Grafting

Hiddenleafgrower(4-6)May 12, 2013

So, I am told that grafting is an art, a difficult thing to learn to do. The thing is I have been reading about it off and on for about a month now. I tried grafting my purple lilac onto my mother-in-law's white lilac about 2 weeks ago (I know I'm a tad late). I did a reverse saddle graft (that's what I was told it was called) and a bark graft. Without a whole lot of knowledge about the subject I am proud to announce my first 2 grafting tries have taken (or are still alive at least). My question is: Is it really as hard as I have been told to learn to graft? And if so, why? As far as I've seen and read all it takes is a steady hand, sharp tools, and at least enough knowledge of the anatomy of a plant to do it. Please don't be offended by anything I have said. I know a lot of people here are far more knowledgeable than I am, but I just want to know if there is more to it than I am seeing. What would an experienced graft artist suggest to a newbie to hone his skills and learn the art deeper?

I thank you all in advance for any knowledge that you would be willing to share with me.
~Thank you~

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gardengal48

It is not only the mechanical techniques involved, which you appear to have mastered to some degree, but it is also the necessary horticultural knowledge that must be mastered. Or at least understood. And that involves knowing if the root stock and scion are compatable and at a proper stage of physiological development. And which grafting method is the most appropriate. So in addition to understanding the techniques of the 8 or 9 different grafting methodologies, you need to become pretty familiar with the plants themselves.

Like most things involving horticulture, it is a combination of knowledge and experience. And it looks like you are well on your way to a good start with both.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's really cool! I'm not sure though if you now have a single-stem thing that will have one color of flowers, or if you've added a branch to a larger specimen for 2 colors of flowers on the same plant.

With also no intention to offend anyone...! With the number of grafted plants being sold at reasonable prices, it's obviously not something one needs to be unusually gifted in any way to do. Anything so many others can learn, you can learn too, as you've discovered.

As you investigate, you will encounter ideas and pics that give you ideas and specific goals. Then you need only investigate how to do that specific thing. IE, it's obviously not necessary to understand anything more than what you do now to graft your lilacs. You read about it, tried it, it worked. Don't let the amount of available knowledge intimidate you away from (or distract you from) specific projects.

To get going in other possible areas of practical application investigation, check out these terms/ideas... inosculation, braided plants, arborsculpture, espalier, pleaching, bonsai, topiary, propagation, layering, pollarding. Find out what you think is interesting, then how to do it.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:47AM
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