The age of cuttings

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Cactus Jack, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Cactus Jack

    Cactus Jack Active Member

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    Plants die of old age, same as any other living organism. When you take a cutting, and it grows into a new plant, what age is the new plant? For example, if my plant is ten years old, and I grow a new plant from a cutting, is the new plant also ten years old?

    Does this mean that, if you buy a plant, there's no guarantee that it won't lose its teeth and require a hearing aid by next Christmas?
     
  2. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    Local greenhouses and most mail order venues tell us the only guarantee is that the plant is as named (and we both can give instances showing how good that guarantee can be).

    My plants ignore me most of the time, so I may not figure out when any of them need hearing aids.

    I think you're only as old as your roots, if you're plant stock.
     
  3. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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    The plant is 10 plus years old. All cellular things, have a set amount of cell replications. The countdown will continue. Hopefully cuttings, are taken when the plant is at a young vigorous stage.
     
  4. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    I am not a botanist but I see more logic in the statement "I think you're only as old as your roots, if you're plant stock".
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I would consider the age of the new plant to be the same as that of the cutting. The root material may be new but I suspect it would retain some characteristics of its true age. Citrus cuttings do not revert to a younger or juvenile form when they are rooted; such cuttings remain mature and are able to bear fruit.

    Interesting thought. This possibility did not occur to me but it sounds plausible. In which case, how can a cultivar be propagated indefinitely if its seed does not grow true to type? I considered vegetative propagation to be the means by which a plant achieves immortality. Those that have desirable qualities co-opt the aid of humans to ensure the continuation of their lineage.
     
  6. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    I know berry farms that rely on division of the plants they have eventually see decline, since the new plants have the same viruses and diseases of the original. It is a selling point of tissue culture replacements that the infant plants grew up without the diseased environment of a plant divided at the berry farm.

    However, Many cuttings outlive the mother plant, so it is not a case of one plant living out a normal lifespan. Or do you suppose my family has only one jade plant, which has a cumulative lifespan of 200 years?

    Next, are androids human?
     
  7. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    Sorry, but that isn't the case with plants. Many varieties of plants have been grown from cuttings for centuries. What are they counting down too? Look at grapes. If you are right, then the grapes that are clones of vines used in ancient Rome and before must be counting down from 10's of billions of divisions. Not plausible. Or algae that is some of the oldest genetic material on Earth?

    In Bonsai we don't say that a tree grown from a cutting is 200 years old just because the parent plant was. If you disagree then I have some ancient specimens to sell you. j/k :)

    Plant growth and animal growth are totally different animals (sorry, bad joke). They should not be confused. See "meristem".
     

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