Ensuring the Success of a Graft

Assuming that the stock and scion have the potential for a compatible graft union, the propagator can maximize the percentage of successful unions by taking several precautions.

• Obtain scions from the current season’s growth when it is matured, not succulent. Avoid terminal shoots; central to basal shoots are better.

• Select scion and stock material from plants that are free of pathogens and abnormalities.

• Use herbaceous materials immediately after collecting to prevent their drying out. Woody material may be collected at the time

of grafting or prior to it. If collected and stored until use, the cut

figure 14-6. Materials used for grafting. Front (left to right): finger guards, string, tape, twistems; center (left to right): whet stone, fixed blade knife, budding knife, patch bud knife, wedge, rubber ties; Rear: wax and lantern heater with brush. (Delmar/Cengage Learning)

material should be kept moist (but not surface wet) and cool (40° to 50° F). Peat moss, shavings, or similar noncohesive materials are suitable for storing scions.

• Place the cambiums of the stock and scion in the closest contact possible. This will ensure the strongest and most rapid graft union. Wrapping the stock and scion can assist a close contact.

• After the graft is assembled, keep it moist. Coating the grafted area with wax will usually suffice. Placing the grafted plant into a covered frame or moistened holding medium will also provide the proper environment around the grafted area.

• Pinch off any shoots that develop from the stock.