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Using Cuttings in Plants

Using Cuttings in Plants

Using Cuttings in Plants

Simpler methods of growing identical new plant species from part of a parent plant includes taking cuttings, an old method still used by gardeners today.

Which of these are methods for developing new characteristics in plants, such as larger fruits? Pick all the options you think are correct.

You can select multiple answers

Once a new variety of plant has been developed, it has to be reproduced to get more plants with the same characteristics. Some methods are expensive and technically difficult to do. One of the methods below is cheap and easy to do. Gardeners use it all the time. Which one?


When you make a cutting from a plant, you first...

cut a side branch or section off the parent plant.


Then you...

remove lower leaves from the cutting, and then dip the cut end into plant growth hormones - rooting powder.


After that, you...

plant the cutting into soil or compost to grow as normal.


Finally, the adult plant looks almost identical the original parent plant. Why is this plant almost identical to the parent plant?

A) It was grown in controlled conditions. B) It was grown in the same conditions as the parent. C) It is a clone of the parent. D) It is the same species.

Using cuttings from plants to propagate (reproduce) them has been used for thousands of years. However, it only worked on a limited number of species. In the 1930s, a step was added that made it work with a much larger range of species. Which step do you think that might have been?

Many plants can propagate naturally via runners, bulbs or rhizomes. Taking cuttings is an artificial application of this process. What type of reproduction are both of these forms of propagation?

The rooting powder used in this process contains hormones called auxins. Auxins promote growth and when they are applied to the base of a plant they produce roots. Why is this important when growing a plant from a cutting?

An alternative to using cuttings to produce plant clones (identical plants ) is to use micropropagation or a tissue culture approach.


Micropropagation takes a tiny ball of cells ("explants") and grows them in controlled conditions on a nutrient gel ("agar gel") to produce thousands of new plants.

You need sterile conditions for this to prevent fungi and bacterial growth.


What are some of the advantages for a home gardener of using a cutting to propagate their plants compared to micropropagation? Pick all the options you think are correct.

You can select multiple answers