Plant Propagation (Padapa vivaksha)

Plant Propagation (Padapa vivaksha)

Plant Propagation (Padapa vivaksha) (6)

Padapa Vivaksha (Method of Propagation) 

The term “padapa” means a group of plants, which assimilate food and nutrients mainly through their roots. Among this groups, some are propagated through seeds, stem and rhizome. This section deals with plant propagation techniques according to Ayurveda / Vrikshayurveda.

Plant Propagation using seeds (Bijaruha) is a very common method. This has been referred in Rigveda, Atharvaveda and also mentioned by Manu. Propagation using bulbous roots and underground sterm has been described in Arthasastra. Propagation through cuttings (Skandhaja) is another method mentioned in Brihat Samhita and Arthasastra. In Buddha Ghosha, the different methods of propagation have been mentioned as tubers (Mulabijam), cuttings (Skandhaja)/grafting, budding (Agrabijam)/apical parts, leaves (Parnayoni) and seeds (Bijam).

The method of propagation mentioned in different classical texts of Ayurveda and Vrikshayurveda are shown in the figure below.

Method of propagation of selected seeds


Plant propagation in ancient treatises


Surapala has described the propagation of some specific plant species like Chathuppa, Dadimam (Punica granatum) and Kanaveeram (Nerium indicum). Chathuppa is propagated through its hardy stem / rhizome portion (middle lower part), measuring 18 angulas (18 x 1.89 cm = 34.02 cm) of length, smeared with cow dung powder. Three fourth part of the stem should be placed in the pit filled with a mixture of sandy soil, mud and irrigated regularly. This is to be planted during the month of Karthika (November – December), preferably in the paddy field. After two months, when the tender leaves appear, they should be uprooted and replanted in a suitable place during the month of Ashada (June – July). Dadimam (Punica granatum) and Kanaveeram (Nerium indicum) should be propagated using stem. The cut portion of both sides of stem are smeared with cow dung. Then the stem is bend so that both cut ends are inserted in the soil. This is followed by irrigation for two months. When tender leaves appear, the cutting should be cut at the mid portion so that both ends grows into trees. (Surapala).

Surapala recommends planting of the Lodhra tree (Symplocos cochinchinensis) in and around the plantation crops to protect and promote the health of the crops (Surapala). The association of this particular plant species in the plantation crops is to be studied scientifically.

Vacha (Acorus calamus) is recommended as a fungicide to treat fungal infection. Smear a paste prepared from Vidanga (Embelia ribes) and honey over the seed, milk, ghee, cow-dung, Vidanga (Embelia ribes), Usera (Chrysopogon zizanioides), Tila seeds (Sesamum indicum), honey, lakshura (Saccharum officinarum) seeds, Bruhati (Solanum indicum) seeds or ash of the whole plant are recommended as seed treatment before they are planted. Soaking the seeds with milk for a period of 5 days followed by sin drying is specifically recommended.

Procedure adopted 

After sowing seed, the bed should be mulched with paddy straw. Then it should be sprinkled with a mixture of milk and water until the seeds germinate. After germination, the straw should remove from the bed and exposed to direct sunlight. (Sarangadhara padhathi) 


In Vriskhayurveda, rules for watering is also clearly indicated. In summer season watering is done twice during sunrise and sunset. In rainy season, once a day and on other seasons, irrigation should be done when required. Immediately after planting the trees, watering is recommended in the morning and evening.