2-5 cm (1-2 in.) in length. One side of the wedge should be
slightly narrower than the other. Two scions are inserted into the
cleft, with the narrow sides toward the center of the stock. The cam-
bium layers of stock and scion should match as closely as possible for
the entire length of the cuts. The entire area is then waxed, including
the tips of the scions.
A modification of the cleft graft can be used on small, 15-20 cm (6-
8 in.) tall seedlings growing in pots. The top is removed 2-5 cm (1-2
in.) above the soil line. The shoot is then split to a depth halfway down
the stem. The scion is prepared as a 2-sided wedge with smooth, slop-
ing cuts about 2-3 cm (1 in.) in length. It is then inserted into the split
in the stock, taking care that the cambium of the 2 match along at
least 1 side. The union is then wrapped securely with budding tape
and the entire graft covered with a plastic cup or bag until the graft
has taken. The protective wrapping can be removed after the buds of
the scion begin to push.
Figure 9. Cleft grafting of citrus showing (a) making the cleft, (b) prepared scions and
the open cleft. (Figure 9 continued on following page.)
Figure 9. (c) scions inserted into the cleft and (d) exposed areas treated with grafting
wax. (Figure 9 continued from previous page.)
Bark grafting (Fig. 10) is used to top-work trees during the grow-
ing season when the bark is slipping. Relatively large branches can
be grafted but those 5-20 cm (2-8 in.) in diameter are normally used.
The scion is prepared by making a long, diagonal cut 3-5 cm (1-2 in.)
in length on one side and a short reverse cut is made at the tip on the
opposite side. Stock branches are removed in the same manner as for
the cleft graft. A vertical slit about 5 cm (2 in.) in length is made
through the bark at the top of the stub. The prepared scion is pushed
down between the bark and the wood so that it rests either to one side
of or is centered under the slit.
Thick bark which makes it difficult to push the scion between it and
the wood can be pared down. The scion is positioned against the bark
and a slit is cut on either side and just the width of the scion. The up-
per % of the bark flap is removed and the scion inserted in the open-
ing, with the wedge at the base slipped under the flap of remaining
The scions can be held in place with string, tape or short wire nails,
18 or 20 gauge. Usually 2 nails per scion are used, taking care not to
split the scion. A stake can be attached to the stock branch as a sup-
port for later tying of the scions to prevent their dislodgement. Graft-
ing wax should be applied to all exposed surfaces.
Figure 10. Bark grafting of avocado showing (a) prepared stock with bark slit, (b) scion
inserted. (Figure 10 continued on following page.)
Figure 10. (c) scion nailed in place and (d) completed graft treated with grafting wax.
(Figure continued from previous page.)
Inarching (Fig. 11) is commonly used to replace part or all of the
root system of an established tree. Seedlings are planted around and
close to the base of a tree after which they are grafted into the trunk
of the latter. A slight modification of bark grafting can be used to at-
tach the seedling to the trunk. Commonly an inverted T incision
through the trunk bark at a height which will facilitate insertion of
the tip of the seedling is used. The new rootstock is prepared by mak-
ing a long sloping cut on the side of the seedling next to the tree and
a short cut on the opposite side. The prepared scion is then inserted
into the T, nailed in place and the entire area waxed. Scraping or
shaving the bark of the established tree in the working area to make
it more pliable is sometimes necessary.
Figure 11. Inarching of citrus showing (a) peeled back bark flaps on existing tree and
(b) seedling rootstock inserted under bark flaps.
Methods of Budding
It is necessary to put cambial tissue of stock and scion in contact
with one another in order for budding to be successful. Budding meth-
ods fall into 2 categories in terms of the amount of cambial contact
which is available initially: those in which a broad cambial area is
exposed on at least the stock and those in which thin lines of cambium
are exposed. Shield and patch bud methods are in the first group and
can be done only when the bark is slipping. Chip budding is repre-
sentative of the second group and can be used during the dormant
Shield budding (Fig. 12) is the most commonly used method for
budding nursery liners in Florida. It is also called the T bud or in-
verted T. A vertical cut 3-4 cm (1-11/2 in.) long is made through the
bark of the stock. This is followed by a horizontal cut 1-2 cm (1/2-% in.)
long across the upper (T bud) or lower (inverted T) end of the vertical
cut. The back of the knife blade should be angled away from the ver-
tical slit and brought across the stock in such a way as to open the
bark at the same time the cut is being made. Both cuts should be just
through the bark to the wood.
Figure 12. Shield budding of citrus showing (a) prepared stock, (b) bud inserted under
bark flaps, (c) partially wrapped bud and (d) completed wrap.
The scion or shield is cut with the apical end toward the budder
(Fig. 13). The cut is started about 1 cm (1/3 in.) below the bud and com-
pleted a slightly shorter distance above the bud. The knife should be
almost parallel to the axis of the budwood cutting toward the thumb.
The shield is cut only deep enough to take a thin sliver of wood under
the bud. The inverted T method is the same except that the apical end
of the scion is held away from the budder and the cut is started above
the bud. The bud shield is inserted under the bark flaps of the stock
and pushed between the wood and bark so that it is completely en-
closed in the T. The bud should be wrapped with budding tape or
Figure 13. Technique for cutting a shield bud.
Patch budding (Fig. 14) is used on plants in which the bark is
either too thick or too brittle to allow easy insertion of a bud shield.
A 2-bladed patch-budding knife can be used to make 2 parallel, hori-
zontal cuts 2-3 cm (1 in.) long on the stock. These cuts are connected
at the ends by 2 vertical cuts and the bark patch is peeled off and dis-
carded. The patch of bark containing the scion bud is cut from the
budstick in the same manner. The cut scion should not be lifted but
slid off sideways to avoid damage. The scion patch is then inserted on
the prepared stock and securely wrapped, being careful that all cut
edges are covered.
Figure 14. Patch budding of pecan showing (a) bark patch having been removed from
stock, (b) bud patch in place on the stock, (c) bud partially wrapped with
adhesive tape and (d) completed wrap. Note that the bud is left exposed.
Chip budding (Fig. 15) can be used when the bark of the stock is
not slipping or when it is too thick. A thin slice of wood with a scion
bud is removed by making a smooth downward cut for a distance of 2-
3 cm (1 in.) and just into the wood (Fig. 16). A second cut is made at
Figure 15. Chip budding of mango showing (a) the prepared stock, (b) chip bud in-
serted on the stock, (c) partially wrapped bud and (d) completed wrap.
the base of the first one, forming a notch. A chip is removed from the
stock in the same manner. Only 2 thin lines of cambial tissue on both
the stock and scion are present for healing, so it is important that
matching occurs on both sides. However, matching along one side of
a small scion is often adequate. The scion is then wrapped so that all
cut edges are completely covered.
Figure 16. Technique for cutting a chip bud.
The scion buds can be unwrapped and forced into growth 2-4 weeks
after budding, depending on the plant and method used; fall-budded
plants are forced the following spring. Wrapping tape can be easily
removed by cutting with a knife on the side of the stem opposite the
bud. Several methods can be used to force the buds into growth:
1. Growth of the stock can be checked and the bud in-
duced to grow by partially girdling the stock just above the
2. The top of the stock can be pulled down and tied to its
base, that of an adjoining plant, or to a stake in the ground
3. The stock can be cut /2-% of the way through and just
above the bud, followed by breaking the top over to the
4. The entire stock above the bud can be removed (top-
The entire stock above the bud is removed in the first 3 methods of
forcing after the bud has grown several centimeters (Fig. 17).
Buds on the rootstock will usually form suckers soon after forcing
the scion. These should be removed as they appear and they can be
easily rubbed off or snapped off if done early enough. It may be nec-
essary to sucker the budling several times before the scion bud has
grown sufficiently to suppress sucker growth.
Figure 17. Citrus budling several weeks after forcing and lopping of the rootstock.
Relatively few fruit crops are propagated by cuttings in Florida, ex-
cept as clonal rootstocks, as such plants grow on their own roots with-
out utilizing the advantages offered by rootstocks. Stem cuttings are
most commonly used although roots have also been found to work
well with some plants.
Softwood stem cuttings (Fig. 18) can be taken in May and June
from new growth. Terminal portions of growth should not be used un-
less the growth has matured and hardened. The cuttings can be cut
10-15 cm (4-6 in.) long and the leaves removed from the lower third of
each cutting. Rooting hormones may be used to hasten rooting. Cut-
tings can be inserted into a medium containing a 1:1 mixture of per-
lite and peat or other suitable materials such as vermiculite or sand.
The medium should be well-drained and sterile. Intermittent misting
should be used to minimize water loss from the cuttings until rooting
occurs. Mist should be applied just long enough and frequently enough
to prevent the leaves from drying out. After rooting, the cuttings can
be hardened off by reducing the misting interval or by placing them
in pots in a shady location for several weeks.
Figure 18. Softwood cutting of blueberry showing proliferation of roots.
Semi-hardwood stem cuttings (Fig. 19) are taken from the ma-
tured portion of current season's growth from July to September. The
cuttings are prepared in the same manner as softwood cuttings. Mist-
ing is necessary but need not be as frequent as for softwood cuttings.
Figure 19. Semi-hardwood cuttings of citrus being rooted in containers.
Hardwood stem cuttings (Fig. 20) of some plants can be success-
fully rooted. Dormant wood 6-20 mm (%/-% in.) in diameter is cut into
lengths of 15-30 cm (6-12 in.). Better rooting will occur if the basal
cut is made just below a node. The prepared cuttings can be treated
with a rooting hormone, tied in bundles of convenient size and placed
upside down in a callusing box. The bundles should be covered with
moist, sterile peat moss or other suitable callusing media. The cut-
tings should be planted out after they have callused (formation of a
pad of yellowish-white tissue at the base of the cutting) but before
many roots are produced. The entire cutting should be buried so that
only the top bud is exposed.
Root cuttings can be made by digging the plant to be used and re-
moving all roots that are about the diameter of a pencil. These can be
cut into lengths of 5-15 cm (2-6 in.), tied in bundles and stored in
damp burlap or polyethylene bags until planting out. They can be
planted in a propagation bed during the shoot formation period.
Figure 20. Hardwood cuttings of fig bundled for callusing.
Layering involves the formation of roots on a stem while it is still
attached to the plant. It is used to multiply relatively few fruit crops
in Florida, but it is useful for those plants which are difficult to root
Simple layering (Fig. 21) involves placing trailing branches in
shallow trenches near the plant. The branch is covered with soil just
behind the tip, which should be left exposed. Rooting can be promoted
by either removing a 1-cm (1/-in.) ring of bark or by making a small
cut on the underside of the branch. Rooted layers started in the spring
will usually be ready to dig the following winter.
-*'C -, r- ",, ^.'-"-' -- :..-,s
Je^ ^^.^ ^.- ~ i~ ~r'~i'~A? '"^ .'isAi A
Figure 21. Simple layering of blueberry showing the branch bent over and the tip par-
tially covered and anchored.
Air layering (marcottage) (Fig. 22) involves placing the rooting
medium around a branch of a tree. Branches 1-2 cm (/4-% in.) in di-
ameter usually work best. The branch is girdled by removing a ring
of bark 1-5 cm (/2-2 in.) in width and about 30-45 cm (12-18 in.) from
the terminal end of the branch. Remaining conductive tissue should
be scraped away in the girdled area. A rooting hormone can be dusted
on the upper end of the cut and on the bark just above it to hasten
rooting. The area is then covered with a handful of moist sphagnum
moss and enclosed with a small sheet of clear polyethylene which is
tied at both ends. Heat buildup in the moss due to exposure to direct
sun can be prevented by wrapping the layer with aluminum foil. The
layer can be removed after sufficient roots have formed by cutting the
branch below the plastic wrap and planting in a container. The layers
should be placed in the shade in a humid atmosphere for several
weeks and exposed to drier, less shady conditions about a month prior
to field planting.
Figure 22. Air layering of fig showing (a) bark ring removed and (b) completed layer
covered with aluminum foil to prevent excessive heat buildup.
Offshoots or suckers arise near the base of the stem or from roots of
some plants (Fig. 23). These can be removed by hand in some cases by
twisting or with the aid of a large, sharp knife or shovel if necessary.
They can be used as rootstocks to be grafted or as plants to be grown
on their own roots. Suckers which are succulent should be allowed to
"dry off" for several days before planting to reduce problems associ-
ated with rotting.
The listing of specific products here does not constitute endorsement of these products
in preference to others of suitable composition.
Figure 23. Rooted blueberry sucker (arrow) which can be removed and planted.
Table 1. Propagation methods for fruit plants in Florida.
Plant grafting suckering Seedage
Fig Shield bud, patch Hardwood
bud, bark graft2 cutting, air
Grape, bunch Cleft2 Hardwood
'Preferred or most common method is shown in boldface.
2Primarily used in top-working established trees.
:'Also used in top-working established trees.
'Seeds should be removed from pits.
:Some types are polyembrvonic and come true from seed.
Table 1. Propagation methods for fruit plants in Florida. (continued)
Shield bud, side-
Patch bud, whip
graft, cleft graft3,
after harvest or
Chip bud, whip
graft, cleft graft2
Tropical and subtropical fruits
Chip bud, bark
cleft (tip) graft
graft, cleft graft
graft, bark graft2
Shield bud, chip
bud, cleft graft2,
'Preferred or most common method is shown in boldface.
'Primarily used in top-working established trees.
:Also used in top-working established trees.
4Seeds should be removed from pits.
'Some types are polyembrvonic and come true from seed.
Table 1. Propagation methods for fruit plants in Florida. (continued)
graft, cleft graft
Chip bud, side-
Place on side and
bury to /2
Side-veneer graft Air layering
Side-veneer graft Air layering
graft, cleft graft2,
Chip bud, side-
Chip bud, side-
Shield bud, side-
'Preferred or most common method is shown in boldface.
2Primarily used in top-working established trees.
3Also used in top-working established trees.
"Seeds should be removed from pits.
5Some types are polyembryonic and come true from seed.
This publication was printed at a cost of
$1,695.00 or 16.9 cents per copy to inform
Florida residents about propagation of fruit
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLOR-
IDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES,
K. R. Tefertiler, director, In cooperation with the United States
Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the
purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is
authorized to provide research, educational information and other
services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color,
sex or national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4 -H and Youth
publications) are available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices.
Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is available from C. M.
Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida,
Gainesvllle, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this publication, editors should contact
this address to determine availability.