Grafting questions

astralexSeptember 10, 2010

For two years ago a friend of mine brought me a plumeria cutting from Thailand. He just cut it from a tree with white flowers. It happened to be a short young branch grafted to a bit of older one. IÂm not so familiar with the concept of grafting therefore my first question: was it done to get a new variety of flowers?

After the first year of growing it became too tall (for a potted one and kept in window) without flowering and I cut it in the middle above the old branch part and rooted the top again. I was going to dispose the lower part, but noticed that it gave two new branches. Now after another year of growing I have an inflow on the plant from the top part and two rather ok, but not flowering branches on the lower part. The second question is: should I expect a new variety from that inflow even so it now have no old wood it was grafted into?

Thank you!

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No, grafting is not done to get a new variety of flowers. It is done so it will have a stronger root system, as opposed to rooting a cutting. The inflo on the top section will be the same white flowers as the original cutting you received 2 years ago. When you cut the plant to "downsize" it, did you cut above or below the graft? You now have me wondering if you cut above the graft, would the remaining bottom section have the properties of the top grafted section (white flowers) or would it be whatever the lower root stock was? Bill? Anyone?


    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:15PM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

You are correct John, the grafted part is for sure white but the root stock below the graft is whatever stock they used. This case is rather wierd because one does not usually find a graft on a large plant and buy it as a grafted cutting. Usually a cutting is grafted on a root stock (usually a seedling) so you buy a plant with roots. Grafting on a large plant is usually done to reduce the size (cut out a middle section and graft the top to the bottom) or grafting a different color onto a plant (a red onto a branch of a white). This is difficult because the the graft is at an angle and moves in the wind. Also, two varieties grow at different rates and one usually will dominate the other. Otherwise I have no idea why there would be a graft cut off an existing plant. Bill

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:17PM
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I guess what I was wondering Bill is if part of the grafted scion was left after the "downsizing" cut was made, would the resulting branches sprouting from the leaf scars be the scions properties or the root stock properties? Does that make any sence? I'm thinking they would be like the scions.
But I agree, I don't know why you would want to do this....
I've heard about grafting different colors as you mentioned. Luc @ Florida Colors says the same thing about one becoming dominant. I have a neighboor who does this with his hibiscus...pretty cool.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 12:31AM
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Some clarifications. The tree I received my cutting from was white, the cutting itself was one-branched with about 9" of new wood grafted on about the same size original white tree. It never flowered before my friend cut it so I donÂt know what color it was, but I guess BillÂs theory about a new color is right (it obviously wasnÂt done to downsize the plant nor as alternative to rooting).

When I "downsized" it last year I cut above the grafting and my plant with inflow today has no wood from the original tree on it. Am I right that I should expect the color (whatever it was) which was intended to "put" on the white tree?

My now two-branched plant has now the original white wood below the grafting and branches coming from the grafted part. It will not flower this year, but when it will do you think it can be white or the same grafted color as my new plant?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 6:06AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

If i understand now, both plants should flower the same color which will be whatever was grafted onto the white. If it was the same plant then you will have the same white. If it was a different variety then whatever one blooms the other will also be. If you cut below the graft on the original plant then the blooms would be white. Nothing is transmitted through the graft except food. The DNA is in the plant cells and does not move to new cells. Now you just wait and see.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 12:47PM
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Thanx guys! The DNA explanation makes perfect sense!

Hope my flowers will manage to develope under our cool september sun and with help of additional light...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 2:50PM
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