Unlocking the Success: Combating Stress and Increasing Yield through Vegetable Grafting (2023)

Welcome to our blog post, “Unlocking Success: Combating Stress and Increasing Yield through Vegetable Grafting.” Vegetable cultivation can be challenging, with various stress factors affecting plant growth and productivity. However, there is a powerful technique that can help you overcome these challenges and boost your yield – vegetable grafting.

Unlocking the Success: Combating Stress and Increasing Yield through Vegetable Grafting (1)

In this article, we will explore the world of vegetable grafting, understanding how it works and its benefits in managing stress and maximizing yield. Get ready to go into the methods of this innovative technique that can revolutionize your vegetable cultivation journey.

Increasing Yield through Vegetable Grafting

What is Vegetable Grafting?

Vegetable grafting is a horticultural technique that combines two different plant varieties to create a single plant. In simple terms, it’s like performing a “plant surgery” by combining the root system (rootstock) of one plant with the shoot system (scion) of another plant. This process creates a hybrid plant that inherits desirable traits from both parent plants The rootstock provides a strong and vigorous root system that enhances the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. At the same time, the scion contributes its superior qualities such as disease resistance, improved yield, or better fruit quality.

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How Does Grafting Work?

Vegetable grafting combines the root system of one plant (rootstock) with the shoot system of another (scion) to create a hybrid plant. This process involves carefully cutting and joining the tissues of the two plants together. During grafting, the vascular tissues of the rootstock and scion align and fuse, allowing water, nutrients, and hormones to flow between them. The rootstock provides a strong and well-established root system that enhances the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

It also confers resistance to soil-borne diseases and improves tolerance to environmental stresses. Conversely, the scion contributes its desired traits such as disease resistance, improved yield, or superior fruit quality. By grafting compatible plants, growers can combine the best qualities of different varieties into a single plant. The success of grafting depends on factors like proper plant selection, precise grafting techniques, and post-grafting care.

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Ensuring that the graft union heals properly and that the grafted plant receives appropriate care to establish and grow is important. Vegetable grafting has been proven effective in various crops, including tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, and peppers. It has shown significant improvements in yield, disease resistance, and overall plant health. Grafted plants have also exhibited increased tolerance to abiotic stresses such as drought and salinity.

Benefits of Vegetable Grafting in Stress Management and Yield Improvement

  • Disease Resistance and Soil-Borne Pathogens Grafted vegetable plants show increased resistance to soil-borne diseases such as verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and root nematodes. By using resistant rootstocks, grafting reduces infection risks and improves survival rates.
  • Reduction of Agrochemical Dependence Grafted plants provides an eco-friendly alternative by reducing the reliance on agrochemicals. With improved disease resistance, farmers can minimize the use of pesticides and fungicides, promoting organic production practices.
  • Enhanced Vigor, Yield, and Quality Vegetable grafting promotes vigorous plant growth, resulting in higher yields and improved fruit quality. Grafted plants exhibit increased precocity, allowing for earlier harvests and extended production periods.
  • Adaptation to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses Grafting tolerates both biotic and abiotic stresses in vegetables. It helps plants withstand extreme temperatures, flooding, drought, salinity, and other environmental challenges, ensuring better crop performance.
  • Global Adoption and Commercial Production Vegetable grafting has gained significant popularity worldwide. Countries like Japan, Korea, China, Spain, Italy, and France have embraced grafting for commercial vegetable production, witnessing substantial yield increases and disease control.
  • It enhances resistance to soil-borne diseases like verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt, and root nematodes.
  • Using grafted plants can reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides.
  • Grafted plants exhibit increased vigor and yield, resulting in higher productivity.
  • They also show improved tolerance to environmental stressors such as temperature fluctuations and drought.
  • Grafting improves plant water and nutrient uptake, ensuring better growth and development.
  • Research projects focus on grafting watermelon to manage verticillium wilt, a destructive disease.
  • The splice grafting method has been developed to address rootstock regrowth and labor concerns.
  • Grafted watermelon transplants offer an affordable and effective solution for disease management.
  • Grafting is also beneficial for melons, preventing sudden vine wilt under cool soil conditions.
  • Grafted melons have shown successful production and marketability in regions like the Pacific Northwest.

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Unlocking the Success: Combating Stress and Increasing Yield through Vegetable Grafting (3)

Grafting Techniques for Vegetable Grafting

One-Cotyledon Grafting
  • Commonly used for watermelons and melons in Korea, Europe, and North America. Also known as splice graft and was developed for use with automated grafting.
  • It can be done manually or with robotic grafting machines.
  • Rootstock should have one true leaf, while scion should have two true leaves.
  • The rootstock is cut at a 60° angle, leaving one cotyledon attached.
  • Careful control of humidity, light, and temperature is required after grafting.
Hole Insertion Grafting
  • Widely used for watermelon and melon grafting. Rootstock should have one small true leaf, while scion can have cotyledons or the first true leaf.
  • The scion stem diameter should be smaller than the rootstock stem.
  • True leaf, apical meristem, and axillary buds are removed from the rootstock.
  • A hole is created in the rootstock, and the scion is cut and inserted at a 45° angle.
  • Mist the grafted plants and place them in a healing chamber.
Prerequisites for Grafting
  • Selection of compatible rootstock and scion. Grafting aids such as clips, tubes, pins, and blades.
  • Screening house for growing seedlings before grafting.
  • Healing chamber providing specific temperature and humidity conditions for callus formation and acclimatization of grafted seedlings.
  • Merits of One-cotyledon Grafting: A simple and rapid technique for watermelon grafting. Convenient grafting automation is possible.
  • Merits of Hole Insertion Grafting:Grafting clips are optional, saving time and labor. High success rate and strong graft union due to increased contact surface area between rootstock and scion.
  • Demerits of One-cotyledon Grafting:Requires careful control of humidity, light, and temperature after grafting. Possible regrowth of rootstock if meristem tissue is not completely removed.
  • Demerits of Hole Insertion Grafting:Requires more skill and time than other grafting techniques. Regrowth of rootstock can occur if all meristem tissue is not removed.

Identifying Stress Factors in Vegetable Cultivation

Biotic Stress Management
  • S. torvum rootstock provides resistance against Verticillium and bacterial wilt in brinjal scion. Interspecific hybrid rootstock ‘Brigeor’ controls root-knot nematode in brinjal.
  • Resistant brinjal rootstocks are effective in managing bacterial wilt in tomatoes.
  • Cucurbita moschata exhibits tolerance to Fusarium wilt and Phytophthora blight in cucumbers.
  • Burr cucumber and African horned cucumber display excellent nematode tolerance in various cucurbits.
  • Wild Solanum sp. rootstock reduces white-fly transmitted virus symptoms in tomatoes.

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(Video) Grafting Tomatoes: Healing Chamber

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  • Watermelon Grafting:Watermelon grafted on bottle gourd using the hole insertion method. This technique allows for successful grafting and improved watermelon production.
  • Cucumber Grafting:Cucumber grafting is done using the tongue approach method. This method ensures compatibility between the rootstock and scion, enhancing cucumber cultivation.
  • Cucurbit Grafting:The approach grafting method is utilized in cucurbits to achieve successful graft unions.
Abiotic Stress Management
  • Fig-leaf gourd tolerates low soil temperatures, benefiting cucumber, watermelon, melon, and summer squash cultivation.
  • Bottle gourd rootstock tolerates salt, alkalinity, and flooding, enhancing watermelon production and water use efficiency.
  • Sweet pepper performs well under high-temperature conditions when grafted on chili rootstock.
  • Commercial rootstock PS 1313, a hybrid of Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita moschata, increases marketable yield in watermelon.
  • Bitter gourd cv. New Known grafted onto sponge gourd displays flooding tolerance.

Higher Yield and Improved Quality through Vegetable Grafting

Pumpkin Rootstock

  • Pumpkin rootstock led to a significant increase of 27% in the marketable yield of cucumber seedlings.
  • Grafting cucumber plants onto pumpkin rootstock resulted in higher productivity, contributing to improved yield.
Watermelon Grafting
  • Grafting watermelon onto bottle gourd rootstock showed a remarkable yield improvement of 27-106% compared to non-grafted plants.
  • However, when grafted onto Cucurbita spp. Rootstocks, watermelon experienced a reduction in fruit yield ranging from 127% to 240%.
  • Carefully select the appropriate rootstock to ensure optimal yield outcomes in watermelon grafting.

The Role of Vegetable Grafting in Stress Management

Biotic Stress Management
  • Grafting onto resistant rootstocks provides increased resistance to soil-borne and seed-borne diseases such as Verticillium wilt, Fusarium wilt, and root nematodes. This helps reduce infection risks and improves the survival rates of grafted vegetable plants.
  • For example, S. torvum rootstock imparts resistance to F. oxysporum f. sp. melongenae in brinjal, while the interspecific hybrid rootstock ‘Brigeor’ controls root-knot nematode in brinjal.
  • Resistant brinjal rootstocks are effective against bacterial wilt in tomatoes, and Cucurbita moschata exhibits tolerance to both Fusarium wilt and Phytophthora blight in cucumbers.
  • Grafting with certain wild Solanum sp. rootstocks can reduce white-fly transmitted virus symptoms in tomatoes.

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Unlocking the Success: Combating Stress and Increasing Yield through Vegetable Grafting (5)
Abiotic Stress Management
  • Grafting helps plants withstand abiotic stresses such as extreme temperatures, flooding, drought, salinity, and nutrient deficiencies.
  • Bottle gourd rootstock imparts salt, alkalinity, and flooding tolerance, improving water use efficiency in watermelon and enhancing nutrient uptake in melon.
  • Fig-leaf gourd exhibits low soil temperature tolerance, benefiting crops like cucumber, watermelon, melon, and summer squash.
  • Commercial rootstocks like PS 1313 (Cucurbita maxima × Cucurbita moschata) result in 60% more marketable yield in watermelon and mitigate negative effects of boron, copper, cadmium, and manganese toxicity in tomatoes.
Yield Improvement
  • Vegetable grafting has been proven to enhance the yield and quality of crops. For instance, pumpkin rootstock led to a 27% increase in marketable yield on cucumber seedlings.
  • Watermelon grafted onto bottle gourd exhibited significant yield improvements ranging from 27% to 106% compared to non-grafted plants.
  • However, grafting watermelon on certain Cucurbita spp. Rootstocks resulted in a reduction of fruit yield by 127% to 240%.

Step-by-Step Guide to Vegetable Grafting

Vegetable grafting is a technique used to combine the desirable traits of two different plants, known as the rootstock and the scion.

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Selection of Rootstock and Scion
  • Choose a compatible rootstock and scion combination based on their disease resistance, tolerance to abiotic stresses, and desired traits.
  • For example, selecting a rootstock resistant to soil-borne diseases and a scion with desirable fruit characteristics can improve plant performance.
Preparation of Seedlings
  • Start by growing rootstock and scion seedlings separately in suitable growing conditions.
  • Rootstock seedlings should have one true leaf, while scion seedlings should have two true leaves.
  • Ensure the health and vigor of the seedlings before grafting.
Grafting Technique Selection
  • Different grafting techniques can be used, such as splice, hole insertion, tongue approach, or cleft grafting.
  • The choice of technique depends on the plant species, available resources, and the grafting success rate desired.
Grafting Process
  • Make a clean, angled cut on the rootstock stem and remove one cotyledon, keeping the other firmly attached.
  • Remove the apical meristem in the remaining cotyledon to prevent shoot growth.
  • Create a hole in the rootstock or make a slit for the scion insertion, ensuring proper alignment and contact between the vascular tissues.
  • Insert the scion into the rootstock, ensuring the cut surfaces match and the tissues are in contact.
  • Use grafting clips, tubes, or other aids to secure the graft union and provide support during healing.

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Unlocking the Success: Combating Stress and Increasing Yield through Vegetable Grafting (6)
Post-Grafting Care
  • Place the grafted plants in a healing chamber or a controlled environment with high humidity and appropriate temperature.
  • Provide darkness for the initial days to promote callus formation and graft union development.
  • Maintaining optimal humidity, light, and temperature conditions ensures successful healing and growth.
Transplanting and Maintenance
  • Once the grafts have healed and the plants have acclimatized, transplant them into the desired growing environment.
  • Follow regular plant care practices, including irrigation, fertilization, and pest management, to support healthy growth and development.

Maximizing Yield through Vegetable Grafting

  1. Disease Resistance: Grafting onto disease-resistant rootstocks helps protect plants from soil-borne pathogens, such as fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt, and root nematodes. This reduces crop losses and promotes healthier plant growth, resulting in higher yields.
  2. Abiotic Stress Tolerance: Grafted plants exhibit improved tolerance to abiotic stresses like extreme temperatures, drought, salinity, and flooding. By grafting onto stress-tolerant rootstocks, plants can withstand unfavorable environmental conditions better, increasing yield stability.
  3. Improved Nutrient Uptake: Certain rootstocks can enhance nutrient uptake and improve plant nutrition. This promotes optimal growth, development, and ultimately higher yields.
  4. Early Harvest and Extended Production: Grafted plants often exhibit precocity, allowing for earlier harvests and extended production periods. This gives farmers the advantage of a longer and more profitable growing season.
  5. Enhanced Vigor and Fruit Quality: Grafted plants generally display increased vigor, resulting in larger and healthier plants. This vigor translates into higher fruit quality, including improved size, color, flavor, and marketability.
  6. Reduction of Yield-Limiting Factors: Vegetable grafting can mitigate yield-limiting factors such as soil-borne diseases, nematodes, and abiotic stresses. By addressing these factors, grafting helps optimize plant growth conditions, maximizing yield potential.


Vegetable grafting is a valuable technique for combating stress factors and increasing yield in vegetable cultivation. By harnessing disease resistance, stress tolerance, and improved nutrient uptake, grafting offers a pathway to unlocking success and maximizing crop productivity sustainably and efficiently.

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What are the benefits of grafting vegetables? ›

Advantages of using grafted vegetables include better resistance to pathogens, drought and other environmental stresses, more vigorous growth, and higher yield. These advantages also allow for fewer inputs such as pesticide applications and an extended harvest season.

What is vegetable grafting? ›

Vegetable grafting is a modern technique used to control soil pathogens in which vegetative growth of weak root combination is grafted on selected rootstocks of disease and pest resistance and adaptive to environmental changes.

What vegetables can be grafted together? ›

Aubergines, chillies, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, squashes and sweet peppers can be grafted onto suitable rootstocks. Grafted vegetable plants can have greater vigour and/or more resistance to soil-borne diseases and pests such as nematodes.

What is the effect of grafting? ›

Grafting can affect various quality aspects of vegetables. Rootstock/scion combinations should be carefully selected for specific climatic and geographic conditions. Appropriate selection can help control soilborne diseases and also increase yield and improve fruit quality.

What are the two advantages of grafting? ›

Besides combatting diseases like the Pepino Virus, grafting has other added benefits, such as increasing yields, crop quality, extended growing seasons, and improved flavor.

What are 3 examples of grafting? ›

Side grafting: Roses. Splice crafting: Cactus species. Saddle grafting: Rhododendron and Lilac. Flat grafting: All cacti.

Which grafting method is best? ›

Budding is becoming the grafting method of choice in fruit tree production. Budding uses incisions rather than major cuts, which takes much less time and makes it more economical. Budding also uses individual buds per rootstock, so more plants can be produced.

Why is grafting better than cutting? ›

The reason why many fruit trees are grafted is because they do not grow true to seed. Only by grafting the scion wood (a cutting of a branch) from the original tree onto another rootstock (the base another tree with roots) can you ensure that you get the same fruit each time.

Which plants Cannot be grafted? ›

Monocots cannot be grafted as they lack the cambium tissue. The dicot plants have the cambium tissue which is a meristematic tissue and is present in the vascular bundles of the plant. This tissue has a regeneration capacity because of which it can form new tissue at the time of grafting.

What types of plants Cannot be grafted? ›

Compatibility of scion and stock: Because grafting involves the joining of vascular tissues between the scion and rootstock, plants lacking vascular cambium, such as monocots, cannot normally be grafted.

What plants work well with grafting? ›

There are many types of plants and trees that can be grafted including fruit trees such as apple, cherry, and citrus, and other trees like birch, beech, ash, spruce, and cedar varieties. Flowering and vegetable plants can be grafted also, specifically, roses and tomatoes are commonly grafted plants.

What are two disadvantages of grafting? ›

In spite of its advantages, there are some problems associated with grafting. These include the additional cost, graft incompatibility that commonly appears to cause physiological disorders, and reductions in yield, fruit quality, and flower formation.

What does successful grafting depend on? ›

Grafting success requires three elements: a) good technique, b) healthy plant material - both scion and rootstock, and c) a sharp knife. A sharp knife has no substitute. Almost any pocket knife that takes and holds a sharp edge will do but regular grafting knives are recommended.

What is the conclusion of grafting? ›

Conclusion. Grafting can identify regions where there are no occupancy and correct the poor class assignments which increases the accuracy.

What is a fun fact about grafting? ›

Fun Facts:

You can graft almost any plant. It's an age-old method of combining different varietals and also repairing or saving a plant. You can even use tomato rootstocks to graft to other types of plants. For example, you can graft a cucumber scion (top) to a tomato rootstock.

What conditions are needed for successful grafting? ›

Five requirements for making a successful graft
  • The rootstock and scion must be compatible. ...
  • The cambial layers of the rootstock and scion must be closely aligned and in contact.
  • The graft must be done at the appropriate time of year. ...
  • Grafts must be protected from drying.

What is essential for grafting? ›

Solution: Cambium is essential for grafting in plants because cambia is consists of. meristematic cells of stock and scion fuse together.

What is grafting and benefits? ›

Grafting can help and creates a physical hybrid between two plants by attaching the top (shoot) portion of one plant to the root system of another to get the best traits of both plants.

What are the 4 basic grafting techniques? ›

Several different methods are commonly used for grafting plants. These include cleft grafting, inlay grafting, four-flap grafting, and whip grafting.

What are the 4 types of grafts? ›

The four types of grafts are: (i) allograft (ii) autograft (iii) xenograft (iv) isograft.

What are the steps of grafting? ›

Regardless of the type, there are three major steps in performing the graft – preparing the stock and the scion, inserting the scion and lining up the cambium of the scion with the cambium in a stock, and securing the graft by wrapping it with grafting tape or another suitable tape and sealing it with grafting wax or ...

What is the most important factor in grafting success? ›

For grafted trees compatibility between the rootstock/scion is the most essential factor for their better performance and longevity.

How do you know if grafting is successful? ›

In grafting by approach success is considered to be attained when the two plants grow together in an enduring manner, so that if separated a wound is formed. The graft proper is said to succeed when after having lived a certain length of time on the stock the scion fructifies and produces fertile seeds.

Does grafting increase yield? ›

It is important in the management of soil-borne diseases, and reports suggest that grafting with viable rootstocks can enhance crop growth and yield.

Why does grafting fail? ›

Graft failure can be caused by factors such as: Poor formation of the graft union due to problems with anatomical mismatching (when the rootstock and scion tissue is not lined up properly), poor grafting technique, adverse weather conditions and poor hygiene. Mechanical damage to the graft union. Graft incompatibility.

What are 3 disadvantages of grafting? ›

1 Answer
  • It requires skilled workers then only the grafting become successful.
  • This method also consumes much time and effort.
  • The plants selecting for the grafting must be always close relative even then the success depends.
  • The number of plants that are produced by the grafting process is always limited.

Which is better grafted or rooted? ›

Most grafted roses do not live past the 15 year mark, whereas own root roses can live for half a century or better. Own root roses do take a little longer to get established, but once they are, tend to be hardier, able to handle stress better, and overall be a healthier plant.

How long do you leave grafting tape on? ›

As conveyed earlier, graft tape is recommended to be removed within 25 to 35 days of plantation. Always remove the plastic tape–BY HAND–by carefully untangling it in a circular motion. Do not unnecessarily pull the tape with a jerk or jolt. A sudden pull may shock the plant and damage the graft union irrevocably.

What happens to a plant after grafting? ›

One striking example of this phenomenon occurs during grafting when two plants are cut and joined together. Tissues and vasculature regenerate around the cut site as the shoot (called the scion) and stock form a chimeric individual (Box 1, Fig.

Can you graft two different plants? ›

Plants of different families cannot be grafted successfully. Although it has been reported that relatively short-lived grafts of herbaceous plants of different families have been made, there is no successful practice for commercial or home grafting of woody plants of different families.

Can you graft non woody plants? ›

Yes, this can be done, using herbaceous stems. This article tells how biology students can set up success- ful grafting demonstrations, using cherry tomato plants. Compatible herbaceous plant tissues grow together quickly, whereas grafting in woody stems just takes too long.

What are the limits of grafting? ›

Genetic limits of grafting

Therefore, grafting is generally limited to the dicotyledonous species in the angiosperms, and to gymnosperms. Plants more closely related botanically are more likely to produce a permanent, compatible graft union [4, 6].

Is grafting hard work? ›

If you graft one idea or system on to another, you try to join one to the other. Graft means hard work. His career has been one of hard graft.

Which type of graft has the best rate for success? ›

Autograft is considered the preferred procedure of choice for oral surgeons. Oral surgeons prefer this procedure because it has a higher success rate. Other procedures, such as allograft, can be successful, but a patient has a higher chance of success with autograft procedures.

Which of the following is most successful in graft order? ›

Final answer: Grafting is most successful in dicots.

Is A grafting permanent? ›

Allograft and xenograft skin grafts are usually temporary. They cover the damaged skin until the wound heals or the person grows enough healthy skin to use for a permanent skin graft.

What are the disadvantages of grafting? ›

Nursery graftingField grafting
Care of field stock rarely necessary.Labour intensive care of container plants.
Relatively fast growth and early flowering.Relatively slow growth and late flowering.
8 more rows

What are the 3 elements of successful grafting? ›

Grafting success requires three elements: a) good technique, b) healthy plant material - both scion and rootstock, and c) a sharp knife. A sharp knife has no substitute. Almost any pocket knife that takes and holds a sharp edge will do but regular grafting knives are recommended.

What three conditions are necessary for a successful grafting? ›

The extrinsic conditions which it is necessary to observe in grafting by approach are summarized as follows: (1) A temperature sufficient for the production of the meristem, (2) the prevention of all conditions which cause rotting or drying of the cicatrizing meristem, and (3) maintenance of adherence of the wounds by ...

How successful is grafting? ›

Grafting has a low success rate when performed with plants in the same family but in different genera. And grafting between different families is rare. Cambium alignment and pressure: The vascular cambium of the scion and stock should be tightly pressed together and oriented in the direction of normal growth.

What is the best grafting method? ›

Budding is becoming the grafting method of choice in fruit tree production. Budding uses incisions rather than major cuts, which takes much less time and makes it more economical. Budding also uses individual buds per rootstock, so more plants can be produced.

What are the 5 types of grafting? ›

Different types of traditional grafting methods. (a) Cut grafting, (b) cleft grafting, (c) crown grafting, (d), splice grafting, (e) tongue grafting, (f) approach grafting. The success of the graft depends on the compatibility between the rootstock and scion.

What is the main reason for grafting? ›

Grafting has been used for fruit tree propagation for centuries. Grafting allows us to preserve and extend the life of fruiting trees that are of value to a grower. Most apples need to be cross-pollinated (from a different variety) in order to set fruit.


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