Propagation of Pelargonium sidoides from root cuttings

R. Kleynhans, S.B. Khoza
Pelargonium sidoides is an important South African traditional medicinal plant used to treat lung infections, tuberculosis, sore throat, fatigue, weakness of the body and dysentery. The roots of P. sidoides are the major plant part used, resulting in destructive harvesting of plant material. This linked to overharvesting of plants from the wild has resulted in localized population decline. Seeds can be used for propagation, but vegetative propagation is advantageous as it results in clonal material with similar genetic and quality properties. The effect of root diameter and root orientation on the root cutting success of P. sidoides was thus investigated. Root orientation (vertical or horizontal) and three root diameter sizes were tested in a randomized complete block design with three replicates and 5 root cuttings as experimental unit. Smaller root cuttings (0.5-1.0 cm diameter) rooted and sprouted better than medium (1.1-1.5 cm diameter) and large (1.5-2.0 cm diameter) root cuttings. Horizontally planted root cuttings, sprouted and rooted better than vertically planted root cuttings, especially where small and medium diameter root cuttings were concerned. Horizontal root cuttings also had a better root and shoot quality than vertically planted cuttings. Root cuttings of 0.5-1.0 cm in diameter planted in a horizontal orientation can thus be recommended for successful vegetative propagation of P. sidoides.
Kleynhans, R. and Khoza, S.B. (2020). Propagation of Pelargonium sidoides from root cuttings. Acta Hortic. 1287, 57-62
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1287.8
root cutting diameter, root cutting orientation

Acta Horticulturae