Grafting one plant onto another allows very productive, but delicate, plant varieties to be grown on a base of hardy root stock. Several kinds of grafting--including clefting, bridging and side limb insertion--must be covered with grafting sealant to keep out microorganisms that might infect and kill the new plant.
Commercial preparations of grafting sealant are readily available, but you can also make a simple and effective grafting wax out of commonly available ingredients.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Metal container
- Heat source
- Raw linseed oil or tallow
- Powdered rosin
- Stirring stick
- Resealable plastic bags
Heat one part raw linseed oil or tallow in a metal container to 51.7 degrees Celsius. Small amounts can be heated on a household hob, while a propane burner works well for larger amounts.
Add two parts beeswax (by volume) to the heated tallow or linseed oil. Allow the beeswax to melt.
Add four parts powdered rosin (by volume) to the melted mixture of tallow or linseed oil and beeswax. Stir until completely mixed.
Fill a bucket halfway with cold water and pour the grafting wax mixture into the bucket to cool. Remove the wax from the water and form it into a ball.
Pull and knead the grafting wax between your hands until it turns a uniform light tan or yellow. Separate it into 1/4-pound balls. Place each ball in a resealable plastic bag for storage until it's needed.
Tips and warnings
- There's no need to melt the grafting sealant before use. It's often called "hand wax," because you can simply work it in your hands until it's pliable, then press it over the grafted area to seal it.
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