Split graft

What it is, how it works and when it should be done

Grafting is a procedure that allows you to obtain a new plant starting from the union of a rootstock, which will provide the root system and the basal part of the trunk, with one or more slips, which will provide the buds and therefore the whole part view of the plant (leaves and fruits). There are many different types of grafting: the split one is suitable for both ornamental and fruit plants, it is easy to perform and almost always has excellent results: it is therefore also recommended for those who are new to gardening. Generally those plants that would otherwise be too delicate are grafted, choosing a more robust plant as rootstock. In general, the best period to perform a split graft is the winter one and runs from February 15th to March 15th / 20th,

How to do it

Identify a rootstock branch that looks sturdy and possibly straight: remove any other side branches and leaves before proceeding. Cut the tip of the rootstock branch, then make an incision at least 4/5 cm deep and as central as possible. Choose as a scion a branch that has reached at least one year of age and make sure that under the first bud the branch is free for the entire length corresponding to the depth of the split made in the rootstock. Keep in mind that, if the diameter of the rootstock is much greater than that of the scion, you will also have to insert two or three of them in the same rootstock. Cut the end of the scion under the first wedge-shaped knot to facilitate insertion and try to free as much live wood as possible. Insert the scion completely into the rootstock, making sure the barks of the two plants coincide. Tie them tightly using wet raffia or electrical tape and remember to proceed from bottom to top: this will prevent water from infiltrating the wound.

Grafted plant care

Let’s start by remembering that prevention is better than cure: therefore make sure to use a blade sterilized with alcohol to make the cuts on the various plants and take care to clean the blade well after each cut. This will prevent the spread of fungi and infections. Another fearsome enemy of the split graft is water which, penetrating into the wounded area of ​​the plant, could cause mold and rot: to avoid this it is important to bandage the cut well, so as not to allow water infiltration in case of rain. . To avoid the development of diseases, use the special mastic for grafts by spreading it over any exposed live wood of the graft, be careful not to let the mastic penetrate inside the rootstock cut because it could preclude the graft.

Split Grafting: Tips and Tricks

To make your scion take root, choose branches that have swollen and healthy buds, after cutting them leave them to “rest” for a few days in the fridge at 4 ° C (do not subject them to lower temperatures because you could damage the tissues), or with the severed stuck in the sand. If the insertion of the scions is too difficult, you can help yourself with a blade or a screwdriver to spread the rootstock: also in this case, first make sure that you have disinfected the blade. Be careful to make a clean cut both on the graft and on the rootstock, if you wish you can use special grafting scissors, available at reasonable prices, to be sure you do a good job: the more clean the cut will be, the more likely you scion to take root. Also to favor the success of the graft, it is possible to apply stimulating mastic on the rootstock before the insertion of the scion. Check your graft ligatures regularly and replace them if they seem loose. When you notice that your scion is producing new shoots then it will mean that the grafting is successful: if you notice some buds also in the rootstock part of the plant, remove them because they would only subtract useful energy.

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