29th Jul 2021
How to Propagate Boysenberries from Tissue Culture
Boysenberries are a beautiful, but rather a complex plant due to their hybrid nature. Even though several propagation methods exist, only a couple are actually applicable to Boysenberries with tissue culture multiplication being the most efficient one.
Beginner gardeners usually don’t know much about tissue culture propagation, so today we’ll talk about what it is, and how it’s supposed to be done. Without any further ado, let’s dig straight in.
What is propagation?
Essentially, propagation is a process of growing new plants from various sources, such as seeds or cuttings of the plant. Some of the most common propagation methods include using cuttings, stem cuttings, tip cuttings, leaf-cutting, plant division, and layering; these techniques aren’t suitable for propagating Boysenberries, though.
Propagation can be either sexual (using seeds or spores for reproduction via sowing) or asexual – tissue culture is the most notable method of asexual propagation, followed by grafting. Device-aided propagation is also possible using heated propagators or propagation mats.
Given that Boysenberry seeds will not produce a copy of their parent plant on most occasions, sexual propagation is the least option you would want to try. Boysenberry stems, on another hand, are richer with their parent DNA and are far more suitable for propagation.
Grafting (sometimes referred to as ‘graftage’) is a technique of joining two plants together. Grafting is a very efficient vegetative propagation method for fruit trees, although it’s not particularly great for propagating berries.
Tissue culture propagation
Tissue culture is one of the most efficient ‘In Vitro’ (‘glassed’) propagation methods when it comes to producing perfect replicas of parent plants. A piece of tissue is taken from the plant and should be transferred to a secure container called ‘medium’ (Growth medium). The nutrient mediums feature substances required by Boysenberries to grow in a sterile environment.
Agar plates are the most common nutrient mediums available to the general public while scientists normally have access to more specific (and more refined) nutrient mediums. Nutrient agar supports growth in most non-fastidious organisms, including Boysenberries.
This particular medium features small concentrations of peptone, yeast extract, distilled water, and sodium chloride.
Related: PCT Agar
Filtered air conditions
Boysenberries require completely sterile conditions to grow via tissue culture techniques. HEPA filters are normally used in science labs, but they’re also available for purchase on most online marketplaces. It’s imperative to keep your Boysenberry cells within the containment of nutrient mediums and away from “fresh” air, as any possible imbalance of chemicals or substances can hinder the process or kill the plant.
Benefits of Tissue Culture Propagation
Tissue culture propagation techniques are superior to certain traditional propagation techniques, as they offer exact clones of chosen plants with perfectly healthy flowers and fruits. They’re also able to rapidly clone produce fully matured plants while not having to rely on pollinators to create seeds.
Tissue culture techniques are similar to grafting, albeit on a smaller scale. While grafting is a technique that is more suitable for damaged trees and branches, tissue culture propagation can also be implemented to rejuvenate cells of damaged plant parts.
Plants that have significantly low odds of germinating (such as most plants belonging to the family of Orchids) can be propagated using tissue culture techniques.
Hybrid nature of Boysenberries
Boysenberries belong to a hybrid family of brambles, with its parent plants being blackberries, loganberries, and raspberries.
This basically means that traditional propagation methods may yield a different berry as the result; the percentage of the plant that would grow from such a process may be any of the three or a combination of them all.
Boysenberries Tissue Culture Breakdown
Now that we’ve covered the basics of tissue culture propagation, let’s have a quick rundown of steps you should take to cultivate additional Boysenberries using this agricultural technique:
Planting a bare root
Bare roots are “dormant”, which means that they’re not growing until they’re conjoined with another plant. The most ideal time to plant it is late winter or early spring. The root will help your Boysenberries grow healthier while protecting them from ground-based pests.
Pick a sunny spot
Boysenberries need at least six hours of sunlight daily, and due to their mushiness, they don’t particularly handle wet soil too well. Having enough sunlight for your Boysenberries means that they won’t drown if over-watered.
While most plants require fertilized soil to grow, Boysenberries won’t benefit from it. In fact, the early stages of the tissue culture propagation process have already bombed your Boysenberries with nutrients; absorbing more could potentially kill the plants.
Instead of fertilizing, use organic compost in small amounts. This will help both the root and the plant grow without harming them.
Now that you’ve prepared the soil, you can safely transplant the tissue culture Boysenberry. Purchased tissue culture plants are typically larger and more developed than bits grown in a home atmosphere; regardless, the transplanting process should be the same.
Put the plant into the hole along with the root and compost, water it gently, and fill the hole back up (same applies for indoor-grown Boysenberry tissue cultures).
Boysenberries can’t handle extremely cold temperatures
Whether you’ve planted your tissue culture Boysenberries during wintertime or if you live in a particularly cold area, you should consider re-transplanting the plants indoors or in a well-heated greenhouse.
Boysenberry primocanes (stems) are biennial while its root is perennial. Tissue culture propagation with perennial parts offers little chance of success, so use bits of canes instead. The cuttings should be taken ideally in spring to increase the plant’s odds of successful propagation.
Inspect your Boysenberry plant and cut at least two healthy canes. Burry the canes in your potting mixture, and keep them moist. It would take at least about a month for the cuttings to start growing with new leaves, which means that the Boysenberry has rooted.
Rooted Boysenberries self-propagate
Plant propagation is a natural process that can be aided by humans. Once Boysenberries take root, they will send runners to propagate new plants.
We hope that this brief guide was useful to you and that you have learned something new today on how to propagate boysenberries from tissue culture. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!
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