Rapid Multiplication

A promising new selection should be multiplied as rapidly as possible in order to provide material for various tests, and registration. A useful rapid multiplication technique involves green stem cuttings. A piece of potato stem is used as a cutting. It is put in a mist propagator for about five days until roots develop (photo in preparation). It is then planted in soil, in a pot, still in a mist propagator, until vigorous growth commences.

In the meanwhile, the stem from which the cutting was taken will produce two new side-shoots, which can also be used as cuttings. These parent stems will then develop four new shoots, and so on until the parent plant looks like a candelabra (photo in preparation). This technique has even been called the 'candelabra technique'. The rooted cuttings will themselves produce cuttings, and begin to resemble candelabra. All these plants will also produce tubers that can be used for rapid multiplication, in both the greenhouse and the field.

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