Vegetative Reproduction in Angiosperms

Reproduction of new plants from the portion of the vegetative parts of a plant is very common and is called vegetative reproduction. Stems, roots, leaves and even buds are variously modified to suit this requirement. This is called natural vegetative reproduction.

The new plants formed by vegetative propagation are genetically similar to the parents.

Natural Method: In natural methods, a portion of the plant gets detached from the body of the mother plant and grows into an independent plant. The parts may be stem, root, leaf or even flower.

1. The underground modification of stem, like rhizome, (in ginger), tuber (potato), bulb (onion) and corm (zamikand) are provided with buds which develop into a new plant and are therefore used to carry out vegetative propagation of the plant in the field. Plants with subaerial modification such as Pistia (offset) and Chrysanthemum (sucker) are also used for vegetative propagation.

2. Similarly, tuberous roots (Asparagus and sweet potato) can also be used for propagation as these roots have adventitious buds which grow into a new plant. 

3. Sometimes even leaves contribute to propagation of plants for example, leaves of Bryophyllum and Kalanchoe have buds on the margin and these buds grow into small plantlets. When detached from the mother plant they grow into independent plants.

4. In plants like Agave and Oxalis multicellular bodies called bulbils develop from flower-buds. These are called bulbils which when fall on the ground, grow into new plant.

Advantages of Vegetative Reproduction

  • Rapid means of reproduction and spread.
  • Offsprings identical to parent. The desired varieties can thus be preserved genetically for use.
  • Food storage organs allow perennation or survival in adverse conditions.
  • Improved varieties of ornamental plants and fruit trees can be multiplied easily.
  • Vegetative propagation is a quicker, easier and a less expensive method of multiplying plants.

Disadvantages of Vegetative Reproduction

  • Overcrowding and competition for space unless separated artificially.
  • New varieties cannot be produced by this method except by mutation.
  • Diseases typical of the species are rapidly transmitted and can be detrimental to a crop.