What are Grafted Plants

Grafted plants is a horticultural technique where two plants are bound together and their vascular tissue typically join together and grow as one. In simpler terms it is when you join two plants.
When grafting it is common to define two things.
The root stock which is selected for its overall plant growth characteristics. Typically for instance when you have a dwarf fruit tree it is in a slower growing root stock or in the case of this Apple tree the root stock is both hardy and fast growing. Often the root stock is very disease resistant but it produces fruit it is less desirable then the Scion selected.
The Scion is the plant that is being grafted to the root stock. Typically the Scion is selected for its fruit flowers of a variety of other characteristics.
Grafted plants can provide a number of desirable characteristics to a plants growth and fruit.
Grafted plant on Dwarf root stock allows you to grow typically large plants in small spaces or in containers. A great example is this improved Meyer lemon tree
The root stock on this pepper has very aggressive growth patterns and allows low zone gardeners like me the opportunity to grow produce that does not typically have enough time to mature here. Things like this melon and sweet bell pepper plant are great examples.
Hardiness is defined as a geographically-defined zone which a specific category of plant is capable of growing, as defined by temperature. This is typically in the form of the lowest temperature recorded each winter or the average annual minimum temperature. Cold Hardy Rootstocks can often allow you to grow plants that are not themselves able to grow in your zone.
Grafting is a great way to grow more varieties of flowers or fruit in the same space. In my case we are adding both pear and apple varieties to this rootstock apple tree increasing both the varieties and production through cross pollination.
Grafting is a great way to propagate plants that don’t breed true or have low germination rates. If we are to take the seed from this orange and plant it the fruit from the daughter plant would likely not resemble the fruit it came from. Similarly if we take the seeds from this apple the majority will not germinate and if they do the fruit will again likely not resemble this.
Most fruiting trees may take years to produce fruit. Grafting allows you to accelerate this stage by grafting Juvenile scions that can take from 5-15 years to fruit and putting it on a mature root stock dropping this time down to as little as two years.
Grafting can be done in a number of different ways including the Cleft Graft method we tried on this apple tree. Other common grafting techniques include Bud, Whip, Stub grafts. It is important not to bury the graft point as it may result in diseases or the scion rooting negating the root stocks characteristic growth pattern such as dwarfing. It can also be used to repair any damage on the plant.
Thank you very much

About Stephen

The Alberta Urban Garden Channel hopes to promote organic gardening that is simple, sustainable and does not have to cost a lot. We do this by investigating the Science behind gardening, methods, practices and products to make sure that you will have the best chance of successfully growing your own food at home.