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.