Plants reproduce by vegetative fragmentation in nature and in controlled environments. For instance, when a potato is cut into sections, those sections with "eyes" will grow another potato plant and produce tubers. Another example of fragmentation is a jade plant leaf that drops from the plant and produces another plant. Gardeners force fragmentation to generate more plants for the garden. In nature, weeds and water plants survive animal disturbances and gardening methods through fragmentation.
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Landscape plants grow from fragmentation under controlled conditions. For example, a stem cutting from a forsythia or other shrub grows another plant when treated with a synthetic rooting hormone and planted in a sterile growing environment. The process is slightly more complicated, but the result is a clone of the original plant. Other plants that grow from fragmentation include "Thuja" arbor vitae, boxwood shrubs, blueberry bushes and Virginia creeper. It is possible for sections of shrubs and trees to grow another plant.
Geraniums grow from fragmentation. Commercial growers take advantage of process to quickly produce a large number of saleable plants. Azaleas and rhododendrons root and grow from fragmentation. Other flowering plants which grow from a fragment include wisteria, butterfly bush and jasmine. Natural fragmentation occurs in flowering vines like vinca and honeysuckle. If you toss pruned cuttings onto a compost pile, new plants may grow from the cuttings.
Aquatic plants that live in ponds and streams are subjected to fragmentation due to fish and other animals feeding on the vegetation. As the section of the plant is pulled from the parent plant, the fish may only eat a small piece; the rest floats away. The nutrients in the water aid the fragment in growing new roots. Eurasion watermilfoil and hydrilla are common water weeds that reproduce through fragmentation. Other plants include parrotfeather millfoil and Brazilian elodia.
Invasive weeds use fragmentation to regenerate more plants. Saltcedar is illegal to grow in Colorado because the weed invades and depletes the soil of water. According to the city of Boulder website, saltcedar grows from a small fragment and can take over an area quickly. Dandelion and thistle grow from a fragment of the tap root; remove the entire root system to rid the area of the weeds.
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