Grade: all
Subject: Science

#624. Plant Propagation

Science, level: all
Posted Fri Sep 11 09:24:22 PDT 1998 by William J. Bechtel (
Boiling Springs Middle School, Bioling Springs, PA
Materials Required: Depends of the specific plant used
Activity Time: about six weeks
Concepts Taught: plant growth, asexual reproduction, scientific method

I found the idea for this activity on another lesson plan exchange and
have modifided it to suit my needs. This was a great project. My students
loved it, and more importantly, they learned from it. I used in my seventh
grade life science, but could easily be modified to any grade level. Good Luck.

Vegetative Propagation Project

Vegetative propagation is the term given to any asexual means of starting new plants.
All members of the plant kingdom have some means of reproduction. In the mosses and ferns, the gametophytes
produce sperm and eggs, and the sporophytes produce spores. This alternation of generations helps to ensure the survival of the plants.
In higher plants, the monocots and dicots, flowers contain the sexual structures. The sperm are found in pollen grains produced in the stamen of the flowers, and the eggs are held in ovules within the pistils. Some higher plants also have common means of asexual reproduction which do not involve floral parts. Strawberries, for example, send out runners, while many trees send up new shoots from their roots.
Black cherry and quaking aspen both send up shoots.

Many plants that do not commonly reproduce asexually can be induced to do so. For example, stem cuttings of geraniums or jade plants will often root in water and can then be planted in potting soil.
Whenever plants reproduce asexually by any means, either natural or induced, the term vegetative propagation applies. It simply means that vegetative tissues (non-reproductive tissues) are used to produce new plants.

to successfully start a new plant by any means of vegetative propagation.
to select a propagation method which is appropriate for the plant.
to keep a laboratory journal of the treatment and progress of the new plant.

1. Select a healthy plant to be propagated. The plant may be a house plant, a landscape plant or a wild plant.
2. Do some reading about your plant. You may find research materials at home (especially if someone in your family is an avid gardener), or in the school or local libraries. Find out which method of propagation is suitable for your plant. Keep all hand written notes in blue or black ink (not marker) for your journal.
3. Once you have selected a plant and a method of propagation, start a laboratory journal in which you keep records concerning the method of propagation, the treatment, and the success (or failure) of your plant. You will want to keep records on the exact procedure of your propagation, the amount of water you give the plant, the date and numbers of roots that appear, when you planted it in soil, what sort of soil and pot you used, sketches you've drawn every so often -- the works! This page should be the first page of your journal.

Keep your plant at home, but remember, it is your job to care for it, not your parents'. You will bring your plant in on the due date. Be sure to put your name on the container.

At the end of your journal, write three paragraphs about your experience with vegetative propagation. The first paragraph should describe the plant and its normal method of reproduction. Be sure it includes a physical description of the plant as well as information on its climate zone, light requirements, soil types, best time to plant, what the plant is typically used for, etc.
The second paragraph should list any possible methods of propagation for your plant, and then summarize the technique that you used.
The third paragraph should analyze your results. Discuss the success or failure of the propagation and why it was a success or failure.
Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, supporting details, and a closing. You should follow all of the rules of good writing that you have been taught in Communication Arts. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure all will be considered in grading your paper.

***Below is the general idea of the journal that the students were to keep.
The graphics are not here, so you'll have to use your imagination for the
column lines and boxes for pictures. If you want a copy of the real documents
email me and I will send them.***

Plant Journal page1

Name of Plant:

Research notes:
Physical Description:

Climate zone:
Soil types:
Best time to plant:

Other Notes:

Types of Propagation:

Plant Journal page2

Method of Propagation:
Materials Used:

Procedure for propagation:

Plant Journal page 3

Date What was done to the plant Observations

Plant Journal page 4