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How to take root cuttings


Taking root cuttings couldn't be easier and it's the ideal way to increase your stock of perennials, such as phlox, rhus, mint, Japanese anemones and Primula denticulata (see picture). Take cuttings now and you'll be potting up new plants in spring.

How to do it

Lifting the plant

1Use a garden fork to lift the whole plant out of the ground gently, taking care not to damage its roots.

Cutting the roots

2Wash the roots in water to remove any soil. Using a sharp knife, cut off 5cm lengths of healthy roots. When you've finished taking cuttings, you can replant the parent plant.

Laying out the cuttings

3Fill pots with gritty compost and lay the root cuttings, well-spaced apart, on the surface.

Covering cuttings with compost

4Cover cuttings with a thin layer of compost. Water well, label pots and place in a cool place indoors or in a cold frame.

Adam's tip

Thick roots can be pushed vertically into planting holes made with a pencil. Make sure they go in the right way up. Roots will form at the end that was furthest away from the parent plant, so this end should sit in the bottom of the planting hole.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to take root cuttings
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

redheadirish 24/11/2011 at 15:29

what plants can you do this technique with?

Edite Ferreira 18/01/2012 at 09:21

After harvesting of rocket can you replant root cuttings of it? I made the mistake of sowing the seeds too close together but non the less it sprung in just 2 days. Please advise.

Kind Regads,