Generally Angiosperms propagate by producing seeds, which is the result of sexual reproduction. However they resort to other methods of reproduction, such as vegetative propagation.
Plants belonging to this category propagate by a part of their body other than the seed. The structural unit that is employed in place of seed is called propagule.
Lower plants reproduce vegetatively through budding, fission, fragmentation, gemmae, resting buds, spores etc.
Methods of vegetative propagation have been further divided into two types.
A) Natural vegetative propagation and
B) Artificial vegetative propagation
In addition to the natural methods of vegetative propagation as described above, several artificial methods of vegetative propagation are practised. Following are the important artificial methods of vegetative propagation.
The portion of any plant organ such as stem, root or leaf, used for vegetative propagation is called cutting. Stem cuttings are most commonly used for this purpose. Factors such as the optimum length and diameter of the cutting, age of the parent plant and season are to be considered, while selecting a cutting for each species.
Some of the plants propagated by stem cuttings are sugarcane, rose, Bongainvillaea, Moringa, Hibiscus, Thepesia etc.
It is the most common method of vegetative propagation. In this method part of two plants are joined in such as way that they grow as one plant. Grafting is done between the two closely related dicotyledonous plants having vascular cambia. The rooted supporting portion of one plant, called stock is joined with a twig of another plant called scion.