Reproduction in Organisms

Vegetative Propagation

Did you know that plants can grow and reproduce without seeds or spores? Vegetative propagation is a process in which plants reproduce from stems, roots and leaves. It is a form of asexual reproduction seen in plants. In fact, horticulturists use propagation methods such as grafting and budding to improve the plants. Let us learn more about vegetative propagation.

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Vegetative Propagation

Vegetative propagation is something very peculiar to plants. Moreover, avid gardeners exploit this feature for commercial purposes. As a matter of fact, we don’t always need seeds to grow plants. Because new plants can grow from older plants using vegetative propagation methods such as grafting and budding. It is a form of asexual reproduction seen in plants. This process involves only a single plant and the offspring that arises is identical, both genetically and morphologically, to the parent plant.

Vegetative propagation occurs through vegetative plant structures. In non-vascular plants, the vegetative reproductive structures are gemmae and spores whereas, in vascular plants, the roots, stems, leaves, and nodes are the vegetative propagation structures. Also, we have learned about the meristem tissue in plants. This tissue helps in the vegetative propagation. It has undifferentiated cells which divide. As a result, it paves the way for the growth of the plant. Also, from the meristems, specialized permanent tissues are formed.

Types of Vegetative Propagation

Vegetative Propagation by Roots

In this process, new plants grow out of the modified roots called tubers. In fact, in some plant species, roots develop adventitious buds.  These buds grow and form new plants/sprouts under the right conditions. For example, Sweet potato and Dahlia. These sprouts can be separated from the parent plant and when planted in other areas, new plants are formed.

Vegetative Propagation by Stems

Vegetative propagation occurs through stems when new plants arise from the nodes. This is where buds are formed, which grow into new plants. Stems that grow horizontally on the ground are called runners. As these runners grow, buds form at the nodes, which later develop the roots and shoots, resulting in the formation of a new plant. Example – Cyanodon; Mint etc.

The bulb is the round, swollen part of the underground stem. Within the bulb lies the organ for vegetative propagation such as the central shoot that grows into a new plant. Bulbs have a bud surrounded by layers of fleshy leaves. A few examples include Onions, Garlic, and Tulips etc.

We can find stem tubers in plants like potatoes.  This part is the swollen apical part containing many nodes or eyes. Every eye has buds. New plants originate from these buds.

Vegetative Propagation by Leaf

Plants like Bryophyllum, Begonia etc., have adventitious buds coming out from the notches of the leaves. These buds develop into new plants.

Vegetative Propagation: Meaning, Types, Budding, Grafting etc

Source – Wikipedia


Cuttings are the most common method employed by gardeners to grow new plants. A portion of the stem is cut and planted in the soil, which develops roots and further grows into a new plant.

Vegetative Propagation: Meaning, Types, Budding, Grafting etc

Source – Wikipedia


In grafting, we use two closely related plants to produce a new plant that has the desired, combined traits of both the parent plants. One plant is the stock, of which we take the root system and the other is the Scion, of which we use the shoot system. In this method of artificial vegetative propagation, we attach the scion to the stock of the second plant. In general, we use grafting for a variety of plants such as roses, apples, avocado etc.


In this method, we take a bud with a small portion of the bark from the desired plant. Then we insert it into a small slit made in the bark of the other plant. Next, we tie both the plants together and do not allow the buds to dry.

Solved Questions For You

Q: Explain why we use vegetative propagation for commercial purposes.

Ans. The greatest advantage of vegetative propagation is that it produces natural clones of the parent plant. The produced new plants have the same genetic material. Therefore it is possible to produce plants that have the same desired traits again and again. This method ensures consistency in the quality of the produce. Hence, we see the commercial exploitation of vegetative propagation.

FAQ’s for You

Q1. What is vegetative propagation?

Answer: Vegetative propagation may be natural or can be done artificially.
Natural vegetative propagation occurs by means of roots, underground stems, subaerial stems, aerial shoots, leaves and bulbils.
Artificial vegetative propagation occurs by use of special vegetative parts such as root tubers, corm, parts of rhizome etc., or by cutting, layering, grafting and bud grafting.

Q2. Which is not a method of vegetative propagation?
A. Micropropagation
B. Budding
C. Sowing
D. Layering

Answer: Vegetative propagation is a form of asexual reproduction of a plant. Here, only one plant is involved and the offspring is the result of one parent. The new plant is genetically identical to the parent.
Micropropagation is the practice of rapidly multiplying stock plant material to produce a large number of progeny plants, using modern tissue culture methods.
Layering is a means of plant propagation, in which a portion of an aerial stem grows roots while still attached to the parent plant and then detaches as an independent plant.
Sowing is to scatter the seeds over the land for growth
So, the correct answer is ‘Sowing’

Q3. Roots are used in the vegetative propagation of
A, Ginger
B. Chrysanthemum
C. Sweet Potato
D. Potato

Answer:  The asexual reproduction where the vegetative part of the plant which give rise to a new plant is known as vegetative reproduction. Ginger is propagated by the rhizome. Chrysanthemum is propagated by stem cutting. Roots are used in vegetative propagation of sweet potato. The roots bear adventitious buds from which new plants can develop when it is buried in the moist soil. Such roots are called reproductive roots. Potato is propagated by eye of tuber.
So, the correct answer is option C.

Q.4 Give examples of vegetative propagation in leaves.

Answer: Begonia and Bryophyllum are examples of vegetative propagation by leaves.
This is a form of asexual reproduction in which new plants grow from the buds growing on the margin of the leaves. These buds are reproductive in nature and when they fall on the ground they germinate and form a new plant.

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