As important as knowing its cultivation is knowing how to reproduce it and cassava is not a complicated plant.
Reproduction of cassava
There are different methods and techniques to obtain cassava plant:
- Cultivation por seed. It has the disadvantage that each of the two copies of the genetic material have different biological efficacy and on top of that pollination is crossed so there are many possibilities of obtaining non-viable plants. This system is only viable if we use certified seed which will give us the assurance that they are free of pests and diseases and their genetics are suitable for the correct cultivation.
- In vitro culture. It consists of obtaining a certain portion of plant tissue, which is grown under aseptic conditions and in a culture medium of defined composition. This technique recovers the vigor and productivity of the plants, and in turn, contributes to the production of high quality seed free of viruses and any other pathogen. It is used to obtain improved varieties that will then bereproduced by stakes.
- Cultivation by stake. This technique of asexual reproduction is the most used and consists of obtaining portions of stem taken from the middle part of an adult plant (before it begins to tuberize) of a length between 20-30 cm and with 5-6 viable buds. We should not take the cuttings of very young plants since the material would be very fresh and would be very exposed to the attack of pests and diseases; on the other hand, if we use old plants the viability of the buds and the development of the shoots would not occur or this would beless. The ideal is to cut the stakes one or two days before planting; healthy plants are chosen, the stems are cut and immersed for ten minutes in a fungicidal-insectid solution; once the 10 minutes have passed, we take them out, dry them and store them in the shade. If the stakes have to be storedfor more than two days they will be located in a dry, shaded and upright place to prevent them from germinating.
If we do not have enough material to make stakes of 20 cm we can make them one or two cm and introduce them in a small pot with substrate.
- Cultivation by axillary shoots. It is the ideal method when we do not have enough stakes and we need many plants. It is based on stimulating the budding of the axillary buds of the stakes in order to obtain shoots.
- We cut stakes of about 20 cm in length, disinfect them as we have already seen and put them in a horizontal position on trays that will contain peat or a mixture of soil and sand at the ratio 2/3; peat has the advantage of having a small content of plant hormones that stimulate sprouting. We use the substrate we use in each crop we will use new substrate. We will water them all the hours of light for ten or fifteen seconds by microsprinkling.
- Thirty days after putting the stakes in the trays with substrate they will have emitted from 2 to three shoots eachof a length of 20 cm. We take a knife, disinfect it and cut the shoots with a length of 10-12 cm, leaving only the last two leaves; immediately we introduce them in a glass with water to avoid cavitations in the vascular vessels. Within 10-15 minutes of being introduced into water the latex secretion will have healed the cut by plugging the wound. We take them out, disinfect them and put them in a glass jar with water and cover them with a plastic; to avoid the appearance of bacteria we will change the water in the jars every day.
- Thirty days after having the plants in the glass jars, the plants will have emitted adventitious roots and we will plant them in pots or in small cultivation bags, putting them in greenhouse conditions, that is, they are not directly exposed to the sun’s rays or winds, and with a relative humidity between 70-75% to avoid excessive transpiration. We can start fertilizing them.