Grafting is a plant propagation technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together.
Grafting is used in agriculture for the asexual propagation of commercially grown varieties or cultivars of plants. It is a common propagation technique in many fruit crops such as mango and apple. The reason to use asexual propagation techniques is that plants grown from seed are often not true to type (i.e. they have other characteristics than the mother plant: taste, shape, color, etc.).
For grafting, a seedling of one plant is selected for its roots. This is the “stock” or “rootstock”. Another plant, called the “scion”, is selected for its desired characteristics, for example for its leaves, flowers or fruits. The genes of the scion are thus going to be duplicated in the grafted (stock/scion) plant.
There are several grafting techniques such as “stem grafting” and “bud grafting”.
Stem grafting involves grafting a shoot of a desired plant cultivar onto the stock of another plant (usually a seedling).
In bud grafting, a dormant side bud is grafted onto the stem of the stock plant. When this bud has started growing (i.e. the graft has ‘taken’) the stem of the stock plant is pruned off just above the newly grafted bud.