If you are like most of us, you may think that grafting trees and plants is better left to the professionals. But the truth is, grafting is not difficult once you understand the right technique for the project. While there are several more complicated ways to graft plants, nearly anyone can find success with these simple techniques.
Whip & Tongue Graft
The whip and tongue graft is typically used with small plant stems ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. Both the scion and the rootstock should be the same size. This graft makes a strong bond as the cambium layer inside the stems are lined up and heal quickly. While it does require careful slicing, due to the slim stems, this graft is easy to execute.
- Make a sloping cut approximately 1 to 2 inches long beginning at the edge of the stem on the rootstock. Use a sharp knife, as a dull knife makes an uneven cut that may resist healing.
- Make a second cut one third of the distance between the edges of the sloped cut. Make the cut approximately 1 inch long. (see image above)
- Make a corresponding cut on the scion and add the second cut. This prepares the two sections for grafting.
- Open the slits with your fingers and position the scion onto the rootstock so that the slits interlock. lining up the cambium layers on at least one side of the graft.
- Tie the graft securely with grafting elastics or tape.
- Seal with grafting wax or wound sealer.
Splice grafts are one of the easiest grafts to make and work well for plants in the greenhouse. Although the bond is not as strong as the whip and tongue graft, many prefer the simplicity.
- Make matching sloping cuts on both the scion and rootstock as outlined in the whip and tongue graft.
- Match up the cuts, lining up the cambium layer.
- Secure with elastics or tape and seal the graft.