by Dennis Schmidt
Grafting is not hard to do but does require a bit of practice so you dont want to start trying it out on a really good frangipani, we have a lot of seedlings that are not up to our standard so we use them as root stock.
You will need a good sharp knife and some grafting tape, there are several kinds of tape but for this demo I used the common type available at most nurseries etc. I also use a piece of cutting board (pictured) to give me a solid area to do my cut.
Before starting have all your gear ready(pictured), select your root stock then select your grafting piece, you want to match the diameter of both as close as possible as this will give you a better connection and a less obvious graft. Pre cut a piece of grafting tape around 800mm long, it needs to be able to go up and down the graft at least twice. (Pics1 & 2)
Now cut you root stock at a sharp angle 50mm or so long and then do the same with your graft piece(pictured), it doesnt matter if it is a couple of mm longer than the root stock cut but you dont want it too short or more than 3 or 4 mm longer, check the 2 cuts against each other(pictured),there should be good sap flow too. (Pics 3,4 & 5)
Take your tape and wrap it just below the root stock cut, overlapping the end so you have a tag 40 mm long, this is to tie it after wrapping. If you have done it right you can hold it with just pressure so your other hand is free to handle the graft(pictured), hold your graft against the root stock and do 3 wraps up the graft, one at the bottom, one in the centre and one at the top , keep the pressure on the tape and you can now let go of the graft and it will not move(pictured). (Pic 6 & 7)
Adjust the graft so that it is squared off/even on the cut(this ensures good alignment of the cambium) then take hold of it again and start wrapping from the top down(make sure you have gone up over the top of the cut first), when you reach the bottom make sure you have covered the bottom of the cut then tie a double knot with the tag(pictured). If you have enough tape you can go up and down again as this will make the graft more solid. Now all you have to do is mark the rootstock so you know what you have grafted to it(pictured). (Pics 8 & 9)
I have included some pics of grafts I have done in the last 3 months(March 2012), they are healing very well, one even had a new inflo growing and flowering, I have also included a "bud" graft pic. (Pics 10,11,12 & 13)
The graft should take within a few weeks but you can leave the tape there for a while longer, I have had some tape on for almost a year before I removed it, it will stretch with the growth.