Question: How do I graft plants? How successful am I likely to be?

Answer: Budding and grafting involve taking dormant buds or small stems from a plant of known merit and causing them to grow together with rootstocks of another variety. Fruit trees, pecans, grapes, ornamental pears and plums, roses and other plants that do not root easily from cuttings (or that need the vigor of some other type of rootstock) are started this way. The main problem for amateur plant propagators is that your first 100 buds and grafts will probably not be as successful as the next ones you do. Speed is a critical issue here, so you don’t leave the tissues exposed very long. What may take you 15 minutes the first time you try, may honestly only take 15 seconds once you’re skilled. If you want to invest the time and practice it takes to get good at budding and grafting, and if you study the comprehensive books and Extension Service fact sheets showing you how to do it, this is can be fun and rewarding. Otherwise, it’s probably best left to the folks who will devote the time to get good at it.

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