Stock Plants for Nurseries
Stock Plants for Production/Propagation Nurseries
Propagation nurseries must have a reliable supply of good quality plant material. This might be seed from reliable seed suppliers or from plants which can be readily used as a source for seed collecting. It might also be cutting or grafting material from healthy, correctly identified plants (i.e. ‘known varieties’).
Stock plants used as a source of propagating material may or may not be on the nursery site, but ideally they should be in a convenient and accessible location. They are extremely important to the operation of a nursery and establishing a reliable source of stock plants is one of the nurseryman’s biggest problems.
The quality of the stock plants is perhaps the biggest influence upon everything which happens later in a nursery.
If stock plants are in poor condition:
- Cuttings or grafts may have a lower rate of success.
- Cuttings may be slower to form roots, and grafts slower to grow together.
- Pest or disease problems can be transmitted from stock plants to other plants in your propagation area or greenhouse.
- New plants might not develop as well as those taken from healthy, vigorous stock.
Selecting Stock Plants
When selecting stock plants, only use:
- Plants free of disease and pests.
- Plants which are true to type.
- Plants which have been grown under preferred conditions.
- Plants which have been growing well.
- Plants which have been adequately fed and are free from signs of any nutrient deficiency or leaf burn.
Clonal selection practised in some countries, involves careful selection of one plant of optimum quality and type. All stock plants are then propagated from this one parent plant.
It is essential that your original stock plants come from a very reliable source. Don’t assume because they have a label that the label is correct, and don’t assume that a property owner knows the correct name of the plants on his property. There are many incorrectly labelled plants in garden centres and nurseries.
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