Grafting vs. marcotting: What’s the difference?

Image by Helger11 from Pixabay.

Growers can propagate plants in several ways. Grafting and marcotting are two widely used asexual propagation methods, each with its own set of types, procedures, benefits, and challenges.


Grafting is the act of joining two plants to form a hybrid of their best features into a single plant. It is also an efficient approach to grow plants that cannot be grown true to seeds.

This is performed by making slanting cuts in both a scion (young branch) and rootstock (base of a mother plant with a well-developed root system) then fusing their flesh in order for them to grow as one variety. 

Read: How to: Grafting

Marcotting or air layering

This is the process of rooting a new plant from a branch that is still linked to its mother plant.

It also entails making an open wound in the plant’s bark for root development. It is more labor-intensive than grafting because the cut needs to be wrapped with a medium such as vermicompost or sphagnum moss and kept moist as needed.

Marcotting begins with the development of roots, as opposed to grafting which just resumes the growth of a plant in an already existing rootstock.

Read: Papaya propagated by marcotting

To put it simply, grafting means merging two plants to form a new one, whereas marcotting is a way of inducing roots above ground, specifically on a branch of a plant.

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Vina Medenilla
Vina Medenilla is a content producer for Agriculture Monthly magazine. She is a graduate from Miriam College with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. Fashion, photography, and travel are some of the things she loves. For her, connection with nature is essential to one’s life.

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