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nursery,in horticulture, an establishment or area for the propagation, breeding, and early cultivation of plants. In North America the term nursery originally specified a place where hardy woody plants, especially fruit trees, were started; but as the market for and interest in new varieties of garden plants increased, nurseries broadened their province to include the cultivation and development of all types of plants, including tropical varieties and annuals, and their sale either as seedlings ready for planting or as seeds. Until the advent of artificial irrigation and the use of vast greenhouses to control temperature, nurseries depended on natural conditions for success—as did the bulb nurseries of Holland, which were long famous for flowers and ornamental plants.
The modern nursery, staffed by horticulture experts and equipped with facilities for both experimental and mass production, supplies home gardeners, flower and fruit growers, farmers, and foresters with seeds and seedlings of specified qualities. Under nursery conditions varieties of plants have been bred that have greater yields and are hardier, longer blooming, and more disease resistant than those grown in the ordinary farm or garden, where controlled selection and hybridization is usually impractical (see plant breedingplant breeding,
science of altering the genetic pattern of plants in order to increase their value. Increased crop yield is the primary aim of most plant-breeding programs; advantages of the hybrids and new varieties developed include adaptation to new agricultural areas,
..... Click the link for more information. ). Graftinggrafting,
horticultural practice of uniting parts of two plants so that they grow as one. The scion, or cion, the part grafted onto the stock or rooted part, may be a single bud, as in budding, or a cutting that has several buds.
..... Click the link for more information. and buddingbudding,
type of grafting in which a plant bud is inserted under the bark of the stock (usually not more than a year old). It is best done when the bark will peel easily and the buds are mature, as in spring, late summer, or early autumn.
..... Click the link for more information. are also commonly used by nurseries to produce superior plants, and some plants are now propagated from cells grown in a sterile medium.