Put simply, propagation is about creating new plants either from seeds (sexual reproduction) or cuttings (vegetative reproduction).
Propagating from seed means there will be some genetic variation and a decreased likelihood of disease and pests. The start of this process is called germination, where the seed splits and the first leaves and tap-root appear. As long as the propagating media is suitably sterile and can hold sufficient water, the seed should germinate in a few days.
Propagating from cuttings enables you to produce a plant with the same genetics as the mother plant (as long as the growing conditions are replicated). This is a rapid method of propagation and generally offers a higher success rate because the quality of seeds can vary greatly. There are a number of different cutting methods, dependent on the plant type – stem cutting, leaf cutting, air cutting, splitting, from runners and tissue culture. It is important that you control the moisture, humidity and temperature as this will help to prevent disease that could occur otherwise.
The method that you use, very much depends on what you want to achieve from your propagation. The key to successful propagation is maintaining consistent optimal conditions which is why we suggest the use of propagators.