and allowed to be used for vegetative propagation is called mother
bush. Vegetatively propagated progenies from the cuttings of a single
mother bush form a clone.
is the multiplication area, maintained separately for each clone.
Nucleus plot should be established at a convenient place where constant
supervision is possible. The soil should be fertile and well drained.
Shade is not required for the nucleus area.
A nucleus plot has to be built up for each clone to be used by (i)
using an area already planted with the clone, (ii) planting a special
area with the clone or (iii) converting an existing tea area by
A mature nucleus bush can give 50-300 good cuttings in a year. A
minimum of 250 bushes must be allotted to supply cuttings for 1
In plains vigorous bushes can give cuttings twice a year (e.g. autumn
& spring ).
Nucleus plot is manured with 2:1:2 or 2:1:3 NPK mixture @ 120-140
kg N/ha when cuttings are taken twice in a year. If cuttings are
taken once in a year, 100-120 kg N as 2:1:2 NPK mixture is sufficient.
Half the quantity may be applied on moist ground in early spring
and the balance half in June/July.
Skiffed primaries are carried to the propagation
area either in loose bundles or placed loosely in baskets, without
exposing to sun.
b) Clones differ in growth and flushing behaviour,
which may also be influenced by pruning time, soil and climate.
The optimum time of taking cuttings can, therefore vary in different
c) Cuttings taken from the primaries should be preferred to
cuttings taken from the secondary laterals developed from axillary
buds of primaries.
d) Technique : The stems are tested by flexing between
thumb and fingers; the soft portion at the top and rigid brown portion
at the bottom are not suitable. Good cuttings come from the flexible
middle portion. Marginal cuttings can be used, but must be planted
e) Tool : Anything really sharp, which does not bruise
the stem and is convenient to operate, can be used.
f) Internode : Best to have single leaf 3-4 cm long
cuttings with about 2.5 cm of stem below the node and about 0.5
cm of stem above it. Top cut is given immediately above the axillary
bud and parallel to the leaf blade. Make the basal cut obliquely
more or less parallel to the leaf blade. Plantings should be done
soon after the cuttings are made.
Setting the cuttings
Soil surface is pierced with a 5 cm nail or thin dibber. The
hole made should be little shorter than the stem of the cutting.
The direction of the hole should allow the leaf to stand nearly
b) The cutting is inserted so as not to damage the
cut point and the soil near the cutting is compressed with finger
tips to eliminate air.
c) The soil surface should be moist and kept moist.
d) Shade excluding atleast 50 to 60 percent of day
light is necessary at this stage - north light is ideal.
When setting cuttings direct into sleeves,
the point of stem should be on the centre line of the sleeve cylinder.
ii) To produce 'pretreated' cuttings, 5x6 cm triangular
serves well. The cuttings are ready when the cut bark is
covered with a small ring of callus.