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Crops Laboratory

Vegetative Propagation


The purpose of this lab exercise is to provide you with an opportunity to become familiar with common methods of vegetative (asexual) propagation.


1 To successfully start a new plant from by vegetative propagation.

2 To experiment with several variations of vegetative propagation

3 To monitor your planting for the rest of the term to determine if your propagation was successful


As we have discussed in lecture, vegetative propagation is the term given to any asexual means of starting new plants. What are three examples of vegetative propagation cited in lecture?




What are two advantages that vegetative propagation offer to the crop producer?




1. Select a healthy plant to be propagated. Your instructor will provide a variety of plants. Teams of two will each choose one plant to work with.

2. Consult with your partner and instructor as necessary to decide which two methods of vegetative propagation you will use for your plant. Your choices are:
a. Leaf cutting

b. Stem cutting

c. Layering

Description of Vegetative Propagation Techniques

Leaf Cutting

1 Remove a single leaf with a piece of stem (blade + petiole) from the donor plant.

2 Optional: Dust the cut base of the petiole in rooting hormone

3 Place the leaf in water or moist soil and place in the light. Make sure soil stays moist but not wet (excessive moisture may promote disease)

4 In time, adventitious roots may develop at the base of the petiole


Stem Cutting

1 Cut a short piece of stem (three or four internodes maximum) from the donor plant - it may be helpful if the stem piece includes an apical meristem

2 Remove leaves from the lowest node

3 The basal end of the cutting may be dusted with rooting hormone

4 Place the base of the stem into moist soil or water and place in the light

5 Over time, adventitious roots may be developed at the base. The plant can then repotted into a larger pot if necessary


1. A stem, low on the shrub, is arched mechanically to the ground and held in place with some small wire hoops.

2. The lower surface of the held stem is wounded (with a small notch or some grooves) and the wound is dusted with rooting hormone.

3. The wounded, dusted, section of the stem is buried in the moist soil.

4. With time, the hormone powder and contributions of auxin from the rest of the leaves on the donor plant cause roots to form from the wounded area.

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