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Steam Cutting for Propagation of Oleander (Karabi) Plant is going on at Mukti Nursery

Steam cutting work has started in Mukti Nursery (SAM office premises) for the propagation of about 50 Oleander / Karabi trees. The work has been started for the last one week. Approximately 100-150 new plants can be propagated from each tree.

Stem-cutting is another common asexual propagation technique, suited well to herbs and house plants like Oleander. It involves taking a section of stem from a parent plant and manipulating it to create a new plant. Since the reproduction is asexual, the new plant is genetically identical to the parent and is often referred to as a clone.

Oleander / Karabi is a shrubby evergreen plant that can grow around 8-10 feet in height. First, healthy and disease-free growth is being chosen for cutting preferably from the upper part of the plant.

Cut off a Section of Stem: A 4 to 5-inch long stem or side shoot just below a node, where the leaf comes off the stem (or bud) is cut using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors. Making the cutting at the node increases the chances of successful rooting.

Remove the Lower Leaves: All but two or three leaves along with flowers and flower buds at the top from the cutting are being removed.

Tie up the wound:  The cutting powder is first applied to the cutting part. A soil lump is made by mixing organic manure. This lump of soil is well wrapped around the cut part. The part is then wrapped with a piece of plastic transparent sheet to minimize water loss and make a hole is made at the top to let in the fresh air. This prevents the cutting from drying out until it can form its own roots after 20-25 days.

Plant the Cuttings: Newly rooted cuttings should not be transplanted directly into the landscape. Instead, they have to transplant into containers or into a bed. Allowing them to grow into larger sizes before transplanting them to a permanent location will increase their chance of survival. It can take 6 months to 1 year.

The advantage of stem cutting is that many plants can be grown from a single parent plant in lesser time, without needing and seeds.

8 MCDF (Mukti Community Development Fund) members of the Purba Sridharpur branch are engaged in the cutting work.

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