Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free

Overview

A handy and richly illustrated guide to all propagation techniques.

Plant Propagation A to Z has more than 500 photographs that illustrate both practical step-by-step propagation techniques and the plants themselves. The book introduces propagation in general and then describes the tools and methods used. There are extensive tables detailing which techniques are best suited ...

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Overview

A handy and richly illustrated guide to all propagation techniques.

Plant Propagation A to Z has more than 500 photographs that illustrate both practical step-by-step propagation techniques and the plants themselves. The book introduces propagation in general and then describes the tools and methods used. There are extensive tables detailing which techniques are best suited to more than 1,000 garden plants and noting the best times for propagating.

The book also includes:

  • Annotated step-by-step color diagrams
  • Seed, cutting and division techniques
  • Specialized propagation methods
  • Temperature and moisture requirements
  • Germination time and strike rate
  • Guidance on specific techniques for each propagation procedure
  • Recommendations for choosing the best equipment.

Easy-to-use and informative, Plant Propagation A to Z is an essential reference book and how-to guide for gardeners everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Botanical Gardens - Edward J. Valauskas
Excellent introduction ... well-illustrated work ... Should inspire many a gardener to look at plant propagation as a means to keep gardening costs down, and to obtain plants in a garden that would normally not be available through some commercial outlets.
American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35 - Rachael Green
A handy guide to all propagation techniques... written in an accessible style... a practical step-by-step reference on the art of reproducing garden plants and should be a welcome addition to any gardening collection.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Suzanne Hively
Step-by-step guide to advanced propagation techniques such as layering, grafting, budding and tissue culture.
The Oregonian
Takes the mystery out of plant propagation... clear and easy... a treasure for both those who want to learn to propagate and those who need to brush up.
E-Streams - Margaret Henderson
A good book for gardeners.
Booklist - Carol Haggas
Comprehensive ... Bryant's guide provides an essential and encyclopedic resource for the fiscally minded, or just creatively curious, gardener.
Science News
Clearly outlines all aspects of plant propagation, from selecting the right tools to identifying which plants reproduce by seed, division, and cutting.
Santa Ana Orange County Register - Cindy MdNatt
Will take you to the next horticultural level... will introduce you to plants that you likely never heard of.
Lexington Herald-Leader - Dan Niffenegger
This is a "how-to" book with information usually found only in technical writings. It is clearly written and be extremely useful.
BellaOnline - Connie Krochmal
For quick reference, there is a very handy table of the plants from A to Z by Latin name, showing the preferred method and the hardiness zone.
Tampa Tribune - Penny Carnathan and Kim Franke-Folstad
You had me at the title, Geoff. Find all kinds of great tips for starting plants from seeds and cuttings, by division and less common techniques, like grafting. Extensive tables provide information about individual plants, including the best ways to start them and tips for success, like which seeds should be soaked or nicked first. Plant Propagation A to Z is a great reference for anyone who prefers getting their plants for free.
Victoria Times-Colonist - Helen Chesnut
Whether you enjoy growing plants from seed or are in the habit of sharing garden plants among friends, this book is a clear and easy guide.
Montreal Gazette - Stuart Robertson
A real "how-to" book... the work of a lifetime... accessible to anyone who's interested in trying.
Beach Metro Community News - Mary Fran McQuade
Straightforward language with detailed charts and how-to's make it easy to use. Best of all is the big chapter listing more than 500 plants, each with a photo and paragraph on propagation methods.
Library Journal
The operative phrase in the title of this excellent introduction to propagation is "growing plants for free," since most gardeners are frustrated by the cost of plant material and the limited variety available commercially. As noted by gardening writer Bryant (Rhododendrons and Azaleas), "Plant propagation is a science, but for the most part it is easy"-easy if you follow his recipe-like instructions. In the first half, Bryant gives readers a basic understanding of propagation by division, by cuttings, or from seeds. Other techniques are also discussed, such as layering, grafting, and budding. For those familiar with these fundamentals, the book's second half will be more useful, as it contains the briefest descriptions of propagation techniques for 540 different plants accompanied by 523 color illustrations. The variety is enormous, ranging from abelia to zinnia. Each description leads with the plant's scientific and common name followed by two to four sentences on propagation. Unfortunately, the color illustrations are postage-stamp size and without scale, so that the giant sequoia is the same size as a coneflower. Fewer illustrations could have provided more room for further details in the text. As one might imagine, only the briefest advice is provided here, but when combined with the general introduction, it offers the novice a good start. Gardeners with more serious propagation intentions will find more useful and detailed information in Alan Toogood's American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation and Michael Dirr and Charles Heuser's Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Recommended especially for public libraries serving large populations of weekend gardeners.-Edward J. Valauskas, Chicago Botanic Garden Lib. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
HGTV.com - Jennifer Sergent
For the dedicated gardener looking to expand his or her scientific knowledge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554071708
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/15/2006
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 787,798
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.78 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoff Bryant is a plant propagator and hybridizer with 25 years of experience in this field. He is a fulltime garden writer and photographer and has written or contributed to a dozen gardening books.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Having a garden or even just a love of plants provides a lifetime of joy. However, that enjoyment does not always come cheaply because for all but the most esoteric designs, gardens need plants and those plants are usually bought. So it is often with economy in mind that gardeners start to propagate their own plants. However, plant propagation is even more addictive than gardening and if you have a passion for plants, propagating them provides the ultimate satisfaction. Moreover, it does not have to involve elaborate equipment and months of waiting. Hundreds of different plants can be propagated quickly with little more than a few seed trays, a good pair of pruning shears, decent potting mix and some sturdy plastic bags.

I suppose that strictly speaking, plant propagation is a science, but for the most part it is easy. Easy that is, once you learn the basics and break through the mystique that surrounds the idea of the "green-fingered" propagator. There is really no such creature and the expertise and equipment needed for simple plant propagation is within anyone's reach. The plants that result can be at least as good as those bought from the garden center, and they provide a sense of achievement and closeness to nature that is rare in our increasingly store-bought, manufactured age.

This book is for home gardeners whose small- to medium-scale propagation involves plenty of trial and error While I have tried to be as precise as possible, I know that not all of my methods will work for all gardeners in all circumstances. There are usually several ways to propagate a plant, depending on the season, the available equipment and the propagator's expertise. Therefore, I have attempted to give just an outline of the general techniques involved along with highlighting some of the pitfalls to avoid. Feel free to try different methods, because a large part of being successful with plant propagation is finding out what works for you and your plants. Plenty of reading helps, too, as does developing a comprehensive understanding of plant types, families and relationships.

Finally you need a sense of quality; don't be happy to put up with whatever plants result. Demand the same standards that you expect of a professional nursery and have no qualms about consigning your lesser efforts to the compost pile. When you start to realize that the parental pride of the propagator has to come second to producing good plants, you will know that your efforts and experiments are turning into experience and understanding.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part One: PLANT PROPAGATION

  1. What is plant propagation?
    • Sexual reproduction and asexual (vegetative) propagation
    • The miracle behind vegetative propagation
    • Deciding which method to use
    • Timing
  2. Propagation tools
    • Working environment
    • Equipment
    • Hygiene
  3. Pest and disease control
    • Pests
    • Diseases
    • Careful use of sprays
    • Table 1: General propagation methods
  4. Growing from seed
    • Seed structure
    • Obtaining seed
    • Storing seed
    • Germination and viability
    • Starter mixes
    • seed sowing
    • Propagating from spores
    • Table 2: Germination requirements
  5. Propagation by Division
    • Rosettes, runners and offsets
    • Herbaceous perennials
    • Natural layering and aerial roots
    • Suckers
    • Rhizomes, tubers, corms and bulbs
    • Table 3: Propagation by division
  6. Propagation by cuttings
    • Stem cuttings
    • Leaf cuttings
    • Aftercare
    • Table 4: Propagation by cuttings
  7. Less common techniques
    • Layering
    • Grafting
    • Budding
    • Root cuttings
    • Tissue culture
Part Two: TECHNIQUES FOR SOME POPULAR GARDEN ORNAMENTALS
  • A to Z listing of specific techniques for 500 garden ornamentals

Glossay
Index

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Preface

Introduction

Part One: PLANT PROPAGATION

  1. What is plant propagation?
    • Sexual reproduction and asexual (vegetative) propagation
    • The miracle behind vegetative propagation
    • Deciding which method to use
    • Timing
  2. Propagation tools
    • Working environment
    • Equipment
    • Hygiene
  3. Pest and disease control
    • Pests
    • Diseases
    • Careful use of sprays
    • Table 1: General propagation methods
  4. Growing from seed
    • Seed structure
    • Obtaining seed
    • Storing seed
    • Germination and viability
    • Starter mixes
    • seed sowing
    • Propagating from spores
    • Table 2: Germination requirements
  5. Propagation by Division
    • Rosettes, runners and offsets
    • Herbaceous perennials
    • Natural layering and aerial roots
    • Suckers
    • Rhizomes, tubers, corms and bulbs
    • Table 3: Propagation by division
  6. Propagation by cuttings
    • Stem cuttings
    • Leaf cuttings
    • Aftercare
    • Table 4: Propagation by cuttings
  7. Less common techniques
    • Layering
    • Grafting
    • Budding
    • Root cuttings
    • Tissue culture
Part Two: TECHNIQUES FOR SOME POPULAR GARDEN ORNAMENTALS
  • A to Z listing of specific techniques for 500 garden ornamentals

Glossay
Index

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Having a garden or even just a love of plants provides a lifetime of joy. However, that enjoyment does not always come cheaply because for all but the most esoteric designs, gardens need plants and those plants are usually bought. So it is often with economy in mind that gardeners start to propagate their own plants. However, plant propagation is even more addictive than gardening and if you have a passion for plants, propagating them provides the ultimate satisfaction. Moreover, it does not have to involve elaborate equipment and months of waiting. Hundreds of different plants can be propagated quickly with little more than a few seed trays, a good pair of pruning shears, decent potting mix and some sturdy plastic bags.

I suppose that strictly speaking, plant propagation is a science, but for the most part it is easy. Easy that is, once you learn the basics and break through the mystique that surrounds the idea of the "green-fingered" propagator. There is really no such creature and the expertise and equipment needed for simple plant propagation is within anyone's reach. The plants that result can be at least as good as those bought from the garden center, and they provide a sense of achievement and closeness to nature that is rare in our increasingly store-bought, manufactured age.

This book is for home gardeners whose small- to medium-scale propagation involves plenty of trial and error While I have tried to be as precise as possible, I know that not all of my methods will work for all gardeners in all circumstances. There are usually several ways to propagate a plant, depending on the season, the available equipment and the propagator'sexpertise. Therefore, I have attempted to give just an outline of the general techniques involved along with highlighting some of the pitfalls to avoid. Feel free to try different methods, because a large part of being successful with plant propagation is finding out what works for you and your plants. Plenty of reading helps, too, as does developing a comprehensive understanding of plant types, families and relationships.

Finally you need a sense of quality; don't be happy to put up with whatever plants result. Demand the same standards that you expect of a professional nursery and have no qualms about consigning your lesser efforts to the compost pile. When you start to realize that the parental pride of the propagator has to come second to producing good plants, you will know that your efforts and experiments are turning into experience and understanding.

Read More Show Less

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