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Sexual Propagation

Sexual propagation is propagation by seed or spores.  The plants will become fertilized and produce the seed that will grow into a new with both of the characteristics of the parent plants.  Because of the traits given by the parent plants, sexual propagation offers these advantages:

1. The only method when creating new varieties or cultivars.
2. It is the easiest and cheapest way of growing plants.
3. A way of getting rid of diseases
4. Some plants are only able to be produced via seed.

Propagation by seed also carries some risks.  In order for seeds to grow, they must break dormancy and germinate.  Sometimes, the seeds may be dead or have difficulty breaking dormancy.  In order to overcome dormancy, horticulturalists may use scarification or stratification techniques.  Scarification is a technique that involves breaking or weakening the seed coat.  This can be done by the means of filing, scratching with sandpaper, or boiling in hot water.  Stratification is a technique that involves chilling the seed.  In nature, some types of seeds may need to go through a cold season before germinating.  Stratification is a way to replicate nature’s way of breaking dormancy.  If any of these techniques are needed for breaking germination, the package should indicate this.


Sexual propagation also includes growth from spores.  Spores are tiny dust-like seeds that grow on sporophytes, plants that produce spores as means of reproduction.  A common sporophyte is the fern.  Spores grow on the underside of the leaves then disperse when ready.  Spores are propagated by taking a leaf from the fern, gently scraping of the spores, allowing them to dry, and then plant.  It is recommended that fern spores are planted in sterile conditions because fungus and bacteria are very competitive with spores for space, usually the spores are unable to germinate because of this.