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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 264: II International Protea Research Symposium

ROOTSTOCK PRODUCTION RESEARCH IN LEUCOSPERMUM AND PROTEA: I. TECHNIQUES

Author:   G.J. Brits
Abstract:
The problems of ineffective conventional grafting and budding techniques were studied. Wedge grafting with elastic PVC tape gave the best results in uniting and securing the scion to the rootstock, respectively. Controlling graft scion desiccation by reducing scion size to two buds, subtended by ½ cm2 leaf sections, eliminated the need for an intermittent misting system required by the conventional method. This allowed the development of new handling methods of rootstocks viz. cutting grafting, grafting of containerised rootstocks under 50% shade, and topworking of young rootstock plants in the field. A modified chip budding technique was successfully tested. Autumn is the best season for grafting to effectively produce new scion growth prior to establishment in the field. These methods, suitable for rapid large-scale commercial production of grafted/budded proteas on clonal rootstocks, compare favourably with the rooting of cuttings in many cases.
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