Growing two plants together is a possible manner but of course, it has its own significant ways of doing so. It can be done by potting or grafting, the latter is a technique of combining two parts of different plants to grow as one.
While you can successfully grow plants with these two techniques, not all plants are compatible. Here is a deeper explanation of everything about growing plants together.
- Can Growing Two Plants Together Work?
- What Are the Considerations Before Mixing Plants Together in Pot?
- How To Graft Two Plants Together?
Can Growing Two Plants Together Work?
Yes, you can grow two plants together by potting them in the same container or grafting them. When potting two plants in the same container, you can plant multiple seeds in the growing medium, or you can graft them, where you place different seeds in one container.
On another note, you can also grow a new tree from a stem without cutting it from the parent plant through air layering. Air layering involves manipulating a plant to grow a new root section off of the side of another stem.
The method of plant growth is suitable for plants that do not grow roots from their cuttings. The process requires you to make a one-inch cut on the side of a one or two-year-old straight stem. Then, apply a rooting hormone on the wound to encourage root growth.
– Potting in the Same Container
Although you can successfully grow multiple plants together, you must remember that not all are compatible. Some factors to consider when doing companion planting are the plant’s growth requirements, size, and the size of the pot. Potting plants together also requires you to prune, repot and fertilize regularly.
You can grow many plants in the same pot; however, growing two or three plants in the same container is advisable to reduce competition for space, nutrients, and water. A number of big plants when placed in the same pot may look stunning at the start, but competition for nutrients increases as they mature.
To plants trees together by grafting, you must also look for compatible plants. The type of plant also matters. Since grafting entails cutting a part of the plant and growing it on another plant, ensure you take care of them to heal their wounds.
The other way to mix plants together is by grafting. Grafting is the act of joining two plants for them to grow as one. The farmer cuts a part of one plant, either the stem or branch and places it on the other plant’s trunk. The upper part of the graft is called the scion, and the lower part, which becomes the root system, is the under stock.
However, you can only graft compatible plants. Most plants that can be grafted together are related botanically and are of the same species. For example, farmers graft fruits and flowers to get new varieties. If you graft incompatible plants, they could grow poorly or die.
What Are the Considerations Before Mixing Plants Together in Pot?
Before mixing plants together, the considerations are that you should see if they are the compatibility of the plants, and the pot size in that you will place them. The speed they will grow, the number of seeds you will place, and lastly, the increase of the requirements.
– Compatibility of the Plants
Go for compatible plants when looking for the best plants to group together. These should have almost similar water, nutrient, and space requirements. Growing one plant that requires lots of water together with a drought-resistant plant can be an issue. It can lead to root rot and the death of one of the plants.
Incompatible plants compete for more nutrients, sunlight or space, and other requirements, killing the weaker plant. Also, avoid growing invasive plants together. You can take the example of how mint and aloe vera are incompatible because mint plants are invasive; on the other hand, aloe vera also has a high growth rate, meaning they outgrow the pot quickly, which makes them contradictory.
The most common houseplants potted together are peace lilies, coleus, or dracaena; if you are wondering which house plants can be potted together. These have similar growth requirements like average light needs, less watering, and the same humidity levels. Growing these houseplants together creates a statement because they produce different flowers.
You can look for more companion plants, like planting lettuce together with peppers, spinach, and onions or planting melons in the same planting area with marigolds and herbs, because marigolds will repel the insects away from the plant that is next to it. Which would have common requirements or ones that will help the growth of the other, for instance when you plant some celery, the flavor of the compatible plant would increase also. In addition to one helping the other, like repelling the pests away.
– The Pot Size
Plants need more space to spread their roots, more soil for nutrients, and a good amount of water to keep them alive. As a result, you should not compromise on the size of the pot when growing plants together and in a harmonious situation where the matter is not invasive one upon the other.
Growing them in a small pot creates a scarcity of all growth requirements, including nutrients, water, and space. These plants grow significantly with time, and their roots won’t fit in the pot, and they would also cause weakness to the other plant. To elaborate further, when grown in a small pot, some plant varieties become root bound while, leaves and branches crowd the area, reducing air circulation in the growth medium.
For tree planting, choose a bigger pot if you grow them together since their foliage grows faster than that of other plants. Alternatively, choose two compatible plants with few growth requirements if you have a small container, and this would be more facile for you and for the plants to show a healthy companionship.
You should not plant the seeds close to each other because they will grow bigger after germination and will actually take up more space. As a result, you should aim to leave space, which is a few inches from one seed to the other.
– Speed of Growing
You cannot choose fast-growing plants in the same pot because you will be required to repot them after a few months. Choosing slow-growing plants will reduce the potting requirements because they take longer to grow an inch taller or wider. However, ensure both plants have a slow growth rate.
Besides, slow-growing plants have fewer growth requirements; hence, their compatibility rate would be more significant. They take in little water, fewer nutrients, and little space, meaning you don’t need to check up on them constantly.
– Quantity of Seeds
Most farmers cultivate plants in the same pot to maximize space. If you want to get quality plants over quantity, avoid planting too many in the same planting pot. The reason is that as you would be crowding the plants in the same pot makes them compete for nutrients, killing some and reducing product quality.
On the other hand, if your planters are small, you can grow two to three plants, and they wouldn’t take up much space. Ensure you look at their growth rate, growth requirement, and size. Even if you grow indoor plants with few conditions, do not overcrowd them in a growing medium.
– Increase in the Requirements
When you cultivate plants together, their needs increase. Although you could mix plants with fewer water requirements, growing them in the same pot requires you to water them frequently.
Every plant takes up water, leading to fast drying of the soil. Lack of moisture can lead to a slow death of your mixed plants; however, be careful with the watering frequency not to make the soil soggy, causing root rot. You should also make draining holes on the planter to allow excess water to flow.
Mixing plants increases plant-care needs because they are likely to compete for water, nutrients, and space, meaning you must check to see if they need your help. Since the plants take in more nutrients, you can fertilize the soil. Fertilizer ensures that plants have a healthy growth rate.
On the same note, you should also prune them more often to reduce overcrowding. Pruning plants ensures there is enough air circulation for their growth for the different species to live in peaceful circumstances.
Lastly, mixing plants in a pot will increase repotting needs due to overcrowding of roots and leaves. Transplant the crops to rejuvenate them, and make sure you are changing the potting soil also ensures enough nutrients and a bigger space for speedy growth.
How To Graft Two Plants Together?
To graft two plants together, you must first prepare the stock and the scion of both plants. Then you should cut the stock separately, and cut the scion on its own. Lastly, make sure that you would fit them both in the same pot, and grow them.
If you have been wondering how to combine two plants together through grafting, it is an easy process, that needs precision to have successful growth. However, although it involves slicing a piece of one plant and placing it on another plant stem to grow together, you must do it carefully and with sanitized tools.
– Prepare the Stock and Scion
Select a fresh scion measuring three to four inches with at least two buds. The two plants you are grafting should be closely related to increase chances of growth. For instance, you can choose one type of apple or flower and graft it to another kind to create a new variety.
The under-stock should be older than the scion or be of the same size; however, note that the scion should not be bigger than the stock, this would subject you to different complications. When preparing the parts, make smooth cutting on both of them without waves. It helps to stick the two parts together and faster healing.
– Cut the Stock
Once you identify the plants to graft together, make a two-inch slanting cut on the stock’s stem, about six inches above the ground. In this case, note that you must use a clean and sharp razor blade or knife and wear latex gloves to avoid introducing germs to the plant. You should then cut another half an inch straight down the slope-cut stock to make a whip-and-tongue system.
– Cut the Scion
The next step is preparing the scion for grafting, and here you should make similar cuts to the ones made on the stock to ensure the two parts fit perfectly. When cutting the scion, you should also consider the whip-and-tongue system because it creates a stronger graft. This is a matter to take into consideration since your aim is to have a strong and a healthy growth of the plants together.
– Fit the Stock and Scion
Bring the parts together by sliding and fitting them in the cuts, and remember to align the cuts closely and force them to be as close as possible. Also, ensure the lower tip of the scion fits perfectly in the stock and does not hang.
Next, wrap the combined stems to keep the graft tight and prevent infections and drying. You can use a rubber budding strip, plastic or grafting tape to keep them secure. You can also choose a wrapping material that decays naturally. If not, ensure you cut it when you notice new growth.
Now, you know all about the different ways of planting different or similar plants in the same pot together. To summarize this article, remember these few points;
- You can grow plants together in the same pot or by grafting them. When grafting plants, ensure you decide on those closely related botanically.
- If you grow in the same pot, consider the pots and plant’s size and be picky with the plant’s growth requirements. They should have similar growth requirements like watering and lighting.
- The best plants to pot together are the slow-growing ones with low growth requirements.
- You must fertilize, prune, and water plants in the same pot more frequently to ensure proper growth.
- When grafting plants, decide on closely related ones to increase their chances of survival.
Now that you know the two ways to plant trees together, and what plants can be potted together, which method would you consider?
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