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Today, many plant lovers are trying to grow citrus fruits at home. The lemon tree is one of the most demanded crops, which is due to the unpretentiousness of the plant, combined with the possibility of obtaining tasty fruits. If you want to increase the number of bushes, you should learn about the features of lemon propagation by cuttings at home.
Growing lemon from cuttings is considered the fastest and easiest. When planting seeds, it is not always possible to get a sprout, and fruiting begins only after 10 years. Buying a ready-made bush for further cultivation is always associated with significant financial costs, and with the help of cuttings, you can get a large number of seedlings.
Types of cuttings
Lemon multiplies in several ways today. Some of them are quite simple and accessible even for beginners, others require certain skills in working with fruit trees.
For reproduction in this way, shoots obtained from seeds are taken as a stock. The cultivar of lemon, adapted for growing at home, acts as a graft. It is permissible to use other types of citrus fruits for these purposes, with the exception of mandarin.
The grafting is done when the plant has an active sap movement, that is, in spring or summer. It can be done in a split or in a butt. When performing work, it is required to use carefully disinfected tools, otherwise it is easy to infect the plant, and it may die.
The budding method consists in inserting a bud from a fruiting tree into a T-shaped incision made in the bark of the rootstock. It is recommended to use 2-3 seedlings for these purposes, the thickness of which has reached the size of a pencil. The place for the vaccination is chosen at a distance of 5-10 cm from the ground level.
After budding, the place is carefully bandaged. If after 2-3 weeks the petioles fall off, then the procedure is considered successful. If they are observed to dry out, then the inoculation was unsuccessful. After 30 days, the upper part of the rootstock is cut off, leaving 10 cm above the graft site. After the sprouting of the eye, a cut is made directly above it.
When rooting by cuttings, an exact copy of the parent plant is obtained. On average, the flowering period of the bush can be expected for the 3-4th year. Modern growth stimulants greatly increase the chances of survival of cuttings, so this method of lemon propagation remains one of the most popular.
The advantage of propagation by layering is to obtain an almost 100% result. The disadvantage is the cumbersomeness of the method and the need for time to carry out the work. For reproduction, a pot with nutritious soil is installed next to it. Several cuts are formed in the branch of the parent tree, tilted and pinned, and then covered with earth. In places of damage, root segments will begin to form, after 2 months a clone can be cut off.
Airy Chinese layering involves the formation of a cut on a branch in the spring, followed by covering the site of damage with moss, it is wrapped in a film, periodically moistening sphagnum. It provides the plant with moisture and a bactericidal effect, as a result of which roots form at the cut site. With their sufficient formation, the layers are separated from the parent tree and planted in a separate container.
Optimal time for grafting
Spring is considered the most optimal time for propagation of homemade lemon cuttings. It is at this time that the plant wakes up from hibernation, and its activation occurs. The plant begins to vigorously form new shoots that can become planting material. It is permissible to form cuttings during the summer season; some gardeners prefer to choose a time for this when the heat begins to subside, and the sprouts are distinguished by a higher survival rate.
How to choose the best rooting twig
For work on cuttings, branches with a diameter of 5-6 mm and a length of 8-10 cm are chosen. Each of them should have 3-4 healthy buds and 2-4 leaves.
The bottom cut should be made at a slope of 45. The upper one is done 1 cm above the kidney in a perpendicular direction with respect to the trunk. In the lower part of the shoot, foliage is removed to improve the movement of the juice. The rest of the leaf plates can be cut by 1/3.
It is not recommended to germinate cuttings in water, since they do not form roots, but gradually rot and dry out. Immediately before planting, the lower cut of the appendix is sprinkled with ash or a growth stimulator "Heteroauxin".
For planting, a container of a small volume is prepared, and the cutting is deepened by 2-3 cm.After rooting, the plant should not be transplanted, since the lemon does not like frequent manipulations and changing places. At the same time, the earth will be different, which will negatively affect the health of the plant. It is enough to increase the thickness of the top nutrient layer and add vermiculite for better moisture retention.
You can plant a plant in a year, such a period will be enough for a lemon to get stronger and grow. To do this, choose a pot, the size of which is 1-2 cm larger than the previous one.
For rooting to be possible, several rules must be met at the same time. It is required to choose the right place and soil, to ensure timely feeding and watering. An error in at least one of the listed points will lead to the death of the offshoot.
For planting, choose a soil intended for citrus fruits. It is permissible to prepare the soil with your own hands. In this case, sand and sphagnum are taken in equal proportions and thoroughly mixed with each other. Instead of moss, peat can be used in the manufacture of soil. At the bottom of the pot, a drainage layer of expanded clay or porous vermiculite must be laid out.
If several shoots are planted in one container, then the distance between them should be at least 5 cm.
Despite the strong growth of an adult tree, a small pot should be taken for planting a cuttings. A volume of 0.5 liters is enough. A drainage hole must be formed at the bottom of the dishes, which will allow excess water to escape.
For good growth, the shoot needs to provide a temperature of 20-25 C. Cuttings of indoor plants need sufficient illumination, but they should not be placed on the south side in direct sunlight. In such a situation, it is required to protect the seedlings from light.
Fertilization and watering
Moisten the soil immediately after planting. After the end of the work, additional spraying with warm water is carried out and a greenhouse is formed. For top dressing, organic fertilizers are applied to the soil at a frequency of 1 time every 10 days. When using special preparations, only those intended for citrus crops should be purchased.
How long does the sprout take root
After 3-4 weeks, a small growth appears in the area of the lower cut, after which large white roots form a little higher. They are very fragile, so care should be taken when removing the appendage for further transplantation.
Care of cuttings
For rooting, cuttings need sufficient moisture, so periodic spraying is required. Good rooting of the offshoot is possible at a humidity of 95%, for which a small greenhouse structure is formed. Spraying 1-2 times a day is considered sufficient.
After the appearance of the roots, the greenhouse cannot be removed immediately, as this will be severe stress for the plant. First, the structure is removed for 3 minutes, gradually increasing the dwell time of the sprout without protection.
How to build a greenhouse for lemon seedlings
To form a greenhouse structure in order to better plant survival, ordinary transparent plastic bottles with a volume of 2 liters are used. To do this, the upper part is removed, and several holes are formed in the bottom, after which the rooted shoots are covered with the remaining part. Some growers use ordinary glass jars to create a greenhouse or cover the sprouts with a plastic bag.
Tips for Better Rooting
For better root formation, cuttings are recommended to be left overnight in Epin or Heteroauxin nutrient solution before planting. A loose and nutritious soil should be provided, therefore, when placing in a pot, do not tamp the soil too much. For good plant growth, the nutrient layer of the earth should occupy at least 2/3 of the container.