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Past Articles Library | Plant Propagation | Propagate With Root Cuttings



Many fleshy-rooted plants can be propagated by taking root cuttings. This method is pathetically easy, and is done during the plant's dormant season. Simply lift the parent plant, and root prune it by cutting several (but not too many) of the large fleshy roots. Then replant the parent plant.

Cut each root into 2 to 3 inch sections keeping in mind which is the "up" portion of the root and which is the "down" portion! The "up" portion is the part closest to the parent plant, and the "down" portion is the part farthest down in the soil. This is important since they won't root upside down.

Dust the bottom of each cutting with powdered sulfur to control fungi, and plant in moist potting soil, so that the roots are just below the soil surface.

Cover with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of pea gravel or coarse sand. Keep cuttings in a frost-free area and water only when soil becomes dry.

Try not to keep the soil too wet, or the roots will rot. When new shoots appear, provide a mild dose of liquid fertilizer. Once plants are established, they can be transplanted to individual pots or moved into the garden.

Here is a list of plants that you can take root cuttings from:

  • Acanthus (bear's-breech)
  • Achillea (yarrow)
  • Anemone
  • Erodium
  • Gaillardia (blanket flower)
  • Gernaium spp.
  • Hypericum (St.John's-wort)
  • Limonium spp. (statice)
  • Rubus spp.(blackberry, raspberry)
  • Salvia spp.


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Is space a problem for you?

Then you might want to consider growing your vegetables, fruit, citrus, or annual color in tubs, 1/2 wine barrels, window boxes or hanging baskets.

All make great areas to grow columnar fruit, citrus, beans, tomatoes, herbs, or even onions or lettuce.

Get creative! What can you think of that would grow well in a small space?

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