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Determination of A More Efficient Method of Grafting Mangoes and Optimum Growth Environment for A Successful Graft Union

Michael M. Chipeta, Eric H.C. Chilembwe



Mangoes (Mangifera indica) have traditionally been propagated through seeds but this process takes many years for trees to start bearing fruits (7–10 years). Grafting is used to shorten the juvenile period in which mangoes start bearing between as early as 1 to 3 years. Farmers believe that after grafting, grafted plants need to be placed in greenhouse for successful union of the graft and growth of the sprouts. Authors know that greenhouse construction is expensive and most smallholder farmers cannot afford it. The experiment was conducted with the aim of finding a more efficient method of grafting and cheaper growth environment for the grafted plants equally efficient as the greenhouse. Langara variety scions were grafted onto Kalisere rootstocks (local small size mango variety) using whip and wedge grafting methods and subjected to four growth environments namely, greenhouse, covering scion wood with Polyethylene tubes, wrapping scion with budding tapes and bare environment. The data collected on grafts take (%), number of days from grafting to sprouting, shoot height (cm) and number of leaves 63 days after grafting, were subjected to ANOVA using GenStat Statistical Package 3rd edition. Both whip and wedge grafting methods gave high graft take percentage (above 93%) showing that both methods are efficient for grafting mangoes. The three growth environments were not significantly different from the greenhouse (P>5 %). However, wrapping scion with budding tape as a growth environment showed the highest success rate (96.7 %), followed by covering scion with clear polyethylene tubes (93.4 %), greenhouse (93.3 %) and the least was bare (90 %). The results show that covering scion with polyethylene tubes and wrapping scion with budding tapes are equally efficient as the greenhouse. Therefore, covering scion with polyethylene tubes and wrapping scion with budding tapes as alternative methods to the greenhouse environment are being recommended because these are cheaper than greenhouse.

Keywords: grafting method, growth environment, mango, rootstock, scion

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